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Getting your little one to sleep like a baby can be a lot easier said than done. Huggies has compiled articles, advice and answers on how to get both you and your newborn snoozing soundly.


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Taming teething pain

The first tooth is a huge, super-exciting milestone — for mom and dad. But for baby, it’s not exactly fun. Even tiny teeth cutting through her gums can hurt, so it’s no wonder she may be cranky (and maybe scream a little).

Keep her entertained

Get your little one's mind off the pain. Take her somewhere new — like the zoo or a music class. Read her a great colorful baby board book, or just head out for some exploring at the park.

Make sure she's getting enough rest

A baby who is in pain will only be more upset if she's not sleeping well. If she can't sleep well due to pain, it might be time to try some medical treatments.

Medicinal treatments

Before attempting to give your baby medicine (natural or conventional), talk to your baby's pediatrician about your options, which will usually include things like:

  • Homeopathic teething tablets: Note that most contain small amounts of sugar, so wiping your baby's gums is important.
  • Baby Advil, MOTRIN or TYLENOL: This may be the best way to help your baby get some rest if teething pain is keeping her up. Save this sort of medicine for when the pain is halting your baby's regular activity because you never want to give too much over-the-counter medicine to your baby. (Always check with your healthcare provider before giving any medicines.)
  • Teething gel: I tried something like Baby Orajel with my son when he was teething, and it didn't seem to help, but your baby could be a different story. Keep in mind that teething gels cause lots of extra drooling, so be prepared with a cloth or your baby's chin may become irritated from excessive wetness.

Never rub your baby's gums with alcohol. This is an old-time remedy, it's true, but back when this was common, we had no idea how bad alcohol was. Alcohol in any form is never safe for your baby.

baby in the bathtub

Different Ways to Bond with Your Baby

Bonding time with your baby isn’t just a beautiful way to experience love with your little one, it’s an important part of your child’s growth and development. “Did you know that lack of proper bonding during even part of a babies development can cause a lifelong battle of bonding with others in an intimate manner?” says Dr. Michele Paiva, a licensed psychotherapist.

“Focus on all activities with your baby as not only tasks such as bath time or sleep time, but opportunities of emotional and mental growth,” says Paiva.

So, “put the phone down, turn off the TV and have intentional time with your baby,” encourages Paiva. Not sure how to get started? Try the following tips for creating special bonding moments for you and your baby.

Make mealtime special

“Bonding and attachment occurs with newborns primary during feeding,” says Dr. Fran Walfish, family relationship psychotherapist and author of “The Self-Aware Parent.”

“Most often it's the mother who feeds by breast or bottle. During feeding, the eye-to-eye sustained, warm, adoring gaze builds attachment between mommy and baby,” adds Walfish.

Read to baby

“When parents talk, read and sing with their babies and toddlers, connections are formed in their young brains. These connections build language, literacy and social-emotional skills at an important time in a young child’s development. These activities strengthen the bond between parent and child,” advises the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Reading to your little one also provides a welcome opportunity to cuddle and be close to one another.

Create bath-time rituals

Tub time is a great time for you to bond with baby. The warmth of a comfortable bath not only relaxes your baby, it gives you an opportunity to talk and practice eye contact with your little one (the latter of which is a skill that will help your child throughout his or her life). “Babies who are given opportunities for safe eye contact — meaning, trusted and loving eye contact — are more apt to be able to carry this habit into their later years and it can relay into confidence and forming healthy friendships and partnerships,” says Paiva.

Diaper-time chats

Diaper time is also another opportunity to actively engage with and communicate with your baby. Make diaper time special by maintaining eye contact with your baby. “Take time to create opportunities for eye contact that is about a foot or so from the newborns eyes … look at them, acknowledge them with a loving tone and expression, and continue to engage,” says Paiva.

Also, use this time to talk with your little one. “It doesn't have to be anything special or magical, you can just narrate what you are doing,” says Paiva.

Massage your baby

We all know how important gentle touch is for not just babies — but all of us. Holding hands, a hug — and massage — all feel good, no matter the age of the giver or receiver. “Loving touch teaches your baby that love is healthy, not harmful,” says Paiva. During massage, both you and baby experience a rise in the hormone oxtocin, the “cuddle chemical.” According to Paiva, this is incredibly powerful and allows trust to develop between parent and child — “and allows the baby to grow and develop into a person who is able to trust.”

