Menu

These surprising products help me sleep like a baby 😴

I don't know if you've heard but pandemic insomnia is real—and it's making some moms very tired. Me. I'm some moms.

pandemic insomnia solutions

I don't know if you've heard but pandemic insomnia is real—and it's making some moms very tired. Me. I'm some moms. Add that to my already natural tendency for anxiety to well up in the darkest of late-night hours, and, well, you used to catch me yawning at noon and begging for a nap by 4 pm.

Notice how I said used to?


I was determined to find something to help me sleep better because I have a 4-year-old who likes to eat three meals a day and a million snacks (how dare he), a demanding work schedule, mountains of laundry, and oh yeah, a pandemic going on that requires my full attention and energy. I cannot afford to lose any sleep right now. (Can a mom ever?)

So, I set out to find some products to help improve the quality of sleep I'm getting and make the most of every single one of those zzz's. Here's the best of what I found.

Popmask starry eyes sleep mask

Popmask starry eyes

When I found these self-warming masks, I was super excited. Made from non-woven cotton and are self-heating, they provide this amazingly comforting warmth right over your tired eyes and they induce relaxation like I've never experienced before. Bonus: They also help get rid of headaches.

I have to admit, I was skeptical about the self-warming properties at first. I didn't want to put chemicals over my eyes and I was actually wondering if it would get too hot. Well, I was reassured when the package gave details on what creates the warmth in the mask—only naturally occurring ingredients. It starts to warm up and will stay warm for about 20 minutes. Just enough to help you melt away your day and then fall asleep into a deep night's rest.

$20

Sunday Citizen snug comforter

Sunday Citizen snug comforter

Our commerce editor has been raving about this uniquely cozy comforter for weeks now. She says, "I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by 'curators of soft, seekers of chill' who 'believe in comfort over everything,' it's safe to say I've been converted. My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice."

$249

HappyLight® Lumi light therapy lamp

HappyLight\u00ae Lumi Light Therapy Lamp

Spending hours parked in front of the blue light from my phone and laptop definitely has an effect on my ability to properly regulate my sleep patterns. At night, I'm often exhausted but find it difficult to actually fall asleep. Enter: non-UV light therapy. Sitting in front of this portable lamp for 20-30 minutes provides a dose of light that is supposed to trigger biochemical changes in your brain, regulating the production of melatonin while boosting serotonin. The result? A sleep cycle reset and better rhythms all around. After all, the laptop isn't going anywhere any time soon.

$50

Slumber app

Slumber app

Imagine the most soothing storyteller and all of nature tucked gently under your pillow lulling you to sleep. This awesome app is all that and more. It has an extensive library of stories, meditations and soundscapes which can all be customized to dial background sounds up and down. It even has stories for kiddos that can help make bedtime routines a little more enjoyable for everyone. The free version gives enough options to realize it's well worth the few dollars a month to unlock more.

$5.99

This Works deep sleep pillow spray

This works deep sleep pillow spray

Made from a power trio blend of lavender, camomile and vetivert, this pillow spray is some sort of sorcery in a bottle. I'm not sure if it's a placebo effect or I've conditioned myself to this awesome scent=stop fretting and go to sleep, but I'll take it. Just spritz over your pillow and give yourself license to get off the worry express for 6-8 hours.

$29

Hatch Restore

hatch restore

Hatch is known for their baby sleep products so when they launched Restore for adults, I was intrigued. It's part bedside alarm clock, part sound machine, part smart light—and it's genius and all controlled via an app. You can customize the lights and sounds to wind down (and wake up) easier. My fave part? The reading lamp setting that involves no blue light.

$129.99

Altwell gummies

altwell cbd gummies

Our managing editor swears by CBD for restless nights and recommended these gummies to do the trick. The CBD and melatonin blend helps you gently calm down from even the most hectic days, and the tropical flavor is actually delicious. It comes in child-resistant packaging, too to be extra safe. (You should always consult your doctor before consuming CBD products, especially if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.)

$54.99

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

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

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

Shop

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week? All things maternity fashion, mama.

Stowaway Collection Maternity: Modern maternity wear that shows off your bump.

Finding clothes that still make you feel like yourself isn't always easy. With their premium fabrics and universally flattering cuts, we can't get enough of the maternity wardrobe essentials from Stowaway Collection maternity. Even better? Everything from the mama/daughter duo owned brand is sewn in Long Island City, NY and they source USA-made fabric whenever possible.

Superkin: High tech, low maintenance clothing designed for mamas.

Superkin's line of focused essentials (launched by two retail execs, Miriam Williams and Tara Henning, who worked for world-class brands like Louis Vuitton, Walmart, J.Crew and Narvar) are meticulously designed with the needs of mamas in mind. Made from luxurious, wear tested fabrics and featuring thoughtful design details, they've created a line of clothing women actually want to wear. Each piece is a welcome addition to a solid maternity capsule wardrobe, making them a worthy investment from the first trimester.

Tellus Mater: Sophisticated, luxury maternity wear with a minimalist aesthetic.

Founded by a former ELLE and Marie Claire beauty editor, Tellus Mater offers high-end, sophisticated maternity looks. Designed for mamas who are looking beyond the standard ruched dresses and oversize T-shirts, the considered line features classic white blouses, tailored trousers and fitted turtlenecks with a minimalist aesthetic. Their classic feel can easily carry mamas from meetings to business dinners all in one day.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Do you need a family emergency kit? (Hint: Yes, you totally do)

It only takes a few minutes to be better prepared for emergencies.

Right now is understandably a time for concern, but the same message applies: Prepare, don't panic. We parents have a responsibility to care and provide for our children, ensuring their well-being before and after any disruptive event, whether it's a natural disaster or an outbreak that forces temporary shutdowns and closures in our community. When it comes to emergency preparation, I always tell parents one thing: You want to have a plan just in case the worst really does happen.

As a mom of three young kids with a firefighter husband, I'm constantly anticipating potential problems—and thinking ahead about how to cope. Thinking ahead and planning has saved me many nights of pacing the floor, and has made me feel more confident as a parent.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play