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We love a good family adventure. But traveling with kids? It's no easy feat, mamas. Gone are the days of throwing a few things in a bag and catching the next flight to the beach; now it's all about packing lists + pacifiers, diapers + dream feeds, and doing your best not to forget all the things you need to make it through the day with your little ones. And number one on our must-have travel list? A compact stroller.


A lightweight, compact travel stroller is an absolute must for a family on the move. When you're juggling kids on the go, the last thing you need to worry about is a big, bulky stroller that's going to take up your entire trunk or slow you down in the airport.

If you're planning your next trip—or just looking to lighten your load—check out our seven picks for the best all-around compact strollers perfect for travel!

1. Baby Jogger City Tour LUX

Brand new for 2018, this compact stroller is one of our favorite options for families on the go who also need the versatility and maneuverability of a much larger stroller. Weighing in at 19 pounds, it has five riding options: an infant car seat, a foldable pram, a reversible seat (rear or forward facing), and a glider board for an older child. All of these amazing features don't compromise this stroller's compact design, though—the LUX folds up small enough to meet carry-on requirements for most airlines. It even features a built-in carry strap and comes with a backpack-style carrying bag.

The City Tour is constructed from soft, breathable fabric, and features an easy one-hand fold with an auto-lock feature. It reclines to a nearly flat position, has an XL canopy with a peekaboo mesh window, and has four swivel wheels that offer incredible handling even over bumpy terrain. (We truly forgot we weren't pushing our larger, everyday stroller instead of one that folds up into a backpack!) It's the perfect stroller to tuck away in the overhead compartment during a flight or quickly pop in the back of your trunk when you and your family are on the go.

Baby Jogger City Tour LUX
$299.99, Nordstrom

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2. OXO Tot Air

At a mere 11 pounds, you won't know if you're carrying around your 3-month-old or this incredibly compact, affordable stroller🤔 Unlike a lot of smaller strollers, the Tot Air features front wheel suspension, making it easy to navigate and giving your little one a smooth ride even on uneven surfaces. We loved the mesh sides, especially during the warmer months, and of course the fold feature—it easily folds down to about a third of its original size, and can be slung over your back for easy travel or storage.

The Air features a roomy basket and a great little zippered pocket below the handle that's just the right size for storing your wallet and keys. And did we mention that the fabric is all machine-washable? I mean, not that our kids ever get dirty or anything...

OXO Tot Air Stroller
$179.99, Amazon

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3. UPPAbaby MINU

We've yet to meet an UPPAbaby we didn't love, and the brand new MINU is no exception. Weighing in at just under 15 pounds, this compact powerhouse of a stroller will take you wherever you need to go without sacrificing on the conveniences you've come to know and love from the brand—a smooth ride, a multi-position reclining seat, an extendable canopy, and an easy access basket.

And the fold? It's truly the stuff of dreams, mama. It's quick, easy, and, most importantly, one-handed. (Really, we tried!) great for on the go due to the built-in strap and carry handle, and It easily converts into a travel system with the use of adapters. It can even accommodate a newborn with the use of the From Birth Kit accessory, making it not only a perfect compact travel stroller, but a great all-around stroller for urban parents who may be tight on space or who need to climb stairs on a daily basis.

UPPAbaby MINU
$399.00, Nordstrom

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4. Summer Infant 3DLite

At well under $100, the 3DLite is the most affordable option on our list—but that doesn't mean you'll need to sacrifice any of the must-have features you want in a compact stroller. This durable stroller weighs in at 13 pounds and features a four-position recline, a roomy storage basket, and a fully adjustable (and removable) canopy with a flip out sun visor. It even has a cup holder perfectly sized to fit your third coffee of the day. ☕☕☕

Although the fold isn't quite as compact as some of the other strollers on our list (it's a vertical fold rather than a horizontal one), it's still easy to carry with the attached shoulder strap and won't take up a ton of room in your trunk.

Summer Infant 3DLite
$79.99, Amazon

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5. Mountain Buggy Nano

The Nano is another one of our absolute favorite full-service, everyday strollers that also boasts the convenience of a compact, easily portable travel option. Weighing 13 pounds, the stroller features a two-button fold that transforms it down to 21" x 12" x 20"—small enough to easily fit in an overhead airplane bin, on a train, or even on the floor of your car's backseat. (It also has a one-handed unfold.) It's easy to maneuver thanks to built-in rear wheel suspension and swivel wheels, and can even be popped over curbs while you're exploring city streets.