Go for a walk

Baby needs a change of scenery, too. Put your child in a stroller and be sure to get outside as often as you can. Venturing outdoors with your little one provides a shared experience for you both. Talk with your baby as you walk and point out plants, people, cars and more. Take breaks to kneel next to baby, make eye contact and connect with her during the course of your walk.

Bedtime cuddling

Prior to naptime and bedtime, be sure to take a few minutes with your baby to cuddle close and wind down before tucking your child into bed. Use this time to sing or read to baby, and enjoy this wonderful opportunity to simply hold your child.


toddler in costume with stuffed bears

Mommy and Baby Halloween Costume Ideas

Dressing up your baby is always fun. But, Halloween presents an extra special opportunity to turn Mommy and Baby time in to something extraordinary when you create complementary costumes that will make you the hit of the trick or treating scene.  Here are some whimsical ideas for crafting Halloween costumes with Mommy/Baby themes.

Using a baby carrier is a simple way to attach baby to your body for easy carrying, while trick or treating or attending a Halloween party. 

A baby carrier provides a snuggly way to create a double costume, just remember to make sure that there are no easily detached parts on any costume that a baby can choke on, and when trick or treating be sure to keep your baby away from candy-filled bowls or bags.

Some imaginative ways to use the mommy, baby carrier combination include:

  • Mom dressed as a spider web/Baby dressed as a spider. Dress in all black and drape fake cobweb material found in craft stores around your body. Put a little black hat on your baby, and firmly attach eight pipe cleaner legs to the baby carrier to create your baby spider, making sure to place the legs out of baby's reach.
  • Mom dressed as a tree/Baby dressed as a monkey. Dress in brown leggings or pants and a brown sweatshirt and sew fake foliage and vines onto your top. You can use a store bought monkey costume for your baby and place baby in the carrier so he looks like he’s climbing up the tree.
  • There are some classic storybook characters that are super cute duos and are easily put together with some craft supplies and a little imagination.

Classic storybook Characters include:

  • Little Bo Beep and her sheep:
    Throw together a prairie costume for yourself with a long skirt, sun bonnet and a basket, and buy or create a sheep costume for your little one with a onesie or footed pajamas and a fleecy blanket or stroller sack. This costume can be especially cute for twins or multiples – instant flock of sheep – just wheel them behind you in a wagon or push them in a stroller.

  • The Princess and the Pea:
    Don a gown and a tiara to become a grown up princess, and put your baby in a green sleep sack with a little green hat. If you’re pushing a stroller you can drape it with a green sheet to create a little pea pod.

  • Goldilocks and the 3 Bears:
    If you’re naturally blond then Goldilocks is a simple costume to pull off. Curl your hair, put on pretty dress with or without an apron, and some knee high socks or tights. A brown fleece sleep sack and a brown hat can turn your baby into a cuddly bear with the addition of a couple of cotton balls glued on as ears. Add two large plush stuffed bears to the stroller or carriage for the two additional bears (or if you have two older kids they can be bears too).

No matter what you decide to make, be sure your baby is dressed appropriately for the weather and is comfortable in whatever getup you’ve chosen for Halloween. Check that there are no loose parts or small accessories that pose a choking hazard, and keep a keen eye on your baby's hands to make sure they aren't grabbing any candy on the sly.  And get the camera ready! You can’t go wrong when selecting a costume that pairs you with your baby – it’s inevitably adorable and treat-worthy.

Image: Getty

two toddlers dressed as cowboy and cowgirl

Trick or Treat: Cute Halloween Costumes and Outfits for Babies

Fall is my family’s favorite time of the year. My kids love dressing up in costumes and getting lost in a world of imagination and candy. Ever since my firstborn was a baby, we have dressed up as a family. There is nothing cuter than a baby in a Halloween costume or an adorable fall outfit.

Here are some pretty adorable Halloween costume ideas:

  1. Dragon baby attack!
  2. Classic pumpkin costume. Warm and cuddly.
  3. The sweetest kangaroo around.
  4. A fireman and his sidekick.
  5. Every superhero daddy needs a sidekick.
  6. Another sweet animal baby.

Fall not only brings the opportunity to dress your baby in a cute costume, but also in adorable hats, mittens, sweaters, and coats. One of my personal favorite clothing items to dress my children in is handknit sweaters.

Even if your little one is not interested in costume wearing, you can still style a cute Halloween outfit for them!

I also love to accessorize my boys with unique hats, scarves, and mittens. I adore this dinosaur set from Jojo Maman Bebe.

