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11 products that solve your biggest mama dilemmas

From feeding to sleeping, we've got you covered.

11 products that solve your biggest mama dilemmas

This mama life comes with its fair share of challenges. (Okay, maybe more than its fair share.) And especially in the first year, when everything is so new, it would be a huge help if someone could swoop in and solve a few of those dilemmas for you. Well, we're happy to say, “We got you, mama!" Here are eleven products that will get you back to feeling like a #momboss.


1. For the “more food is on the floor than the plate" moments: SmartClean Trio 3-in-1 High Chair

Introducing your baby to solid foods is exciting, but it can also be messy. We love the SmartClean Trio 3-in-1 High Chair because it cleans in a snap (meaning you're out of the kitchen and back to playing with your little one in no time). The soft, padded seats wipe clean in seconds, and the tray can be removed with one hand and popped in the dishwasher for quick cleaning. Let the purees commence!

Pro tip: The Trio 3-in-1 is the only high chair your child will ever needs because it converts from a full high chair to a booster seat to a toddler chair.

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2. For the “please sleep, please sleep, please sleep" moments: FoldAway Rocking Wood Bassinet

Pros of those first few sleepless months: You learn you can do just about anything on minimal sleep. Cons: Just about everything else. But to help make those moments easier (and to encourage more trips to dreamland), we love the FoldAway Rocking Wood Bassinet. Its simple, portable design folds down easily to save space and help you be ready for nap time at a moment's notice. The legs also adjust to rock for easy soothing or to leave stationary for sleeping.

Pro tip: The comfort pad is machine washable for easy cleanup after any diaper leaks.

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3. For the “it has been four days since I've showered" moments: Smart and Simple Playard

Turns out those tiny little people we bring into our homes don't understand the concept of “time to ourselves." So when you really need a break, create a safe space for your baby within your eye line so you can get a minute to shower or drink a cup of coffee. We love the Smart and Simple Playard because it's the perfect place for rest, changing, and play. The OneLessStep™ feature provides easy folding and transport, and almost every part can be easily removed and cleaned in your washing machine.

Pro tip: Use the convenient side storage pockets to store diapers, wipes, and toys so everything is within reach.

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4. For those “sorry, we don't have high chairs" moments: Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat

It's a woe for every new parent: You've finally geared yourself up for a meal out with your baby...only to be thwarted by a restaurant that doesn't have child seats. No, you shouldn't head home! Just come prepared with one of your own. We love the Baby Base 2-in-1 seat because it's compact enough to keep in the trunk of your car and safely attaches to a dining chair for meals anywhere. The foam insert provides extra cushioning for smaller babies and can be removed as your child grows for years of use.

Pro tip: The removable tray stores under the seat so it's less likely to get lost in transport.

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5. For the “so this is sleep regression" moments: Ok To Wake Clock

It's an age-old story: Your baby had just started to sleep through the night, when suddenly they start calling for you at 5 a.m. again. Don't despair, mamas! We love the Ok to Wake Clock from Patch Products LLC to get their circadian rhythms back on track. The simple clock boasts a friendly alien face that lights up at a time designated by you each morning. All you have to do is teach your child that a dark clock means it's not time to get up yet, but a lit-up clock means they can call for you.

Pro tip: It can take about a week to get younger children on a new schedule, but stick with it! Soon your child will love calling you to see their “woken up" clock each morning.

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6. For the “mom brain is real" moments: Motherly mama meditations

It's common for new mamas to feel frazzled or like they can't get a handle on things, but we know you've got this! To help you get back to feeling like yourself, we created the Motherly meditation guide for new mamas. Our series of videos are great to play at the start or end of the day, or even for a minute mid-afternoon (especially after a particularly stressful tantrum).

Pro tip: Schedule a few minutes every day to listen to a meditation , refocus, and remember that you are doing an amazing job, mama!

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7. For the “this conference call is definitely happening" moments: Solly Baby Wrap

When you're a work-at-home mom with a new baby, getting anything done can feel like a challenge. Our secret to checking off our to-do list with a newborn? Babywearing. We love the Solly Baby Wrap for soothing fussy babies and keeping our hands free to prep dinner, send emails, and even pick up around the house. The lightweight design is made from buttery soft sustainable fabric that keeps your baby close without slowing you down.

Pro tip: Use the handy self-enclosing pocket at the end of the wrap to store between snuggle sessions.

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8. For the “this baby is never going to latch!" moments: Boppy 2-Sided Breastfeeding Pillow

When you're new to breastfeeding, it can feel like a failure if everything doesn't go smoothly. Don't give up, mama! For those times when it seems like your little one just isn't getting it, we love using a breastfeeding pillow that can give you both a boost, like the Boppy 2-Sided Breastfeeding Pillow. The innovative design has a soft side for supporting baby and a firmer side to provide more support, plus an adjustable belt to keep everyone close.

