What a pediatrician (and other experts) want mamas to know about the fourth trimester

We spoke to a pediatrician, doulas, a lactation consultant and nutritionist to get the lowdown.

What a pediatrician (and other experts) want mamas to know about the fourth trimester

The fourth trimester is intense. There is the joy of meeting and falling in love with your baby and all the beautiful "firsts" of motherhood that are sure to come. But the fourth trimester is also hard—sometimes, very hard. Our bodies are changing in hundreds of ways, all while we are adjusting to taking care of a newborn.

The truth is that many people don't learn about the fourth trimester until they are in the fourth trimester. And, that's too late.

That's why we were thrilled to partner with Stanford Children's Health, who sponsored the Fourth Trimester Conversation on Motherly Live! and a brand new episode of the Becoming Mama podcast! On Instagram, we met with experts who shared valuable information about how to prepare and thrive during this stage. Catch the full episode on Motherly's IGTV.


Here are just a few of the awesome learnings shared during the event:

Stephanie Dixon, Doula and Childbirth Educator, on having your best birth during COVID-19:

Dixon: The [most important thing] is preparation…. Right now, birthing—whether it's at home, or in a hospital or at a birth center—can present some different challenges [and]... we're finding [that] preparing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically in advance will make all of the difference... It's just understanding what's happening with your space. But also, understanding what can come during labor. What are the different stages of labor? What can we see happening with the body of the birthing person, and what does that mean in order to support them?

Dixon: Taking care of your health is important… making sure that you're nourished is so important, and having the right food to eat for the birthing person, and also for the partner. On average, labor can be anywhere between two to three days, and sometimes a little bit longer. [Taking care of your health is about] making sure that your mind is being stimulated as well as your body.

Deundra Hundon, Doula, on thriving through the fourth trimester:

Hundon: For every labor and birth book you read, or article or podcast, read one about postpartum care. Listen to a podcast about postpartum care. The Fourth Trimester Podcast by Esther Gallagher is a great podcast.

Hundon: The second thing [is to create] an actual postpartum plan. The third little tip [is to]...think about really letting your friends and family know upfront… what postpartum means [to you]. It means you're not going to be doing anything but picking up your baby, feeding your baby, taking a shower and going back to sleep. Set that expectation. Because if we don't tell people what we need, they may assume, "Oh, you're at home. Your laptop is sitting there. I can send you an email, right? You're going to still answer, right?" No, I'm not answering anything during postpartum… Set that expectation really clearly.

Hundon: My last tip would simply be if you're not sure what to do, ask [for help].

Dr. Jennifer Kaufman, pediatrician, on what to do when your baby is crying.

Kaufman: In the first couple of weeks when babies are born, we will frequently give parents the information to try to avoid crying. But as babies get older, what we find is that it's not always possible to preempt crying…. For a lot of moms these days, when your baby is crying, the first thing that goes into your head is, 'Oh my God, is there something wrong?' That is absolutely normal. Your baby is going to cry sometimes. And we are going to have to try to figure out what's causing it— [though] sometimes we're actually not going to be able to.

Dr. Kaufman advises that when your baby is crying, always start by seeing if they are hungry. Next, check to see if their diaper is dirty (though often babies don't actually mind having a dirty diaper). It's also important to consider their temperature—a baby that is too warm or cold will often cry. She shared an unexpected reason that a baby might cry, as well.

Kaufman: Sometimes babies can be crying because something is pinching them, or a really common one that we see is [that one of your] hairs can actually get wrapped around your baby's finger, [or] toe. We call it a hair tourniquet. And those are crazy painful. So you want to just take a look at your baby's whole body.

Lastly, Kaufman discussed the importance of taking care of yourself during stressful times when your baby just won't stop crying.

Kaufman: And then if that still doesn't work… put your baby down for two or three minutes. Keep in mind that babies are very in tune with our own anxiety level… They can pick up if we are nervous, if we are upset, if we are feeling frustrated or anxious—and that's going to make your baby cry. So when you've been through this whole process and your baby's crying and you've tried all of these things and it just isn't getting better, you're probably feeling pretty anxious.

Kaufman: Put your baby down someplace safe, like a crib or a bassinet… and then go ahead and take a two-minute break. Get yourself some water. Maybe take a couple of deep breaths, do yoga breathing, something to try to calm you down and make you feel better.

