100+ unique baby name ideas as special as your new little one

Every child born is original and unique, and these names reflect that sentiment.

unusual-baby-name-ideas

Adventurous parents-to-be who are interested in an unexpected and out of the ordinary baby name have a lot of choices these days, as unusual and surprising baby names are all the rage. Move over Anne and Michael, Adelia and Magnus are here to stay.

Whether you're seeking a baby name that stands out from the rest of the playground crowd or one that reflects your child's individuality, we've got a variety of uncommon baby names choices to help you in your search. Happy hunting!

Check out our picks for the 100+ best unique baby names.




Unique baby names that start with A

  1. Anise—meaning spice, this tasty name is the main ingredient in licorice!
  2. Adelia—If you love Ava and Abigail, this vintage name is more distinctive.
  3. Auden— in Old English, this name means "old friend".
  4. Alma—This soulful name of Latin origin means "nurturing".
  5. Abra—Love magic? This name is for you. It's also the feminine version of Abraham.
  6. Amara—A multicultural name with various meanings, among them "immortal" and "peaceful".
  7. Angelica— Fans of Broadway's Hamilton will love this name, which means "angel" or "angelic" and is of Italian, Polish, Russian origin.
  8. Ansel—from the photographer Ansel Adams to actor Ansel Elgort, this creative name is a sure bet.
  9. Arden—Of English origin meaning "Valley of the Eagle", we love the unisex appeal of this name.
  10. Artemis—A fighter and Greek goddess of the hunt, but whos name has a strong unisex feel.
  11. Asa—A cross-cultural, unisex name which means "healer" and "born in the morning".

Unique baby names that start with B

  1. Baldwin—Meaning "brave friend" in German, and perfect for fans of James Baldwin.
  2. Bronwin—We endorse any name that sounds like it came from Wuthering Heights.
  3. Bear—Once-unlikely animal name both cuddly and strong, gaining real traction.
  4. Bishop—Of English origin, meaning "guardian".
  5. Blue—Queen Bey may have started a trend with hue-themed names, and we are all for it.
  6. Booker—Future wordsmith? Or English origin, this name means "scribe".

Unique baby names that start with C

  1. Cassia—A feminine take on newly-trendy Cassius and Cassian, with a spicy meaning (from Latin meaning "cinnamon").
  2. Colson—Derived from the name Nicholas, this name means "People of Victory".
  3. Cora—A pretty name of Greek origin meaning "fair".
  4. Cordelia—A water-themed name meaning "daughter of the sea". Anne of Green Gables fans will like this name as well.
  5. Calloway—A classic, unisex name that may be a fit for fans of jazz music (the late Cab Calloway was an American jazz singer, dancer, bandleader, and actor).
  6. Castial—This powerful, Biblical name means "Shield of God" or "My cover is God".

Unique baby names that start with D

  1. Darcy—Hello, Jane Austen fans, this one's for you.
  2. Dion—A gender-neutral name used most recently in the Netflix show, "Raising Dion".
  3. Declan—This Irish, Godly name means "man of prayer" or "full of goodness".
  4. Dallas—Just a cool name, especially if you're from Texas.
  5. Danika—Of Danish origin, this sweet name means "morning star".

Unique baby names that start with E

  1. Ellington—Jazz fans will be reminded of Duke Ellington, but this is also just a cool name on its own.
  2. Emil—The male take on Emily is finally seeing new light.
  3. Esme—Multiple meanings and they're all lovely: "beloved", "esteemed" and "emerald".
  4. Emine—This trustworthy name means "one you can trust and believe".
  5. Ezra—Meaning "helper" in Hebrew.

Unique baby names that start with F

  1. Faye—This sweet, old-fashioned name is slowly crawling back up in the popular name charts.
  2. Fisher—Obviously a great name for fishing enthusiasts, it also just sounds cool.
  3. Fleur—Say it with a French accent as this is the ultimate flower name of French origin.
  4. Freya—In Norse mythology, Freya was the Goddess of Love and Fertility.
  5. Fabian—Of Latin origin, this "bean grower" meaning has been used by Shakespeare.
  6. Foster—Of English origin, meaning "one who keeps the forest".

