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Want mom friends? Now, there’s an app for that

There’s really no way around it: Becoming a parent for the first time means a change to your social scene. Yes, a lot of mamas still have best friends, parents, siblings and other loved ones to turn to. But parenthood can be isolating when you lose that village you used to have.


That was the case with Jenn Updyke, a California mom who relocated to Washington for her husband’s job. The move meant Updyke was no longer surrounded by her friends and family—and she began to feel alone.

So what did Updyke do? Turn to social media with a creative request for companionship.

According to Babble, Updyke wrote a “Grannies Wanted” ad on Nextdoor—a private, neighborhood-based social network—looking for new friends and people to support her parenting journey. Updyke received an overwhelmingly positive response to her ad and has started to “expand our village of supporters even when our immediate family (and beloved Grannies) live so far away.”

Looking to build your own tribe—or just an excuse to leave the house? Check out these four apps that help you connect with other parents.

MamaLeave

As a working mom, I miss out on a lot of daytime play dates. That’s where MamaLeave comes in: Created by Virginia mom Laurie Cordova, MamaLeave helps busy mamas or moms new to a neighborhood connect with other local parents. Make friends, form bonds and schedule play dates around your schedule.

MamaLeave is available for free in the Apple and Google Play app stores.

Peanut

Basically the Tinder for mama meet-ups, Peanut also helps you connect with local moms or moms-to-be. Much like the dating app, Peanut lets you swipe left or right on potential mom friends. Once a match is made, you’re free to start messaging each other. In other words: Friendship made easy.

Peanut is available for free in the Apple and Google Play app stores.

MomCo

MomCo works similar to MamaLeave. Designed by single San Diego mom Jillian Darlington, MomCo lets you find and connect with other moms in your neighborhood. But it also goes a step further: MomCo users can also interact in forums, schedule play dates, take advantage of in-app deals and giveaways and keep up with local events. It’s like a whole social life rolled in one place.

MomCo is available for free in the Apple app store.

Hello Mamas

Whereas Peanut is the Tinder for friendship, Hello Mamas is OKCupid. Hello Mamas uses algorithms to match you with other local mothers who have similar interests and lifestyles. There’s even a “looking for” section (think play dates, mom groups, new friends) to help you cut through the chatter.

Hello Mamas is available for free in the Apple and Google Play app stores.

It’s pretty amazing to think a little wifi connection can lead to a real-life connection. Get out there, mama!

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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Life