43 thoughtful and useful baby shower gifts under $50

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  • Baby showers celebrate new life and prepare parents for what’s to come with useful gifts.
  • We rounded up gifts that will be a big help when the baby arrives as well as fun keepsakes.
  • Below are 43 baby shower gifts under $50 that new parents will love.
  • Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Reviews’ gift guides here.

The world of baby products – especially for non-parents – can be daunting and confusing. What’s needed? What works? What do new parents want or love?

If you’re attending a baby shower, this makes choosing the perfect gift a bit difficult. You want to make the lives of soon-to-be exhausted parents easier and brighter. Some people also seek the perfect gift that will be the talk of the shower.

Plenty of new parents put together a baby registry, but if most of the gifts are already gone or you want to add something extra, you’ll find 43 options below – none of which cost more than $50.

Below are 43 thoughtful baby shower gifts under $50:

Baby moccasins

black and gold polka dot baby moccasins

Bird Rock Baby Moccasins, available at Amazon, $25

Okay, so babies don’t need shoes, but how can you resist such tiny moccasins? Available in over 30 colors and patterns, these moccasins are seriously stylish and easy to slip on.

A powerful stain remover

person spraying puracy natural stain remover on soiled t-shirt

Puracy Natural Stain Remover, available at Amazon, $11.99

Babies make messes, and as they grow, they make bigger messes. Parents love this plant-powered stain remover because it doesn’t have an overpowering smell — and it actually works.

Coffee. Enough said

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Driftaway Coffee Explorer Kit, available at Driftaway, $32

Exhaustion comes with the territory of new parenthood. With this coffee sampler, tired new parents can indulge in new coffee flavors as they navigate those sleepless nights.

Baby wipes for sensitive skin

person wiping baby's face with water wipes baby wipe

Water Wipes, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $12.32

These beloved wipes are a favorite of many parents because they’re so pure. They’re made of 99% water with just a drop of fruit extract.

A portable changing station for on-the-go parents

Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station

Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station, available at Bed Bath & Beyond and BuyBuyBaby, from $27.99

This padded changing station includes multiple pockets for diapers and wipes, and it can be folded up into a clutch after baby has been changed. Parents can toss it in the diaper bag, clip it to the stroller, or leave it in the car for convenient changes.

A white noise machine so parents can get some sleep

Hatch Rest Mini Machine

Hatch Rest Mini Machine, available at Hatch, $39.99

A white noise machine will relax and calm both parent and baby, letting each of them get some much-needed rest. The machine goes all night long — blocking out the random noises of the neighborhood. They can control the Rest Mini from their phone, so they don’t even need to get out of bed.

A gift card for organic baby clothes that gives back

Hanna Andersson Baby Clothes

Hanna Andersson Gift Card, available at Hanna Andersson, $50

Perhaps known best for its matching family pajamas, Hanna Andersson also makes virtually every piece of baby clothing imaginable. Some of their prints feature rainbows, dachshunds, and Winnie the Pooh. Plus, the brand partners with Baby2Baby, providing children living in poverty with diapers, clothing, and basic necessities.

A diaper cake

Hello Bello Diaper Cake

Hello Bello Diaper Cake, available at Walmart, $34.97

Diaper cakes are a classic baby shower gift, but not everybody has the DIY skills to create one. This diaper cake includes wipes, shampoo, and bubble bath in addition to 35 newborn diapers.

A diaper bag backpack that holds everything they need

HaloVa Diaper Bag

HaloVa Diaper Bag, available at Amazon, $32.99

This functional diaper bag has a spot for everything. Parents can stash all their essentials with two bottle pockets, a wet clothes pocket, a wipe pouch, and multiple main-compartment pockets. Best of all: It’s machine washable.

A top knot hat to keep baby’s head warm

Copper Pearl Top Knot Hat

Copper Pearl Top Knot Hat, available at Amazon, $12.50

This tiny top knot hat keeps baby’s head warm and cozy. Pair it with a matching knotted gown for the most adorable newborn photoshoot.

A new nursing bra

Third Love nursing bra

ThirdLove gift card, available at ThirdLove, starting at $15

Bra size can change rapidly and drastically throughout pregnancy and postpartum. Give a Third Love gift card so they can take the brand’s quiz and find the right size. Third Love’s 24/7 Classic Nursing Bra is available in sizes A-I.

An activity gym that stimulates the senses

Baby Einstein 4 in 1 Kickin' Tunes

Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin’ Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym, available at Target and BuyBuyBaby, $49.99

This music-themed activity gym encourages babies to kick, which is an important gross-motor skill. The set includes a piano, sensory toys, a mirror, and a prop pillow.

Baby bottles that reduce colic

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options Anti Colic Glass Baby Bottles

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottles, 2 pack, available at Amazon, $14.99

These affordable glass baby bottles have a removable vent that is designed to reduce colic. You can also purchase additional accessories like different nipples or silicone sleeves.

A simple sensory board book

That’s Not My Monkey Book

That’s Not My Monkey by Fiona Watt, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, $9.99

Babies will be fascinated by this book that only has a few pages. Each page is illustrated in bright colors and features a different texture for baby to feel.

A set of the essentials

babyganics gift set including lotion, bubble bath, shampoo, dish soap, toy wipes, hand sanitizer

Babyganics Essentials Gift Set, available at Target, $27.99

These essentials will set new parents up for newborn care success with lotion, bubble bath, shampoo/body wash, dish/bottle soap, table and high chair wipes, and hand sanitizer. Parents will feel good about using this brand that is free from sulfates, phthalates, parabens, and artificial ingredients.