Pro tip: Don't always breastfeed in the same area of your home? Consider registering for two pillows, one to keep in the baby's nursery and the other to keep in the living room so meal time can happen whenever you're ready.

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9. For the “I don't have time to go to the gym" moments: Daily Burn Subscription

We get it: You want to lose some baby weight, but the idea of putting on yoga pants and driving to the gym is more than you can handle right now. Skip the commute and work out in the comfort of your living room with a subscription to the Daily Burn. With more than 600 videos to stream, ranging from cardio burnouts to gentle prenatal yoga lessons, Daily Burn will let you work up a sweat—on your own terms. Each video comes with great instruction, clear up-front expectations for intensity and challenges to keep you motivated. Plus, there's a free 30-day trial!

Pro tip: After filling out the questionnaire to get your customized workout plan, don't be afraid to peek around at the other classes. The 15-minute-or-less options are especially great for nap time!

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10. For the “my errand list is as long as my arm" moments: Snap-N-Go Stroller

Those first few outing with baby can be intimidating...and tiring — mamas have a lot to carry! For checking off a day's worth of errands, we love the Snap-N-Go stroller, a universal infant car seat carrier frame. Simply take your child's car seat from the car and pop it into this lightweight travel system for a simplified walk from the parking lot to the store. When not in use, fold it flat. The whole thing is less than 18 pounds!

Pro tip: The roomy undercarriage is great for storing purchases or baby necessities on the go.

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11. For the “real clothes are so not happening" moments: Blanqui Post Partum Leggings

We're calling it: Black leggings are the uniform of new moms everywhere. And when they're as sleep and genius as this Blanqui pair, they can take you from home to the gym to lunch dates with pals. Blanqui's Post Partum High Waist Leggings feature a seamless, comfortable design with a smoothing high waistband perfect for pulling in newly vacated bellies. You'll probably never want to take them off — and we couldn't agree with you more.

Pro tip: Not sure of your size? Small fits sizes 2-6, medium fits sizes 8-10, large fits sizes 12-14, and extra large fits sizes 14-18.

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Sponsored by Ingenuity. We only include products we've tested and loved in MotherlyLoves.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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In This Article

    Ara Katz/Seed

    We spoke to Ara Katz, co-founder and co-CEO of Seed, who shared her journey to (and through) motherhood—and gave us the lowdown on how probiotics can benefit mamas and children alike.

    Chances are, you're aware that probiotics can help us digest the food we eat, keep inflammation at bay, synthesize essential vitamins and more. But here's the thing: When it comes to probiotics, there's a lot of misinformation… and because of that, it's hard to know what's actually a probiotic and which is the right one for you.

    That's why we chatted with Ara Katz, who is a mama to son Pax and the co-founder of Seed, a company disrupting the probiotics industry. The entrepreneur told us about her motherhood journey, what led her to start her company and what she wants other parents to know about probiotics.

    Q. What was life like for you before you became a mama?

    I was bi-coastal after co-founding a mobile tech company in New York City with a partner in LA. My life was, for as long as I can remember, consumed by creating and work. I was fairly nomadic, loved to travel, spent many hours reading and practicing yoga, being with friends [and] waking up at the crack of dawn. [I] was fairly sure I would never marry or have children. And then something shifted.

    Q. What were some pivotal moments that defined your journey to motherhood?

    Ha, that makes it sound like motherhood is a destination when at this very moment, more than ever, it evolves daily. I lost my mom when I was 17 and spent most of my life believing I didn't want to be a mother. I had a lot of wiring about its limitations and constraints—I'm sure relics of grief and the fear of loss.

    My journey started with a physiological wanting to be pregnant and have a baby. There was a kind of visceral sense that my body wanted to know what that was like and a strange curiosity that, at least for that period of time, usurped my ambivalence about motherhood.

    Then I had a miscarriage—a beautiful inflection point in my story. I resigned from my company, chose a coast, committed to be more committed to my (then) boyfriend, now husband, and tried again. I got pregnant shortly after that and found pregnancy to be a profound journey within, a reshaping of my life and the tiniest glimpse of how motherhood would unfold.

    In the 55 months since giving birth (and I like to use months because I have learned in the moments that I am most frustrated as a mom that he has only been on this planet for less than 14 fiscal quarters), I have realized and surrendered to a definition of motherhood that is a process. One of cultivating, creating, recreating, shapeshifting, learning, feeling, healing, hurting and experiencing the most potent form of presence I have ever experienced—and an aching, expansive love I didn't know possible—not just for my son, but for all living things.

