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It's no secret that reading is one of the best things you can do for your baby.

Reading to your little one—even from a very young age—stimulates brain development and strengthens the parent-child bond. Reading helps babies develop language skills and make sense of the world around them. Fostering a love for books is a gift your children will treasure for the rest of their lives.

It can be a bit overwhelming to start your baby's first library, so we've created a guide featuring the best of the best—25 classic and new titles that will take you from baby's first day to their first birthday.

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon

We'll never get tired of this ultimate classic of children's literature, beloved by generations for its quiet prose and simple beauty.

$5

The Runaway Bunny

Runaway Bunny

"If you run away," said his mother, "I will run after you. For you are my little bunny." This book has never gone out of print since its publication in 1942; if that isn't enough of a ringing endorsement, we're not sure what is.

$7.29

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Little ones have loved chomping their way through the pages of this book for decades, right along with everyone's favorite little caterpillar.

$5.91

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Read it once and it will be in your head for days... and in baby's vocabulary within weeks! Beloved for his drawings, Eric Carle's famed career as an illustrator began with this book back in 1966. Despite being more than five decades olds, the story's lessons on colors and animals are still as relevant as ever.

$5.16

TouchThinkLearn: ABC

TouchThinkLearn: ABC

The TouchThinkLearn series stands out as a favorite for its clean, modern aesthetic and engaging tactile die-cuts and cut-outs. Tiny, curious hands will love touching—and learning—their ABCs.

$24.99

Sally at the Farm

Sally at the Farm

This colorful, visually stimulating story about a dog enjoying the splendors of a day at the farm is a great way to teach little ones about animals, colors and more.

$7.95

I Love You Through and Through

I love you through and through book

This sweet book will teach them from day one that no matter what, you'll love them through and through. Bonus: This is one of our favorite books to gift new parents.

$5

Pout Pout Fish

Pout Pout Fish

We dare you not to start singing (or rapping!) the catchy phrase pout pout fish repeats over and over in this brightly illustrated tale that takes place on the ocean floor.

$7.99

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers

As parents, we really can't get enough of baby fingers and toes, and this book celebrate all their tiny body parts with rhyming prose and sot illustrations of of babies from all backgrounds.

$7.87

Little Gorilla

Little Gorilla

"Once there was a gorilla, and everybody loved him. His mother loved him. His father loved him....even when he was only one day old, everybody loved Little Gorilla... But then Little Gorilla began to change."

This heartwarming story about how baby—and love—grows over the first year of life will give you all the feels. (We may or may not be crying as we type this... ) And the amazing retro illustrations will never go out of style.

$4.95

Peek-A-Who?

Peek-A-Who?

Our favorite peekaboo book promises lots of giggles, while lots of flaps to lift and brightly colored animals to spot promise lots of learning for little ones!

$5.99

Where is Baby's Belly Button?

Where is Baby's Belly Button?

This sturdy lift-the-flap book puts babies on the hunt for their favorite body parts and will bring lots of delight along the way.

$5.99

Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo

Babies will love to lift the flaps and find out which animal will be coming home as the new family pet!

$5

Indestructibles: Baby Faces

Indestructibles: Baby Faces

Indestructibles are just that: chew proof, rip proof, nontoxic, and washable. We love them for stroller entertainment or tossed in the diaper bag for a "I need to distract baby now!" emergency.

$3.69

Jane Foster's Black and White

Jane Foster's Black and White

The black and and white images throughout this board book will help your little one's visual development, and the sophistication of the illustrations—created by a British textile designer—means you won't mind reading it again and again.

$10.23

Look At You!

Look At You!

Fun fact: babies love looking at other babies! Short of running a daycare in your own house, this oversized board book is perfect for showing your little one bright baby faces and expressions all day long.

$7.99

Colors

Colors

Let those little hands work their way through the rainbow with this book featuring sturdy cardboard pages of graduating lengths. This unique design introduces colors in a fun and creative way.

$10.95

First 100 Words

First 100 Words

With 100 first words accompanied by 100 clear, bright photos, this word book stands out as one your baby will go back to again and again.

$4.99

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

"A told B and and B told C, "I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree." This lively alphabet chant couldn't be better—we've never met a little one who doesn't agree!

$6.79

Sunrise, Moonrise

Sunrise, Moonrise

This simple, beautiful story about the passing of a day will capture baby's attention with its bright, high contrast art and sparse, rhythmic text.

$4.19

Gossie

Gossie

We 💜 Gossie, our favorite precocious little yellow gosling who loves to wear bright red boots. (And get into all sorts of trouble.) We think your little one will agree!

$6.99

Wibble, Wobble

Wibble, Wobble

Get ready to practice those animal sounds ? Babies will love the bright backgrounds set against black + white images, and you'll have fun perfecting the noise of penguins flip-flopping across the sand.

SHOP
$5.99

Lllama Llama's Little Library

Lllama Llama's Little Library

We love little Llama so much that we couldn't choose just one! This four board book set is the perfect introduction to Llama Llama and all of his rhyming adventures. These are the perfect first read-alouds.