A healthcare kit with all the essentials

Safety 1st Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit

Safety 1st Deluxe 25-Piece Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit, available at Amazon, 30.99

Make the postpartum period a little less stressful by gifting some healthcare essentials. This kit includes nail clippers, a thermometer, combs, and a nasal aspirator. It even comes with a carrying case that has convenient see-through compartments.

Clever, unique bibs that actually make baby messes cute

Hudson Baby Drooler Bibs

Hudson Baby Food-Themed Drooler Bibs, available at Amazon and BuyBuyBaby, from $17.80

The only thing that makes spit up and pureed avocado stains funny is one of these food-themed pun bibs.

A stuffed animal that plays peek-a-boo

Flappy the Elephant

Flappy the Elephant, available at Amazon, from $31.57

This plush elephant plays peek-a-boo and sings “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” For added effect, the elephant’s ears flop back and forth, actually covering its eyes during the game.

Fun animal-inspired plates and bowls

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Silicone Elephant Shaped Plate & Bowl, available at Pottery Barn Kids, from $5.99

If you’re looking for an inexpensive add-on gift, these adorable animal-inspired bowls and plates are a sweet option. 

Five natural, gentle essentials

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Mustela Newborn Arrival Gift Set, available at Nordstrom, $34.99

Mustela is another well-loved brand for babies, and this set of newborn arrival essentials has five products designed for delicate newborn skin. Parents can trust all the products to work together gently and effectively. 

Wrist rattles

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Infantino Gaga Wrist Rattle, available at Target, $6.99

Wrist rattles are the distraction that baby won’t accidentally shake off as easily as other toys. They also have teethable, textured silicone borders that are BPA-free. 

A book that fosters cultural learning

Fry Bread  A Native American Family Story

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, from $14.51

“Fry Bread” is a story centered around food and culture. The book is chock-full of metaphors and even includes an educational note from the author and a delicious fry bread recipe.

Nursery skin care essentials

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Honest Baby Arrival Gift Set, available on The Honest Company, $49.95

Honest is well-loved by parents because all of its products are meant to be safe, gentle, and as minimally processed as possible. This set includes face and body lotion, shampoo and body wash, healing balm, and other essentials that are hypoallergenic and free of parabens, sulfates, dyes, and other risky additives. 

Cult-favorite cream moms swear by after breastfeeding

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Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Minis, 3-Count, available at Target, $8.49

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, available on Amazon, $8.49

You don’t have to hunt far online for the most beloved new mom products for mention of Lansinoh’s Lanolin nipple cream. It soothes, protects, and is really effective. It’s also 100% natural and preservative-free. 

Tethers that keep things like spoons and sippy cups from falling

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Lil’ Sidekick Multi-Functional Tether, available at Lil’ Sidekick, $9.99

These multifunctional tethers may not be on the registry, but they should be. They’ll keep things like spoons and forks from falling to the floor while baby eats. 

Amazon Prime for easy, cheap, and fast refills of essentials

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Amazon Prime Three Month Subscription, available at Amazon, $39

The best thing you can give — if they don’t already have it — is probably an Amazon Prime membership. Parents can order essentials without leaving the house, pay less, and get it within two days with free shipping. It’ll also give them access to tons of other benefits. Plus, if they do have Prime already, your gift will convert into a gift card for them to use on any supplies they need.

A clever baby briefcase to store all of baby’s important documents

A baby briefcase to keep all their important documents in one place

Document Organizer, available at Nordstrom, $29.95

This clever baby briefcase is a cute (and helpful) way to organize all the important papers parents will need to keep track of — from birth certificates to passport photos. 

A fun, nourishing mask for her belly

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Hatch Belly Mask, available at Hatch, $12

Hatch’s Belly Mask is a fun way for them to relax and spend time caring for themselves. The mask is full of nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and propolis to minimize stretch marks during pregnancy and soften skin postpartum. 

Tiny booties that look like fortune cookies

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Baby Fortune Cookie Booties, available at Uncommon Goods, $29

Cute, unique, and sure to give baby’s parents a laugh. Don’t gift these if you aren’t ready for all the pictures grateful parents will send you. 

A soothing anti-swelling cream for legs and feet

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Hatch Down, Girl Soothing Leg + Foot Relief, available at Hatch, $42

Hatch is a popular brand for maternity wear — so popular, in fact, that a good portion of the startup’s customers wear the clothes long after pregnancy because they love the aesthetic. 

Down, Girl is a cooling, anti-inflammatory gel-based cream that Hatch designed to soothe  and reduce swelling in legs and feet during pregnancy. 

A beloved teething toy

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Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether, available at Amazon, $6.79

This infant training toothbrush and teether looks like a banana and helps kids get through the terrible teething phase with minimal tears. 

A contoured bath sponge that makes it easier to bathe newborns

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Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge, available at Target, $7.99

This infant bath sponge is a slip-resistant cushion with a contoured shape that makes it easier to bathe newborns. There’s a slight incline to support baby’s head, neck, and back, and the foam is quick-drying for fast cleanup.

Lots and lots of diapers

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Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers, available at Target, $8.29

It’s not as fun as buying baby moccasins in a gemstone color, but diapers are one of the most practical and thoughtful gifts you can give a new parent. They’ll need as many as they can stockpile, and it’s a relief to already have them at home. Consider purchasing larger sizes — many babies grow out of newborn diapers long before their stash runs out. 

A hooded baby towel for cozy bath time

parachute baby towel

Parachute Hooded Baby Towel, available at Parachute, $29

Parachute’s line of baby sheets and towels is extremely cute, and the brand has earned its reputation for quality linens. This hooded towel is perfect for a cozy bath time and a quick dry. 

