Meghan Markle joined a new mom's playgroup which is great for baby—and mama, too

It's been about a month since the most famous new mom in the world, the former Meghan Markle, told the world that she is not okay. When she opened up to ITV News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby that the reality of early motherhood is harder than people realize, moms around the world nodded in agreement.

Now Markle is meeting some moms IRL who will understand what she's going through. The Duchess of Sussex has been taking baby Archie to a local playgroup and has stated publicly that the little guy loves it.

We hope Meghan loves it too, because these kind of groups can be vital for new moms.

In many ways, Meghan Markle's experiences of new motherhood are magnified—her parenting choices are judged on a global scale and her fame isolates her. While most of us can't relate to the extreme wealth and privilege that are ever present in Markle's life, we can certainly relate to the feelings of isolation and judgement.

Playgroups can be an antidote to these feelings but only if moms give them a chance by continuing to attend and try different groups, even if the first time or two is awkward.

As now-retired parenting author Kathy Lynn told Canadian Family magazine back in 2012, "sometimes it takes a few attempts before you find a good group and personality fit. The key is not to give up too easily."

A study released in 2015 proved Lynn right, concluding that playgroups can act as a protective factor for socially isolated mothers, but only if they attend persistently. Playgroups help moms make connections with other moms, which is so important, and they also help moms learn new parenting strategies and ways to communicate with their babies.

We also love to hear that Prince Harry recently started attending the playgroup with Meghan and Archie because just by being there Harry is helping normalize dads being involved in childcare. Sometimes mama needs to go to a playgroup and chat with other moms, and sometimes she just needs some time to herself—time she can have if dad takes the baby to playgroup.

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:

Keep reading Show less

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

Keep reading Show less

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.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play