Another Halloween-friendly outfit for the cooler weather is a Little Devil outfit, which is a comfy option for keeping baby warm and happy in costume.

Image: Getty
This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Preparing Your Kids to Share a Room

Question: "I'm due to give birth to my second child soon, and he'll be sharing a room with my 2-year-old. How do I make siblings sharing a room work for a toddler and a baby?"

While the transition from living solo to living with your newborn may be difficult for your toddler at first, many kids actually do end up enjoying bunking together. In fact, sharing a room sometimes even helps siblings fall asleep easier, develop a deeper bond with each other and learn valuable lessons about sharing, communicating and problem-solving. In the meantime, you can help create a positive room-sharing experience for your toddler and new baby.

Room-sharing challenges

While siblings sharing a room can conjure up sweet thoughts of them giggling before bedtime and making their own early morning playdates, there are bound to be challenges, especially when one of the children sharing the room is still a baby.You’ll need to:

  • Manage the different temperaments of the young roommates
  • Juggle two different bedtimes
  • Come up with creative ways to give your toddler the space he needs
  • Keep your baby safe from the potential choking hazards of a soon-to-be-preschooler’s playthings
  • Train your toddler to practice acceptable roommate behavior, like being quiet when the baby is sleeping

Despite the challenges involved, two siblings sharing a room can be beneficial for all involved, and there are things you can do while you’re preparing for your baby that can ensure that.

Preparing for room-sharing

Before you get set on your children sharing a room, take time to ease your toddler’s transition from only child to big sibling. Consider keeping your newborn’s crib in your room during the early months. Co-sleeping (or a newborn sharing a room with parents for the first few months) is actually recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics to help prevent SIDS — plus it can help make those middle-of-the-night feedings faster and easier on you and give your older child more time to get used to sharing his life with the new baby in the house.

During those first few months you can talk up your toddler’s new baby sibling in positive ways so he’ll have something to look forward to when the room-share becomes a reality. If possible, wait until your newborn is sleeping five to six hours at a stretch before moving the crib into the room with your toddler.

Tips for smoothing the transition

To make the start of your children sharing a room go more smoothly, try these tips:

Give your toddler the lowdown.

Explain that you’ll be coming in to feed the baby at night and that he shouldn’t worry if he hears the baby crying. The first few times your infant does wake him up, just pat your toddler on the back and let him know everything’s okay and he should go back to sleep. After a while, he’ll get used to hearing you come in to feed the baby and he’ll know to settle down and drift off to dreamland on his own.

Stagger bedtimes.

If the baby goes down at 7:00 p.m., delay your toddler’s bedtime a bit with a few extra stories and tuck him in at 7:30 p.m. He’ll appreciate being made to feel like a big boy by staying up later than the baby — and getting to spend extra time with you. To turn that special time into more of a treat, give your toddler a choice of where he wants to read. For instance, let him decide if he wants story time in your bed or a cozy chair in the family room.

Create separate but equal spaces.

Corral smaller items that can be choking hazards, such as miniature cars and tiny blocks, in baskets or bins and keep them on a higher shelf where your toddler can reach them but the baby can't. The baby’s toys can be put on lower shelves or in containers under the crib where he can easily grab them once he starts crawling. Special toddler-only projects, like block castles or train tracks, should be built on a play table in another room so the baby doesn't accidentally knock them down. Additionally, consider letting your toddler have a say in how his new space is decorated to help give him a sense of ownership over his domain.

Turn the experience into a teachable moment.

One of the many upsides of siblings sharing a room is that your toddler gets a chance to shine as the big brother and learn about respect and responsibility. When he wakes up before his baby brother, for example, encourage him to get up quietly and close the door gently before he comes to see you, rather than poking his head into the baby's crib and belting out a wake-up song.


Getting Ready for a New Baby Sibling

Got a baby on the way — and not sure how your firstborn will handle it? Here’s how to prep kids for a new sibling.

You might be well-prepared for the arrival of a new baby in the house, but your firstborn has no idea how the changes to come. You can help her prep for a new baby and a brand-new life as a big sibling with these simple games and strategies. They can simultaneously head off feelings of jealousy and resentment, send a message that you’ll love your child just as much as always and get her excited about meeting the new baby.

Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes

Your firstborn will probably find a brand-new sibling really wrinkly and odd-looking. To help manage expectations, pull out some photos of your toddler when she was a newborn. And give the lowdown on some of the things that make infants different from toddlers. For example:
  • Belly buttons: Newborns have an umbilical stump attached to their belly button for a few weeks.
  • Scrunched-up legs: Their legs are scrunched up from all that time spent tucked inside Mommy’s tummy.
  • Floppy necks: Their necks are floppy, and it’ll be awhile before the new baby’s neck is strong enough to support her giant head.
  • Soft spots: New babies have delicate soft spots in their skulls (which is one reason to be extra gentle with her head).
You can also pull out one of the teeny-tiny outfits she wore so she gets a sense of how small she once was.

Burp the Baby

Help your child grasp the concept that newborns don’t actually eat anything at all — they just drink. Tell your child that babies grow from drinking special milk straight from your breasts, or from a bottle that you (or your partner or caregiver) prepare. For fun, demonstrate how to burp a baby by practicing on your tot, who is bound to get a kick out of sitting in your lap and making a great big pretend burp.

The Crying Game

Explain to your child that unlike big kids, a new baby doesn’t know how to tell anyone what he wants or what’s bothering him, so he cries — it’s his way of talking. He might be letting the family know he’s hungry or sleepy, too hot or too cold, that his diaper is dirty, or he’s just plain bored. Together, come up with a list of things your firstborn often asks for, and then have her try to get her message across without using words. Your child will quickly see how hard it might be for a new baby sibling.

Golden Slumbers

It’s hard to believe how much an infant sleeps—especially if you’re a toddler or preschooler who’d rather do anything but lie still in bed. Explain that growing big and strong like her is hard work and that little babies sleep in spurts because they need to eat often. Once your firstborn understands that a new baby sibling needs plenty of shut-eye in order to grow, she’s likely to be more patient and cooperative about your infant's sleep habits. Together make a list of quiet activities she can do with you while the new baby in the house naps.

Snuggle Time

Prepare your child for the fact that you’re going to have to hold the new baby a lot at first. It can be tough for your firstborn to find your arms — and lap — occupied by the new baby all the time. But once you explain why babies need to be held so much, she just might cut you (and the baby) some slack. Hold your child and ask how the rocking motion makes her feel, and then explain that cuddling makes newborns happy because it reminds them of being inside your tummy. Then ask your child to snuggle her stuffed animal so she feels like a rock star, too. And remind your little one that there will still be plenty of hugs for her, too.

Practice Runs

Your firstborn might not be up for a daily list of baby-related chores, but she’s bound to want to lend a little hand as the big sibling — especially if you make her feel like she’s doing something important. Go ahead and promote her to Big Sibling Baby Helper and encourage her to help as much as she’d like. You can do some practice runs before the baby’s arrival. Using a doll as a stand-in, have your child fetch you a diaper or wipes at changing time, a towel at bath time, a pacifier when the “baby” is crying. Rehearse silly songs and funny faces. Both will come in handy when a cranky sibling needs some distraction. Explain that some tasks, such as rocking and feeding, will be performed only by grown-ups, but that she’ll be able to take full charge of a doll’s (or stuffed animal’s) care.

Playtime Rehearsal

Your child might expect a new baby sibling to be ready for action right out of the gate, so it’s a good idea to paint a realistic picture of what life with a newborn baby will be like. Explain that babies don’t do much more than eat, sleep, cry and poop or pee at first, and that they can’t be much of a playmate right away. If you have any video footage of your older child as a newborn, use it to illustrate this point. Together, try out some fun activities to play with baby from day one, such as:
  • Singing or dancing for the new sibling
  • Offering a finger for the baby to squeeze
  • Chatting the baby up using different voices
  • Holding a soft toy for the baby to look at
Tell your firstborn that there’s nothing newborns like more than a human face, especially when it belongs to the best big sibling in the world.

The Art of Being Gentle

Your child may not realize how important it is to be gentle with newborn babies. Explain that babies need a very gentle touch because they’re still so little and not as strong as big kids like her. Have your child practice being gentle with a doll, holding it on her lap and stroking it softly like she’ll soon be doing with the new baby brother. Ask your little one to stroke your arm gently too and say things like, “Gentle feels good! The baby will love when you’re gentle.” Point out areas that your firstborn will have to be especially careful with, like the baby’s eyes, the soft spot on his head, and his nose, ears and mouth.