Crib sheets in cute prints from a beloved startup

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Brooklittles Crib Sheets, available at Brooklinen, from $28.80

The internet’s favorite adult bedding startup also offers a line of sheets for little ones. Brooklinen’s Brooklittles line comes in tons of fun, vibrant patterns and prints.

A cult-favorite, comfortable baby wrap

A cult-favorite, comfortable baby wrap

Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier, available at Amazon, $49.95

This sling is comfortable, doesn’t have any complicated straps and buckles, and can be used with kids from babies to toddlers to help parents get more time with two free hands.  When we polled Business Insider parents for their favorite registry items, one told us this is the only thing she gives as a baby gift because of how good it is. 

Classic swaddling cloths

aiden anais swaddle

Aden + Anais Set of 4 Classic Swaddling Cloths, available at Nordstrom, $49.95

Aden + Anais are known for making quality baby products, and this set of classic swaddling cloths is no different. They come in cheerful patterns and are made from breathable, lightweight muslin that can be used for virtually anything. 

A portable gadget for fussy sleepers

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Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle Soother, available at Target, $34.99

No matter where baby is — in the car, at home, or in public — this little white noise machine helps fussy babies fall asleep. 

A pacifier that won’t keep falling to the ground in a never-ending loop

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WubbaNub Monkey Pacifier, available at Nordstrom, $14.95

This WubbaNub pacifier is beloved among parents for good reason — a pacifier attached to a stuffed animal is less likely to fall to the ground a thousand times a day. They will thank you for this cute and clever gift. 

All the baby basics in one convenient kit

All the baby basics in one convenient kit

Fridababy Baby Basics Kit, available at Amazon, $34.98

If you’re a parent, don’t you kind of wish the mythical stork dropped off an entire bag of essentials at the same time? This Baby Basics Kit attempts to do something similar: grouping favorite products from trusted brand Fridababy for everything from “claws” (nails) to “flakes” (dry skin). 

A silicone roll-up bib that will save them time and time again

$12

OXO Tot Waterproof Silicone Roll Up Bib (2-pack), available at Amazon, $19.67

What’s conveniently mobile, well-designed, extremely useful, and far better than the status quo it replaces? A roll-up, silicone bib with a shelf to catch the rainstorm of food that babies drop while eating. Plus, the Velcro means it’s easily removed. Even if it’s not on the registry already, parents will thank you for it. 

Funny pacifiers that parents will get a kick out of

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Mustachifier, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99

Few things diffuse tears and panic for babies like pacifiers. For adults, the same thing can be achieved with a little much-needed chuckle at their child.

A personalized bedtime book

A personalized bedtime book

Personalized Goodnight Little Me Book, available at Uncommon Goods, $40

Create a personalized goodnight book for a gift they’ll always remember. To make it even more sentimental, write a heartfelt inscription inside for when baby grows up. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Confessions of caregiver burnout: 5 women dealing with childcare and family needs reveal how the pandemic pushed them to a breaking point

Collage of Myka Harris, Shara Ruffin, Susan Foosness, Lidia Bonilla, and Jolene Delisle
Jolene Delisle, Lidia Bonilla, Shara Ruffin, Myka Harris, and Susan Foosness.

One morning in fall 2020, Myka Harris reached a breaking point.

As a small-business owner and single mom of a 5-year-old, she’d spent the first six months of the pandemic dedicating all her time to childcare and work needs. From staying on top of her son’s schooling to doing everything to buoy her business – a wellness center called Highbrow Hippie in Venice, California – she found herself exhausted and running on empty.

“I remember one morning just bursting into tears, lying on the ground, and crying,” Harris said, “because I just felt so overwhelmed and so alone.”

Like Harris, many Americans have taken on extra caregiving responsibilities while balancing their work in the pandemic, adding stress during an unprecedented situation. A new Insider survey of roughly 1,000 Americans found that this extra care was leading some of them, especially women, to feel stressed out and exhausted.

Women were more likely than men to report feeling at least somewhat burned out during the pandemic: 68% of women compared with 55% of men. So were parents who’d had to adapt to virtual schooling, care for a sick relative, or take on extra childcare duties.

These added responsibilities during a time of crisis have affected the mental health of working Americans and led some to leave their jobs.

An analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the National Women’s Law Center found that 863,000 women 20 and over left the labor force in September, the second-biggest decline during the pandemic after April 2020. By the end of the year, almost 2.1 million fewer women were working than before the pandemic, the analysis found.

Women gained 314,000 jobs in May. If the US continues to add this many jobs for women a month, it would take about 13 months to reach the pre-pandemic level, the NWLC said.

The Census Bureau found in August that working moms were more likely to take on most childcare and homeschooling duties during school closures. In its Household Pulse Survey in mid-July, 32.1% of women ages 25 to 44 said they were not working because of childcare needs, compared with 12.1% of men.

Though caregiver burnout is not new, Paula Davis, the founder of the Stress & Resilience Institute, told Insider that there’s no doubt that remote work, added care, or homeschooling had “contributed to a higher sense of burnout among people.”

“You’re talking about somebody having to almost try and do two full-time roles at the same time, and it’s virtually impossible to do both of those roles well,” Davis said. “So it’s going to be very, very exhausting for people.”

Insider spoke with Davis and five caregivers to learn more about how added care responsibilities during the pandemic had contributed to feelings of burnout.

“You’re having the two [parents] play many roles in one, which, for me, was beyond exhausting and really left me depleted.”

Shara Ruffin
Shara Ruffin.

Shara Ruffin, 35, is a licensed clinical social worker in Philadelphia who has a 6-year-old son and two soon-to-be stepdaughters. She helps others in social work pass their master’s, bachelor’s, and clinical licensing exams. Before creating her business, Journey to Licensure, she was studying for her own exam to become a licensed clinical social worker.

