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Toys 'R' Us is coming back in time for Christmas thanks to Target 🙌

The two brands are coming together for online toy sales.

Toys 'R' Us is coming back in time for Christmas thanks to Target 🙌

Cue the zombie memes and comeback anthems: Toys "R" Us is making a comeback just in time for Christmas. As CNBC reports, Target is partnering with Tru Kids Inc. (the company that now owns the Toys “R" Us brand name) to relaunch the Toys “R" Us website, but no physical stores are planned at this time.

This follows a recent announcement by Tru Kids that it is also partnering with Candytopia to launch pop-up experiences called "The Toys 'R' Us Adventure." The first two will open in Chicago and Atlanta in late October and will stay open through the holiday season. There are plans to expand the pop-ups to other cities after Christmas.

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“This new adventure brings to life the joys of childhood with interactive play rooms and installations featuring the beloved Toys "R" Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe and popular toy vendors like Melissa & Doug, the leading toy brand for screen-free, open-ended play, Spin Master's popular PAW Patrol brand, Schleich, an Imaginative Play Company, and much more," Tru Kids Inc. states in a press release.

This announcement follows previous reports of a planned holiday revival for the Toys "R" Us brand. Back in July, Bloomberg reported that Richard Barry, the CEO of Tru Kids Inc., was working on a plan that would reportedly include about six stores that would be only 10,000-square feet (a third of the size of the old big-box stores) plus an e-commerce site. At that time a spokesperson for Tru Kids told Motherly there was no official comment, but Bloomberg's reports came after Barry had reportedly pitched this plan at an industry conference.

The toy industry, and those of us consuming its goods, have been anticipating something like this since early 2019, when Tru Kids Inc. first announced that it was the "proud parent" of the Toys “R" Us brand name. That's when Barry began promising that his company was brainstorming new ideas for its comeback.

All 735 Toys "R" Us stores in the U.S. closed last summer, following the bankruptcy filing of the company in 2017. This left nearly 20,000 employees out of work, and sent many toy manufacturers in disarray. Interestingly, the closures didn't just mean parents bought their kids' toys online or at other stores. According to the New York Times, only a third of Toys "R" Us' would-be holiday sales went to other retailers. This is presumably because without a giant toys-only wonderland before them, people were somehow more restrained in their buying habits.

Other factors, such as a declining birth rate and the rise of video games, have been blamed for the slowing of toy sales. The people bringing Toys "R" Us back from the dead know some things have to change for the rebirth to be successful. According to Bloomberg, the new, smaller stores, will include adjustments to modern buying habits. There will be an emphasis on experiences, including play areas in the stores. Products might also be sold on consignment, so Toys "R" Us won't pay the makers until they sell the toys to consumers. How manufacturers burned by the company's bankruptcy will react to that idea remains to be seen.

Will nostalgic Toys "R" Us kids—and their kids—flock to the new adventure pop-up? That remains to be seen, as does what cities will be getting the experience. If you're a Toys “R" Us kid at heart you can find out which cities will receive the experience by registering for early ticket access at toysrusadventure.com.

[A version of this post was originally published July 3, 2019. It has been updated.]

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I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

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

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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