    Q. How did motherhood change your approach to your career?

    Becoming a mother is certainly a persistent lens on all of my choices, but it was really my miscarriage that recalibrated my path. My pregnancy rekindled my love of biology and health and led me to my co-founder and the microbiome. My breastfeeding experience incepted our first product focus, and the newfound accountability for a human inspired our brand.

    Q. What inspired you to co-found Seed?

    I met my co-founder, Raja, during my pregnancy with Pax. [I] was immediately awestruck by his ability to both deeply understand science and to methodically break down a product, dietary question or piece of advice in a way that's educational (you actually learn something about your body), actionable (you understand what to do with the information) and foundational (you can build on that knowledge in the future to continue to make better choices).

    As we spent more time, our combined passion for microbes, their potential impact on both human health and the environment, and how to set up a child for a healthy life became increasingly clear. And through birth, seeding (the process by which we get our foundational microbes and the inspiration for the name of our company) Pax and my struggles with breastfeeding, my entrepreneurial spirit was lit to build something with Raja. His deep experience in translating science to product, and mine in consumer, community-building and translating through storytelling, culminated in a shared vision to set a new standard in health through bacteria.

    Q. Probiotics have been trending in recent years, but they're nothing new—can you talk a bit about the importance of probiotics?

    Interest in gut health and probiotics increases month by month. However, despite the quickly growing number of "probiotic" supplements, foods and beverages out there, there's still a lot of consumer confusion—particularly around what they are, how they work and why we should take them. Probiotics have been studied extensively across various life stages, body sites and for many benefits. Digestion is an obvious and immediate one (and the primary reason most people currently take probiotics). But other strains have also been studied for skin health, heart health and gut health (including gut immune function and gut barrier integrity). But this doesn't mean that any and all probiotics can do these things—this is the importance of 'strain specificity.' In other words, ensuring that the specific strains in your probiotic have been studied for the benefit you desire is critical.

    Seed Daily Synbiotic

    Seed

    Seed's Daily Synbiotic is a 24-strain probiotic + prebiotic formulated for whole-body benefits, including gut, skin and heart health.


    Q. How do probiotics play a role in your life?

    I mean, I take them, I develop them and I work with some of the leading scientists from around the world advancing the field—so they play a big role. As for my personal health, I take our Daily Synbiotic daily and my son also takes specific strains for gastrointestinal health and gut immune function. Beyond that, it's the re-orientation around my microbiome that guides many of my choices: how important fiber is, specific compounds like polyphenols found in berries, green tea and other foods, avoiding the use of NSAIDS like ibuprofen and antibiotics when not needed, exercise, sleep and time in nature [are] all aspects of our daily life that impact our microbiome and our health.

    Q. What are some misconceptions about probiotics that you would like to set straight?

    There's one main myth on from which all the other stem: that probiotics aren't considered a serious science. On the contrary, it's a field of inquiry that demands incredible rigor and extensive research. And when anything and everything from chocolate to ice cream to fermented food and kombucha to mattresses can call itself "probiotic" due to underregulation in the category, that grossly undermines the science and their potential.

    The term 'probiotic' has a globally-accepted scientific definition that was actually co-authored by our Chief Scientist, Dr. Gregor Reid ,for the United Nations/World Health Organization.

    At Seed, we work to reclaim the term for science, through the development of next-generation probiotics that include clinically validated strains and undergo the most rigorous safety, purity and efficacy testing procedures. Because why would you invite billions of unknown microbes into your body without asking "what's in here, is it the correct dosage that was studied, and has that strain in that amount been studied in human clinical trials to do something beneficial for my body"?

    Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what product you plan to launch next?

    We are developing a pipeline of consumer probiotics to target specific ecosystems of the body and life stages, including a synbiotic for children. Our next product will reflect a unique breakthrough in the field of pediatric probiotics, which we are excited to announce soon.

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

    Our Partners

    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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    Cameron Diaz on having a baby at 47: 'You really have to work hard for it'

    "The only pressure for me now is I have to live to be, like, 107, you know? No pressure!"

    This is the decade that saw the face of first-time motherhood change. The number of first-time mamas under 30 is shrinking, while more and more women are becoming moms after 40.

    Cameron Diaz is one of them. The actress and businesswoman, now 48, became a mom in January at the age of 47. In a new episode of Naomi Campbell's YouTube series, No Filter, Diaz opens up about what it's like to become a mom in your fourth decade.

    "A lot of people do it the other way around ... they get married [and] have a family in their youth," says Diaz."I'm kind of doing it in the second half of my life."

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