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I’m folding laundry in the kitchen, which is also my laundry room, which is also my purgatory, when a flash of three tiny bodies careens past me and through the doorway to the hallway. I hear bodies hit the floor with the kind of force which, for an adult, would result in weeks of physical therapy. For my triplet five-year-old girls, such violence is routine and fortifying, unless of course it’s not.

I pause to listen. There is squealing. There is struggling. No screams of pain.

I continue folding, unconcerned, until…

“Boo-Boo is licking us again.” I look up from a twist of towels I’m wrestling from the dryer. Pumpkin Face is standing in the doorway to the kitchen, naked for some reason. She likes being naked.


I hear Cherub Cheeks plead, “Noooo!!! Stop it Boo-Boo!”

I hear bodies hit the wall… no crying, just the sound of desperate struggle.

I look at Pumpkin Face quizzically. “Okay…”

“Mommy, tell her to stop!” Pumpkin Face twists her toe into the carpet.

You tell her to stop,” I say as I flick a towel into a quick quartering. “She’s not hurting you.”

“It’s gross!” Pumpkin Face insists.

So I stick my head into the hallway, where Boo-Boo is astride the smaller, struggling Cherub Cheeks. “Uh,” I say quietly, which is the best way to get their attention, even in the middle of an assault, “Boo-Boo, stop licking people.”

She turns to look at me, tongue relaxed and wet, sticking out comically from between her lips. I laugh.

Why did I laugh?

She takes this as tacit permission to continue licking her sister, so I do what any parent of five-year-old triplets would do in this situation.

I lose interest.

And the licking continues.

For weeks, drunk with power, Boo-Boo careens through the house, tongue hanging slug-like from between wet baby lips, running in her cute bouncy way after her screaming sisters. When they come to me crying, I dismiss their concerns as maudlin. I have a foundering writing career to fit in between loads of laundry. I can’t worry about such trivialities. And they need to learn to stand up for themselves.

Besides, it’s kind of hilarious.

Then early one morning, Boo Boo crawls into my bed and pins my arms with her fat baby legs. My eyes flutter open as I emerge from a dream about drowning in a giant causeway filled with millions of gallons of water, and the first thing I see is a fuschia, glistening tongue slowly descending toward my face. “Boo, get off,” I slur. “Mommy has to pee.”

“Unh uh,” she says, shaking her head no. Delicate droplets of saliva catch the morning light in their trajectory toward my eyelids.


“No, honey, stop.” I say groggily. “Mommy’s got to get up.” I close my eyes again, or rather, they close themselves, weighed down by twin singularities with their own gravitational fields pulling me backward into a wormhole of sleepiness. In a supreme act of will, I open my eyes again to see her still hovering over me, her eyes on mine with disturbing seriousness. “Boo Boo Doll,” I say, but this time, there’s a faint whiff of fear in my voice.

Fear only makes her stronger.

“Honey, Mommy has to pee,” I say again, trying to wriggle out from under her.

“Mommy festoo pee,” my husband repeats, his face mashed into his pillow, body as limp and ineffectual as an earthworm. He immediately resumes snoring.

Despite this forceful display of male dominance, Boo is unmoved. Slowly she descends, never breaking eye contact, relishing my growing apprehension as I squirm, groaning with dread. “Hey!” I say, forcing a modicum of authority into my voice.

She laughs, but her eyes are cold, calculating.

I try to throw her off me toward the middle of the bed where she will be cushioned by her father’s inert form, but she clings to my bucking body like a lemur, holding my arms down, the both of us perched on the edge of the mattress. She knows I won’t risk injuring her, and therein lies her power.

“Boo, I mean it!” I snap.

The urgency in my voice finally rouses my husband who, smacking his lips, looks at us through one eye. “That’s not funny, Boo,” he says, but he’s smirking.

She laughs, and more spit falls onto the bridge of my nose.

“Help!” I finally shout, and my husband inserts his hands into her armpits and pulls her off me.  She flies through the air like a giddy Elphaba and into her father’s arms, cackling with maniacal glee.

