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If you want better sleep, prioritizing sex could be the answer

Is this the key to a great night's rest? 😴

If you want better sleep, prioritizing sex could be the answer

We want it, we crave it, we obsess over it. Sleep is a high priority for parents as we get such precious little of it. But, here's a tip you and your partner will probably both be happy to hear.

If you're having trouble succumbing to sleep even when you do get to lay down, you might want to try... getting laid. As Australian sleep researcher Dr. Michele Lastella determined with a survey of hundreds of adults, people sleep better after having sex.

“What we found was 64% of our respondents indicated they slept better when sex was with a partner and it involves an orgasm," he told Adelaide Now.

Lastella's research is part of a project evaluating the use of sex as sleep therapy. He found that when people but their phones away and instead make time for some evening intimacy, sleep quality improves drastically. "When you're engaging in sex, you're not thinking about what to do the next day, you're not going through your phones. It distracts you," he said.

But, of course when you have kids, the phones are not the only things that distract you. It can be hard for parents to find the right time and place to connect—and, even then, it may not be a top priority.

According to a survey of new parents conducted earlier this year, 34% said sleep is what they miss the most about their pre-child life, while just 17% miss "romantic time" the most.

The lack of concern over time for sex makes sense. Hormone levels in mothers and fathers change with parenthood. And, according to anthropologists at the University of Notre Dame, when new dads experience testosterone dips, they report lower frequencies of sex with their partners.

The research also suggests co-sleeping can impact hormone levels in parents, not to mention the logistical challenges it poses with nighttime romance.

Parents may want to give it a shot though, because the average parent is getting way less sleep than they need. But, as the Australian survey shows, both the 34% of parents who miss sleep and the 17% who miss romance may find themselves happier if they engage in a little intimacy before bed.

[Originally published on December 5, 2017]

These are the best bath time products you can get for under $20

These budget-friendly products really make a splash.

With babies and toddlers, bath time is about so much more than washing off: It's an opportunity for fun, sensory play and sweet bonding moments—with the added benefit of a cuddly, clean baby afterward.

Because bathing your baby is part business, part playtime, you're going to want products that can help with both of those activities. After countless bath times, here are the products that our editors think really make a splash. (Better yet, each item is less than $20!)

Comforts Bath Wash & Shampoo

Comforts Baby Wash & Shampoo

Made with oat extract, this bath wash and shampoo combo is designed to leave delicate skin cleansed and nourished. You and your baby will both appreciate the tear-free formula—so you can really focus on the bath time fun.

Munckin Soft Spot Bath Mat

Munchkin slip mat

When your little one is splish-splashing in the bath, help keep them from also sliding around with a soft, anti-slip bath mat. With strong suction cups to keep it in place and extra cushion to make bath time even more comfortable for your little one, this is an essential in our books.

Comforts Baby Lotion

Comforts baby lotion

For most of us, the bath time ritual continues when your baby is out of the tub when you want to moisturize their freshly cleaned skin. We look for lotions that are hypoallergenic, nourishing and designed to protect their skin.

The First Years Stack Up Cups

First year stack cups

When it comes to bath toys, nothing beats the classic set of stackable cups: Sort them by size, practice pouring water, pile them high—your little one will have fun with these every single bath time.

Comforts Baby Oil

Comforts baby oil

For dry skin that needs a little extra TLC, our team loves Comforts' fast-absorbing baby oil aloe vera and vitamin E. Pro tip: When applied right after drying off your baby, the absorption is even more effective.

KidCo Bath Toy Organizer

KidCo Bath Organizer

Between bathing supplies, wash rags, toys and more, the tub sure can get crowded in a hurry. We like that this organizer gives your little one space to play and bathe while still keeping everything you need within reach.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

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