Unique baby names that start with G

  1. Gracia—Of Spanish origin, meaning "favor" or "blessing".
  2. Greer—This Scottish name means "watchful" or "guardian" and sounds cool for a boy or girl
  3. Gulliver—Naturally, Gulliver's Travels comes to mind with this adventurous name.
  4. Gage—This wealthy names means "money lender" in Old English.
  5. Gohan—This Japanese name is great for sushi lovers, as it means "cooked rice".

Unique baby names that start with H

  1. Hadley—This pretty yet uncommon name is of English origin meaning "heather field".
  2. Horatio—An ancient name made famous by Shakespeare, only to drop off the popular name list in the 1500s. Bring it back?
  3. Harlyn—A unisex name with a nice ring to it, meaning "army land".
  4. Honor—You already know the meaning and it's a pretty special one.
  5. Huma—in Muslim, this name means "lucky bird". I love that!

Unique baby names that start with I

  1. Ina—A Welsh name first heard in the 5th century. Foodies know and love it, thanks to cookbook author Ina Garten.
  2. Ivo—An unusual, catchy name of German, Irish and Dutch origin meaning "archer".
  3. Iago—Of Spanish origin, this name means "supplanter".
  4. Idina— A certain Disney princess (who voiced "Elsa") has this name, but it's far from popular.
  5. Idris—Same goes for a British actor Idris Elba, though I hope this one makes a resurrgance.

Unique baby names that start with J

  1. Jenson—This Scandinavian name has a lovely, soft tone to it. Meaning "son of Jan".
  2. Juliette—Made popular by Shakespeare, we love this French spelling.
  3. Jago—this name is derived Jacob, from Cornish origin.
  4. Jett—I mean, this is just a cool, unused name, plain and simple.
  5. Jabari—From Swahili, meaning "brave one".

Unique baby names that start with K

  1. Keira—An Anglicized name meaning "little dark one" (similar to Ciara and Kira).
  2. Kit—What a spunky yet simple unisex name (I'm thinking "Game of Thrones" actor Kit Harington and the American Girl doll, Kit Kittredge).
  3. Koa—Of Hawaiian origin meaning "warrior" and "brave one". Typically used for boys, I like this as a girls' name, too.
  4. Kian—Of Gailic Irish origin meaning "ancient".
  5. Karys—This lovely Welsh name means "love".

Unique baby names that start with L

  1. Leon—Roar! Of Latin origin meaning "lion".
  2. Ledger—A twist on the German Leadegar, meaning "people" and "spear".
  3. Lilia—A twist on popular Lily, meaning, you guessed it, "lily".
  4. Lucinda—Meaning "light", if you want a more formal name than Lucy.
  5. Laith—Make up your own meaning as this name doesn't really have one, but is derived from Arabic and Scottish Gaelic.
  6. Lennox—Meaning "with many elm trees" which is great if you like trees, but also Annie Lennox.

Unique baby names that start with M

  1. Maia—A new spelling and twist on an old classic (Maya).
  2. Matson—If you like Matthew, Matson is an unusual take on a classic name.
  3. Marisol—A bright and cheerful name of Spanish origin meaning "sun and sea".
  4. Marlowe—A cool name meaning "driftwood", this one is quickly becoming a celebrity favorite.
  5. Maverick—This cool name means "independent; nonconformist", so they will surely think for themselves!
  6. Maude—A fierce name meaning "powerful battler" and one of the coolest one syllable monikers out there.
  7. Millicent—This old-fashioned name comes with a pretty adorable nickname; "Millie".

Unique baby names that start with N

  1. Niamh—An Irish name meaning "bright" and "radiant"; variations include Neve and Nieve.
  2. Nova—For the celestial-minded, a Nova is a star that suddenly releases a huge burst of energy, temporarily becoming extraordinarily bright.
  3. November—An underused, unisex month-themed name.
  4. Neve—*see Niamh above.
  5. Nadir—in Arabic, this name means "precious".

Unique baby names that start with O

  1. Olympia—A favorite of Serena Williams, this name is of Greek origin meaning "from Mount Olympus".
  2. Omari—Of Hebrew origin meaning "Speaker" or "Chief", and in Swahili, meaning "God is exalted".
  3. Orson—Meaning "bear" in Latin, it's hard not to think of the famous director, Orson Welles.
  4. Otto—Of German origin meaning "wealth" and "prosperity".
  5. Odin—The name of the Norse god of art, culture, wisdom and law.