I run to the bathroom, looking back at the two of them as they roll around laughing on the big king bed. I lean my palms on the counter to catch my breath, staring at myself in the mirror. You’re only getting what you deserve, my reflection says with narrowed eyes. Pumpkin Face tried to tell you. You mocked her terror while Cherub Cheeks lay helpless beneath The Tongue.

I turn on the shower and step into the warm spray, shuddering with relief as I rinse the spit off my face. Once I emerge to towel off, I put one foot on the edge of the bathtub to apply my lotion and feel a soft tongue on my calf.

Mopsy, my adorable black and white shih-tzu, is right on time for her morning ritual of licking off my organic vegetable-based body lotion as quickly as I can apply it. “Did we have a good sleep, Mops?” I murmur to her, and give her a pat on the head. She blinks in my general direction and galumphs onto the floor, inserting her tongue in the space between my toes. It tickles rather pleasantly.

The irony in this should, but does not, strike me immediately.

I can tolerate my shih-tzu licking my feet for extended periods of time. Mopsy is small and squishy, and very fluffy, with a cute little face sporting outsized round eyes that, when they stare into yours, seem to whisper, “I loooooooooooove you.” She is my spirit-animal, my familiar, my soul-mate from a previous life, and I’m pretty sure she feels the same way about me.

Mopsy can sit at my feet for a full hour and lick my toes. Sometimes I’ll look down to discover my dog in the middle of a prolonged toe bath, and realize I can’t remember when the licking commenced. I have tried, over the years, to discourage this behavior, but Mopsy is difficult to train.

The chief trouble is that she possesses physical properties unknown anywhere else in the Newtonian universe, occupying a state somewhere between liquid and solid. When you try to push her off you, she goes boneless, absorbing any energy you expend, and using that energy to redouble the pace of her licking.

Now wrapped in my flannel robe, I exit the bathroom, trailing Mopsy, to find Boo astride her father who is helplessly struggling against her superior will and reflexes. I register the shock in his eyes and raise an eyebrow. “Bet you’re sorry you smirked,” I say.

“Get her off me!” he cries, craning his neck away from her.

With the speed of a cobra, her body descends in a poetic, Euclidian arc, and her tongue alights on his cheekbone, lingers, then leaves a visible trail of glistening slime that terminates inside his ear.

“Aargh!” he cries as he frantically wipes it away with his palm. “Stop!”

“Boo,” I say, my voice resonant with affronted authority. “No more licking.”

She looks at me, laughing around her tongue. Her long brown hair is a wild nimbus, her legs are adorably chubby, and she is surrounded by a line of white sunlight that makes her glow like a heavenly messenger from the Empyrean. Then her eyes trail down to my feet, where Mopsy has settled into a comfortable rhythm clearing my ankle of impurities – all impurities, that is, except her bacterially fecund dog spit.

“New household rule,” I say, though by the tremor in my voice anyone could see my conviction faltering as the obvious contradictions sink in. “No more licking,” I say weakly.

Mopsy shifts her lingual devotion to my heel.

Boo’s eyes trail back up to mine. “Okay, Mommy,” she says as her father, using his last bit of strength, lifts her off his chest. He takes her hand and leads her to her bedroom to get her dressed, but there is a hesitance in her step.

Boo is thinking now. As am I.

Throughout the day I ask myself questions I never thought I would entertain about the social parameters of saliva. Why is pet spit acceptable when human spit is so revolting? It’s true, Mopsy and Boo have very different styles. Mopsy keeps the licking quite dry, and the strokes of her tongue are swift and business-like.

Boo, on the other hand, seems to prioritize maximum delivery of her payload, and strikes with a single, defeating tsunami of spit. Mopsy’s licking is more of a loving pastime, whereas Boo’s attacks assert dominance in a way that is carefully designed to exploit loopholes in the household rules. She isn’t hitting. She’s not biting. Nonetheless, this licking does constitute a violation of human rights and must be stopped in some way that is both accepting and loving. But how?

