This New York City program aims to reduce isolation + depression for new mamas 👏

The first few weeks after giving birth can be an overwhelming time for new mothers. Worry, anxiety, sleep deprivation and, of course, those out-of-whack hormones can easily plunge moms into postpartum depression. But it can be incredibly difficult for moms to find the help and support they need when they're laser-focused on caring for a newborn.

A new program in New York City is aiming to address that problem. The New Family Home Visits initiative will send mental health professionals directly into the home of first-time parents to offer care, support and guidance. This is amazing, as the current model of postpartum care in America isn't working, but other countries have seen measurable benefits when moms are provided with professional, in-home help.

It's hard to give an exact estimate of how many new mothers deal with postpartum depression—since so many cases go unreported—but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number could be as high as one in five. With as many as six home visits, New York City moms will be in a much better position to cope.

The home visits program has a budget of $43 million and is spearheaded by New York City's First Lady Chirlane McCray, who says she was inspired by her own difficult experience as a first-time mother. McCray says she hopes the programs' benefits will be far-ranging. "Home visits are proven to strengthen bonds between parents and their babies, lower the risk for maternal anxiety and depression, and support healthy brain development during a crucial time," she explains.

While the program's main focus is on mental health, it'll also offer far more than anxiety and depression screenings. Visits can also give parents tips on feeding, safe sleep, help navigate programs like WIC and SNAP, and even offer doula services to eligible moms.

The program starts this spring in Brooklyn. It aims to have all Brooklyn families covered by 2021 and will be fully implemented across NYC by 2024.

New York's program will be the largest of its kind, according to the New York Times, joining cities like Chicago and Durham, N.C. in offering home visits. Having a trained professional available to offer support could be a game-changer for moms starting out on the most challenging journey of their lives—here's hoping more cities follow suit.

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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My belly has been through some things.

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It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

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