Reader favorites: Top baby + mama products YOU loved in 2017

Mamas, it must be said—you’ve got excellent taste.

We dug into the data, crunched the numbers, and scoured our site for the most popular baby + mama products that you, our readers (and our absolute favorite mamas!), loved in 2017. From Montessori to minimalism and bath toys to books, here’s our roundup of what you couldn’t get enough of this year.


1. DockATot

A post shared by DockATot (@dockatot) on

By far your favorite baby product of 2017, the DockATot snags our top spot for the best—and coziest!—spot for baby to lounge and play.

DockATot; $175.00-$300.00, Nordstrom


2. Babymel Robyn Convertible Diaper Backpack

Diaper bags that converted into backpacks were the name of the game this year, and this super stylish—and super functional—pick took the top spot.

Babymel Robyn Convertible Diaper Backpack; $85.00, Nordstrom


3. Feltman + Co. Wooden + Silicone Teething Ring

We ? these handcrafted wood + silicone teethers, and so did you! They’re perfect for grasping, teething, and rattling.

Feltman + Co. Wooden + Silicone Teething Ring; $15.99, Etsy



4. Spots and Dots (Art Baby)

This simple black and white board book for the youngest of readers is at the top of the Motherly bestseller list for 2017!

Spots and Dots (Art Baby); $6.95, Amazon


5. Littles: And How They Grow

We loved gifting this sweet rhyming board book this year, and it looks like you did, too.

Littles: And How They Grow; $14.07, Amazon


6. Life

Life begins small, then grows... This beautiful ode to the ups and downs of life tugs at our heart with every reading, and we’re so happy that you’ve fallen in love with it as well.

Life; $11.98, Amazon



7. Mamuma Bird Montessori baby puzzle

Montessori topped the list this year as one of your absolute faves in 2017, especially any Montessori-inspired toy. This simple, beautiful puzzle is a must-have.

Mamuma Bird Montessori baby puzzle; $20.00, Etsy


8. Infantino Textured Ball Set

Another Montessori-inspired favorite, these easy-to-grab textured balls are ideal for little hands.

Infantino Textured Ball Set; $7.88, Amazon


9. Legacy Learning Montessori Ball and Pot Sorting Game

This learning toy has so many uses, it’s not surprising it rose to the top of the list. It’s perfect for teaching colors, building fine motor skills, sparking imaginative play, and more.

Montessori Ball and Pot Sorting Game; $20.99, Etsy


10. Boon Building Bath Pipes Set

This year’s most popular bath toy goes to these bright, colorful bath pipes from Boon. They stick to the wall and can be used individually or built into lots of unique shapes.

Boon Building Bath Pipes Set; $14.99, Amazon


11. Haba Shakin’ Eggs

Shake it up with these awesome wooden eggs! They’re eggs-actly right for baby’s first acoustic adventure ?

Haba Shakin’ Eggs; $19.99, Amazon



12. Hanna Andersson matching family pajamas

Mamas, few things made us happier than seeing this on our best-of list. Yay for matching family PJs!

Hanna Andersson matching family pajamas; prices vary, Hanna Andersson


13. Minnetonka Cassie Slipper

The coziest kids’ slipper around, your little ones will be warm and comfy all winter long!

Minnetonka Cassie Slipper; $33.95, Nordstrom


14. Patagonia Baby Down Sweater Jacket

Your fave jacket of the year, for good reason—this classic down jacket is ultra warm, not too bulky, and wears so well you’ll be passing it down for years from sibling to sibling.

Patagonia Baby Down Sweater Jacket; $99.00, Nordstrom


15. Little Sapling Toys Personalized Step Stool

This handmade, heirloom quality wooden step stool is a favorite gift—either for your own kiddos, or for someone else’s!

Little Sapling Toys Personalized Step Stool; $74.00, Etsy


16. Land of Nod Inch on Up Growth Chart

You don’t want to miss a moment, and this growth chart is the perfect place to forever mark those precious inches.

Inch on Up Growth Chart; $59.00, Land of Nod


17. Land of Nod Pint Sized Table and Chairs

Pull up a chair to our most popular toddler table of the year. Tiny in size, but big on style!

Pint Sized Table and Chairs; Land of Nod, $198.00



18. Instant Pot

This multi-use (emphasis on the multi) pressure cooker saves on time, money, and space—so it’s easy to see why it’s at the top of the list.

Instant Pot; prices vary, Amazon


19. 23 and Me DNA Test Kit

Mamas curious about their ancestry and health helped drive this at-home DNA testing kit up our favorites list this year.

23 and Me DNA Test Kit; $149.00, Amazon


20. Ingrid & Isabel for Target Seamless Maternity Leggings

And last but not least, who can imagine a favorites list without some amazing leggings? These seamless maternity leggings rose to the top for their great fit throughout and after pregnancy.

Maternity Seamless Belly Leggings by Ingrid & Isabel; $19.99, Target


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.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

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.

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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


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


Talking to kids can come so easily. They have thoughts about everything and stories for miles. They see the world in a completely different light, and could ask enough questions to fill an afternoon.

But sometimes finding the right words for talking to kids can be really, really challenging. When choosing how to respond to the marker on the wall, or the seemingly unending why-can't-I battle, or in simply keeping healthy communication open with kids who don't want to talk, the words don't seem to come so easily.

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