That very evening, as I’m reading one of Dr. Suess’s crushingly long compositions, I feel Boo’s weight shift, and from the corner of my eye I see something pink and glistening.

“Honey, no,” I say.

Her sisters watch from their father’s lap, one on each leg, as he labors through “Fox in Socks.”

Boo draws nearer, her eyes laughing, and I lean away from her.

“I said no.”

She pulls back, head tilted, and then she looks down at my feet.

At this point I become aware of Mopsy dispensing more of her spittle onto my twitching toes. How long has she been there? I have no idea.

“But…” Boo says, and I am horrified to see her chin wrinkle up with hurt.

“I know this seems contradictory,” I begin.

My husband snorts.

I open my mouth to continue, but my mind is a blank. Several possible arguments occur to me, but they all amount to explaining that Boo’s adorable five-year-old tongue is somehow grosser than Mopsy’s bacteria-laden cesspool of a mouth.

“Nevermind,” I say, and open the book to continue reading.

I can feel a death ray of betrayal radiating from the eyes of her be-licked and beleaguered sisters.

After a night of intense introspection, I make a resolution that is put to the test immediately upon waking. Boo has climbed onto my bed and is leaning on her elbows, peering into my face over the golf-ball sized protuberance of her tongue. Her enthusiasm for the game is visibly reduced, but she’s come this far. By the resolute steel in her hazel eyes I see that she is committed to seeing this contest of wills to its bitter conclusion, come what may.

“No,” I say weakly, to give her the satisfaction. I know when I’ve been beaten.

“Yeth,” she says around her tongue. She crawls on top of me and, without pause, licks from my neck all the way up to my eyeball. She leans away from me to study my reaction.

Never have I tried so hard to hide my disgust. The licked skin cools as Boo’s spittle transforms into a stiffening sealant. To prove my love, I freeze myself in position, enduring, even though my dearest wish in all the Heavens is to wipe the spit off my face. Boo studies every twitch of my nose and roll of my eyes. I return her gaze and smile, trying to communicate that I have accepted her gesture of playful affection without reservation, just as I do with the family dog.

But I fail. I can’t stand it any longer, and I raise my hand to rub away her spit, which has started to itch.

She blinks in confusion.

I know she is wondering why it is gross for her to lick me but perfectly fine for Mopsy. What kind of motherly love is that?

There is one option left, one last gesture that can cement the strength of my devotion to this precious child while still offering loving guidance about respecting boundaries. I’d hoped it would never come to this.

Without warning, I dart at her and lick, blindly, with abandon, and feigned gusto. I get pretty decent coverage from the corner of her mouth up to her temple. Her cheek is firm and supple under my tongue, and she tastes like last night’s goulash, only, you know. Old.

“DE-licious!” I tell her.

“Gross,” she says, and glares at me reproachfully, her palm pressed against the desecration, cheek squished adorably.

“I never lick Mopsy,” I point out to her.

She blinks at me with grumpy disapproval, and slides off my bed and walks off, into the bathroom, grumbling. I hear the sink turn on, and see her reflection in the mirror as she cleans her cheek.

Desired outcome achieved.

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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 30, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.

Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat


From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)


Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda


When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)


Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia


Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)


Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat


This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)


Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat


Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)


Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat


We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)


Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat


With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)


Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat


Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)


Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat


With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)


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

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Nannies and early childhood educators do incredibly important work. Parents and children need these workers, they are vital to families and our economy. And they are woefully underpaid.

On average, nannies in the United States make less than Amazon delivery drivers, and day care workers earn less than either.

According to Sittercity's most recent data, the typical hourly rate of nannies in 2019 is $17.50 per hour. According to Amazon, most delivery drivers earn $18 - $25 per hour. And day care workers make only a couple dollars more than they would working in fast food, earning $11.17 per hour on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


What does it say about our society that we value the delivery of consumer goods more than we value care work?

