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Nathan Alexander is a professor of mathematics at Morehouse College. He's spent years instilling knowledge and leadership skills in his students, and now he's teaching the world a lesson about supporting new parents.

On Friday one of Alexander's students, senior Wayne Hayer, found himself walking into class with his baby girl strapped to his chest after a childcare crunch left him with no choice but to bring his baby girl to class or miss class.

Alexander offered a super simple solution to the new dad: "I'll hold her so you can take good notes."

Hayer strapped his baby carrier onto his professor. Another student snapped and tweeted a photo of Alexander teaching while wearing 5-month-old Asada and the story has gone viral.

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As the Washington Post reports, 26-year-old Hayer was having a crazy day on Friday. His wife usually has Asada while he's in class, but on Friday Hayer had to bring Asada with him to school. He was stressed, but he remembered a conversation he'd had with Alexander, who once told him that if childcare was ever an issue he could just bring Asada.

"I was apprehensive about it," he told the Washington Post, noting that he'd never seen another student bring a baby to class (Morehouse is a historically black all men's college). But with an exam coming up he needed to be at that lecture, so he walked into his math class.

"I had a book bag on and a baby strapped to my chest. I looked crazy," he says. "Then Dr. Alexander saw me and welcomed me with open arms."

At first, Asada sat with her dad, but when it seemed like that was distracting Hayer, Alexander suggested he hold her for the rest of class. Hayer strapped his teacher into the carrier, and Asada hung out with Alexander, enjoying the classroom view and learning about some pretty advanced math concepts for a 5-month-old.


The internet is hailing Dr. Alexander a hero, and we have to agree.

"There's an idea of what a student is and we don't think about ways to support parents that are students. That's where I come in," he told The Post. "Community matters. I want a world where Wayne doesn't feel like he can't get ready for his exam even though his child care fell through."

Alexander is right. Post-secondary education and the workplace were not built for parents. But we can change that by building the kind of communities that don't force parents to pretend they don't have this other responsibility in their lives.

Wayne Hayer (like a lot of millennial men) is a committed partner and father. And Dr. Alexander is a great professor who is helping him be that great dad while also being a student.

👏👏👏

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Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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


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