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As soon as you got that 2017 due date, you knew this was going to be the best. year. ever.

And while you're already getting the greatest gift (from yourself—go you!), there are a few things we want you to have to make welcoming your little bundle even better.

Our NEW YEAR, NEW BUMP SWEEPSTAKES will help you round out that nursery and treat yourself—because, trust us mama, after nine months, you're going to need a little treating. Enter now to win over $4,000 in new mama goodies from some of our favorite brands like BOB Gear, Ergobaby, Babyganics, and more!

Get ready to have the best year ever—here’s $4k in prizes for your 2017 bundle of joy

New Year, New Bump Sweepstakes


$500 Gift Card to DockATot

A little lounging never looked so good. DockATot is designed to offer a safe, soothing environment for babies to sleep, play, and relax with 100% breathable (and machine-washable!) fabrics and a seriously safety-tested design. Use this $500 gift card to get a Dock and a few snappy covers, or get a Dock for each room for even more convenient vegging out.

Babyganics New Mom Bundle

Everyone loves a clean home and a clean baby. But a clean and safe home and baby? That's a million times better. Enter our sweeps for the chance to win a new mom bundle from Babyganics featuring skin-sensitive detergent, dryer balls, all-purpose wipes, dish soap, baby wipes, shampoo, eczema cream, bubble bath, and daily lotion. Your little babe has never looked so fresh.

BÉABA Babycook

Get ready to blend (and steam!) nutritious meals for your little bub with a brand new Babycook from BÉABA. Perfect for introducing your baby to her first solid foods, the Babycook can cook and puree fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish for a wholesome meal in minutes.

Bebe au Lait Nursing Pillow & Nursing Essentials Set

You're going to spend hours nursing your baby in the next few months—here's a little something to make the experiences more luxurious. The Bebe Au Lait nursing pillow features an open shape designed to fit all moms and props your baby to the optimal height for a better latch. The Nursing Essentials kit features a cover with patented Rigiflex neckline for better ventilation and eye contact and three burp cloths for wiping up messes. (And, trust us, there will be messes.)

BOB Revolution Flex Stroller

Having a baby doesn't have to put a cramp in your running routine. The BOB Revolution Flex Stroller is the ultimate road machine, designed to handle whatever the terrain can throw at you. Let the swiveling front wheel help you navigate busy sidewalks, while the adjustable handle can be raised or lowered to fit any height parent. Hit the road, mama.

$250 BURU Gift Card + Personal Styling

You are so not about the mommy frump. Frustrated with the lack of stylish nursing and maternity fashion available, BURU's founder set out to create a line that would satisfy the needs of every mama during all stages of motherhood. Enter to win a $250 gift card + a personal styling session—you're going to look so good.

Ergobaby Adapt Carrier and Sleeping Bag + Swaddler

Getting out of the house with a new baby is tough. This will make it MUCH easier. The Ergobaby Adapt Carrier adjusts for three different carrying styles (front, hip, and back) and is suitable from 7-45 pounds, even without an infant insert. And just in case you're not an expert swaddler (it's so much harder than those nurses make it look!), you'll also get a sleeping bag + swaddler for more peaceful bedtimes.

Expectful One Year Membership

Research has shown that mental well being during and after pregnancy has a positive effect on your baby. That's the idea that inspired Expectful, a trimester-specific series of guided meditations and curated communities designed to help expectant and new moms slow down and take a more mindful approach to their mental health. From posture guides to couples meditation, use your one-year free membership to get everyone a little more centered.

$250 Finn + Emma Gift Card

When celeb moms like Kristen Bell and Olivia Wilde are counted among your customers, you know you're doing something right. Finn + Emma creates clothing, toys, and accessories from organic, sustainable materials, all designed with a fresh approach to pattern and color. Meaning these toys might actually enhance your home's decor instead of clash with it. We're in love with their play gyms, but you can use your $250 gift card to buy whatever you please.

Fridababy Bitty Bundle of Joy and Feverfrida

No one wants to think about their baby getting sick, but when it happens, it's best to be prepared. The Fridababy Bitty Bundle of Joy features the award-winning NoseFrida SnotSucker, Windi the GassPasser, a NailFrida the SnipperClipper set, and a Fridet the MomWasher, plus a FeverFriday thermoniter to track any sudden temperature spikes. The cold and flue season's got nothing on you.

Kinsa $150 Gift Card

Kinsa is so much more than just a thermometer. This savvy device syncs with your smart phone to help you track your baby's symptoms and offer real-time guidance on what to do next, so you'll know if you should reach for the Tylenol or head to the doctor's office.

Little Giraffe Shower Wower™ Chenille Gift Set

Warning: You are probably going to want to steal this chenille bath set from your newborn. (We won't tell.) The Shower Wower gift set comes with an ultra-plush blanket + blankie, two coordinating burp cloths, and a hooded towel. Bath time just got a major upgrade.

$250 Lorena Canals Rugs Gift Card

Wouldn't it be great if you could bundle up all of your baby's germs and stuff them in the washing machine? Well, we can't help you with every surface, but with Lorena Canals' machine-washable play rugs, you're halfway there. The eco-friendly, handmade rugs are crafted with natural dyes, so you can feel good about your newborn's tummy time.