Yes, parents are struggling to pay for childcare, but those caring for our children are struggling to pay their bills, too, and it is hard to retain talented professionals when there is more money to be made in other fields. "It is stressful. Everybody loves these children, and that's why they're there, but the love can't pay their bills," day care operator Danielle Frank told KSNB News this week.

Frank owns Smiling Faces Academy in Kearney, Nebraska, but the problem of high turnover and low wages in the childcare industry is an issue all over the United States. This isn't a uniquely American issue, either. In Japan, day care workers are desperately needed, the New York Times reports, but childcare workers there earn about a third less than workers in other industries and report struggling to cover the basic necessities.

Back in North America, this week day care workers in Nova Scotia, Canada who are frustrated with low wages have threatened to walk off the job, a move similar to one made by YMCA childcare workers in Chicago last year. "I make $15.50 an hour, and I have a BA in early childhood education with a certification in infants and toddlers," childcare worker Tahiti Hamer told WGN last year.

From Nebraska to Nova Scotia to the story is the same: Parents pay a lot for childcare while workers make very little, even though some licensed day cares require employees to have training in early childhood education, or even a bachelor's degree. And when you've got student loans, maybe carrying Amazon packages starts to look better than caring for children.

According to a recent study by the Indeed Hiring Lab, the childcare industry has two big problems right now.

"As the labor market has strengthened in recent years, more workers need child care. At the same time, growth in interest in child care jobs has slowed," Indeed Hiring Lab economist Nick Bunker notes. He suggests low-wage earners who work in childcare have more options these days, and employers should consider raising workers' pay.

It's easy to see why the industry has a hard time keeping workers, especially as other lower-wage job sectors (like Amazon delivery) expand. Unfortunately, for many childcare centers, paying workers more is just not doable without some help from levels of government.

And help is needed, not just to ensure that parents have access to quality, affordable childcare, but also to ensure that those providing it aren't living in poverty.

A study out of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley, found childcare workers' earnings are not keeping pace with increases in similar professions or with the costs of childcare and living. "Childcare workers have also experienced no increase in real earnings since 1997, and, as was true in 1989, still earn less than adults who take care of animals, and barely more than fast food cooks. Those who work as preschool teachers have fared somewhat better; their wages have increased by 15 percent in constant dollars since 1997, although their wages remain low. In contrast, parent fees have effectively doubled," the researchers note, highlighting that many childcare workers earn so little they actually qualify for public assistance.

The researchers continue: "While there are no available data to explain this glaring gap between trends in parent fees and teacher wages, it is abundantly clear that families cannot bear the burden of addressing the imperative to provide more equitable compensation for their children's early childhood teachers."

Speaking to the Education Writers Association last year one of the reports' writers, Marcy Whitebook, the founding director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California at Berkeley, said the problem is that our society devalues the work of looking after and educating children under 5, even though it is as demanding and important as teaching those ages 5 and up.

"Americans aren't used to funding early childhood care and instruction like they do K-12 education," Whitebook said. "We don't look at it as education. And we don't look at it as education everyone should have access to."

That may change in the future, as presidential candidates float plans for universal pre-K and childcare, but right now, having access to childcare is a privilege. And those who are privileged enough to employ a nanny should pay them fairly if they want to keep them, says Elizabeth Harz, CEO of Sittercity. "It's also worth noting that when parents are proactive and offer systems and official paperwork that give nannies protection in the relationship, it goes a long way," says Harz.

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Children with autism open our eyes and our hearts to growth, beauty and love in unexpected, marvelous and deep ways that expand our humanity. But, an autism diagnosis is a moment that stays with a parent.

Some parents might have trouble understanding what's happening. Others may worry or have a sense of relief that there's a name for what they've noticed in their child. Regardless of your emotions, there's not a right or wrong way to feel.

Here are seven areas to cover after receiving an autism diagnosis:

1. Line up great medical care.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids with autism often have other associated medical issues such as gastrointestinal issues, language delay or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Depending on where you live, your medical choices might be sparse or specialist-rich. Getting good, consistent healthcare is invaluable and establishes important baselines, routines and trust. How do you know which specialists or family doctors have the skills you and your child need? Ask those who have gone before you.


