Audrey Roloff felt 'robbed' during her breastfeeding struggles—and so many mamas can relate

Many mamas who plan to breastfeed spend their pregnancies imagining the moment when they'll finally get to nurse their little one, but the reality is that, for a lot of us, breastfeeding can be really hard.

Fans of Little People, Big World know that Audrey Roloff is a big proponent of breastfeeding, but in a recent episode, the new mama admitted she felt "robbed" when her first few weeks of breastfeeding—and motherhood—didn't go the way she'd planned.

"About 24 hours after Ember was born, l became severely engorged," Roloff wrote on Instagram, noting that this was the beginning of a series of painful problems including supply issues, blisters, bruises, clogged ducts, and mastitis.

The physical pain was excruciating, she says, but the emotional pain in those first few weeks of parenting was also incredibly tough. Roloff's daughter with husband Jeremy—Ember Jean, now 8-months-old—was born with a tongue and lip tie and had trouble latching. The tie needed to be surgically snipped. "She's just so young, and we're already having to do something that hurts her," Roloff's husband Jeremy said on the show.

No parent wants to watch their new baby suffer, and Roloff's experience proves moms suffer too when they feel pressured to be perfect at breastfeeding. When a doctor suggested supplementing with formula, Roloff's on-camera comments caused controversy, but suggest she felt incredible stress in her first few weeks of motherhood.

"I was very adamant about breastfeeding exclusively. Formula is like a sin," she said in a recent episode of the reality show. There's been a lot of online criticism of that statement, but even before it aired Roloff made it clear that she supports other mothers in feeding their babies in whatever way is best for them.

"Breastfeeding is a blessing, but I understand that it's not always a choice," she previously wrote on Instagram, noting that she's not out to discourage other mothers whose journeys are different from her own.

Formula is not a bad thing, and is as much of a blessing as breastmilk for some families.

It should be noted that research shows giving some formula doesn't interfere with breastfeeding for newborns.

The backlash since Roloff's statement about formula is understandable, but instead of criticizing a new mother for expressing her feelings, perhaps society needs to ask why some moms feel such intense pressure to exclusively breastfeed, and whether an all-or-nothing approach to breastfeeding is more harmful than helpful.

Yes, we as a society do need to increase rates of breastfeeding, and yes, breastmilk has so many benefits, but mamas are more than our breastmilk. Demonizing formula doesn't help boost breastfeeding rates and it doesn't help mothers.

It's unfortunate that Roloff (who has, thankfully, gotten over her nursing hurdles) feels she was robbed of special bonding time with her baby because of breastfeeding struggles, but her story proves that breastfeeding can be so hard, and putting extra pressure on new moms only makes it harder.

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Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

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

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

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.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

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