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7 unexpected Mother's Day gifts she'll love

Just what a mama needs to brighten up her day.

7 unexpected Mother's Day gifts she'll love

Mother's Day is fast approaching, and although you'll never hear us complain about receiving any type of gift, sometimes a bit of the unexpected is just what a mama needs to brighten up her day.


If flowers, chocolates, and breakfast in bed isn't your thing, we've got 7 out of the box ideas that will make the perfect gift for a favorite mama in your life (or for yourself!) this Mother's Day.

1. A sensible style

Kids create a lot of messes, am I right? Enter Ruggable: an interchangeable, nonslip, durable, stain resistant, pet friendly, and COMPLETELY MACHINE WASHABLE rug. Yes, you heard that right. Ruggable rugs can be easily lifted up and thrown right in the washing machine, eliminating mama's need to flip out every time her kid spills his milk all over the living room. (Or his jelly sandwich all over the family room. Or his yogurt all over the hallway. You get the idea...) And they come in a huge array of styles, sizes, price points + colors. What's not to love?

Ruggable Rugs
$89.00 and up, Ruggable

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2. A lasting change

If the last thing mama needs is more stuff, we love the idea of gifting something that will positively impact someone else's life. CARE's Gift of Lasting Change is the perfect way to honor mom—each donation delivers lasting solutions to poverty worldwide. In honor of Mother's Day, we especially like the opportunities available for Women's Empowerment, which include scholarships for girls to attend school, a girls' mentorship club, fighting gender-based violence, and more.

CARE.org Gift of Lasting Change
$25.00 and up, CARE.org

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3. A DNA discovery

What if a little bit of saliva could reveal the secrets of your DNA? Thanks to 23andMe, that's all it takes to learn the story of your history and beyond. 23andMe offers genetic reports that can offer insights into your ancestry, health, traits and more! That's a whole lot from one little vial of spit.

Order your kit and discover more about yourself and your family than you ever knew before.

23andMe Kits, 23andMe

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4. An instant pic fix

It's a fact: Mamas love photos of their families. But it can be next to impossible to find time to edit and print our favorite frames. (Great for our Instagram feeds, bad for all those baby books.) Enter the Polaroid Snap Touch camera—just like the Polaroid cameras of your youth, but a whole lot smarter. The LCD touchscreen lets you edit photos to be black and white, sepia, or color, and it even has Bluetooth capability. Get ready to snap, print, and share all your favorite shots with ease.

Polaroid Snap Touch Instant Print Digital Camera
$169.96, Amazon

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5. A kitchen vacation

Founded by a mom who wanted to give her child fresh, wholesome meals—without sacrificing time together—Nurture Life is a meal delivery service that ships age-specific, dietitian crafted meals to your doorstep. Each recipe prioritizes organic, seasonal produce and never includes artificial flavors or colors, trans fats, or high fructose corn syrup.

All you have to provide are your children's ages and dietary preferences to get started. It's a great, simple option for first solids and for expanding the palates of older children—and mamas will love how much time and energy is saves them.

Nurture Life Baby, Toddler + Kid Meal Delivery
Subscription prices vary, Nurture Life

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6. A home helper

Reading, yoga, relaxing...just a few things you might choose to do while this (amazing) robot vacuum cleans the house FOR YOU 🙌 If mama usually tackles vacuuming duties, give her the gift of time this year with what we consider to be one of the best uses of tech we've ever seen.

The iRobot Roomba has a patented cleaning system that's engineered to loosen, lift, and suction everything from small particles to large debris from carpers and hard floors. (Just don't forget to pick up all those Lego bricks first.) With easy Wifi connectivity, all it takes is the tap of a button a quick Alexa ask to get you one step closer to the clean home of your dreams.

iRobot Roomba
Prices vary depending on model, Amazon

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7. A mantra maker

Whether it's your favorite mama mantra or simply a welcome sign for friends and family to Mother's Day brunch, a letter board is the gift that keeps on giving. (Plus, it's the hottest way to make any and all big announcements.) Want to score bonus points? Gift yours with a special message to Mom already spelled out.

TF Publishing Letter Board
$43.49, 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.

When it comes to registering for baby products, there's one word we love: convertible.

In contrast to items you use for a short period of time, convertible (or multi-use) products are made to grow with your baby… and trust us, that makes them worth their weight in gold.

Convertible items allow you to reap the benefits of your baby registry for years to come—and that's just savvy shopping, mama. Also savvy shopping? Creating your baby registry with Target and enjoying their Year of Benefits registry program for expectant parents. Just by starting your registry, you will get a welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. And Target's newest registry perk, the Year of Exclusive Deals, gives you discounts on essentials for your baby's whole first year when you sign up for Target Circle as well.

If you prioritize value and longevity when creating your registry, here are 10 items you'll love from day one through day 1,000… and beyond!


A crib that can grow through childhood + beyond

Simmons Kids Slumbertime Monterey 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

A crib is a necessity as you plan for life with your baby—you know that already. But what about in a couple of years when they need a toddler bed? Or a few years beyond that when they graduate to a bigger bed? Well, you're in luck: With the right attachments, this bed can be the only one they need until college.

$299.99

A cozy blanket for snuggles + security

Plush Velboa Baby Blanket I Love You - Cloud Island\u2122 White/Black

Blankets have earned their spot on millions upon millions of registries for good reason: They function as stroller covers or play mats during the early days, then become beloved security items in the toddler years.

$14.99

A comfy spot for feeding + stories

Baby Relax Addison Swivel Gliding Recliner

During your first months of motherhood, a comfortable gliding chair will be your second home as you spend time feeding and bonding. As your child grows (and mobility makes those snuggles harder to catch), you'll discover a new love for this cozy spot for stories and bedtime snuggles.

$329.99

https://goto.target.com/YJj2e

Sealy Cozy Rest Extra Firm Crib and Toddler Mattress

Fun fact: A standard crib and toddler bed actually use the same size mattress. That's why it's smart to get a quality crib mattress right out of the gate: One less thing to change up in a few years!

$59.99

A changing table that doubles as a dresser

Simmons\u00ae Kids Monterey 4 Drawer Dresser with change top

If space is at a premium in your baby's nursery, look for a combination changing table and dresser. That way, you can keep using the dresser long after your little one is potty trained.

$319.99

A car seat that converts to a booster

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The safest place for your child is in the backseat of your car, in either a car seat or (later) booster. But instead of buying a new seat for each phase, you can check off multiple boxes at once by adding a convertible car seat to your registry.

$159.99

A stroller that accommodates big kids, too

Graco FastAction Jogger LX Stroller

The need for a good stroller doesn't end when your little one learns to walk, so look for a stroller that can accommodate bigger kids, too. We recommend a jogging stroller that allows you to attach an infant car seat and is still perfectly spacious for toddlers.

$146.99

A place to dine for years to come

Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

From first bites to family dinners around the table, one single high chair can be the solution you need. That is, if you look for a version that adapts into a booster seat when your child is ready for a plate at the table.

$99.99

A white noise machine + alarm clock in one

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

After spending months listening to ambient noise in the womb, white noise remains incredibly comforting for your child. It's nice to have a sound machine that can transition to a time-to-rise clock down the line. By cueing with sounds and colors, these clocks reinforce healthy sleep habits.

$59.99

A baby carrier that can haul a toddler, too

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

A carrier is a major help when your baby loves being held, but you need use of your hands. But even months or years down the line, you can still get use out of that carrier. To maximize longevity, look for one that can be used with your child facing outward or even carried on your back as they grow.

$29.99

Enjoy building your registry with Target, mama! The Year of Benefits is calling your name with a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more! 😉

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

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

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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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