Get tips from the trenches with this information-packed blog from the authors of The Rookie Mom’s Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know, Heather Flett and Whitney Moss.

Going Somwhere? Vacation Rental Tips for Family Getaways

Vacation Rental Tips

Parents often joke that when you travel with children, it’s not a “vacation”, but rather a “trip”. Point taken. Vacation implies a break from our everyday responsibilities and with a baby or two in tow, there’s really no break from feeding, cleaning, and organizing gear. Blargh.

I loathe going to the grocery store when we are on vacation, but despite the domestic responsibilities that come along with a vacation house rental, the benefits of a house or condo over a hotel often win out. Here’s why so many grown-ups favor rental homes once kids are on the scene:
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Beat the Heat! Keep Cool with These Summer Baby Essentials

Keeping Cool in the Summer with Your Baby

Carrying a baby around in the summer can be a sweaty proposition. (Just thinking about it makes me a little warm behind the knees.) From lightweight, breezy carriers to fun and sun-safe swimwear, here are a few must-haves to keep your baby comfy and cool all summer long.

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Fun First Foods for Babies: Summer Edition

First Food Recipes for Babies

Whether you want to feed your baby smooth purees or give your toddler a big hunk of fruit to gnaw on, summer is a good time to explore new foods together.

Peel off that outfit and let’s get started. (Need a bib? Here you go.)

Below are 7 delicious “meals” to try out on your little one.
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Last-Minute Father’s Day Ideas for Baby-Brained Mamas

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Before you panic about being unprepared for Father’s Day this Sunday, I want to remind you that you probably already have everything you need to celebrate. (Yes, really.) Think about it: you could brew some coffee, change all of today’s diapers, and whip up a real present, all in a few minutes.

Here are some other last-minute ideas every baby-brained mama should take advantage of.

You could print these DIY labels and make even the simplest gift look lovely before he comes down for his morning coffee. Things you can buy in 30 minutes or less: Your husband’s favorite candy or snack food (already in your house or right at the corner store); new barbecue tools; or coffee beans. (See how I’m just grasping at whatever I know he’ll like?) Even if it’s nothing fancy, labels dress it up just enough to qualify as a gift. And when it’s hand-delivered by a super-cute kiddo? Well, that makes it even better.
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4 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities That Are Right in Your Town

4 Budget-Friendly Summer Activities That Are Right in Your Town

By the time your baby sits up, you’re probably aware of the myriad enrichment classes available to you: Music Together, Gymboree, Baby Massage, Le Petite Baleen, and more. I am a fan of all of them and have not one bad word to say about them.

Okay, maybe one bad word: Expensive.

While I do encourage you to try out a bunch of classes, because you never know where you might meet your new best mommy friend, I want to also make sure you know about these amazing, local, tax-payer-funded goodies for families with young children. Put them on a bucket list of things to do before your little one’s first birthday. More »

Maternity Leave Outings with Baby That Are Fun for You, Too

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When I have a long stretch of unstructured time, I just about lose my mind. My first maternity leave was like that, but compounded with hormones, a little one, and a lot of self-doubt. To find my new normal, I made tiny goals to leave the house every day.

I like to have goals and a to-do list, even if it’s someone else’s list. Maternity leave–whether for six weeks or six years–is a tremendous bonding opportunity with a new baby (plus, it can be a fun time off from work, too!). My best tip for maximizing your own enjoyment with this beautiful gift of time is to set your to-do list aside and create a new set of goals.
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3 Things on My Mother’s Day Wish List (That I’m Still Waiting For)

Mother's Day Reflections

My very first Mother’s Day I was not yet a mom. I was practically bursting with my nine-months-pregnant swollen belly and matching ankles; but I didn’t have a child.

My husband, Alec, and I had walked to a neighborhood cafe for a celebratory dinner. I was in flip-flops, because that’s about all I could wear on my marshmallow feet. Uncharacteristically for the Bay Area, it started torrentially pouring rain during dinner. I remember these silly details because the restaurant manager, a woman named Sarah, offered to drive us home the few blocks. Alec and I were still engaged in some rather heated baby-naming discussions and I figured that we could name our future surprise-baby Sarah rather than Sara, based on her kindness.

Three sons and nine Mother’s Days later… and things look rather different for me.

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5 Super-Fun Backyard Ideas for Kids (That You’ll Love, Too)

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Yay for spring and summer, where we can all run free in our own backyards with bare toes wiggling. (And BOO for nasty bee stings, splinters, and mommies yelling, “No! Don’t touch that!”)

Long have I had the fantasy of a perfect child-friendly backyard playscape… but the problem with such epic daydreams is that children have a way of growing up before they can actually come true. So today, I would like to share with you five fun and fabulous inspirations for making your backyard toddler-tastic TODAY (or, at least, this weekend!):

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Making Bathtime with Baby a Breeze

Making Bathtime for Baby a Breeze

A freshly bathed baby in snuggly pajamas is one of the best things in life, so it’s smart to keep your eyes on that prize when you embark on giving your baby a bath. Yes, it can be intimidating—but don’t stress!

The good news is, young babies can be bathed right in the kitchen sink or in an infant tub on the kitchen counter. I’d do that as long as possible, because the leaning, kneeling, and squatting required to bath an infant in a real bathtub is painful. (Try this one from Puj—it lays flat when not in use, and can be hung right on the back of your bathroom door.)
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Quick Tips for Prepping for Baby #2

Getting ready for baby #2

I’ve heard that two children is more than twice as hard, and I’ve heard that nothing is as difficult as the transition to first-time motherhood. (After that, you’re already a mom—you’re used to the shift in social life, work, and lack of rest that parenting brings.) Where do I stand on all this? Somewhere in the middle. In my experience, that second child intensifies the job of Mom, that’s for sure. But as for making it more than twice as hard? Eh, I don’t think so.

If you’re gearing up for Baby #2, here are some quick tips to help prep the entire family.
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