Unique baby names that start with P

  1. Petra—A strong, Greek name meaning "rock", this is also the feminized version of Peter.
  2. Pascal—Typically given to boys, this French name means "of the Passover/Easter".
  3. Phinneas—Of English and Egyptian origin meaning "the Nubian", these days you might think of singer Billie Eilish's brother and fellow bandmate.
  4. Poppy—A floral name that doesn't get more fun.
  5. Pacey—Of Latin origin meaning "peace".

Unique baby names that start with Q

  1. Quincy—This unisex name of English origin has a royal ring to it, don't you think?
  2. Qamar—in Arabic, this name means "moon".
  3. Quenby—Of Scandinavian decent, this name means "womanly".
  4. Quinn—There are various meaning of this name, but the best one is definitely "living with royalty".
  5. Quan—in Chinese, this means Goddess of Compassion.

Unique baby names that start with R

  1. Rhys—Always ready to go, this name of Welsh origin means "enthusiasm".
  2. Rafferty—Of Irish origin, your child will be successful with a name that means "prosperity wielder".
  3. Ramona—Beverly Cleary fans will love this one, a classic, old-fashioned name that's slowly making a comeback.
  4. Renata—Operatic name of Latin origin which means "rebirth".
  5. Rennmeans "reborn, little prosperous one"
  6. Rubin—From Hebrew, meaning "see, a son".
  7. Romy—A lighthearted, fun "nickname-name" that doesn't need a formal name to back it up.
  8. Roscoe—For those that love the outdoors, this woodsy name of Norse origin means "deer forest".
  9. Rowan—Increasingly seen as a unisex name, this means "little redhead" and is of Scottish and Irish origin.
  10. Rocco— Take a break from baby name decisions with this Italian and German origin meaning "rest".

Unique baby names that start with S

  1. Sabine—Of French origin, more commonly seen as Sabina.
  2. Sasha—This unisex name is of Russian origin and typically seen as a nickname for Alexander or Alexandra.
  3. Saffron—This "spicy" name of English origin means "a type of crocus" (the expensive orange spice, Saffron, comes from this flower).
  4. Sinead—Meaning "God is gracious" and of Hebrew and Irish origin.
  5. Silas— A name that means "of the forest" foreshadows a lot of camping and outdoor time!
  6. Serafina—Of Hebrew origin meaning "burning ones", I like this twist on the more classic Sara.
  7. Shalia—This name is so unusual it doesn't have an origin, but safe to say it's a variation of other girl names that begin with "Sha".
  8. Shepherd— This name means "Guardian of the sheep" and also has a cool built-in nickname: Shep.

Unique baby names that start with T

  1. Teddy—From Old English, meaning "wealthy protector", "brave people" and "God's gift". Often seen as a nickname for Theodore.
  2. Tempest—Of Old English origin meaning "stormy" or "turbulent".
  3. Teo—Of Spanish origin meaning "gift of God". I also like this as a more unusual take on Theo.
  4. Talia—Meaning "dew of Heaven" this ethereal name is of Hebrew origin.
  5. True—This one may begin to see a comeback thanks to Khloe Kardashian.

Unique baby names that start with U

  1. Ulani—This happy-sounding name is of Hawaiin origin and means "cheerful".
  2. Uma—This ancient name means "tranquility" and "splendour" in Sanskrit.
  3. Ulysses—Another ancient name of Latin origin meaning "wounded in the thigh".
  4. Uday— To "materialize" (into this air?)
  5. Ugo—The Italian variant of Hugo, neaning "intelligent".

Unique baby names that start with V

  1. Vaughn—This unisex name of English origin means "small" but there is nothing tiny about this cool, dignified name.
  2. Vera—An old-fashioned name that is very slowly making a comeback. Get it while the getting's good!
  3. Virgil—This ancient, literary name is of Latin origin and means "staff bearer".
  4. Viviana—A twist on the more classic Vivian.
  5. Vivica—This strong, powerful name means "war fortress" and is of Scandinavian and Old German origin.

Unique baby names that start with W

  1. Wade—Perfect for those on the move, this unisex name means "to go" and is of Anglo-Saxon English origin.
  2. Wells—This pretty name of English origin signifies "spring".
  3. Willow—Meaning "freedom" and "willow tree" of English origin. A pretty, whimsical name.
  4. Winslow—An "old man's name" that has come a long way. Meaning "friend's hill" and of Old English origin.
  5. Wynn—This unisex name means "friend" and is a lovely one indeed.
  6. Wren—Like you might suspect, this name means "small bird" and is of English origin.

