Real talk with Daphne Oz: 'One child is always awake'

Having three kids under four can be "a zoo," according to Oz.

Real talk with Daphne Oz: 'One child is always awake'

Daphne Oz has a very full schedule. She's writing cookbooks, changing the way we buy baby food, and showing the world that postpartum bodies should be celebrated—and not just when they are not shrinking.

She's also a mom of three trying to get some sleep.

"For the most part we're in a good sleeping place, but one child is always awake," Oz tells Motherly.

She was already mom to 4-year-old Philomena and Jovan, who will be three in October, when she and her husband John Jovanovic welcomed their third child, daughter Domenica, back in December.

Now raising three kids under four, Oz tells Motherly that adding Dominica to the family wasn't actually as challenging as making the first leap from bringing up a solo child to managing siblings.

"I think [going from] one to two is way harder," she explains. "The first one sends you into a tailspin, you're just completely prioritizing your whole life and learning how to be a parent. That's a big learning curve, but you have nothing to compare it to so you just kind of go with your gut."

"Inviting the second baby in, you'll finally have gotten to a good pattern, a good rhythm with the first, you've finally got nap times figured out so you get your work done or get your work out in—whatever you need to get done for the adult portion of your day while they're sleeping. Then you throw the second schedule in there and it's completely on its head."

She says Philomena and Jovan did not nap at the same time, and they didn't go to sleep at the same time, which made transitioning from one child to two pretty tough.

"There's just no breaks at all until my babysitter comes, or my sisters, or my mom," she says, noting that she'd take help from just about anybody she could enlist in those days.

By the time Dominica arrived, schedules still weren't exactly synced, but Oz says she's learned that happiness is all about how your expectations line up to reality, and as a mom of three, she just expects things to be crazy.

"The third, it's already a zoo," she says. "I think I'm an easier going parent this time around."

Luckily, Dominica is an "easy baby," according to Oz, and sleep hasn't been a big battle in her babyhood.

"I don't know if it's because she's a third child or because she's has a Sagittarius disposition, but literally, she puts herself to bed, she sleeps for 12 hours, she's just a dream child," Oz explains, adding that, unfortunately, that doesn't mean mama is getting a full night's rest.

"My oldest especially is going through this phase right now where she's desperate to sleep in the bed with me, which is hilarious and so sweet and cute but not something I want to encourage every night," she says. "My son for whatever reason wakes up every night at 2 in the morning for like two hours and just talks to himself, recites the whole Madeline movie, sings his songs, it's crazy."

It might be crazy, but it's also pretty common and something many moms can relate to. Many can also relate to the chaos that is life with three under four, and how important it is for parents to make time with each other and for themselves.

For Oz, once in a while that means sneaking out to dinner with her husband after the kids are in bed, but most of the time it means making the most of the 20 minutes of free time the couple gets before their own bedtime.

"I'll listen to podcasts, maybe if I'm lucky I'll get to take a bath for myself, we'll go for a quick walk," Oz explains, adding that unwinding is pretty crucial to her self-care as a mom.

"There are some days that are better than others and there are some days that I just literally crash into bed and that's the only thing that helps me is going to sleep."

Also very relatable.

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The HATCH Mama collection is everything your pregnant body needs right now

Their oil is the only thing that stopped my belly from itching as it grew bigger.

Conz Preti

Let me start by saying I'm not a fan of moisturizing. I hate being wet and sticky and after applying product to my body, I have to stand around awkwardly until I'm fully air-dried—a practice that is not compatible with having three kids under the age of 3. However, as someone who has carried three children in her body, I also know how much your belly needs hydration as the baby grows.

This was especially true with my second pregnancy. My belly popped way sooner (a thing that happens with subsequent pregnancies) and on top of that, I was carrying twins, which meant I became super pregnant super fast. My belly was itching constantly from the skin stretching (I checked with my doctor to make sure I didn't have Cholestasis) and there was no scratching in the world that could ease my discomfort. My doula recommended the HATCH Mama belly oil and changed my life. The oil is nourishing—but more important to me, quick-drying—so I could apply it all over my planet-sized twin belly and get dressed immediately after without having my clothes ruined nor stuck to my body. Because of how much I loved the oil, I tested other products, and let me tell you, they're all equally amazing.