Handle Gifts with Care

Welcoming a new baby to the house means plenty of presents, and that can be tough for a tot who’s hoping those pretty packages are for her. Before they start to pile up, explain to your child that friends and family want to help celebrate this happy time by giving gifts. Then go to your little one’s room and point out a few presents she got as a baby. You can also practice gracious sibling etiquette by rehearsing what might happen when people come bearing gifts. For example, the baby can’t open them, so he’ll need his big sibling to be a special helper and open his gifts for him. To help your tot get in on the celebrating, plan a gift she can give her new baby sibling, like a painting or drawing to hang near his crib. And don’t forget to give her an “I’m a big sibling” gift when the baby is born.

Little girl in car seat

Keep These 10 Baby Items in Your Car (You’ll Be Glad You Did!)

Thanks to Disney Baby for sponsoring this post and giving me a Bumkins waterproof bib and NUK Learner Cup for free.

Aside from the day-to-day staples that I keep in my diaper bag for my little ones, there have been plenty of times when I’ve had “Oh! I wish I had that with me!” moments. Impromptu outings with little ones can inject some much-needed magic into the everyday, but without the proper supplies, they aren’t always possible.

Recently, I decided to start keeping some extra supplies on hand in the car so we could be prepared for spontaneous outings to the park, a last-minute trip to Grandma’s house, and a variety of happy messes in between. Here are my must-haves for encouraging more fun and spontaneity with my little ones.

1. Sunny Weather Staples

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we regularly encounter a wide variety of weather often in the same day. Just the other day, we had a day where it started off being cold and foggy, then it transitioned to wind and rain, then sun, then HAIL (yes, hail), and then it was cloudless and beautifully sunny again. Because of this, I always try to keep sunny weather must-haves in my car. Sun hats and sunblock are essential for impromptu trips to the park, because you never know when the sun will come out and surprise you!

2. Rainy Weather Gear

Keeping a light water-resistant jacket in the car is always a good idea in case we want to brave the outdoors. Sometimes a last-minute zoo trip during a light drizzle is exactly what our day calls for.

3. Change of Clothes

While we’re on the topic of keeping extra clothing on hand, having an extra change of clothes is an absolute must. There have been plenty of times when we’ve had to cut an outing short, because of a fall in the mud or a diaper disaster. While a change of clothes is something I typically keep in my diaper bag, there have been times I’ve forgotten to pack an extra outfit and had to head home with the heat cranked up and a baby wearing nothing but a diaper. Not an ideal situation. Keeping a basic outfit in my car for emergencies has saved us on more than one occasion.

4. Towel

I know you’re probably thinking: “A towel?! Huh?” But, I use mine ALL the time. Having a towel to wipe down slides and play equipment at the park after the rain or drying off my kids after getting caught in a torrential downpour has been a life saver for us!

5. Snacks + Mealtime Supplies

Sometimes after a hang at the park with friends, it’s fun to keep it going with a little lunchtime adventure. Often when I know ahead of time that we’ll be going out to eat, I’ll remember to pack a bib and a cup, but sometimes I forget, which is why it makes sense to leave these items in the car (these Bumkins waterproof bibs and NUK learner cups are our favorites). Messes will be avoided and the fun adventures can continue!

6. An Activity Bag

Sometimes when we have last minute lunch dates or visits with friends who don’t have babies, it can be helpful to have a little bag with fun activities and toys for your little one. This cute, wooden Melissa & Doug train set would make a nice addition to the activity bag.

7. Stroller

Keeping a stroller in the car can seem a bit inconvenient, but a last-minute trip to our local children’s museum might not be possible without one. I like to keep a lightweight umbrella stroller available for situations like this. This Winnie the Pooh umbrella stroller is a nice option and won’t take up a ton of space in your trunk!

8. Play Yard

I’ll admit, a play yard might seem like an odd thing to keep in the car, but if you have room to store it, it’s really convenient to have. There have been so many times when we’re having a really fun time at a friend’s house for dinner and suddenly it’s bed time. If we want to keep the night going a little longer, all we have to do is set up the play yard in one of the rooms and put our little one to bed there. Easy peasy. If you don’t have a play yard yet, it is an absolute must that you will use so often, and I really like this cute Winnie the Pooh option. 

9. PJs

Along with that play yard for unscheduled sleeps, you may want to keep some extra pajamas on hand too. That way you don’t have to do a quick change and can simply transition your little one right to their bed once you arrive back at home. Having a change of pajamas and clothes in the car also means you’re all set in case of impromptu sleepovers at the grandparents’ house, which happen pretty often around here. 