Crystal Karges, Registered Dietician Nutritionist, on taking care of your postpartum body:

Karges: New moms are bombarded with damaging messages about dieting, what I call dieting propaganda; she's feeling so much pressure to lose weight and change her body… And you know what? Postpartum body changes are difficult… It can be really hard to get used to after having a baby. But I think it's so important for moms to step back and see the big picture of what's happening here. You grew a baby with your body and birthed that baby into the world. It's like you trained for and ran the most ultimate marathon.

Karges: Think about body kindness—treating your body with kindness and respect. I think when moms hear this idea of you need to love your body, or you should be so grateful for your body, that can be really arbitrary and sometimes out of reach for new moms who just had a baby and are trying to reconcile all that their bodies have gone through. Remember that it's okay to feel uncomfortable in your body, but to also feel grateful for your body and everything that it's brought you… It's okay to feel those things simultaneously. One doesn't cancel out the other.

Karges: Think about nourishing your body… You need nutrition to help your body replenish all the nutrients that have been lost in order to support your recovery and your healing. And not just that, but also your mental health… if there are any nutrient deficiencies, this can actually be a risk factor for mental health conditions in postpartum, like postpartum depression.

Sharen Medrano, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, on preparing for breastfeeding and overcoming obstacles:

Medrano: Like anything else we do in life, some level of preparation does ease the mind and help us feel more at ease... So in terms of preparation, something that may not come to mind… is to meet with another breastfeeding mother before your baby comes. And that can come via a breastfeeding group… even a virtual visit with a lactation consultant or a certified lactation counselor... This virtual or in-person visit can answer a lot of our questions and put our minds at ease once the baby's here.You can also ask for a breast assessment before your baby is born.

Medrano: A breast assessment allows someone who sees breasts all the time to tell you, "You know what? You may have a little bit of an inverted nipple..." And that doesn't mean that breastfeeding is going to be awful or it's going to be off to a bad start. But at least you can do some preparation and you'll get some information before the baby is here.

I asked Medrano to share the top concern faced by breastfeeding mothers.

Medrano: Babies need so much of us. For example, when it comes to breastfeeding, I often meet with babies who are gaining well. The mom is making plenty of milk, but the baby needs a lot of holding and a lot of comforting. And sometimes we're shocked to understand how much they want us to be around them.

Medrano: So I think that's something that comes as a surprise for a lot of the moms I meet with: That babies with an immature nervous system during the fourth trimester need help calming [down] and feeling at ease… If you think of your pregnancy, you spend nine months holding this baby...all day long; this baby's hearing your heartbeat, walking with you, going to the supermarket, wherever you're going. And then all of a sudden this baby's born. And then they're put in a bassinet, which I know needs to happen sometimes. But they're like, "What just happened here?... I'm used to constant comfort, constant someone holding me."

Medrano: So it's not to say that the baby will be on you 24 hours [a day,] but it helps us to understand that with an immature nervous system, babies need more than just food. They need comfort and they need holding.

On the Becoming Mama Podcast, Dr. Jennifer Kaufman shared some additional insight for new mamas. You can listen to the whole episode here.

One of our favorite moments from the podcast is Dr. Kaufman discussing baby gas—if you are a new parent, your baby's bowel habits are always top of mind. Here's what she had to say:

Kaufman: When [babies] are in utero, they are not using their tummy muscles for anything... so when babies are first born, all their muscles are really weak... and that includes tummy muscles... That means that the muscles that are around our bowels, our intestines that we use to have a bowel movement are also very weak... So it's a perfect storm for gassiness.

Kaufman: When they're nursing, when they're taking a bottle... swallowing a little bit of extra air, along with that milk. [Even when]...babies are crying, they are swallowing air... So all this air is getting collected into their bellies, and yet those muscles inside are extremely weak and extremely poorly coordinated at moving that air through. And for that reason, almost all babies are gassy. Some babies are extremely gassy, some babies just a little bit, but all babies are gassy... This is one of those things, by the way, that can lead to crying that we talked about in the beginning.

Kaufman: It can be painful... And so it's really, really hard for parents to tell the difference between the sort of tummy upset... You hear the gas, sometimes you hear the gurgling. And so if parents go online and use their search engines... they may come up with reflux as a reason for that. And I will tell you that there is a difference between reflux and gas.