Medicaid provides services for children on the spectrum but there are simply not enough providers who accept Medicaid. Waiting lists in some states can be as long as 15 years. If Medicaid is part of your family's life, get your child on the waiting list as soon as possible. While you wait, look into attorneys and advocates for additional support. A good advocate will ensure you have a primary role in your child's education, regardless of the insurance plan you may or may not have.

If you don't qualify for Medicaid, the ACA marketplace (also known as the exchange) offers affordable coverage for those who qualify. If your family has private health insurance, call to see what your benefits are so you're prepared.

2. Understand your insurance coverage.

Autism is a medical diagnosis and should be covered by health insurance, but it's not that simple. Many health insurance plans do not cover therapeutic treatment for autism. From 2005 to 2015, Autism Speaks battled within state legislatures to make sure autism treatments were covered under health insurance. Through those efforts, 47 states passed related legislation. But many of those laws address only traditional insurance programs not self-insured companies (which cover most workers), and some have been weakened by loopholes exploited by insurance companies. Make a call to find out exactly what kind of coverage you have.

3. Find a community.

Autism can feel isolating, but it doesn't have to be. There are many autism support groups, some formal like chapters of the Autism Society of America or Autism Speaks and some unaffiliated groups of parents who have bonded in mutual support along the autism journey. Learn from others. Share your story. Find communities of support in churches, parks, restaurants and stores that have a heart and respect you and your child.

4. Start support.

Autism is highly variable. There are a number of decades-long treatments that address autism such as Floortime, Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped Children (TEACCH), and the Early Start Denver Model. The most research-backed treatment is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and it's therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. It focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading and academics as well as adaptive learning skills. It is practiced by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and is the most common treatment approach covered by insurance. There are less than 30,000 BCBAs in the nation, but it is a rapidly growing profession with increasingly greater access for families in need of ABA.

5. Find a good support system if you need a break.

Make sure you have loving and qualified family, friends, or professional childcare providers who can stay with your child so you can have an established date night or occasional weekend away. Such activities are important for all parents of young children but they can be especially critical for parents with children on the spectrum. Finding people who understand your child's needs, routines and sensitivities is vital to offering you an evening out while keeping things balanced on the home front. The important thing to remember is having an autisic child is beautiful and it's okay to reach out for help if you need it.

6. Contact your local school district.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) school districts, often in coordination with the public health office, are responsible for providing services from birth. Part C of IDEA mandates that schools conduct "Child Find" to locate children who need help. Among other things, Part C services can provide speech, occupational, physical and behavioral therapies to your child, often delivered in your home, and at no expense. It is part of the commitment of special education to assist families in having their children ready to learn by the time they start school. For help, call your local school district and request a meeting to begin the journey of getting the assistance your little one needs.

7. Establish a financial plan.

Many children with autism will grow into healthy self-sufficient adults, but some may require varying levels of support. That is why having a financial and assistance plan that looks after their long-term needs is essential. It's tough, but having important conversations with your partner and members of your family will help your little one in the long run. If you need advice, look into Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) to assist with creating a tax-advantaged savings account to pay for qualified expenses.

The bottom line is simple: This is hard and there will be challenges, but you've got this, mama. There will also be more beauty in this journey than you can ever imagine. The main thing to remember is that your child has you as their mother, which means they're already doing great.

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Learn + Play

It's time for Halloween! And you love dressing up. Or you hate dressing up but your family or friends or next door neighbor really want you to dress up. Oh, and also you're pregnant. 🤰🏽So what the heck are you supposed to be?

Don't sweat it, mama. We spoke to Pinterest to find out their top pinned maternity Halloween costumes, and there are some fun (and funny ideas) in the mix.

Whether you're 8 or 38 weeks pregnant, you'll be sure to find some Halloween inspiration right here. Time to get spooky!