If you're looking for a lie-flat option, there's an accessory called the cocoon that easily snaps in (and out), making the stroller newborn-friendly. And speaking of accessories—we love them all! From special edition color packs to a glider board that transforms into a toddler scooter, we 💜 all of the personalized options the Nano offers.

Mountain Buggy Nano
$249.99, Nordstrom

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6. gb Pockit

Curious as to which stroller holds the 2014 Guinness World Record for the world's most compact stroller? Look no further, mamas—it's the Pockit! (Really, it is!) Measuring 11.8" x 7" x 13.8" when folded (translation: that's reaaallly small), this 9.5 pound baby transporting marvel is seriously amazing. We're pretty sure our diaper bag weighs more 🤷🏽♀️

Even though the Pockit is small, it's still mighty—it can hold a child up to 55 pounds, and is sturdy enough for whatever your travel day may have in store for you. There's not a ton of storage, but hey, sacrifices need to be made somewhere in a stroller that fits into a backpack! It does have a reclining seat, car seat adaptability, and can stand on its own when folded.

gb Pockit Lightweight Stroller
$179.95, Amazon

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7. Babyzen Yoyo, Air France Edition

For the ultimate in compact strollers, the Yoyo checks all the boxes as our luxury splurge pick. It boasts the most amenities of all of our choices: a "soft drive" system (enabling you to navigate rough terrain without having to lock the wheels in place), a reclining seat, an extendable leg rest, four-wheel suspension, beautiful fabrics and extra seat padding, custom color packs, a carry strap, and even a rain cover, just to name a few.

Like our other compact picks, it also folds up teeny-tiny via an easy one-handed fold, and it's compatible with many infant car seats, making newborn travel a breeze. It's even certified for airline carry-on luggage, meaning you've got one less thing to worry about when you're taking your little on on the plane. We are obsessing over the chic new Air France edition (Babyzen is a French-owned company), which features a navy blue shade and an airline-inspired print. Because who can't use a touch of French elegance in their everyday mom life?

Babyzen Yoyo, Air France Edition
$524.00, Amazon

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When you become a parent for the first time, there is an undeniably steep learning curve. Add to that the struggle of sorting through fact and fiction when it comes to advice and—whew—it's enough to make you more tired than you already are with that newborn in the house.

Just like those childhood games of telephone when one statement would get twisted by the time it was told a dozen times, there are many parenting misconceptions that still tend to get traction. This is especially true with myths about bottle-feeding—something that the majority of parents will do during their baby's infancy, either exclusively or occasionally.

Here's what you really need to know about bottle-feeding facts versus fiction.

1. Myth: Babies are fine taking any bottle

Not all bottles are created equally. Many parents experience anxiety when it seems their infant rejects all bottles, which is especially nerve wracking if a breastfeeding mom is preparing to return to work. However, it's often a matter of giving the baby some time to warm up to the new feeding method, says Katie Ferraro, a registered dietician, infant feeding specialist and associate professor of nutrition at the University of California San Francisco graduate School of Nursing.

"For mothers returning to work, if you're breastfeeding but trying to transition to bottle[s], try to give yourself a two- to four-week trial window to experiment with bottle feeding," says Ferraro.

2. Myth: You either use breast milk or formula

So often, the question of whether a parent is using formula or breastfeeding is presented exclusively as one or the other. In reality, many babies are combo-fed—meaning they have formula sometimes, breast milk other times.

The advantage with mixed feeding is the babies still get the benefits of breast milk while parents can ensure the overall nutritional and caloric needs are met through formula, says Ferraro.

3. Myth: Cleaning bottles is a lot of work

For parents looking for simplification in their lives (meaning, all of us), cleaning bottles day after day can sound daunting. But, really, it doesn't require much more effort than you are already used to doing with the dishes each night: With bottles that are safe for the top rack of the dishwasher, cleaning them is as easy as letting the machine work for you.

For added confidence in the sanitization, Dr. Brown's offers an incredibly helpful microwavable steam sterilizer that effectively kills all household bacteria on up to four bottles at a time. (Not to mention it can also be used on pacifiers, sippy cups and more.)

4. Myth: Bottle-feeding causes colic

One of the leading theories on what causes colic is indigestion, which can be caused by baby getting air bubbles while bottle feeding. However, Dr. Brown's bottles are the only bottles in the market that are actually clinically proven to reduce colic thanks to an ingenious internal vent system that eliminates negative pressure and air bubbles.

5. Myth: Bottles are all you can use for the first year

By the time your baby is six months old (way to go!), they may be ready to begin using a sippy cup. Explains Ferraro, "Even though they don't need water or additional liquids at this point, it is a feeding milestone that helps promote independent eating and even speech development."