Kaufman: Babies in general, don't make very much acid. And so usually when they're spitting up, it's not usually very painful for them. But every once in a while we have a baby who does make extra stomach acid and it is really, really painful for them. So... if we have a baby that's spitting up and crying during the spitting up process, or if we have a baby that's eating and they seem really hungry... but every couple seconds they stop and cry... Those are the times where we're really starting to think about acid reflux. And you definitely want to speak to your pediatrician about that... And if it's very severe, sometimes we do think about starting medicines for them, but that's a very specific situation.

Kaufman: But usually for gas, you want to bicycle your baby's legs. You can do a little tummy massage, [or] very gently push their knees up into their chest. These types of mechanical things, positional things, will help your babies to naturally get rid of gas.

To hear the rest of the conversation, be sure to check out the Becoming Mama podcast.

Thank you very much to Stanford Children's Health for sponsoring this conversation. Stanford Children's Health, with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford at its center, is the San Francisco Bay Area's largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. With over 65 locations, including 25 primary care locations, across the Bay Area, chances are you can visit a Stanford pediatrician or specialist for everything from sniffles to sleep training, right in your neighborhood.

In This Article

    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.

    Shop

    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

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    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

    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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    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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    18 stylish-but-comfy pieces to refresh your wardrobe this fall (and everything's under $75!)

    From school pickup to working from home, these pieces will freshen up your closet without breaking the bank.

    Freedom Company

    What is trending in the world of fashion changes every year. Keeping up with what's in style is challenging when you're a busy mama who's constantly cleaning up, preparing meals and working all day. That's a fact, so how can you possibly be expected to keep up with the latest clothing trends?

    During the height of the pandemic, many of us became comfortable dressing down, going braless, and saying goodbye to snug jeans. But who says we can't tackle a look that is cozy and polished? From 2021-2022: biker shorts have begun replacing short-shorts, bright colors are trending, tie dye and retro patterns are making a major comeback, and let's not forget, joggers are the new skinny jeans. The accessories you choose will help others determine whether or not you're lounging around town post-yoga class or preparing for a job interview.

    Replacing your entire wardrobe every year, however, is too expensive. But purchasing a few clothing items within your budget will help boost your self-esteem and keep you feeling proud with what you're wearing every day.

    Bearing in mind that no two moms are alike, we narrowed down a list of must-have clothing items—there is a little something for everyone. And the best part? Each garment costs less than $75.

    We carefully selected each piece based on several factors: pricing, quality, and the level of comfort. Enjoy browsing through our wide-ranging list, and of course, happy shopping!

    Sensual Fashion Boutique Entro Terracotta Long Sleeve Tiered Ruffle Midi Dress

    Not only is the color of this mid-length dress perfect for autumn but it's also lined and tiered with ruffle details, providing an added layer of warmth. The end of the sleeves and waist area have elastic for lovably chic vibes, and the v neck isn't too low cut for play dates and strolls through the park.

    $49.99

    Digital Print Tie-Dye Joggers

    tie-dye-sweatpants

    Go ahead: check out dresses, loungewear, and activewear on any clothing website and you're bound to find a wide array of tie dye options. Pair these high-quality, affordable joggers with a form fitting tee or crop top in the warmer months or a matching hoodie in the fall and winter.

    $32

    Nancy Rose Performance Stealie Tank

    dyed-stealie-tank

    Every one of Nancy Rose Performance's tanks are dyed by hand, so no two are the same. To make this an even better purchase, this flattering top is anti-odor, UV resistant, protective against germs and bacteria, and the fabric promotes healthy skin—does it get any better than that? The body hugging fit is comfortable, not too tight, and can be worn out of the house or even as a cozy pajama tank.

    $62

    H&M Shirt Jacket 

    This loose-fitting shirt jacket literally matches with everything from dresses and rompers to joggers and jeans. We can't get enough of how delicately soft the 100% cotton feels—it's almost like you're wearing a throw blanket around your body.

    $39.99

    Freedom Company Babydoll Dress

    freedom-company-olive-babydoll-shirt-dress

    Available in four color variations, this flowy dress is an absolute staple in any moms' wardrobe. Some people prefer dressing it down with a pair of flip flops or sneakers, while others wear heels and a trendy scarf—making this an excellent option for any occasion. Bonus points: it's made from a buttery soft material, doesn't shrink in the wash, and there's even side pockets for convenience.