Unique baby names that start with X

  1. Xen—Meaning "form of Buddhism"this zen-like name works for either gender.
  2. Xander—Of Greek origin meaning "defender of men".
  3. Xena—From Xenia, meaning "hospitable" and "welcoming".
  4. Xia—This Chinese name means "glow of the sunset or sunrise". How pretty.
  5. Xanthe—Of Greek origin, meaning "yellow" or "fair".

Unique baby names that start with Y

  1. Yael—(also spelled Jael), this Hebrew name sets a spiritual tone, meaning "to ascend".
  2. Yardley—There's no doubt the meaning of this English name is unexpected: "from the wood where spars were got".
  3. Yair—Another Biblical name, this means "He will enlighten".
  4. Yoel—in Hebrew, this means "Jehovah is the Lord".
  5. Yuvan—A young prince in Sanskrit.

Unique baby names that start with Z

  1. Zeren—This name is so unusual it belongs to a very specific animal breed, the Mongolian Gazelle.
  2. Zia—Of Latin and Arabic origin meaning "light" or "splendor".
  3. Ziggy—Adorable nickname for Zigmund or a fun unisex nickname-name on its own.
  4. Zion—A setting in the Bible, this name means "highest point" in Hebrew.
  5. Zora—Early risers will love this name which means "dawn" and is of Slavic origin.
True

How one company is making a huge difference for LGBTQ youth

Take notes, all you other brands, this is how it's done

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

This article is sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

We spoke to Chris Bright (he/she/they), Director of Public Training at The Trevor Project, who works closely with H&M. Chris shared with us the Trevor Project's important mission, and what all brands should do to best support LGBTQ youth today.

1. For those that do not know, what is The Trevor Project's mission? What is it all about and its impact on society?

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. Our mission is to end suicide among the estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 in the U.S. who seriously consider suicide each year.

Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project launched TrevorLifeline, the first 24/7 national lifeline supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis alongside HBO's broadcast of the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor. The first calls were answered that night. Since then, we have grown from reaching several thousand LGBTQ youth per year to becoming the preeminent resource for LGBTQ young people in crisis, directly serving over 200K LGBTQ young people in the last fiscal year alone. We work tirelessly to save young lives by providing support through our free and confidential crisis programs on platforms where young people spend their time — online and on the phone. In addition to TrevorLifeline, we offer 24/7 digital crisis services including TrevorText and TrevorChat, as well as TrevorSpace, the world's largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth.


H&M + The Trevor Project

2. Can you describe the nature of the relationship/partnership the Trevor Project has with H&M?

Our collaboration with H&M has been remarkably successful, with H&M driving awareness of The Trevor Project and our services among its audience while also demonstrating its strong support of LGBTQ young people. H&M first partnered with us in December 2020 during our "Every Single One" holiday campaign, where they donated $250K in matching funds for Giving Tuesday. This helped The Trevor Project have our best-ever Giving Tuesday moment.

Our work together has had extensive impact, allowing H&M to engage employees, customers, and community members in conversations about LGBTQ Allyship through Trevor's resources and mission. We're thankful for H&M's support, which helps us continue to operate and improve our 24/7 life-saving crisis services so we can serve more LGBTQ young people.

3. Why was H&M the right company to partner with?

H&M is an established yet relevant brand that has the attention of young people, and we're always so thankful to partner with youth-facing brands that can not only spread messages of love and support, but also can increase the awareness of our crisis services and resources. We know that H&M genuinely cares about creating a better future for LGBTQ young people.

4. What do you see as the biggest challenge or struggle for LGBTQ kids today?

LGBTQ youth are incredibly diverse, with so many intersecting identities and unique experiences — making it difficult for me to pinpoint what might be the single biggest challenge or struggle for all LGBTQ youth today.

What I can say, however, is our research reveals numerous challenges or struggles that may be more prevalent across the board for LGBTQ youth. According to our 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which captures the experiences of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 across the U.S., nearly 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Over 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health and more than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful.

What's clear is that while there is no single biggest challenge or struggle for our LGBTQ youth today, it's critical that we find ways to uplift and support each and every LGBTQ young person that we can.