Ruffin was preparing to take the exam for the second time at the end of March 2020. As Philadelphia closed businesses, her contractual job at a long-term structured residential facility ended, and exam centers closed.

She began to worry more about her career and her three children who were now doing remote learning.

“My son had sometimes between 10 to 14 assignments to do,” Ruffin said. “Sometimes I would get so burned out that I just couldn’t do them. So they would pile up for, like, a day or two, and then we would knock them out.”

Ruffin said she felt as if she were “drowning in responsibilities.” She shared duties with her partner, but being at home led her to take on more of the care responsibilities. Both Ruffin and her fiancé were feeling exhausted.

“You’re having the two [parents] play many roles in one, which, for me, was beyond exhausting and really left me depleted,” Ruffin said.

When she needed a break, she would sometimes go next door to her son’s godmother’s house or to her mom’s place just for a moment alone.

Life now is completely different from 2020, Ruffin said. While balancing caregiving duties and studying “in a small, cramped apartment,” she passed her exam in November.

She said she wasn’t really feeling burned out now. Her children aren’t always at home, as her soon-to-be stepdaughters are with their mothers. Her son was recently doing remote learning at his godmother’s house or Ruffin’s mother’s place.

Ruffin, who was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder at 21, was able to get a therapist to help with her mental health after applying for state health insurance last June. She finished therapy in December.

“All the things that you would normally do to kind of get support and nurture yourself I wasn’t doing for the last year.”

Susan Foosness and her son.
Susan Foosness and her son.

Susan Foosness, 40, is the associate vice president of value-based care at Quartet Health. She and her husband took their 4-year-old son out of childcare in Durham, North Carolina, in part to make spots available for children of essential workers who might not be able to take time off work.

Balancing work with caregiving duties and concerns about her family and her mom’s health during a pandemic began to affect her. She said that multitasking made her feel as if she couldn’t produce the best-quality work.

“I end up just not doing great at work, not being a great mom, feeling guilty about that, and that all just kind of spiraled into this sense of burnout,” Foosness said.

For months she felt a sense of dread about the future and thought to herself that this way of living was not sustainable. These multiple roles took a toll on her last summer when she realized that the US wasn’t really opening up and that her son wouldn’t be going back to childcare in the fall.

Sometimes in between work Foosness would drive half an hour to visit her mom in an assisted-living facility during visitation hours — only 30 minutes, outside, with masks and social distancing.

To help with childcare, Foosness’ mother-in-law has for over a year watched Foosness’ son for 2 1/2 days a week. Foosness and her husband each take one day to be “on call” for watching their son. Her son is going back to daycare later this month.

Now with vaccines rolling out and more things open, she feels that she and her family can do more to help with burnout, such as spending time with friends and other family members, she said.

“All the things that you would normally do to kind of get support and nurture yourself I wasn’t doing for the last year,” she said, “and now there is sort of light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Even if I take a nap or go to bed earlier, I’m still tired in the morning or my mind is racing in the middle of the night.”

Burnout   Business Insider   Lidia Bonilla
Lidia Bonilla.

Lidia Bonilla, 42, is an entrepreneur and relationship coach who spent the early months of the pandemic in her Brooklyn apartment. She stayed in close touch with her 81-year-old father, who was living in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and experiencing health issues.

After doctors told Bonilla that her father shouldn’t be living alone anymore, she moved to Santo Domingo in January to be his caretaker. Less than a month later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, Bonilla has been by his side at home and at the hospital, all while trying to run her business remotely.

Bonilla said that navigating the medical system during the pandemic had been “nerve-wracking” and “emotionally exhausting.” For two weeks while her father was hospitalized with sepsis, Bonilla spent each night by his bedside. The day before speaking with Insider, she’d spent nine hours with her father, who’d been in the emergency room for dehydration.

As her parents are divorced and other close relatives aren’t available to help, Bonilla struggled with the duty of being her father’s caretaker, she said.

“For a while, I was resentful that I was here by myself doing this — why is this all my responsibility?” she said. “I don’t feel rested, even if I take a nap or go to bed earlier, I’m still tired in the morning or my mind is racing in the middle of the night, distracted and longing to cope.”

She recently hired a nurse to help take care of her dad, and on Saturdays she takes time for herself to go to the beach or meet up with friends. Still, she said she felt frustrated about being unable to do more for her father, while feeling as if she’s not doing enough for herself and her work.

Bonilla told Insider that though her father’s health was slowly stabilizing, she didn’t think she’d be able to leave his side anytime soon. She said she planned to stay in Santo Domingo, running her business remotely for the foreseeable future and keeping her life in New York on hold.

“I just felt so overwhelmed and so alone. You start to realize you just need a break.”

Myka Harris and her son.
Myka Harris and her son.

Myka Harris, 46, is the cofounder of Highbrow Hippie, a lifestyle brand and wellness center in Venice, California. Harris’ business, a hair salon and community space, was closed quickly in March 2020. Her 5-year-old son’s school also closed suddenly, and Harris spent the next three months with him at home.

“Trying to navigate your own stress and uncertainty while also managing a young child’s is challenging,” Harris told Insider. “I had to entertain, feed, and be with a child all day, where there’s no room for where he can entertain himself because he’s so young.”

Harris said she’d start her days early to work and research grants and loans for her business, enter “mom mode” during the day, and work again in the evening after her son went to bed.

Assuming the role of her son’s teacher was also time-consuming.

“Asking him to be focused and engaged was challenging. Mine is not one of those — he’s a very body-active child,” Harris said. “It became a battle every morning.”