Monica + Andy $250 Layette Bundle

Let's face it: It's so much easier to trust another mom when it comes to quality. That's why we're such huge fans of Monica + Andy, a clothing and blanket company founded by a real mom who knows good when she sees it. Use this bundle of goodies to create the perfect coming home outfit for your brand new baby.

Owlet Baby Monitor

It's hard enough to get enough sleep as a new mom—don't let worry rob you of a single second of shut-eye. The Owlet baby monitor is a sock that fits onto new baby's foot and tracks heart rate and oxygen levels while your baby sleeps. And get this: 83% of parents report that they slept better with that peace of mind too.

Project Nursery Monitor with Mini Monitor

Babies are proof that the best things come in tiny packages. Case in point: this Project Nursery baby monitor with a mini monitor perfect for carrying with you around the house (because we all know mamas don't stop working when their babies are sleeping). Get ready for your and your baby to rest easier.

Skip Hop Tuo Convertible Highchair and Grey Feather Duo Signature

"High chair" and "sleek" are rarely seen in the same sentence, but the new Tuo Convertible Highchair from Skip Hop is out to change that. The streamlined design converts quickly from full high chair to toddler chair with a wipe-clean seat you'll appreciate every time you use it. Plus, get a Duo Signature Grey Feather diaper bag so you can head out in style after breakfast.

Stowaway Collection $150 Credit

Ready to grow in style? Stowaway Collection's line of actually chic maternity wear that highlight's your new best accessory: that gorgeous bump. Get a $150 credit to spend on dresses, tops, and bottoms you'll love to wear during pregnancy and beyond.

Total prize value is $4,071.00. See sweepstakes rules for more information.

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There are few kids television shows as successful as PAW Patrol. The Spin Masters series has spawned countless toys and clothing deals, a live show and now, a movie.

That's right mama, PAW Patrol is coming to the big screen in 2021.

The big-screen version of PAW Patrol will be made with Nickelodeon Movies and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

"We are thrilled to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to bring the PAW Patrol franchise, and the characters that children love, to the big screen," Spin Master Entertainment's Executive Vice President, Jennifer Dodge, announced Friday.


"This first foray into the arena of feature film marks a significant strategic expansion for Spin Master Entertainment and our properties. This demonstrates our commitment to harnessing our own internal entertainment production teams to develop and deliver IP in a motion picture format and allows us to connect our characters to fans through shared theatrical experiences," Dodge says.

No word on the plot yet, but we're gonna bet there's a problem, 'round Aventure Bay, and Ryder and his team of pups will come and save the day.

We cannot even imagine how excited little PAW Patrol fans will be when this hits theatres in 2021. It's still too early to buy advance tickets but we would if we could!


In the middle of that postpartum daze, the sleepless nights, the recovery, the adjustment to a new schedule and learning the cues of a new baby, there are those moments when a new mom might think, I don't know how long I can do this.

Fortunately, right around that time, newborns smile their first real smile.

For many mothers, the experience is heart-melting and soul-lifting. It's a crumb of sustenance to help make it through the next challenges, whether that's sleep training, baby's first cold, or teething. Each time that baby smiles, the mother remembers, I can do this, and it's worth it.


Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT a NYC-based psychotherapist and author of Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide to Being a Happy, Healthy Mom, says she sees this in her clinical practice.

"One mother I worked with recounted her experience of her baby's first smile. At eight weeks postpartum, exhausted and overwhelmed, she remembered her baby smiling broadly at her just before a nighttime feeding," Kurtz says. "In that moment, she was overcome by tremendous joy and relief, and felt, for the first time, a real connection to her son."

So what is it about a baby's smile that can affect a mother so deeply? Can it all be attributed to those new-mom hormones? Perhaps it stems from the survival instincts that connect an infant with its mother, or the infant learning social cues. Or is there something more going on inside our brains?

In 2008, scientists in Houston, TX published their research on the topic. Their study, "What's in a Smile? Maternal Brain Responses to Infant Facial Cues", takes data from the MRI images of 26 women as they observed images of infants smiling, crying, or with a neutral expression.

The images included the mother's own infant alternated with an unknown infant of similar ethnicity and in similar clothing and position. In each image, the baby displayed a different emotion through one of three facial expressions; happy, neutral, or sad. Researchers monitored the change in the mothers' brain activity through the transitions in images from own-infant to unknown-infant, and from happy to neutral to sad and vice versa.

The results?

"When first-time mothers see their own baby's face, an extensive brain network appears to be activated, wherein affective and cognitive information may be integrated and directed toward motor/behavioral outputs," wrote the study's authors. Seeing her infant smile or cry prompts the areas of the brain that would instigate a mother to act, whether it be to comfort, care for, or caress and play with the baby.