SHOP
$13.49

But Not the Hippopotamus

But Not the Hippopotamus

Our love for Sandra Boynton knows no bounds, and we can't imagine kid lit without her. This cheeky board book about a silly hippo is guaranteed to put a smile on your baby's face—and yours, too.

$4.77

Go, Dog, Go!

Go, Dog, Go!

This one doesn't always make the classic favorites lists, but we have a soft spot for it—it always elicits the giggles, features of a lovable cast of silly dogs, and was edited by Dr. Seuss. Little ones will love the basic concepts but will enjoy it as they get older, too.

$4.99

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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If you had to only choose one product to toss in your bag, what would it be? Our guess is you're looking for something that's easy-to-use, affordable, clean and multi-tasks for you—something that'll simplify your routine because you have other things to worry about than what beauty product to grab (like making that Zoom meeting in time while you're working from home).

Enter: Arrow Beauty—a clean beauty brand created by Birchbox with products designed to save you time.

I had the chance to try out the entire product line and, let's just say I've made sure to toss one everywhere—in my bag, on my desk, in the bathroom. And during this pandemic, it's made getting ready (okay, looking presentable for video calls) in the mornings so much simpler.

Each product is created to be something you grab and go when you're in a rush. Everything is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and mineral oil, vegan and cruelty-free so you can still give your littles all the snuggles and kisses without stressing about transferring any bad ingredients over. And, they're designed to travel well. Birchbox made sure Arrow Beauty featured leak-proof and carry-on friendly items. Did we mention everything is under $25?

Here's what is in their first launch:

Nourishing lip oil

birchbox arrow lip oil

This one might be my favorite from the collection. A lip oil that leaves a high-shine finish that isn't sticky (!!!) and keeps your lips moisturized for hours. It comes in clear, perfect to top off your favorite shade, or color enhancing pink that reacts to the pH level of your skin, making a unique shade for you.

$16

Radiant skin moisturizer

birchbox arrow skin moisturizer

Have no time in the morning? Massage this into your skin for the ultimate pick-me-up. It has a subtle sheen that illuminates and nourishing ingredients—hyaluronic acid and aloe—that hydrates and gives you a glow.

$24

Color enhancing lip balm

birchbox arrow lip balm

The Birchbox team listened to customer feedback to reformulate their OG tinted balm and it's *so* good. There are three shades—berry, coral and blush—that look incredible on all skin tones because it reacts to the pH in your skin to enhance your natural color. Even better? It's buildable!

$15

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

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This is the #yearofthemother.

And this is the pregnancy book women deserve, from the experts at Motherly.

This is an unprecedented time to embark on the journey of motherhood. You are part of a new generation of women elevating empowerment in all its forms.

Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, whether you're still deciding about pregnancy or already have a baby on the way, becoming mama involves your body, mind, emotions, lifestyle, relationships, schedule, spirituality, worldview—and most of all, your heart.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama celebrates the wonder of your new baby and honors you through this profound life transformation.Inclusive, holistic, and evidence-based, this book was made for you—a loving and supportive embrace of your unique motherhood journey in all its power, complexity and beauty.

Peek inside here!

the_motherly_guide


Praise for The Motherly Guide

"Mothers around the world deserve the guidance that this book offers: unconditional support and access to expert-backed, non-judgmental information. This book is the first of its kind to support the whole woman through the whole journey from getting pregnant, to birth, postpartum, and beyond. The maternal wellness revolution has arrived." —Christy Turlington Burns, founder, Every Mother Counts

"Motherly is leading the conversation about how pregnancy, birth, and postpartum transforms a woman's world―and The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is their greatest contribution yet. Women deserve all the support as their bodies, minds, and lives transform, and this book delivers it with so much heart."—Katrina Scott, cofounder, Tone It Up

"The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is like having an entire birth team on your nightstand...it offers grace, empowerment, and support for however and wherever you find yourself on the becoming mama journey."—Anthonia Akitunde, founder and editor-in-chief, mater mea

"THE essential guide to pregnancy and birth has finally arrived. The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama is the only book you need to get you through this adventure. It's woman-centered, warm, and informative . . . it's the book I wish I would've had, and the one I'm so excited for you to have."—Natalie Gordon, founder and CEO of Babylist

"This epic book is a cross between an encyclopedia and a wise aunt. In this thorough and comprehensive resource, the Motherly team offers equal doses of wisdom, love, and cold hard facts so that each new mother can develop the confidence that she desperately needs on her pregnancy and motherhood journey. A soulful and dependable guide for all women."—Kimberly Ann Johnson, author of The Fourth Trimester

Pre-order your copy ofThe Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, and join us as we redefine motherhood, together.

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

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on so many people's lives, and mamas everywhere are feeling it especially hard. The outbreak has been an especially scary time for pregnant women who worry about getting the support they need during this already challenging time.

At Motherly, nothing is more important to us than helping mamas everywhere feel supported and empowered from the very beginning of their motherhood journey. That's why we took two major steps toward helping pregnant women everywhere feel more confident right now:

First, we wrote the pregnancy + birth book you deserve.

The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama provides evidence-based, women-centered support for every stage of your journey, from trying to conceive to caring for your sweet new baby.