5. Since it's back to school time, are there stressors or situations that are uniquely heightened for LGBTQ youth, other than the standard new school year jitters, that people don't necessarily know about?

Our research has found that LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one LGBTQ-affirming space had 35% reduced odds of attempting suicide in the past year, with LGBTQ-affirming school environments having the strongest association with reduced suicide attempts. Since the onset of COVID-19, the volume of youth reaching out to us has significantly increased, at times nearly double our pre-COVID volume. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety have been heightened as a result of the pandemic, further emphasizing the need for LGBTQ youth to have access to spaces that affirm their identities, such as gender-neutral bathrooms, trans-inclusive sports, and positive extracurricular activities such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).

LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one accepting adult — whether it be teachers, coaches, or counselors — were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. The Trevor Project created the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention, which includes requirements for teacher training, mental health instruction for students, and policies and procedures for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that as in-person learning returns, schools provide LGBTQ students with safe learning environments where they can feel empowered, supported, and accepted by their peers and educators.

H&M + the Trevor Project

6. In what way is the support that The Trevor Project provides crucial to LGBTQ youth, especially as it pertains to suicide prevention?

The support that The Trevor Project provides is so crucial because suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people — and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. LGBTQ youth reach out to Trevor because we are LGBTQ-affirming and a trusted provider of crisis services. All of our volunteers are highly-trained to answer calls, chats, and text from LGBTQ youth 24/7 when they are feeling suicidal or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk.

Almost three-quarters of youth stated that they either would not or were unsure if they would have another service if The Trevor Project did not exist. We aim to be there for every young LGBTQ person in crisis with a clear message: you are loved, your life has value, and you are never alone.

7. What do you think the responsibility is for brands to be involved in pro-social, activism-related work?

Everyone can play a role in creating change and building progress in our society. Brands — especially those with large platforms and influence — have a responsibility to fulfill that role as well. We recognize H&M and our other brand partners for helping spur progress on important issues, and we encourage others to follow suit. Beyond the essential financial support that brands can provide to nonprofits like The Trevor Project, there's also a direct benefit for the community when brands are loud about their support of Pride; we've found that more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community positively impact how they feel about being LGBTQ. Finally, it's important to remember that Pride doesn't begin and end in June — the opportunity to support Pride is 365 days a year. We are thrilled to have H&M as a year-round partner for The Trevor Project, demonstrating their authentic support for our work.

8. What is one of the biggest impacts or positive results you have seen come from the partnership between The Trevor Project and H&M?

We wouldn't be able to do the work we do and make the progress we've made without our brand partners like H&M. The Trevor Project has experienced significant growth in the last few years with the implementation of our five key program areas: crisis services, peer support, research, education and public awareness, and advocacy. Since 2019, we've been working to scale our volunteer training to increase the number of crisis services counselors on a yearly basis. In addition to original, intersectional monthly research briefs, our research team launched the world's largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health in 2019, and has released a total of three national, annual reports. We've ramped up Trevor's advocacy work on the local, state, and federal levels to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, including bills to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy that have been in introduced in 40 states. H&M's partnership helps us advance this work by raising significant funds and awareness for our mission. During June 2021, when H&M served as one of our key Pride Partners, our crisis counselors served over 19,500 crisis contacts with free, confidential support via phone, chat, and text.

9. How important is it for LGBTQ+ youth to see allies in popular culture, be it a celebrity or high profile person, mainstream brand, etc.?

LGBTQ representation in the mainstream media is extremely important as it makes LGBTQ youth feel seen, validated, and confident that they are not alone. Over 80% of youth said that celebrities who are LGBTQ positively influence how they feel about being LGBTQ, and more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community have a positive impact on their LGBTQ identity. As we continue to see increased visibility for marginalized communities in popular culture, diverse images will become normalized, which in turn creates a safer, more accepting world for all of us.

10. For people who want to get involved with a cause like The Trevor Project, what is the best way to make a difference?

There are a number of ways to get involved with The Trevor Project – from making a donation (TheTrevorProject.org/Donate) to applying to be a volunteer (TheTrevorProject.org/Volunteer) to spreading the word about our resources.