    $75

    ​Smash + Tess The S + T Bada$$ Bike Short 

    biker-short-in-dusty-rose

    So long, short-shorts—biker shorts are trending for good reason: they're versatile and cute as heck. You can wear them to a morning yoga class and then throughout the remainder of your day, while embracing the comfortability and vintage appeal. Smash + Tess is bringing sexy back with these dusty rose-colored shorts that can be worn with a loose-fitting tee, crop top, or camisole—honestly, there isn't much they can't match.

    $40

    ​Socialite Shortie Cami Romper

    socialite-shortie-cami-romper

    You're choosing both quality and affordability, and who doesn't want that? This romper comes in heather grey or black taupe and it's soft as jersey sheets. You can dress it up with a pair of wedges, sunglasses, and a casual cardigan, or pair this loose-fitting piece with flip flops for a chill and cozy appearance.

    $45

    ​M.M.LA Fleur The Constance Dress -- Everstretch

    black-dress

    Doesn't every mama need a sexy black dress for date nights and special occasions? With Everstretch material, M.M.LaFleur's midi dress will quickly become your go-to for night's out in the town.

    $70

    Wolven Moonlight Mandala Reversible Four-Way Top

    four-way-top

    A shirt that can be worn in four different ways, how unique is that? You can wear this as an all black shirt, a solid black shirt with a keyhole in the front, a printed shirt, or a printed shirt with a keyhole at the top of the front. Talk about convenience—you could wear the same shirt four times in one week and no one would be the wiser.

    $68

    MISSGUIDED Purple Floral Print Cut Out Skater Dress

    floral-skater-dress

    Why can't moms dress in cool clothing on the weekend or after work hours? Be daring: opt for a dress that has a low cut v-neck and also shows just enough of your back to make you feel sexy without being too revealing. The purple hues within the floral pattern are seriously gorgeous.

    $23

    L*SPACE Off Duty Short

    white-shorts

    Flattering on all body types, these retro inspired gym shorts are made from ultra soft French terry rib fabric. No joke, you will want to wear these all day, forego pajamas, and keep these cuties on while you're sleeping at night.

    $75

    Onzie Biker Babe One Piece

    biker-one-piece

    This one piece incorporates two of the biggest trends this year, tie dye and biker shorts. ONZIE created a form fitting outfit that can be worn at the gym, during your fave hot yoga class, or as a stylish option for everyday wear. We promise, you'll look like the coolest mom everywhere you go, because let's be real, you already are.

    $66

    ​A Pea In The Pod BB Dakota Under Belly Maternity Jogger Pant

    cotton-candy-joggers

    Resembling fluffy cotton candy clouds, these joggers stretch to fit pregnant, postpartum moms (even if your kids are all grown up). Their timeless look blended with maximum comfort makes for the perfect pair of pants.

    $33.97

    ​ASTR the LABEL Geraldine Lettuce Edge Top

    white-lettuce-edge-crop-top

    Not only is this crop top affordable, but you can quite literally match it with anything: biker shorts, skinny jeans, leggings, or skirts. The ruffled lettuce edge adds a nice touch, setting this shirt apart from all of the rest. Let's get rid of the stereotype that moms must cover up—why don't we show a little belly, feel proud of our bodies, and strut our stuff once in a while?

    $28

    ​Frank and Oak The Oversized Tie Dye T-Shirt

    oversized-tie-die-shirt

    The loose fit of this tie dye shirt causes total comfort, and who doesn't want that? This tee pairs well with biker shorts, leggings, and skinny jeans. They're available in pink or green, so you can pick your fave or perhaps buy both!

    $29.99

    ​LEZAT Jessie Brushed Jogger

    nude-pink-joggers

    Affordable pricing? Check. High quality clothing? You bet! These joggers are made from extra soft, recycled nude pink fabric. For a matching set, you can add their cute cami to your shopping cart and still, your purchase will only come to a total of $60. We can't recommend this brand's clothing selection enough!

    $40

    ​Peruvian Connection Conservatory Dress

    wrap-dress

    This dress can transition from summer to fall if you throw on a nice jacket and brown boots. Depending on how you choose to accessorize, you can dress it up casually or professionally.

    $72

    ​Pistola Trina Muscle Tee

    muscle-tee

    Muscle tees are making a huge comeback for men and women alike. When the soft cotton material is cloaked in a feminine pattern, we're all bound to fall in love.

    $68
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    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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