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Recreating childhood memories is good for your entire family—just ask Kristen Bell

Taking time to re-ground ourselves in the places that shaped us can revitalize our sense of purpose as parents and partners.

Recreating childhood memories is good for your entire family—just ask Kristen Bell

As adults and as parents it can seem like we’re so far from our childhoods—but Kristen Bell is proving that, sometimes, it’s good to reconnect to the places we visited as kids.


Along with husband Dax Shepard, the 37-year-old mom recently took her two daughters, 4-year-old Lincoln and 2-year-old Delta, back to a lake in Michigan like the ones she and Shepard splashed around in while growing up in the Mitten state. Recalling the vacation to Airbnbmag, Bell said it helped her family connect in a different way than they do in Los Angeles.

Even if most of us don’t have the budgets to rent out a 15-bedroom lake house like Bell and Shepherd, the story demonstrates that taking the time to re-ground ourselves in the places that shaped us can revitalize our sense of purpose as parents and partners.

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I know this first-hand: My husband and I recently took our son to stay in my in-laws’ two bedroom cottage—the same one my husband spent summers in as a child.

Although our digs were not as palacial, the rest of our experience certainly echoes Bell’s, who said she, “learned more about my husband as we both shared stories about things we did growing up.”

Likewise, my husband and I spent our getaway walking down winding country roads and swimming with our son in the lake. Every new experience for my son and I brought back a childhood memory for my husband, which helped me to understand him even better.

Experts agree with Bell: Sharing childhood memories helps build a stronger marriage.

In her book You Owe it to Yourself: Effective Keys to a Happier Marriage, psychotherapist Atara Malach notes that understanding your partner’s childhood is key. But it can be hard for couples to find “the right time, the right place and the right mood to share childhood memories.”

First daddy daughter swim in Lake Michigan-a right of passage for any Mitten baby �

A post shared by kristen bell (@kristenanniebell) on

Like Bell and Shepherd, the right place and time is around the campfire overlooking the lake for my husband and me. We’ll no doubt be making a return trip to reconnect as our son grows older, so he can walk down the same dirt roads his dad did and jump off the same docks.

Shepard and Bell also plan to repeat their trip, saying they plan to “go home” to Michigan for at least one week every year.

Whether it’s in a 15-bedroom rental like they had or a small family cabin like we stayed in, reconnecting is essential and worth making time for. Especially if there are roasted marshmallows involved.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

$14.99

Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

$7.99


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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