Affirming spaces and support systems work to save young LGBTQ lives. People can be active in their communities to ensure that more safe, affirming spaces are available and thriving. Even making an effort to respect someone's pronouns and encouraging those around you to do the same can make a huge difference. Our research has also found that LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt. If you get the opportunity, be that one person for a young person in your life.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project's trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

Our Partners

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

You've got this.

Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

The Motherly Birth Class

pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

$79

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

$139

Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

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.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

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.

$30

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-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.

$19.95

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.

$121

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$79.99

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.

$24.75

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20 kids' books to read during Hispanic Heritage Month

These books highlight exemplary Latinx figures who have contributed to US history.

Although I went to school in multicultural Los Angeles, I don't remember ever reading about (much less doing a book report on) a prominent Latino during my elementary school years. When I eventually became a mother, I wanted to make sure my children grew up proud of their Mexican-American heritage, but I struggled to find children's biography books featuring Latinx leaders. Latinos make up almost 20% of the entire U.S. population, but many of our heroes are not highlighted in books.

That is why I decided to use all of the skills I learned as a journalist for over 25 years to write children's books that filled that gap, so that not only my kids, but other Latinx children can learn and read about leaders from their own community. As a result, in 2018 I created Con Todo Press, a publishing company that highlights Latinx leaders and celebrates our culture. During Hispanic Heritage month, many classrooms and families are eager to learn more about the valuable contributions Latinos have made not only to our country, but to the world.

Below I am highlighting some of the books I have written to fill that gap, as well as other books written by Latinx authors or illustrators that highlight Latinx leaders.


Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History

This non-fiction rhyming book features 11 Latinas who achieved greatness in various fields such as medicine, science, sports, and politics. Dolores Huerta, Selena, and Sonia Sotomayor are featured along with 8 additional outstanding women.

$13.96

Grandes Dreamers

Grandes Dreamers celebrates the hardships and milestones of 12 women born in the United States.

$49.95

Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos who made U.S. History

Fearless Trailblazers highlights 11 Latinos who made history in their respective fields including science, sports, the arts and politics. Cesar Chavez, Fernando Valenzuela and Jean-Michel Basquiat are among those featured.

$14.89

Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers

Latinitas features 40 powerful women who we have to come to recognize in the United States today.

$15.10

Courageous History Makers: 11 Women from Latin America Who Changed the World

This bilingual rhyming book features 11 women from Latin America who are now known throughout the world because of their contributions in their respective fields. Celia Cruz, Frida Khalo and Rigoberta Menchu are among those featured.

$13.53

Nuestra América: 30 Inspiring Latinas/Latinos Who Have Shaped the United States

This book features 30 Latinxs figures throughout history and their incredible passage to changing the cultural, social, and political character of the United States.

$16.19

Tito Puente, Mambo King/Tito Puente, Rey del Mambo

This colorful book follows the story of Tito Puente, from a little boy who dreamed of having his own band one day to becoming the Mambo King.

$16.49

The Spirit of Chicano Park

The Spirit of Chicano Park follows Bettie and Bonky's discovery of a historical and magical park rooted in community struggle and transformed into a place of cultural history.

$17.23

Bravo!: Poems about Amazing Hispanics

Through poems, this book celebrates the achievements of Latinos from many different countries and from many different backgrounds.

$17.47

Turning Pages: My Life Story

Written by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, this children's book tells her own story from the perspective of her as a young girl who loved books.

$16.55

L is for LATINX

Get ready to learn the ABCs with a Latin twist! Through engaging text and colorful illustrations, you will meet 26 amazing individuals from all over Latin America.

$17.99

A Girl Named Rosita

A Girl Named Rosita follows the story of Rita Moreno, a proud Puerto Rican superstar who is known worldwide for her acting, singing, and dancing.

$17.99

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Separate Is Never Equal centers on Sylvia Mendez and her family's struggle to end segregation just seven years before the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education would take place.

$16.95

The Life of / La Vida De Dolores

The Life of/La Vida de Dolores follows Dolores Huerta, the civil rights activist's journey to becoming a leading voice in the farmworkers movement.

$9.99

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

The true story of piano prodigy Teresa Carreño who eventually played the piano for two U.S. presidents.

$17.47

Clemente!

For kids ages 6-10, this book features Roberto Clemente, the first Latin American player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

$6.12

Queen of Tejano Music: Selena

A colorful and vibrant picture book that depicts the life of iconic singer Selena Quintanilla.