With a complete line of products to see you from newborn feeding to solo sippy cups, Dr. Brown's does its part to make these new transitions less daunting. And, for new parents, that truly is priceless.

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

Toxic masculinity is having a cultural moment. Or rather, the idea that masculinity doesn't have to be toxic is having one.

For parents who are trying to raise kind boys who will grow into compassionate men, the American Psychological Association's recent assertion that "traditional masculinity ideology" is bad for boys' well-being is concerning because our kids are exposed to that ideology every day when they walk out of then house or turn on the TV or the iPad.

That's why a new viral ad campaign from Gillette is so inspiring—it proves society already recognizes the problems the APA pointed out, and change is possible.

We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film) youtu.be

Gillette's new ad campaign references the "Me Too" movement as a narrator explains that "something finally changed, and there will be no going back."

If may seem like something as commercial as a marketing campaign for toiletries can't make a difference in changing the way society pressures influence kids, but it's been more than a decade since Dove first launched its Campaign for Real Beauty, and while the campaign isn't without criticism, it was successful in elevating some of the body-image pressure on girls but ushering in an era of body-positive, inclusive marketing.

Dove's campaign captured a mainstream audience at a time when the APA's "Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women" were warning psychologists about how "unrealistic media images of girls and women" were negatively impacting the self-esteem of the next generation.

Similarly, the Gillette campaign addresses some of the issues the APA raises in its newly released "Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men."

According to the APA, "Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males' psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health."

The report's authors define that ideology as "a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence."

The APA worries that society is rewarding men who adhere to "sexist ideologies designed to maintain male power that also restrict men's ability to function adaptively."

That basically sounds like the recipe for Me Too, which is of course its own cultural movement.

Savvy marketers at Gillette may be trying to harness the power of that movement, but that's not entirely a bad thing. On its website, Gillette states that it created the campaign (called "The Best a Man Can Be," a play on the old Gillette tagline "The Best a Man Can Get") because it "acknowledge that brands, like ours, play a role in influencing culture."

Gillette's not wrong. We know that advertising has a huge impact on our kids. The average kid in America sees anywhere from 13,000 to 30,000 commercials on TV each year, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics, and that's not even counting YouTube ads, the posters at the bus stop and everything else.

That's why Gillette's take makes sense from a marketing perspective and a social one. "As a company that encourages men to be their best, we have a responsibility to make sure we are promoting positive, attainable, inclusive and healthy versions of what it means to be a man," the company states.

What does that mean?

It means taking a stance against homophobia, bullying and sexual harassment and that harmful, catch-all-phrase that gives too many young men a pass to engage in behavior that hurts others and themselves: "Boys will be boys."

Gillette states that "by holding each other accountable, eliminating excuses for bad behavior, and supporting a new generation working toward their personal 'best,' we can help create positive change that will matter for years to come."

Of course, it's not enough for razor marketers to do this. Boys need support from parents, teachers, coaches and peers to be resilient to the pressures of toxic masculinity.

When this happens, when boys are taught that strength doesn't mean overpowering others and that they can be successful while still being compassionate, the APA says we will "reduce the high rates of problems boys and men face and act out in their lives such as aggression, violence, substance abuse, and suicide."

This is a conversation worth having and 2019 is the year to do it.

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Teaching a young child good behavior seems like it should be easy and intuitive when, in reality, it can be a major challenge. When put to the test, it's not as easy as you might think to dole out effective discipline, especially if you have a strong-willed child.

As young children develop independence and learn more about themselves in relation to others and their environment, they can easily grow frustrated when they don't always know how to communicate their feelings or how to think and act rationally.

It's crucial that parents recognize these limitations and also set up rules to protect your child and those they encounter. These rules, including a parent's or caregiver's follow-up actions, allow your child to learn and develop a better understanding of what is (and what is not) appropriate behavior.

Here are a few key ways to correct negative behavior in an efficient way:

1. Use positive reinforcement.

Whenever possible, look to deliver specific and positive praise when a child engages in good behavior or if you catch them in an act of kindness. Always focus on the positive things they are doing so that they are more apt to recreate those behaviors. This will help them start to learn the difference between good and poor behavior.

2. Be simple and direct.

Though this seems like a no-brainer, focus your child using constructive feedback versus what not to do or where they went wrong. Give reasons and explanations for rules, as best as you can for their age group.

For example, if you're teaching them to be gentle with your pet, demonstrate the correct motions and tell your child, "We're gentle when we pet the cat like this so that we don't hurt them," versus, "Don't pull on her tail!"

