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13 useful baby products to leave at grandma’s house

You'll even want two of these so you can keep one at your own place, mama!

Products grandparents' place

There's a lot of information highlighting products you need when you travel with a baby, focused on what fits in the plane's overhead compartment or makes a hotel more baby-friendly. But I've struggled to find recommendations for what to buy when you're only going a couple (or more, in my case) miles away to the grandparents' house.

Those items you want to leave there with them that will give you peace of mind your baby is safe (because let's be honest, some things our moms did with us is probably not safe anymore) and also give them the confidence they can take care of baby while you are out. I focused on products that also have a long life with your children because there's no point in spending a ton of money on things they will quickly age out of when they won't necessarily be using them frequently.

Here are my recommendations for what to leave at the grandparents' house:


A portable crib

BABYBJ\u00d6RN  Portable Travel Crib

What: Starting with the basics, this BABYBJÖRN travel crib is a safe place for your baby to sleep while they are away from home (and even at home!). We are huge fans of the sleek design.

Why: It's light and easy to set up, making it perfect for longer trips or short visits. Since it folds up, it's easy to store behind a couch or in a closet, meaning baby doesn't need a dedicated room. It grows with baby, and it's safe for kids ages 0-3 years, which means you will be getting a lot of use out of it.

$300

A sound machine

YOGASLEEP  Dohm Natural Sound Machine

What: A sound machine is highly recommended to help babies sleep better and longer since it blocks out all outside noises. This Dohm version creates natural fan-based sounds and can be tucked in any corner of the room.

Why: Compact and easy to use (no need to fiddle with confusing technology or download an app), everyone can operate this one. Our family takes it with us wherever we go and it even helps me sleep better!

$50

Diapers

ECO PEA CO.  Bamboo Diapers

What: Babies go through a lot of diapers so make sure grandparents are set up for success by leaving them with more than enough. The Eco Pea diapers are earth-friendly and soft on your baby's bum.

Why: In my experience, not all diapers are good for all babies. Mine needed a specific level of absorbency (they were big wetters) and also blow out control (constant poopers). By leaving the exact brand of diapers you love and your baby is used to, you can ensure baby and Grandma will be having a blast while you're away.

$15

A lovey

MARY MEYER  Putty Sloth Character Blanket

What: These Mary Meyer soft character blankets are both cute and snuggly. The sloth is equal parts comfort and play, making baby feel safer while sleeping away from you.

Why: Children love loveys and I find it smart to buy two (or more!) of the same lovey to have in case of emergency (say, when you have to wash it, if you lose one, or to keep at the grandparents' house).

$19

A play mat

TOKI MATS  Rainbow Watercolor Padded Play Mat

What: The Toki Mats play mats don't only come in adorable and stylish prints, but are a safe place to plop baby on the floor for some solo time play, practicing tummy time or taking adorable photos.

Why:
These mats can fold in two for easy storing. The cover is removable and machine-washable in case of any accidents. They are a bestseller for good reasons, and not only ideal to use indoors but also outdoors to keep baby away from grass and dirt.

$165

A bouncer

BABYBJ\u00d6RN  Bouncer Bliss in 3D Mesh

What: This BABYBJÖRN bouncer is an all time favorite for a reason—babies love it and parents love anything their babies do as well (I'm guilty of it!).

Why: The mesh bouncer is great for all weather and is made with super safe fabrics. No batteries needed to keep baby entertained as the bouncer moves with the kicks of their legs. It's perfect for the grandparents' house because it gives them an extra set of "hands" (so to speak) for when they need to prep meals or take a shower. It folds flat, making it easy to store anywhere. Suitable for kids 0-2 years old.

$250

A play gym 

LOVEVERY  The Play Gym

What: A play gym is another way to keep baby safely entertained while also developing skills and senses. The Lovevery play gym is an all-time favorite because of the wide range of activities baby can do on it.

Why: This play gym really grows with your kids, which means grandparents can use it for a really long time. The mat is machine-washable and the whole thing can be broken down and folded to be tucked in the closet.

$140

Wooden block set

MODERN BLOCKS  10-Block Counting, Shapes + Alphabet Set

What: This Modern Blocks 10-block counting, shapes and alphabet set is super safe for children without the bright colors you expect from their plastic counterparts, which will probably make Grandma happy.

Why: This set helps kids develop motor skills while also learning letters, numbers, shapes. Grandpa can help build towers and Grandma can help spell out names.

$65

A bottle warmer

Baby's Brew Portable Bottle Warmer Pro Set

What: Some babies really like their milk or formula warmed up. If you have one of those babies worry not because the Baby's Brew portable bottle warmer will make your life (and the grandparents') so much easier by heating up to the exact perfect temperature in seconds.

Why: This bottle warmer will give grandparents the peace of mind that the milk or formula they are offering baby is absolutely safe. Plus, the formula dispenser guarantees the right amount of it will be in every bottle mixed.

$85

Unbreakable plates

MUSHIE  Square Dinnerware Plates

What: The Mushie plates are not only unbreakable, but also dishwasher-friendly and super stylish, meaning they won't clash with Grandma's style or give her an extra chore.

Why: You don't want your kids breaking the fancy china at their grandparents (is that still a thing?) so send them over with these plates that don't look like children's plates to make sure everyone stays happy while you're not there.

$13

Solids food subscription

Yumi intro to soilds kit

What: We all know how important nutrition is in the first years of our children's lives, that's why this Yumi subscription service is great to have. It takes away the stressful thinking and planning of baby's meals while ensuring they are getting the best mix of quality and variety.

Why: Grandparents will love feeding baby their first solids, especially without having to do any of the prep ahead of time. The Yumi tubs can also be kept frozen so they'll be ready when needed.

$65

Bath arm rest

PUJ  Bath Arm Rest Pad

What: Everyone who's ever bathed a baby in a bathtub knows how hard it can be on both arms and knees. Enter the PUJ bath arm rest pad to keep everyone happy during bath time.

Why: They may be spry, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve just a little more comfort. The compact design is foldable and small enough that it can be tucked away in any bathroom for the next visit.

$15

Toilet training seat

BABYBJ\u00d6RN  Toilet Training Seat

What: The BABYBJÖRN toilet training seat is perfect to use on the go. It sits over the regular toilet seat and prevents little kids from falling in. It comes with a hook to hang by the toilet or behind doors.

Why: For bigger kids who are starting their journey on toilet training, this seat is ideal to have anywhere yo go, because it will give them the confidence and safety they need to use the bathroom, without having to lug around a big plastic pretend toilet. Thanks to the rubber on the outside sides, it won't slip off and is safe for children to sit on.

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

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

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

20 baby names that mean miracle—and will never go out of style

In these extraordinary times, we could all use some small miracles.

Meaningful baby names will never go out of style. Whether you decide to name your newborn after a beloved family member, or are simply searching for a name that reflects the journey that led you to parenthood, whatever you choose will stick with you for the rest of your—and your child's—life.

Almost every parent, at some point, refers to their child as a "miracle," though the meaning of the word itself might differ depending on who you're talking to. Miracle is a beautiful word that can double as a name, but there are many other thoughtful baby names to choose from if you're considering giving your baby a name that suggests an extraordinary event, a gift from above or a rare wonder.

Whether you're looking for a familiar name with a miraculous history, such as Aaron, or you're searching for a unique name that means "rare miracle," such as Ender, there are so many choices for both girls and boys that are equally as meaningful as they are interesting. Choosing a baby name with the special meaning of "miracle" is a signal of hope and optimism—and in these extraordinary times, we could all use some small miracles.

Putting a unique twist on a beautiful classic isn't hard with these baby names that mean "miracle."

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