We wrote The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama to ensure that every person has access to high-quality, nurturing pregnancy and birth guidance. It is the pregnancy book you deserve. And we would be honored if you would consider pre-ordering it now.

You can pre-order The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama at your favorite retailer, and it will be on its way to you when it releases on April 14th:

Second, we're making our Becoming Mama™ Online Birth Class absolutely free.

For the thousands of women who are unable to attend their birth class due to the virus, our class, taught by Diana Spalding, Motherly's Digital Education Editor, certified nurse-midwife, and writer of The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama, is the nurturing, empowering resource you need to have your best, most supported birth no matter what.


This class will prepare you for your birth, while the book is about the entire journey—from trying to conceive, to pregnancy wellness, birth, postpartum and caring for your sweet new baby.

More than 7000 women have joined Motherly's FREE online birth class

Pregnancy and birth are some of the biggest moments of life—it can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Going through this process during a transformative world event—a pandemic—can make it feel so daunting. We want you to know that we are here for you.

You deserve to experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.

As founder of mater mea, Anthonia Akitunde said, The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama "is like having a whole birth team on your nightstand."Because you deserve to experience it all with confidence and joy—and we are honored to be on this journey with you.


To sign up for our free online class, please fill out this info, and we'll email you access to the class (within 24 hours) and sign you up for our newsletter.


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We all know dry skin is a real thing, and since we've been washing our hands a lot more recently (thanks, coronavirus) and dousing them with anti-bacterial gel, they are much drier than usual. Combine that with the cool air and our hands feel like we're rubbing a piece of paper on our cheek.

As we're social distancing, we have a bit more time on our hands these days so we've given these hand creams a test drive to find what best works to keep moisture in.

Here are 10 of the best hand creams for combating dry skin, according to our editor:

L'Occitane shea butter hand cream

L'Occitane shea butter hand cream

Did you know that this classic hand cream is sold every 2 seconds around the world? Honey, almond extract and coconut oil are blended with shea butter to protect and moisturize the driest hands. We also love the natural, smoky nutty scent that lasts between hand washes.

$29

Origins rejuvenating hand treatment

Origins rejuvenating hand treatment

This sweet-smelling cream is infused with rose of Jericho—also known as resurrection plant—and trehalose and sea haricots, which work hand-in-hand to help skin recover from extreme dryness. Just massage into hands as needed, apply as often as necessary.

$26

EltaMD so silky hand crème

EltaMD so silky hand cr\u00e8me

If your hands are scaly and rough to the touch, you'll love that the silky-smooth texture of this cream is very soothing. It seriously feels like butter. It also helps maintain moisture for up to 12 hours even after hand washing. Keep in your pocket to reapply during the day.

$19.99

Moroccanoil hand cream

Moroccanoil hand cream

Sure it's great to keep hands hydrated, but if they leave your hands feeling greasy and sticky, that may not be for you. This lightweight formula features argan and avocado oils plus cocoa, shea and mango butters that leaves your hands super silky and smooth.

$24

Aveeno daily moisturizing hand cream

Aveeno daily moisturizing hand cream

You don't have to spend loads of money on a good hand cream. This drugstore favorite helps heal dry skin and forms a protective barrier against the elements. It's also non-greasy, fast absorbing, steroid-free, fragrance-free and gentle enough for sensitive skin—even little ones.

$7.29

Skinfix eczema + hand repair cream

Skinfix eczema + hand repair cream

Plump, tone and tighten the skin with this cream that's clinically proven to treat eczema and dry, cracked skin on hands. A dermatologist-led clinical study found that after just one week users noticed a 111% increase in skin moisturization. Now that's a super-healer we can all get behind.

$18

Kiehl's since 1851 ultimate strength hand salve

Kiehl's since 1851 ultimate strength hand salve

The cool thing about this cream is that it allows skin to draw and absorb water from the air, forming a "glove-like" protective barrier against moisture loss. It's also made up of a blend of botanical oils and wax derived from olive oil to soothe, moisturize and condition skin. We're obsessed!

$23

lano hand cream intense

lano hand cream intense

This silky hand cream is so good it's considered 'the hand cream for hand cream experts' because its primary ingredient, lanolin, is secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. A 2017 study indicated that lanolin can reduce water lost through the skin by 20 to 30%. Now that's impressive!

$14.95

Aesop resurrection aromatique hand balm

Aesop resurrection aromatique hand balm

We must admit that an annoying feature of most hand creams is that they take forever to absorb. It seems like you're rubbing for hours, only to discover that it's sticky and the smell is annoying. This balm, which is one of Aesop's most popular products, instantly softens hands and cuticles with its blend of sweet almond and coconut oils, as well as cocoa and shea butter. Try it on your roughest hands for a quick moisture boost.

$30

La Roche-Posay cicaplast baume B5

La Roche-Posay cicaplast baume B5

This face and hand cream helps nourish and soothe dry skin, as well as visibly irritated areas like cracked knuckles and dry cuticles. What's more? The formula is non-sticky so you can apply it all day without feeling icky.

$14.99

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