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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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When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

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The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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As a mom of three, I frequently get a question from moms and dads of two children: “Ok, so the jump to three...how bad is it?"

Personally, I found the transition to having even one kid to be the most jarring. Who is this little person who cries nonstop (mine had colic) and has no regard for when I feel like sitting/eating/resting/sleeping?

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