Curious about the HATCH Mama collection? All of their products are non-toxic and mama-safe, designed to help pregnant people overcome the challenges unique to pregnancy. As their website claims, "from stretch marks to thinning hair, to sleepless nights, we're helping you tackle every prenatal and postnatal beauty issue head-on so you can continue to feel like the best version of you." I'm here for all of this. For the entire Hatch Beauty collection click here.


Here are my favorite products from HATCH Mama:


Belly oil

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Oil

Intensely hydrating + fantastic at reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars, this will be your favorite through pregnancy + beyond.

$58

Belly mask

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Mask Set

Not only does it help to minimize the appearance of stretch masks + scars during pregnancy + postpartum, but there is a little non-toxic wink (and that's to you, mama.)

$42

Nipple + lip ointment 

HATCH COLLECTION  Nipple + Lip

Calming + soothing, this magic sauce is lanolin-free & made of tropical butters and super fruits. I'm not lying when I say you will not want to stop using this, even way after birth.

$28

Belly tattoos

HATCH COLLECTION  Belly Tattoos

A very rock and roll way to honor your bump. And non-toxic + plant-based at that!

$18

This article was originally published in March 2021. It has been updated.

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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.


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

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

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.

$30

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The ultimate back-to-school shopping list for busy moms

Use this list to prep for the best first day ever!

CasarsaGuru / Getty

After spending a summer reconnecting with friends and family, enjoying the outdoors and (hopefully!) making time for vacation, it's time for kids to head back to school. They're ready to learn, grow and get out of your hair again! But they'll need some help to get there. Before the exciting first day of school, you'll need to get all the gear together to make school a success.

As a parent, use this basic but essential school supply list to find everything your little ones need for their classes—even on a budget.

Loose Leaf Paper

Even though there won't be any tests or quizzes when school begins, kids take plenty of notes, complete assignments and do in-class exercises. Every student needs at least a few packets of loose-leaf paper for quick notes and doodles. Check with your child's school to find out if they require college ruled or wide ruled before you fill up your shopping cart — odds are they won't, but it's worth being sure.

$4

Personal Planner

Your child will need a personal planner to kick off the school year and keep up with all of their assignments. It's an opportunity to invest in cute school supplies that motivate your kids every time they open their planners. Plus, planners help kids learn time management and responsible scheduling, which they can carry with them throughout their academic lives and into college and adulthood.

$22

#2 Pencils

Most classes require #2 pencils because they show up easily on test bubble sheets that machines scan and grade. Add them to your child's school supply list before they sell out at local stores. A great deal on a large pack will likely last through the year.

$10.29

Black Ink Pens

Teachers grade in red ink pens so their notes stand out as study tools. Your student should use black ink pens that don't bleed on the paper. Their work will stand out and never smudge if you use a tried-and-true brand that knows how to make a quality pen, like BIC.

$4.47

Highlighters in Different Colors

Highlighters help students study if they outline notes in different colors. Get your child a pack so they have all the help they need for their study materials. If they're stressed about the tougher classwork, don't forget to break the tension with jokes that will put them at ease.

$9.99

Big Pink Erasers

The erasers on the top of pencils won't last long in classes like calculus or trigonometry. Give your kids a backup by buying packs of big pink erasers. They last much longer and often do a better job of wiping mistakes away.

$.99

New Headphones

Headphones are one of the school supplies kids can use to express themselves. They'll wear them while studying in the library or riding the bus so they can focus or relieve stress between classes.

$16.99

Lined Notebooks

Notebooks are cute school supplies that students always need. The spiral-bound pages are easy to flip through and lightweight in a backpack. They even help with virtual classes because each subject can have a different notebook and further organize notes that assist with online tests.

$3.19

Three-Ring Binders

Students collect their loose-leaf notes in three-ring binders because they snap everything shut and keep notes safe. Find back-to-school binders that match your child's personality so they can stack everything safely in their locker without bending or crushing papers.

$16.95

Locker Decorations

Most kids love decorating their lockers when they start middle school or junior high. Add locker decorations to your school supply list so they can personalize their storage unit and feel more at home.

$14.99

New Lunch Box

Spoiled food ruins the first day of school. But a dual-compartment lunch box ensures your child's food stays fresh throughout the day by designating a special section for an ice pack. Your purchase could also start a new tradition of getting a different lunch box when the school year begins, easing your kids' nerves about beginning a new grade.

$12.99

Upgraded Backpack

It's always fun to get a new backpack. Let your kids pick one that matches their size and expresses their personality with characters, colors, or other prints.