After wrestling with virtual school, Harris transitioned her son to homeschooling and, later, a backyard pod with a few other families. In addition to her work, it was tough to stay on top of California’s ever-changing rules about whether her business could reopen; she said it made her feel constantly tired, sad, and uninspired.

“I remember one morning just bursting into tears, lying on the ground, and crying,” she said, “because I just felt so overwhelmed and so alone. You start to realize you just need a break.”

Harris said she’d strengthened her self-care routine with regular morning yoga and meditation and hired a nanny for a few hours several days a week to have her own time for reading, going to the park, and hiking.

“As we’ve reopened and more is happening, I’m more thoughtful about what I do and don’t want to do with my time,” Harris told Insider. “The pandemic showed me that self-care is not a luxury that we want to do, but it’s something we need to do.”

“I barely slept. I gained weight. I wasn’t taking care of myself physically.”

Jolene Delisle_28
Jolene Delisle.

Jolene Delisle (who preferred not to share her age) is the founder of The Working Assembly, a brand agency. She said the past year had been a series of highs and lows.

When her 25-person New York office was forced to close in March 2020, Delisle had to initiate layoffs, furloughs, and hiring and pay-raise freezes. Her 3-year-old’s preschool closed, and the babysitter for her 1-year-old contracted COVID-19.

“It felt like the world was crashing down,” Delisle told Insider.

Delisle and her husband, who also works at the agency, spent the next six months balancing caregiving duties for their kids while working from home.

“We’d wake up at 6 a.m. to work for two hours, trade off childcare during the day, then after they went to sleep at 7:30 I worked until 2 in the morning,” she said.

Even in the fall when business picked back up and they began hiring again, Delisle was still very stressed, she said.

“I barely slept. I gained weight. I wasn’t taking care of myself physically,” she said. “I couldn’t even see any light at the end of the tunnel. It felt like every good thing, even little milestones of my kids turning 2 and 4, felt like more of an emotional burden for me. I couldn’t even register or process what was happening.”

At the start of the new year, Delisle said, she made an effort to prioritize herself by going to therapy, working out with a virtual trainer, and going offline one day a week. “Those things have really brought me back into being a normal person,” she told Insider.

After getting vaccinated in late April, Delisle finally had “a moment where I actually breathed for the first time,” she said.

Caregivers should keep an eye on the balance between their resources and their demands.

paula davis
Paula Davis is the founder and CEO of the Stress & Resilience Institute.

Paula Davis described an equation with demands (including work or caregiving, or things that require energy) and resources (things like spending time with people or traveling).

“Burnout is more likely when your demands exceed your resources,” Davis said.

She added that a lot of the resources people used to balance these demands weren’t available during the pandemic.

Several of the caregivers told Insider they’d explored self-care practices such as exercise and meditation. Davis said that while these activities could be great mental-health and well-being strategies, “when we’re talking about burnout, we’re talking about something that is a workplace-culture issue.”

“And so frontline strategies like that are a really good first step,” Davis said, “but they’re not nearly enough to prevent burnout.”

Have you had your own experience with burnout that you’d like to speak about with Insider? Email Madison Hoff at mhoff@insider.com and Laura Casado at lcasado@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The declining American birth rate is unlikely to bounce back, new study says

baby

Today’s baby bust looks unlikely to turn into a delayed baby boom.

That’s according to the latest research from Melissa S. Kearney and Phillip Levine at the Brookings Institution, who say that births in the US are unlikely to rebound. The research comes on the heels of a recent CDC report that found the US birth rate fell by 4%, the sharpest single-year decline in nearly 50 years and the lowest number of births since 1979.

The total fertility rate – or the number of live births a woman is expected to have over her lifetime – also fell from 2.12 in 2007 to 1.64 in 2020, below the 2.1 replacement fertility rate needed for the population to naturally replace itself.

Declining birth rates during an economic downturn are typical. But the recession of 2020 was paired with a global health crisis, which could yield a stronger impact. Demographers are currently debating whether the current drop will prove to be a temporary or permanent phenomenon: Will women will end up having babies at a later date or have fewer babies overall?

Brookings’ analysis implies the latter, that US fertility rates will be below replacement levels for the forseeable future. Considering that women who were born in 1975 to 1980 had an average of around 2.2 total lifetime births, Brookings took a look at expected lifetime births for more recent age cohorts.

It forecasted the total number of children ever born based on simulated age profiles of women in the 1985 to 2000 birth cohort under conservative, moderate, and aggressive scenarios. For each cohort, the total number of children ever born per woman continues to further fall. The forecasted fertility rate for the 2000 cohort is 1.44 conservatively, 1.77 moderately, and 1.92 aggressively, all well below the replacement fertility rate.

That is all to say, women are expected to have fewer babies going forward.

A decline in births could reshape the economy

This trend isn’t just another fallout from the pandemic, according to Brookings. It follows a decade of declining births for multiple cohorts of women as they wait to have babies until a later age. The simulated fertility rates, Kearney and Levine wrote, are similar to those in high-income countries.

Christine Percheski, associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University, recently told Insider that the US has been slow to fall in line with worldwide birth trends. “It’s about women having access to education and employment opportunities,” she said. “It’s about the rise in individualism. It’s about the rise in women’s autonomy and a change in values.”

Macroeconomic forces are another major factor in the decision to postpone having kids, a reflection of how expensive the US economy has become. Millennials have grappled with the lingering effects of the Great Recession and soaring living costs for things like housing and, of course, childcare.

If Brookings’ analysis proves to be true, experts are worried the US is entering a demographic crisis that would result in an economy with an aging population that isn’t replaced by enough young workers. It could yield higher government costs and a smaller workforce that would have to front the care costs for aging populations, creating a shortage of pension and social security-type funds.

