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13 celebrity parents sending their babies to school for the first time

You're proud, you're excited, and you can't believe your baby is this grown up. It's totally natural to feel a mix of emotions on your child's first day of school.

We're right in the thick of back-to-school season, and first day photos are flooding our social media feeds. If you captioned your photos with #bittersweet sentiments, you're in good company.

These celebrity parents were pretty torn about the big transition to school, too, as their Instagram posts illustrate.

Chrissy Teigen

Okay, so technically Chrissy Teigen and John Legend's daughter Luna had her first day of preschool last year, but her second year pic this September was just too cute. Luna's chalkboard sign lists all her favourite things and that she wants to "do nails" when she grows up.

It looks like Luna wrote her own name on the bottom of the board and we are pretty impressed with her penmanship.

This is one 3-year-old who is going to rock preschool!

Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad's son Liam is only 2, but he is getting his early childhood education on this year in nursery school.

Liam's first day was obviously an emotional one for his mama, who is expecting his first sibling soon.

"I'm too pregnant to handle this 😭," Conrad captioned her photo.

Daphne Oz

Daphne Oz recently welcomed her fourth child and has now sent her two oldest off to school.

"just a coupla grownups, here about the first day of school! Philo is in kindergarten and John is in preschool 3s and I can't believe it 😭🥰" she captioned a couple of Instagram photos. These kids are too cute.

"So proud of these kiddos! 😍😭😭" their grandfather, TV's Dr. Oz noted in Daphne's comments.

Whitney Port

Whitney Port's son Sonny is looking super cute for his first day of a cool preschool program.

"I actually didn't cry, is that crazy?! He started something called PORTABLE CLASSROOM two days a week. It's essentially a toddler transition class," Port captioned his first day pic on Instagram.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

Snooki's two oldest babies, Giovanna and Lorenzo, were off to Kindergarten and first grade this year.

"Mommy is crying," Snooki noted on Instagram, adding that she's also cheering to be "free till 3".

She not totally free, as she's still got her 3-month-old, Angelo, at home but we all know it is way easier to run errands with one 3-month-old than with a couple of school-age kids.

Congrats to Giovanna and Lorenzo!

Jenni "J Woww" Farley

Snooki's colleague Jenni "J Woww" Farley also marked a first day this week with her daughter Meilani.

"My baby girl @meilanimathews first day of school. We were out late yesterday celebrating her milestone at six flags… and even with limited sleep, she got up, took a tubby, dressed herself," the proud mama notes in her Instagram caption.

She continued: "I love you Mommy. Thank you so much for picking out that pretty dress but I'm 5 now. I can pick my own outfits now…' Lorddddd I am not ready for how grown up she is 😫😫😫"

Neither are we!

Emily Maynard Johnson 

Emily Maynard Johnson of Bachelor fame had the perfect caption for this photo of her triplet boys' first day of school.

"and just like that, I can walk around target alone," she wrote.

🤣🤣🤣

Have a good time at Target, Emily! You deserve some mama time.

Jana Kramer

Jana Kramer had to trust her husband Mike Caussin with the photo-taking duties for daughter Jolie's first day of pre-K and while he didn't take it quite like she would have, Kramer was happy to have a photo for her photo albums and the 'gram.

"When I asked Mike to take a pic of Jolie on her first day of school I was hoping for the shot outside the front door with a really cute sign (which I told him to please do) and I truly would have LOVED her hair brushed but I guess this will have to do. Hahaha."

She did thank Mike (who might also need to clean his camera lens).

Kandi Burruss 

Real Housewives star Kandi Burruss got the ideal picture (exactly what Kramer described above) before dropping her son Ace Wells Tucker off for his first day of preschool.

"Happy first day of school @acewellstucker! Much love to all the parents who were up early dropping their kids to school," she wrote on Instagram.

 Kristen Bell + Dax Shepard

Last year when Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard sent their oldest, 5-year-old daughter Lincoln, off to kindergarten, they marked the occasion with this sweet Instagram post.

The emotional toll of this big transition caught Bell off-guard. Earlier in 2018 she told E! News she felt great about Lincoln's transition to Kindergarten. "I mean, it has nothing to do with me, I'm just sort of here for her, and I've shown her the school," she said.

But then, when preschool graduation arrived, the tears arrived, too.

When the time came for Bell and Shepard to walk Lincoln into kindergarten, it was Shepard who was in tears, as was captured in the second image in his wife's Instagram post.

First days are emotional for dads, too.

 Tamera Mowry

Tamera Mowry tried her best to hold back the tears as her 5-year-old son, Aden, started school last year, While mama had tears in her eyes, Aden's were full of excitement, Mowry noted in her Instagram post.

"He was so pumped for his first day," Aden's dad, Mowry's husband Adam Housley wrote on his own Instagram account.

"Mommy cried, sister got a hug and he surprised me with a kiss on the forehead. Insane how time flies. So excited for this kid," the proud dad captioned another sweet first day pic.

Ayesha Curry

Ayesha and Steph Curry recently welcomed a new baby into the family in 2018, but that same year their first baby celebrated some major milestones, too.

Little Riley was off to first grade, and she couldn't look more adorable in her first day photo.

We totally approve of Curry's use of both the crying emojis and the heart eyes emoji. This picture definitely needed both.

 Nicole + Michael Phelps

Last year there were no tears at all in the caption of Boomer Phelps' (son of Olympian Michael Phelps and publicly pumping mama Nicole Phelps) first day of school pic, perhaps because the pic came from the toddler's own Instagram account and not from his mama's. It's unlikely that he typed those three exclamation points himself, but mom (or dad) sure captured the excitement in that smile.

First days of school may make us mamas a bit emotional (our babies are growing up!) but they sure are an incredible experience for our children. Crying emojis are totally appropriate, but so is this one: 🎉.

[A version of this post was originally published August 23, 2018. It has been updated.]

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

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Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

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Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

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Wooden rocking pegasus

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Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

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Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

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Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

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Pull-along hippo

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There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

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Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

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Balance board

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Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

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Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

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Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

Minimize smoke exposure.

Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

Do your best to filter the air.

According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

"Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

"COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

Most importantly, don't panic.

In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Mama, all I see is you

A love letter from your baby.

Mama,

I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.

All I see is you.

When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.

You are my everything.

When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.

I trust you.

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