$31.96

Colorful Markers

Young kids might need help adjusting to virtual school or having fun during in-person classes. Colorful markers are an easy way for them to relax while doodling, and they'll likely be part of daily assignments for elementary school students.

$3.49

Reusable Water Bottle

Drinking out of water fountains helps spread illnesses. Your kids can avoid flu season by carrying a reusable water bottle in their backpack. Let them pick out whichever one they want and they'll look forward to using it instead of drinking from public fountains.

$29.95

Calculator

Every teenager needs a calculator when they go back to school. A TI-89 model assists with graphing functions and lasts throughout their academic careers. You won't have to buy another one if they keep it in its case between classes.

$130.99
Back to School Landing

This is the biggest indicator of a kid’s happiness, according to recent survey

Getting enough sleep made children twice as likely to report feeling happy lots of the time.

Most parents know that sleep is important for children's wellbeing. Adults, and parents in particular, generally value sleep and know too well the way it affects our own emotional wellbeing when we don't get enough sleep. But how important is sleep to your child's happiness?

The 2017 BTN Happiness Survey conducted by the University of Melbourne and Behind the News TV program involved 47,000 Australian children. It found that sleep was the biggest indicator of happiness—getting enough sleep made children twice as likely to report feeling happy lots of the time.

“These results provide compelling evidence that sleep is a key indicator of child wellbeing," said Associate Professor Lisa Gibbs, the Chair of The University of Melbourne Children's Lives Initiative, in an interview with ABC News.

Before you start getting anxious about whether your child gets the prescribed amount of sleep for their age, it's important to remember that children who sleep well tend to feel safe and secure. In the survey results, children who did not feel safe were four times more likely to have atypical sleep patterns, meaning they slept too much or too little for their age group.

While the survey shows the importance of improving your child's sleep habits for their emotional wellbeing, it also continues to highlight the role of feeling safe and secure on general wellbeing. Helping children with anxiety, stress and trauma is important.

The survey also found a range of things help children feel happy including family, friends, music and sports. Younger children were significantly more likely to report that family, reading and artwork were sources of happiness. Cooking and being in nature were also linked to feeling happy for girls. Boys were significantly more likely to report sports and computer games helped them feel happy. Pets were also identified by many children in all age groups and gender as a source of happiness.

So, what can you do to improve your child's sleep?

These are the tips I recommend in my clinical psychology practice that are based on the psychology of sleep and children's developmental needs:

1. Provide a safe and secure relationship with your child

Children who feel safe and secure generally have a good emotional bond with their parents. Find ways in each day to connect with your child. Spend time doing things with them and really noticing them. Repair ruptures that happen between you and your child as quickly as possible. Many a child has worried at night that their parent blames them for everything or doesn't like them anymore.

2. Have a regular bedtime routine that supports good sleep habits

Set bedtimes that are consistent with the amount of sleep your child needs help. Developing routines that prime children for bedtime helps too.

For example children might know that every night after dinner they brush their teeth, play a game, and then have a story read with their parent prior to being tucked in to bed. These routines provide a sense of predictability which encourages a sense of safety and reduces children's anxiety about bedtime.

3. Ensure your child gets enough physical activity 

Moving your body is a helpful tool in encouraging sleep. It helps use up physical energy, but is also positively associated with the brain chemistry people need to manage stress and anxiety and sleep well. Most schools have some daily exercise program but children may need more than what is provided.

4. Reduce exposure to technology two hours before bed

In this every increasing technological world it is not uncommon that children spend significant amounts of time looking at screens. The portability of these devices means they often find their way into bedrooms. Screens emit blue light which can prevent production of melatonin. Melatonin production is necessary for falling asleep at the right time. By preventing access in the two hours before bed your child is more likely to go to sleep at the right time.

5. Remove electronic devices, such as iPads, from your child's room at night

Many electronic devices emit noises and have notifications that can occur at all times through the night and can wake your child up. Electronic devices are very tempting for children and many a sleepless child has been found on a device at night. When your child is exposed to blue light from these devices, it signals its daytime to your child's brain and is not conducive with going back to sleep.

6. Ensure anxiety and past trauma are treated

If your child is not sleeping due to anxiety or past trauma, seek treatment. Make contact with your doctor or community agency to work out what your child needs. Professional and specialized mental health help is best.

Raising a happy child comes down to a combination of factors. Good sleep is just one of them.

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