Read more: The declining American birth rate could actually be good for the economy

But Mauro Guillén, Wharton professor and author of “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future” told Insider in April that the decline in births is a “temporary blip,” likely to last one to two years.

“Young couples have said, ‘Give me a rain check, I don’t want the baby now because there’s too much uncertainty,'” he said. “But they will have those babies later. They don’t cancel their plans to have babies for life.”

Regardless of what happens, a declining birth rate doesn’t have to mean devastation for the economy. It will undoubtedly be an economic shift, but such change isn’t necessarily bad. It just requires structural adjustments, like creating new policies that accommodate to changes in population in size, and for people to welcome a reshaped economy with open arms.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The declining American birth rate could actually be good for the economy

birth rate us
The birth rate dropped during the pandemic, as is typical during economic recessions.

  • New CDC data found the US birth rate fell by 4% in 2020, the sharpest decline in nearly 50 years.
  • Experts are worried this is a crisis, but it’s not necessarily bad news.
  • It’s a sign of progress for women and could also be part of a reshaped, better economy.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped a new report that revealed the US birth rate fell by 4%, the sharpest single-year decline in nearly 50 years and the lowest number of births since 1979.

The news seemingly sent America – and American media – into shock. One demographer deemed the trend a “crisis” in an interview with CBS, while The New York Times explored how the pandemic may be fast-forwarding American decline, and another demographer told CNN the baby bust could have the opposite effect of the 1950s baby boom.

I wrote about the baby bust a few weeks prior to the latest data, tracing the pandemic’s influence on the decision to have kids and how it could either slow down the economy in the long term or result in a delayed baby boom.

But here’s the thing: A declining birth rate isn’t necessarily bad news. It’s both the continuation of a decades-long trend and a symbol of progress in gender equity. And while it signals some economic distress, it may also represent the start of a solution to America’s affordability problem.

The big question is whether women will end up having babies at a later date or will have fewer babies overall. It’s too soon to tell.

Fewer babies doesn’t have to mean devastation for the US economy, depending on Biden’s success in boosting worker productivity with his infrastructure plans and how the economy continues to reopen. But it does mean change, and maybe the cries of despair over the declining birth rate are more about resistance to the unknown than looking forward to a reshaped America with differently shaped families. The declining birth rate is a step into the great unknown, and that could be exciting.

A sign of progress

American birth rates have been declining for six years as millennial women have been waiting to have babies until a later age. Birth rates among teens, which have fallen nearly every year for the past three decades, were down by 8% last year.

This is normal, if you look at worldwide trends.

Christine Percheski, associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University, told me last month that there’s been a broader shift among high-income countries and some middle-income countries for women to postpone having kids until later ages. The US, she said, was a little slower to see that increase.

Look no further than the declining fertility rate, or the number of live births a woman is expected to have over her lifetime. It tracks closely with birth rates and since 1950, the worldwide fertility rate has dropped from an average of 4.7 children to 2.4 children.

It all signals economic progress. “It’s about women having access to education and employment opportunities,” Percheski said. “It’s about the rise in individualism. It’s about the rise in women’s autonomy and a change in values.”

baby mask covid19
A declining birth rate is partly due to a rise in women’s autonomy.

Women, she continued, are choosing to stay in school longer and waiting until later to marry. The Pew Research Center found that the more educated a woman, the more likely she was to postpone having a child until her 30s. This stat can be partly explained by the fact that women today find themselves with more life options than women 50 years ago (it could also indicate that educated women are financially burdened, but we’ll get to that soon).

Clare Mehta, an associate professor of psychology at Emmanuel College who studies established adults, previously told Insider that millennials are finding fulfillment in building a professional life for themselves because of new opportunities previous generations didn’t have. “Women want to have careers now before they settle down, people want to feel as though they’re financially secure,” Mehta said. “That wasn’t happening in the past.”

It’s part of how millennials are redefining adulthood. While many people have described the generation as “behind” due to their myriad economic woes, they’re really just creating a new normal.

A turning point for the economy

Now, while the rise in women’s autonomy has helped birth rates climb for women in their later 30s and in their 40s in recent years (amid the overall declining birth rate), they declined for this cohort during 2020. This might spark some concern over just how severe the effects of the pandemic are.

Declining birth rates during an economic downturn also aren’t abnormal. Recessions typically have the strongest economic influence on birth and fertility rates. “People tend to wait during periods of political and social unrest,” Percheski said.

The Great Recession saw a 9% decline in births, per Brookings, about 400,000 babies fewer than there would have been otherwise. And while the Spanish Flu only resulted in an economic contraction instead of a recession, that public health crisis also led to a drop in births. That the pandemic combines both health and economic crisis could have a greater impact on birth rates.

But recession or no recession, underlying macroeconomic factors are influencing the birth rate. Millennials have long been facing an affordability crisis, plagued by the lingering effects of the Great Recession and soaring living costs for things like housing, healthcare, and, of course, childcare.

Looking back at the stat that more educated women are more likely to have kids at a later age in this context points to a new perspective: Education often comes with student debt. Women may be waiting to have kids not out of choice, but out of a desire to get their financial footing and pay off student debt first.

A declining birth rate therefore also reflects how expensive the US economy has become. It’s not the drop in births that’s distressing, but the affordability problem that it signifies. If we look closely at these issues, the birth rate could serve as a turning point for a better economy.

Not an economic decline, but an economic change

Experts are worried today’s baby bust will result in an economy plagued by an aging population that isn’t replaced by enough young workers. That might result in higher government costs and a smaller workforce that would have to front the care costs for aging populations, creating a shortage of pension and social security-type funds.

