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I took CBD and it made me a more present, less anxious mom

In some ways, I'm an unlikely person to be jumping on the CBD bandwagon. I don't even drink alcohol anymore. But (like a lot of moms) I do deal with anxiety and have a lot of difficulty falling and staying asleep.

I took CBD and it made me a more present, less anxious mom

From the shelves of supplement stores to hip cafes and Kim Kardashian's recent baby shower, CBD is just everywhere these days.

It's crazy to think that just a couple of years ago I'd never even heard of it, but CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in Cannabis plants, crept into my social media feeds and conversations until I couldn't ignore it...so I decided to try it.

In some ways, I'm an unlikely person to be jumping on the CBD bandwagon. I don't even drink alcohol anymore. But (like a lot of moms) I do deal with anxiety and have a lot of difficulty falling and staying asleep.

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For me, a glass of wine at the end of a stressful day is not an option but I'm also not looking to get "high" on marijuana. But the idea of getting the relaxing benefits of cannabis (and getting a good night's sleep) without feeling stoned really appealed to me.

I'm hardly alone in this. A recent survey of more than 800 women who have tried CBD found the top five reasons for taking CBD are reducing anxiety, pain relief, relaxation, improved sleep and mood stability. The women surveyed rated CBD as 54.7% effective in treating anxiety and 47.4% effective in increasing relaxation.

Personally, I would rate CBD as being more effective than that. After taking it in capsules and as an oral spray, I feel like it's at least a solid 75% effective in lowering my anxiety levels and helping me relax. That could just be a placebo effect, but whether it's the CBD that's making me chill or just the idea of CBD, I'll take it.

Literally the first time I popped a soft gel capsule I felt relief from my pretty much constant state of overwhelm and anxiety. I felt like I could focus on a task without worrying about all the other ones that I wasn't getting done at that moment, without worrying about my son's future and my future and the world's future and everything else that's constantly swirling around in my brain.

This aligns with others' experiences of CBD: A recent study published by the Kaiser-Permanente health insurance company found that even when people take CBD for sleep, not anxiety, their anxiety levels decreased measurably.

I feel like the reduction in my anxiety makes me a more patient parent. My anxiety is pretty severe, so sometimes it's really hard to just shut off my brain and get down on the floor to play superheroes with my son when I know that I have a million deadlines looming and an ever-growing to-do list. But CBD helps me take back my time from the demands of the world and focus on the very important person who is right in front of me.

Before CBD, I'd find myself almost resenting story time. My mouth would be smiling and reading, but in the back of my brain, I was screaming, frustrated that I was reading the same Lego Batman book for the 700th time when I should be unloading the dishwasher, putting away laundry or catching up on emails. CBD lets me slow down and be the mom I want to be: A present, chilled out version of myself.

Research suggests that CBD may benefit people like me who have anxiety-related disorders, but experts point out that controlled clinical studies and further research are needed. The same can be said about CBD's impact on sleep, but my own experience is that CBD helps me shut off my brain and rest.

Falling and staying asleep has always been a problem for me (literally since infancy, ask my mom) and my sleep problems got worse after becoming a mom myself. My preschooler is a much better sleeper than I was at his age and is now sleeping through the night (can I get a hallelujah!) but I don't always.

However, I've been taking CBD as part of my nighttime routine for three months now and I am definitely sleeping better. I'm falling asleep easier and not waking as frequently as I usually do to pee, check locks and stress eat peanut butter.

That said, not everyone loves CBD as much as me and Kim Kardashian do. Surveys of women who use CBD suggest only 39% of millennial women who've tried it are moderately satisfied with CBD, and some people report it has no impact on their anxiety or sleep (although experts suggest that people who feel no effect may not be taking the right dose).

Your mileage may vary and more science is needed, but my personal experience is that CBD worked for me. I'm less stressed, sleeping better, and I think I'm a better mom for it.

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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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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school 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 summer-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.

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.

$30

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!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective 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

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden 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

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.

$30

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.

$100

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.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

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.

$45

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.

$179

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.

$100

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.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

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.

$88

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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