$17.09

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

A picture book biography of one of the most significant and inspiring figures in library history. Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.

$15.99

Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello

A bilingual picture book biography of Peruvian archaeologist Julio C. Tello, who unearthed Peru's ancient cultures.

$19.95

Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet

The story of Mexican American chemist Mario Molina who helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s.

$11.69


Entertainment

The important safety tip parents need to know about sleep + car seats

Why you might want to plan for more pit stops on your next road trip.

When we become parents we don't just have to learn how to take care of a baby, we also have to learn how, when and why to use all the different kinds of baby gear.


There is so much to learn and when it comes to car seats there is one rule many parents haven't heard of: infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time, and they should never nap in a car seat outside the vehicle.

According to multiple studies, babies are at risk for decreased oxygen levels while in car seats, especially when the car is not in motion or the trip lasts for an extended period of time. Although preterm babies or infants with respiratory conditions are most at-risk, there is good reason for all families to take proper precautions.

As Scottish mother-of-two Kirsti Clark recently told STV, she had no idea that infants shouldn't be left in car seats for more than an hour at a time until her 3-week-old daughter, Harper, had a seizure following a car trip that went longer than expected. It was a situation not unfamiliar to many other families: The Clarks simply got stuck in traffic and then left Harper in the seat while they put their older daughter to bed.

When Harper's father then took her out of her car seat she seemed like she could not get comfortable on his lap, Metro reports. Her father tried to settle her on a play mat and that's when the baby suffered a seizure. The Clarks rushed to the hospital where she was treated and thankfully recovered. But, Clark says one of the biggest shocks to her was that these guidelines even exist.

"I've never once been told a child should not be in a car seat for any length of time," she told STV. "Nowhere in the instruction booklets or any guidance that we've seen online has there been anything mentioned about breathing difficulties."

This is why some hospitals do what's known as a "car seat challenge" with preterm babies before discharge, which allows professionals to monitor the baby's cardiorespiratory stability when they're in their car seat.

Make sure all care providers know to never use a car seat for naps 

Sharon Evans, a trauma injury prevention coordinator at Cook Children's Hospital, told WFAA News the idea that car seats can be used for naps outside the car is a pretty common misconception that needs to be cleared up.

"There's nothing about the car seat that's designed to sleep," she told WFAA News. "Of course, if the straps aren't tight, the child can kind of slump down."

Safety experts say parents should make sure everyone who looks after the baby, including daycare providers and babysitters, understands that they should not be placed in the car seat outside of the vehicle.

Lisa Smith tells WFAA News she did understand the risks associated with car seat naps and didn't let her baby daughter, Mia, nap in the car seat. Tragically, at nearly 18 months old Mia was left to nap in a car seat at her licensed home daycare, and lost her life to positional asphyxia, or restricted breathing. Now Smith, like Clark, is on a mission to educate other parents to make sure this doesn't happen to another child.

"I walk around town and see people using a car seat on the seats at restaurants or putting them on the floor at tables," Smith says, adding that she will tell Mia's story to parents when she sees a baby napping in a car seat, letting them know kindly, "'I just want you to be really careful.'"

What parents should do

Researchers with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society agree with Smith: The most dangerous time for a baby to be in a car seat is when they're not actually in a car. So while it may seem convenient to leave a sleeping babe in their car seat after a long trip or while you're at a restaurant, it's best to take them out right away.

The AAP recommends that when you are using the car seat as intended in the car, plan"to stop driving and give yourself and your child a break about every two hours." In the case of babies younger than one month, some car seat researchers recommend avoiding unnecessarily long road trips.

"Restrict it to say, no more than half an hour or so," Professor Peter Fleming, a noted car seat researcher, told the BBC. (If you've got to go farther than that, just plan for rest stops to get baby out of the car seat.)

All this comes with one significant note: While baby is in a moving car, safely buckled into a car seat is always the safest place to be. As noted in a study The Journal of Pediatrics, babies riding in a car seat as per the manufacturer's guidelines have a very low risk of suffocation or strangulation from the harness straps.

If we're aware of the risks and make sure to take breaks and take the baby out of the seat when the car stops, everyone can ride safely. Car seats, when used properly, are a literal lifesaver we should all be thankful for.

[Update, September 13, 2018: Added information regarding Lisa Smith's case.]

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