10. Diapers + Wipes

Packing diapers and wipes in your diaper bag is a given, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been out for longer than anticipated and run out of one or both of these essentials. Not a pretty picture. Now I keep a few extra diapers and a clutch of wipes in my car for situations just like these. It’s nice to be able to extend our fun adventures without worrying about rushing home for more diapering supplies!

The most magical moments of childhood are often the ones that aren’t planned and keeping these things on hand helps to make more of these possible for our little family!


Baby Travel Checklist


You Can Boost Your Baby's Vocabulary


From HealthDay

If you have a baby who's learning to talk, you may feel the need to chatter incessantly to boost her vocabulary, but a new study says another factor is crucial: the ability to provide non-verbal clues that help an infant figure out what words mean.

In other words, it's vital to not only talk to babies but also connect the words you use to the world in which you are using them, the research suggests.

The good news is that anyone  - regardless of education or vocabulary level  - can use this approach to teach language to babies, said study co-author Lila Gleitman, a professor of psychology and linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. "If you took the effort to talk to your kid about the here-and-now, you'd have an impact on how they learn the meaning of words," she added.

And a better vocabulary, she noted, often translates to more success in school and in life.

At issue is the way humans learn language, especially as babies when words or grammar don't make sense. At the very start, a parent needs to do some world-to-word pairing, linking objects like a cat or a spoon to the word for each, Gleitman explained.

But one expert added that it's not just a matter of pointing to something and saying it's a banana or a dog or a couch.

For example, if you point to the sky and say something is an "airplane," the child might not know if that's the plane or the cloud next to it or a bird flying above, said Skott Freedman, an assistant professor who studies vocabulary at Ithaca College in New York. That's where the teaching talent of parents comes in.

The new study tried to figure out how a parent's ability to provide context affects a child's vocabulary in the long run.

To do this, the researchers created an experiment aimed at helping them understand which parents provided more context for the words they spoke to their kids. They told 218 college students to look at a muted video of 50 parents talking to their babies, and asked the students to try to figure out the words the parents were using.

The theory is that the students would detect more words from the silent video if the parents provided more nonverbal context by, say, pointing at objects they're talking about to the child.

The researchers then waited three years and analyzed the vocabulary of the babies, who were initially between 14 to 18 months old.

The results: Kids had bigger vocabularies if the words of their parents were more decipherable by the college students. This trend wasn't affected by the education and income of the parents, suggesting that it's not a matter of the parents simply knowing more words.

What does this mean in the big picture? "There's definitely a message for parents," Freeman said. "The message is not how much you talk to your children, it's how you talk to your child."

Study co-author Gleitman put it this way: "Talk to them about the objects and things you bring to their attention: 'Look at this strawberry. I see you're eating your peas, what nice little peas.'"

This simple approach, she said, can make a world of difference.

The study appears in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information
For more about child development, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Copyright 2013HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Image: Getty Images


The First Time She Hugged Me

By Erin Loechner, Disney Baby

I've always listened at a distance to mothers sharing their birth stories - tales of joy and triumph and tears - explaining that beautiful, weighty feeling of a baby being laid on their chest, freshly swaddled and newly birthed.

And as emotional as that moment was for me, it pales in comparison to a milestone I hold far more dear: the first time my daughter hugged me.

It had been a frenzied morning, one of fussiness and boredom and general discontent, for both mama and baby. The weather was warm and sticky as we ventured outside for a breath of fresh air, willing a change of scenery to redeem our harried day.

I scooped Bee up to sit on my lap as we settled into a park bench nearby our home when she'd noticed a string on my dress. Playfully tugging and pulling at the thread, she giggled innocently, lost in a universe different than my own.

And then, the hug. She lunged upward with both arms, interlocking her hands behind my neck as if we were crossing a river together, one with rushing water beneath and a strong instinct for survival.

It was brief and wordless, but I immediately glanced around, wondering if anyone else had shared our special milestone. Had someone witnessed this beautifully ordinary moment that delivered so much weight and yet - so little meaning?

There were children swinging, balls launching, feet stomping, mothers chatting - all immersed in their worlds, spinning as they should, propelling the moment to pass as quickly as it had arrived.

And it was nothing, but it was everything. It was a connection, a gesture - a bond we'll share time and time again as we navigate life together, one mother and one daughter.

There will be more hugs - some of obligation, others of necessity. Hugs of protection and anguish, empathy and celebration. But this hug - on this day - was the first. The only.

The always.

Read more from Erin Loechner at, your one-stop resource for pint-sized inspiration and a daily dose of mom-friendly design.
Or, follow Erin on TwitterFacebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

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