3. Re-think the "time out."

Many classrooms are starting to have cozy nooks where children are encouraged to have alone time when they may feel out of control. In lieu of punishment, sending a child to a "feel-good" area removes them from a situation that's causing distress. This provides much-needed comfort and allows for the problem-solving process to start on its own.

4. Use 'no' sparingly.

When a word is repeated over and over, it begins to lose meaning. There are better ways to discipline your child than saying "no." Think about replaying the message in a different way to increase the chances of your child taking note. Rather than shouting, "No, stop that!" when your toddler is flinging food at dinnertime, it's more productive to use encouraging words that prompt better behavior, such as, "Food is for eating, what are we supposed to do when we're sitting at the dinner table?" This encourages them to consider their behavior.

The above methods help create teachable moments by providing opportunities for development while making sure the child feels safe and cared for. It is important to mirror these discipline techniques at home and communicate often with your child care providers so that you're always on the same page.

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To the mamas awake in the middle of the night,

If you are one of the many moms with a little darling who doesn't sleep through the night, I feel your pain. I really do.

Having been blessed with two wonderful sleepers (aka my first and second babies), my third baby has been a shock to my system. He hasn't slept through the night since he was born and he's now 16 months. I do everything "right." I put him down sleepy but awake so he can settle himself to sleep. I keep the room dark and quiet.

But one simple fact remains: When my son wakes up in the night, he wants me. And he'll scream the house down if he doesn't get me.

Last night my 1-year-old woke at 3:30 am. He was stirring a bit at first, then started to really let it rip, so I got him up out of his crib and brought him into bed with me. We cuddled for a while. Then suddenly, he wanted to get off the bed and I said no. Then he started to scream and throw himself around on the bed before eventually being sick everywhere.

It was now 4:30 am. I dutifully changed the sheets, changed my son, changed myself, and then we climbed back into bed, the smell of vomit still lingering.

I tried to put him back in his crib around 5 am but he woke right up. I brought him back into bed with me, but quickly realized this wasn't what he wanted either. He was thrashing around again, trying to figure out a way off of the bed.

Finally, close to 6 am he decided he wanted to go to sleep. After about 10 minutes of watching him sleep, I felt brave enough to try to put him back in his room. I gently lifted him up, placed him in his crib and quietly crept back into my bed.

This left me with just enough time to fall back into a deep sleep, which meant I felt exhausted when my alarm went off just after 7 am.

Sadly, last night wasn't a one-off. This is a fairly frequent occurrence for me (although dealing with vomit is luckily quite rare!). Which means that when I say I understand what it's like to have a baby who doesn't sleep, I really mean it.

So here's what I want you to know, mama.

If you are awake in the night because your baby needs you then you are not alone. Despite what you might read, it's common for babies to wake up through the night. So if you're sitting in bed feeling like you're the only mother in the world awake, trust me, you're far from it.

There are mamas like us all over the world. Sitting there in the dark. Cuddling babies or soothing them to sleep again. Some, like me, might be changing sheets or abandoning any hope of getting sleep that night at all. Others might be up and down like a yo-yo every few hours. The rest might just be up once and then will be able to go back to sleep.

There will, however, also be mamas who are sound asleep. Mamas who have older children who no longer wake in the night. And they would want you to know that it will be okay. It won't be forever. One day, you'll realize that your baby no longer needs or wants you in the night.

And while you'll be so glad for your sleep you'll probably also be a little sad that there are no more night time cuddles.

It's hard to cope with a baby who doesn't sleep well at night. Really hard sometimes. You may feel like you can't deal with it anymore or you may be wishing that this phase would just stop already so you can get some rest.

Exhaustion often means that you struggle to get through the day. It can mean that you find it hard to drag yourself out of bed. Or if you're anything like me, you might be irritable and snap at the people you love. Or maybe it means relying on caffeine, sugar and Netflix to get you and your kiddos through the day.

But here's the amazing thing about mothers—no matter what has gone down during the night, we get up as usual. We go about our day just like everyone else. We care for and love our children, without giving them a hard time for disrupting our sleep. We don't moan, we don't complain. We just get on with it.

And when night comes, we go to bed knowing that there's every chance we'll be awake in the middle of the night again...

We get up without fail when our babies need us and we do what we need to do for them. Because we are the nighttime warriors. We are mamas.

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No one decides to be a stay-at-home mom for the paycheck—but if we were to earn one, it would put us in league with some CEOs. Although it doesn't do much for the bank account, a survey that calculated what the average salary would be for a stay-at-home mom is mighty validating. (Remember this next time anyone asks what you do all day.)

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