But what if it doesn’t?

Percheski said the country will likely need to make structural adjustments like creating new policies that accommodate to changes in population in size.

Percheski has company in the form of President Joe Biden. His American Families Plan proposes investments of $1.7 trillion in the care economy, with a focus on support for families including an expanded child tax credit and universal pre-K. It’s an ambitious proposal that, combined with a large infrastructure investment via the $1.7 trillion American Jobs Plan, seeks to boost the productivity of American workers in a 21st-century context.

Less births and less workers may not spell economic disaster if these plans – or others like them – can boost American workers’ productivity. I’ve already written about evidence that productivity has increased during the pandemic, while reopening has brought a wage boost for most workers. Inflation comes with these trends, but a more productive worker could essentially pay for that inflation, as well as paying for a prosperous society with less babies in it.

millennialskids_ Alexi Rosenfeld
Fewer births could be the way of the future.

By examining some of the factors contributing to the decline in births, we can start with preventative adjustments now. Work structure in America – like expensive childcare and lack of paid parental leave – is a big deterrent to having kids.

That’s only the beginning of a few issues that could be addressed: expensive healthcare (or lack thereof), climate change, and debt are other hindrances to having kids. For many millennials, the latter comes in the form of student loans. While Biden’s Education Department has canceled billions in student debt, trillions remain outstanding. Borrowers and politicians alike have been arguing for more student-debt relief.

The exact impact this would have on births is unknown, but society needs these improvements anyway. If we do get to the point of having to make population-based changes 20 or 30 years from now, it doesn’t have to mean the economy is going downhill, but rather in a new direction.

Maybe the declining birth rate is not a problem, but a way of telling America it’s time to start a new chapter.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How To Help Your Kids Develop An Entrepreneurial Mind

Reading Time: 4 mins

Every parent hopes they have a genius on their hands, let’s be honest! But what if you could encourage your child’s brilliant mind to get them started early in life with an entrepreneurial attitude? That’s exactly what the folks at www.teiyu.co.uk offer. Teiyu use a storytelling approach to build an entrepreneurial mindset in children…and you can find out more below.

Because they believe, as we do, that it’s possible to help nourish kids in developing an overall leadership attitude and skillset.

  1. Teach Them About Money Early On
  2. Encourage A Leadership Attitude
  3. Inspire Creative Thinking
  4. Help Them Develop Excellence 
  5. More Ways Kids Can Make Money

Teach Children About Money Early On

Help your kid make millions by teaching them early on

At school, we hardly get any financial education at all. Sure, we’re taught maths – but there’s no real insight into how percentages (interest rates) and sums (budgeting) really impact our lives outside of the classroom.

Teaching your children about money early in their development doesn’t mean giving them lectures, either! You could start by demonstrating the importance of saving, by giving pocket money each week. For older children, what about showing them how bills work – raise their pocket money allowance, but take some back to pay ‘bills’ (you can sneak it into a savings account for them, if you like!).

Another way to encourage children to think about money is to include them in financial activities. When you go grocery shopping, for example, take a calculator. Tell them your total budget and ask them to monitor whether you’re sticking to it. Or, if you go to a restaurant, give them a budget to spend on their meal and see what they can get with it from the menu.

When they understand how money makes the world go round, it’s much easier to encourage them to consider how they want to make their own money. You can, for example, exchange a few pounds for chores they complete around the house. For older children, encourage them to take on a part-time job – that could be making and selling crafts, taking on a paper round (they still exist!), or helping older neighbours with their shopping or gardening.

 

Encourage a Leadership Attitude

When your child understands how money works, it’s a good time to start encouraging their entrepreneurial mindset. This starts with a leadership attitude!

Teiyu is a great resource for children who want to get ahead. It’s a storytelling strategy about a lizard called Teiyu, who helps children solve problems in the land of Teguria. It’s a positive, encouraging experience that helps children embrace problem-solving strategies on their own.

Other ways to encourage a leadership attitude is to volunteer with community groups, or attend other groups such as Scouts or an after-school sports team. This helps develop important skills like communication, teamwork, and delegation – as well as helping your child identify their own strengths along the way.

 

Inspire Creative Thinking

Inspire creative thinking to help your kid make millions

Another key attribute to help your kid make millions in the future is to encourage creativity. Abstract problem-solving is a perfect way to help your child identify unique ways to reach a solution. You can do this through techniques such as the Teiyu stories, as well as showing them real-world problems that need a solution.

For example, let’s say you have an arts and crafts afternoon ahead of you. Let your children build a castle from a shoebox and cardboard – but tell them it has to do certain things! Does the drawbridge go up and down? Is there a secret entrance? Things like this will help your child take instruction but think creatively to reach the solution.

Creative thinking when it comes to money is another step towards an entrepreneurial mindset. For older children, you could ask what they want to buy with their pocket money. You can work out with them how long it will take to save up for it – and get them to find ways they could make more money to save faster. This might be, for example, selling some of their old clothes and toys that they’ve grown out of at a car boot sale. When they see how much faster they can get the thing they want to buy, if they make money as well as save it, you’re encouraging creative thoughts around money from a young age.

 

Help Your Child Develop Excellence

Being brilliant at something is the most notable attribute of all entrepreneurs. For some, it might be technological savvy. For others, they could be great with social skills. Help your child find their passion – and the skills they’re great at – and nurture them.

This will help them to develop excellence in these habits, skills, or hobbies over time. As they become confident in these areas, it’s easier for them to identify their strengths and how they might be able to use them to make money through an entrepreneurial mindset. One great example of this is the 12-year-old investor we spoke to on the MoneyMagpie podcast! He realised very quickly that understanding the stock market was a great skill, and he nurtured it, and is already a leading example to other children about how to invest wealth!