In addition, the authors found that reward-related brain regions are activated specifically in response to happy, but not sad, baby faces. The areas of the brain that lit up in their study are the same areas that release dopamine, the "pleasure chemical." For context, other activities that elicit dopamine surges include eating chocolate, having sex, or doing drugs. So in other words, a baby's smile may be as powerful as those other feel-good experiences.

And this gooey feeling moms may get from seeing their babies smile isn't just a recreational high—it serves a purpose.

This reward system (aka dopaminergic and oxytocinergic neuroendocrine system) exists to motivate the mother to forge a positive connection with the baby, according to Aurélie Athan, PhD, director of the Reproductive & Maternal Psychology Laboratory (a laboratory that created the first graduate courses of their kind in these subjects).

These networks also promote a mother's ability to share her emotional state with her child, which is the root of empathy. "A mother cries when baby cries, smiles when baby smiles," Athan says.

While there's a physiological explanation underlying that warm-and-fuzzy sensation elicited by a smile, there may be other factors at play too, Kurtz says.

"In my clinical practice, I often observe a stunning exchange between a mother and her baby when the latter smiles at her. A mother who is otherwise engaged in conversation with me may be, for that moment, entirely redirected to focus on her little one," Kurtz says. "This kind of attention-capturing on the part of the baby can enable and cultivate maternal attunement—a mother's ability to more deeply connect with her infant. The quality of attunement in early childhood often sets the stage for one's relationship patterns in the future."

Whether a physiological response, a neural activation, simple instinct, or the tightening of emotional connection, the feeling generated by babies' smiles is a buoy in the choppy ocean of new parenthood.

And while the first smile may be the most magical by virtue of its surprise and the necessity of that emotional lift, the fuzzy feeling can continue well into that baby's childhood and beyond. It keeps telling parents, you've got this!

[This was originally published on Apparently]


Chrissy Teigen is one of the most famous moms in the world and definitely one of the most famous moms on social media.

She's the Queen of Twitter and at least the Duchess of Instagram but with a massive following comes a massive dose of mom-shame, and Teigen admits the online comments criticizing her parenting affects her.

"It's pretty much everything," Teigen told Today, noting that the bulk of the criticism falls into three categories: How she feeds her kids, how she uses her car seats and screen time.

"Any time I post a picture of them holding ribs or eating sausage, I get a lot of criticism," she explained. "Vegans and vegetarians are mad and feel that we're forcing meat upon them at a young age. They freak out."


Teigen continues: "If they get a glimpse of the car seat there is a lot of buckle talk. Maybe for one half of a second, the strap slipped down. And TV is another big one. We have TV on a lot in my house. John and I work on television; we love watching television."

Teigen wants the shame to stop, not just for herself but for all the other moms who feel it. (And we agree.)

"Hearing that nine out of 10 moms don't feel like they're doing a good enough job is terrible," she said. "We're all so worried that we're not doing all that we can, when we really are."

The inspiration for Teigen talking publicly about mom-shame may be in part because of her participation in Pampers' "Share the Love" campaign. But even though Teigen's discussion coincides with this campaign, the message remains equally important. Advertising can be a powerful tool for shifting the way society thinks about what's "normal" and we would much rather see companies speaking out against mom-shame than inducing it to sell more stuff.

Calling out mom-shame in our culture is worth doing in our lives, our communities and yes, our diaper commercials. Thank you Chrissy (and thank you, Pampers).


Dear fellow mama,

I was thinking about the past the other day. About the time I had three small boys—a newborn, his 2-year-old brother and his 5-year-old brother.

How I was always drowning.

How I could never catch my breath between the constant requests.

How I always felt guilty no matter how hard I tried.

How hard it was—the constant exhaustion, struggling to keep my home any kind of clean or tidy, how I struggled to feed my kids nutritious meals, to bathe them and clean them and keep them warmly dressed in clean clothing, to love them well or enough or well enough.


Those years were some of the toughest years I have ever encountered.

But mama, I am here to tell you that it doesn't last forever. Slowly, incrementally, without you even noticing, it gets easier. First, one child is toilet trained, then the bigger one can tie his own shoelaces, then finally they are all sleeping through the night.

It's hard to imagine; I really really get it.

It is going to get easier. I swear it. I'm not saying that there won't be new parenting challenges, that it won't be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. It will be. But it will get easier.

These days, all of my kids get the bus to school and back. Most of them dress themselves. They can all eat independently and use the toilet. Sometimes they play with each other for hours leaving me time to do whatever I need to do that day.

I sleep through the night. I am not constantly in a haze of exhaustion. I am not overwhelmed by three tiny little people needing me to help them with their basic needs, all at the same time.

I can drink a hot cup of coffee. I do not wish with every fiber of my being that I was an octopus, able to help each tiny person at the same time.

I am not tugged in opposite directions. I don't have to disappoint my 3-year-old who desperately wants to play with me while I am helping his first grade bother with his first grade reading homework.

And one day, you will be here too.

It's going to get easier. I promise. And while it may not happen today or even next week or even next month, it will happen. And you will look around in wonder at the magnificent people you helped to create and nurture and sustain.

Until then, you are stronger and more resilient than you can even imagine.

You've got this. Today and always.


A fellow mama

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