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6 summer must-haves for every city mama 🏙️

Don't leave your apartment without these.

6 summer must-haves for every city mama 🏙️
Motherly for Joolz

From splash pads to soft serve, there's nothing quite like summer in the city.

But #citymom life also comes with its own unique set of challenges. Whether it's finding a durable stroller to tackle those bumpy streets or figuring out how to keep your little one cool all day, city mamas need just the right kind of gear to get them through the day, especially in the summertime.

We've rounded up six must-haves for city mamas to make your long, sunny days just a little bit easier.

1. A cool, comfy sneaker

If there's one thing we know about urban mama life, it's that you're going to be doing a lot of walking, so a lightweight, comfy shoe is a must, especially for those warm summer days.

We could not be more obsessed with our Tree Runners. To say they are the most comfortable shoes we've ever owned would be an understatement—we really love them that much. Made from sustainably harvested eucalyptus pulp (really!), they're super soft while also remaining totally breathable. The merino wool insoles do a great job of wicking moisture away from your feet, and offer a soft yet supportive cushion. If you're looking for the perfect shoe for all of your urban summer adventures, look no further!

Allbirds Women's Tree Runners
$95.00, Allbirds

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2. A portable picnic blanket

There's nothing like finding a quiet spot to play + relax among your favorite urban oasis. But even though we love any and all green space we can find in our favorite city, we don't love having to sit in the grass 🤣

Enter this 5'x7' water-resistant picnic blanket—a city mom's go-to for everything from music classes in the park to a Friday night family picnic. It folds up quickly and easily, making it compact enough to store under your stroller all summer long for whatever the day may bring. It's also super easy to wipe clean, and can even be tossed in the washing machine for those extra messy moments.

JJ Cole Extra Large Outdoor Mat
$49.99, Bed Bath & Beyond

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3. A city-friendly ride

Summer in the city is filled with parks to wander, new places to explore, and adventures to be had—all with your little one in tow. And few things are more important to an urban mama than her stroller. It's her workhorse, her main mode of transport, her keeper of all the things. From groceries to diaper bags, over smooth sidewalks and bumpy ones, a stroller is at the heart of city #momlife.

Enter the Hub, the newest stroller from innovative Dutch brand Joolz. The Hub (which stands for Hello Urban Beauty—genius!) is what an urban mama's stroller dreams are made of. It has all the perks of a full-sized stroller (think a reversible six-position seat, four-wheel suspension, one-handed navigation + more) but in a more compact, city-friendly size. It's only 20 inches wide—narrow enough to fit through all those tiny doorways and cramped stairwells—yet can hold up to 45 pounds. It's plush, roomy, features chic leatherette details, and even fully reclines to accommodate newborns. It's the perfect summer ride for any city babe.

Joolz Hub
$679.00, Albee Baby

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4. A hands-free diaper bag

Getting your kiddo in and out of her stroller...drinking your morning coffee...grocery shopping (then hauling those bags up to your 3rd floor walk-up that sounded like a good idea before you had kids)—all the realities of city mom life. And all things that require two free hands.

This gorgeous vegan leather backpack is an urban mama's BFF. It's super roomy with a wide, zip-around opening, features plenty of pockets (including a magnetic-snap insulated bottle pouch perfect for those warm summer days), and best of all has two padded straps for a comfortable carry. And if you ever need to set it down? The metal feet and structured silhouette prevent it from tipping over and spilling your stuff all over your the busy street. Win!

Ju-Ju-Be Ever Collection Forever Faux Leather Diaper Backpack
$180.00, Nordstrom

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5. A stay-cool solution

Summer days in the city can get hot ☀️. It's important to keep your little one hydrated throughout the day, and an insulated stainless steel bottle is an easy way to make sure your babe's water stays cool all summer long.

The double wall vacuum insulation in this bottle means that if you fill your kiddo's water bottle with ice + water in the morning, they'll still be ice + water in it by the afternoon. It features an easy-to-drink (and clean) top, a silicone bottom to protect from dings, and a bottle that's just the right size for little hands.

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 12 oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
$29.95, Amazon

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6. A space saver

Now that you're all stocked up for summer, you're going to need some help carrying everything!

This durable aluminum hook easily attaches to strollers, shopping bags, grocery bags and more to give you hands-free control. The foam grip prevents slipping, and the wide opening clips onto almost any stroller handle. We especially love it during summer for trips to the splash pad—it's perfect for hanging wet bathing suits or towels on your stroller handle so nothing else gets wet.

The Mommy Hook
$7.99, Target

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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.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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News