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3 super helpful apps every new mother needs

When you’re sleep deprived and stressed, these apps make life a little bit easier. 

3 super helpful apps every new mother needs

New motherhood is hard. These apps seriously help:


A contraction app

Contraction apps make it super easy to see how far apart your contractions are, and to chart their frequency and intensity.

Tracking contractions will help you distinguish true labor from ‘false’ labor, and at the very least—are something to do while you’re waiting for labor to start.

Bonus feature: When it really is go time, you have an archived memory of exactly when and how your baby came into the world!

BabyConnect

BabyConnect is a favorite of Motherly’s mamas for its skills tracking nursing sessions (and breast sides), bottles fed, sleep cycles, diaper output, weigh ins—basically, for its magical ability to keep us sane.

It can also sync with a partner or caregiver’s phone or iPad to allow everyone in the family to stay on the same page about which boob fed baby that day.

Plug in each time you feed back or change his diaper (and provide exciting details about the diaper’s contents!) to keep track of the millionth diaper change that day.

When you’re sleep deprived and stressed, it’s amazingly reassuring to have the details of your baby’s life stored inside the app. Seriously, we ❤️ you BabyConnect.

An entertainment app of choice


Staring into your little one’s eyes while breastfeeding her is an amazing experience—and important way to bond, but you may want to give yourself an occasional mental break from the marathon of feeding baby, too.

Whatever your vice (or virtue!) you’ll need a little bit of help staying entertained (and conscious!) during those early long feeding sessions.

Love celebrity gossip? (Us, too!) Download the People Magazine CelebWatch app for all the Kardashian news your little heart you can handle.

News junkie? (Join the club!) NYT Now is a free news app from The New York Times that gives you breaking news headlines and tons of updates throughout the day to keep you in-the-know.

DIY-er? (Go, girl!) Brit + Co’s app is chock full of fun crafting articles, inspiring tutorials and all the pie crust tips you ever wanted to read.

Addicted to social? (Obvi.) Between Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, well our fingers are just getting tired with all the liking and snapping swiping we’re thinking about doing. (And check out #TeamMotherly on Insta for candid moments of motherhood from our amazing community—share yours.)

Share with Motherly: What are your lifesaving (and sanity-saving) apps for new motherhood?

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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Our Partners

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?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

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

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The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

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Life