SNL to diaper bags: Newlie’s Leslie Newton on what makes motherhood hilarious—and inspiring

There are many hilarious moments being a mother—but they may be more hilarious in retrospect.

SNL to diaper bags: Newlie’s Leslie Newton on what makes motherhood hilarious—and inspiring

Leslie Newton has had an amazing career—from writing sketch comedy for Saturday Night Live to launching Newlie, a versatile diaper bag line for modern mamas. Through it all, Newton says, she’s seen herself as a creator—bringing joy to people’s lives through comedy, and the creative design process.

We caught up with her to chat about Newlie, her new diaper bag line, as part of our #MotherlyMakers series, highlighting the women remaking our world.

What’s hilarious to you about motherhood?

Oh there are many hilarious moments being a mother but they may be more hilarious in retrospect then when they are actually happening.

I mean being covered in poop, spit up, pee, breast milk and just not caring because you don’t have the time or energy to care is pretty hilarious. Being so sleep deprived you catch yourself doing things like putting the cereal box in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard (yes I’ve done both) is pretty hilarious.


As your children get older and you try to “reason” with them on why they shouldn’t eat the dog’s food, or why at bedtime they can’t sleep under the dining room table next to a suitcase they packed filled with socks can be insanely frustrating in the moment but pretty hilarious later on.

A photo posted by @newlieco on

What does a diaper bag represent in the life of the modern woman—and how have you built that into your product?

Well as a new mom, you no longer have the luxury to focus on things like what shoes to wear, or what great outfit you’re going to put on.

Your body’s different, you’re sleep deprived and your life’s just been turned upside down.

Your diaper bag becomes your main accessory and so I thought why not create one that looks cool and stylish, but is also really functional?

A t least this gives moms a little sense of style while navigating through the crazy first months and years as a mom.

A photo posted by @newlieco on

A photo posted by @newlieco on

Can you give us a little glimpse into a day-in-the-life of a entrepreneurial designer, owner, and creative director, not to mention mama?

At 6: 30 am. . .

A little voice wakes me up, “Mama will you get up now?” It’s my daughter Lily.

At 7:45 am. . .

Finished morning routine of getting Lily ready for school. After driving her to school I work out, then start answering emails and getting to work.

At 10:00 am. . .

Work work work.

At 1:00 pm. . .

Lunch, more work, do any girl scout meeting prep I need to do. (I’m a co-leaer of Lily’s Daisy Troop.)

At 3:00 pm. . .

Pick Lily up from school and take her to her various things: soccer, gymnastics, playdates or just home.

At 5:00 pm. . .

Make dinner, make sure Lily gets her homework done, family time, eventually get Lily ready for bed.

At 9:00 pm. . .

After Lily is asleep, either finish any remaining work or hang out with my husband.

Your business is all about making mothers’ lives better. If you could say just one thing to a new mama, what would it be?

A photo posted by @newlieco on

Hang in there and enjoy every moment. When things get hard, remember our children stay little for such a short, fleeting time, so just cherish every moment.

What’s your secret to integrating work and life? We’re talking to onelittlething that if you just get that right, helps the rest of your life to hum along. Can you share?

Well having a general outline of what I need to do for the day and when I’l do it. It never goes exactly as planned but it helps to have an overall idea of how much I can realistically get done that day.

What does “Motherly” mean to you?

Loving, warm, supportive, strong, wise.

When it comes to registering for baby products, there's one word we love: convertible.

In contrast to items you use for a short period of time, convertible (or multi-use) products are made to grow with your baby… and trust us, that makes them worth their weight in gold.

Convertible items allow you to reap the benefits of your baby registry for years to come—and that's just savvy shopping, mama. Also savvy shopping? Creating your baby registry with Target and enjoying their Year of Benefits registry program for expectant parents. Just by starting your registry, you will get a welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. And Target's newest registry perk, the Year of Exclusive Deals, gives you discounts on essentials for your baby's whole first year when you sign up for Target Circle as well.

If you prioritize value and longevity when creating your registry, here are 10 items you'll love from day one through day 1,000… and beyond!

A crib that can grow through childhood + beyond

Simmons Kids Slumbertime Monterey 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

A crib is a necessity as you plan for life with your baby—you know that already. But what about in a couple of years when they need a toddler bed? Or a few years beyond that when they graduate to a bigger bed? Well, you're in luck: With the right attachments, this bed can be the only one they need until college.


A cozy blanket for snuggles + security

Plush Velboa Baby Blanket I Love You - Cloud Island\u2122 White/Black

Blankets have earned their spot on millions upon millions of registries for good reason: They function as stroller covers or play mats during the early days, then become beloved security items in the toddler years.


A comfy spot for feeding + stories

Baby Relax Addison Swivel Gliding Recliner

During your first months of motherhood, a comfortable gliding chair will be your second home as you spend time feeding and bonding. As your child grows (and mobility makes those snuggles harder to catch), you'll discover a new love for this cozy spot for stories and bedtime snuggles.


Sealy Cozy Rest Extra Firm Crib and Toddler Mattress

Fun fact: A standard crib and toddler bed actually use the same size mattress. That's why it's smart to get a quality crib mattress right out of the gate: One less thing to change up in a few years!


A changing table that doubles as a dresser

Simmons\u00ae Kids Monterey 4 Drawer Dresser with change top

If space is at a premium in your baby's nursery, look for a combination changing table and dresser. That way, you can keep using the dresser long after your little one is potty trained.


A car seat that converts to a booster

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The safest place for your child is in the backseat of your car, in either a car seat or (later) booster. But instead of buying a new seat for each phase, you can check off multiple boxes at once by adding a convertible car seat to your registry.


A stroller that accommodates big kids, too

Graco FastAction Jogger LX Stroller

The need for a good stroller doesn't end when your little one learns to walk, so look for a stroller that can accommodate bigger kids, too. We recommend a jogging stroller that allows you to attach an infant car seat and is still perfectly spacious for toddlers.


A place to dine for years to come

Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

From first bites to family dinners around the table, one single high chair can be the solution you need. That is, if you look for a version that adapts into a booster seat when your child is ready for a plate at the table.


A white noise machine + alarm clock in one

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

After spending months listening to ambient noise in the womb, white noise remains incredibly comforting for your child. It's nice to have a sound machine that can transition to a time-to-rise clock down the line. By cueing with sounds and colors, these clocks reinforce healthy sleep habits.


A baby carrier that can haul a toddler, too

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

A carrier is a major help when your baby loves being held, but you need use of your hands. But even months or years down the line, you can still get use out of that carrier. To maximize longevity, look for one that can be used with your child facing outward or even carried on your back as they grow.


Enjoy building your registry with Target, mama! The Year of Benefits is calling your name with a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more! 😉

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

Keep reading Show less
Work + Money