1. Mummy-to-be 


Via Womans Day

Bonus points because this punny costume looks super easy to DIY.

2. Your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

Via Pinterest

Besides it being an easy costume to make, you get to eat pizza all night. Win-win!

3. Gumball machine 


Via Brit+ Co

This one requires a glue gun and some extra craftiness, but the result is a sweet treat.

4. Kangaroo 


Via The Spruce

Grab a stuffed baby kangaroo and you're halfway there.

5. Mommy to BEE 


Via Redbook

Buzz buzz. You look bee-utiful.

6. Violet from Willy Wonka

Via Pinterest

Can be a family costume or a stand alone, just make sure you have tons of make up remover handy before going to bed.

7. Mama bird 


via Brit + Co

What kind of a mama bird will you be? A flamingo? A peacock?

8. Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. 


via Buzzfeed

Grab a spare shirt and your crafting skills to turn yourself into a literal monster.

9. Mother earth 


via Darian Davenport

You've got the whole world in your hands... and belly.

10. Pregnant Beyonce

Via Instagram

You get to be Queen Bey for a day.

11. Baseball player 


via the Bump

You come prepared with your own bat, and ball.

12.  Prego 


via Brit + Co

Come on. You knew this one was coming...

13. Snowman


Via Ashley Engel

If you have black leggings and a white top, you're already winning Halloween!

14. Juno

Via Costume Works

Such a classic, plus you will get to wear your comfy maternity jeans all night long.

15. Pregnant unicorn

Via Pregnant Mama

Requires very little purchasing and prep.

16. Troll

Via Brit + Co

This one can easily turn into a family costume if everyone is down for a big wig and a sparkly belly button.

17. A magic 8 ball

Via WeBegToDiffer

You can spend the night answering everyone's questions.

18. An emoji

Via Brit+Co

Just pick your fave!

19. A beach ball

Via Instagram

Only for those mamas in warm weather!

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I will confess: I am a car seat safety fanatic. Some people might call me an advocate, but let's be real. I verge on crazy status.

I kept my kids rear-facing well past the age of two. I've schlepped their car seats on and off of airplanes more times than I can count. I've checked their installation again and again until it is JUST RIGHT. Yes, I am that mama. But, I make no apologies. Why should I? If there's one thing I'm crazy about, it's my kids' safety.

That's why I was surprised—no, shocked—to discover that a car seat safety rule exists that I didn't know about. As a result, I was unknowingly putting my son in an unsafe position.


You're probably already familiar with the LATCH safety system. LATCH is an acronym for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children and is the preferred method for installing your car seat. These are the anchor points in your car that allow you to clip your car seat directly into the frame of your car's existing seat.

For years, since my oldest was born, I have been obsessive about always using the LATCH system. When we shuffle the car seats around, I always situate the kids' in the seats with a LATCH system, even when it makes for undesirable seating combinations, like adults jammed into middle seats while my toddlers lounge like kings in the captain's chairs.

Recently though, a fellow mom (who also happens to be a Car Seat Safety Technician) shared a car seat installation rule I'd never heard before: The LATCH system in most vehicles is only built to accommodate a load of 65 pounds.

Sure, no problem, I thought. My oldest is nowhere near 65 pounds. But, she pointed out that 65-pound limit includes the weight of the child restraint, a.k.a. car seat. Do you realize how heavy car seats are these days? In order to use the LATCH system, the sum of the child's weight and the weight of the car seat must be no more than 65 pounds. Since most car seats weigh upwards of 20 pounds now, many manufacturers recommend that you stop using the LATCH system when a child reaches 40 pounds. I had no idea!

Now my son's car seat is secured with the seat strap. When he's done with the five-point harness and transitions to using the seat strap himself, we can return to using the LATCH system. At that point, the straps are made to absorb his impact in the event of a crash, and the LATCH system would then only be used to keep the seat from catapulting through the car. For a list of LATCH weight limits by manufacturer, refer to your car's manufacturer.
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