 

Special offer

Right now, MoneyMagpie readers are able to get an exclusive 50% off the Happy Pack. All you have to do is use the discount code HOPE50 at the checkout.

 

More Ways Kids Can Make Money

There are lots of ways to include your children from an early age when it comes to understanding (and making) money. Here are a few more ideas:

The post How To Help Your Kids Develop An Entrepreneurial Mind appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

36 fun and practical gifts that new parents will love

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

fast_table_chair Inglesina

The best gifts for new parents are practical and fun – stuff they can use to make their lives a little easier during a difficult but rewarding time. They’re bound to love any of these 36 gift ideas, while putting them to good use too.

We’ve got gifts that will help them wake up or get some sleep when they have the chance. There are handy items here that they can use in the nursery or on the road, along with some fun stuff, like mustache pacifiers, that are great for a laugh.

Read on for 36 of the best gifts for new parents:

A safe, easy-to-use nail trimmer

gift for new parents: bbluv trimo baby nail trimmer

Bblüv Trimö Baby Electric Nail Trimmer, available at Buy Buy Baby, $29.99

Baby nails can get really sharp. And because they’re so small and delicate, they can be intimidating to take care of. This electric trimmer makes it easy to gently cut fingernails and toenails without having to worry about getting them too short. The electric file gently rounds off the rough edges.

Delicious homemade baby food

baby brezza glass one step baby food maker gift for new parents

Baby Brezza Glass One Step Baby Food Maker, available at Buy Buy Baby and Target, from $99.99

Buying baby food by the jar gets expensive, and it leaves you with an ever-expanding pile of empty containers that may or may not be getting recycled. The Baby Brezza solves that by letting you steam and puree your own baby food. It comes with a handy recipe book to get started.

A comfortable seat for baby

Gifts for new parents: 36 gift ideas that they'll use

Bumboo Infant Floor Seat, available at Buy Buy Baby and Target, $39.99

Made from soft, durable foam, the Bumboo seat helps babies learn to sit upright, starting at three months. Parents will appreciate its portability as well as how easy it is to clean.

A fun way to clean up snot-nosed kids

Gifts for new parents: Frida Baby Nose Frida the Snotsucker

Frida Baby Nose Frida the Snotsucker, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $15.99

Stuffy noses can make a baby uncomfortable. Since they can’t just go blow it out with a tissue, they need a little help. The Nose Frida Snotsucker looks, well, weird, but it’s safe, clean, easy to wash, and if we’re being honest, it’s kind of fun too. 

Cozy moccasins for baby’s first steps

tpmocs

TPMOCS Custom Moccasins, available at TPMocs from $74

Handcrafted at every step of the way by Native American artisans, these beautiful, durable customized moccasins keep baby’s feet comfortable with every step. A portion of all purchases goes toward addressing poverty for Native American communities in need.   

A pillow spray to help parents get a good night’s sleep

deep sleep spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, available at Dermstore, $29

Sleep is a tenuous proposition, at best, for new parents, so when they finally get the chance to turn in for the night, this spray will help them fall into a deeper and more relaxed sleep. Featuring a pleasing blend of lavender, chamomile, and vetivert, the relaxing scent helps a person doze off. One of our reporters swears by it for a better night’s sleep.

A cleverly designed towel that quickly dries and comforts babies

parachute baby towel

Parachute Hooded Baby Towel, available at Parachute, $29

Getting out of the bath is cold for babies, too, but this this absorbent towel keeps lets you wrap them up to keep them cozy while drying off. The adorable hood adds extra warmth.

A keepsake calendar filled with sweet photos

wooden calendar pdp 01

Artifact Uprising Wood Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, $25

Parents can’t get enough photos of their newborn. Take some of those photos to create a unique, practical calendar featuring their little one that they can use every day.

An essential supply they can never get enough of

Honest Diapers under $25

Honest Diapers, available at Honest.com, $10.95/pack

Cloth diapers aren’t for everyone, but these absorbent disposable diapers made from Earth-friendly materials are a good alternative for the eco-conscious. They also feature fun prints, even holiday designs. And to up the convenience factor for busy new parents, the company also has a diapers and wipes subscription box to save money and precious time. 

A comfortable and flexible baby sling

baby sling

Baby K’tan Original Carrier, available at Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, and Target, $49.99

Hands-free carrying is a convenient way to keep baby close that parents will appreciate, whether they’re grocery shopping or talking on the phone. This sling is comfortable for the baby as well as parents. It’s a gift one of Business Insider’s own gives to new parents after having used it with her kids from the time they were born until they were toddlers. You can check out our top picks for the best baby carriers here.

Crib sheets in cute prints

Brooklinen_crib_sheets

Brooklittles Crib Sheet Sets, available at Brooklinen, from $28.80

From spit up to diaper blowouts, crib sheets have to endure a lot, so it’s essential that there’s always a clean one handy. Parents will really appreciate such a practical gift when they need one. Brooklinen’s line of sheets for little ones feature fun patterns and prints that look great in any nursery.

A baby book parents will actually want to fill out

babys_first_year Lucy_Darling

Lucy Darling Flower Child Memory Book, available at Maisonette, $34.99

Parents always appreciate looking back on the special memories they otherwise might have lost to sleep deprivation during baby’s first year. Jotting down moments to savor won’t feel like more paperwork with this spiral-bound baby book adorned with fun floral patterns. There’s even a place for the baby’s hand and foot prints.

A warm cup of coffee on a cold day

Contigo Autoseal West Loop Insulated Travel Mug under $25

Contigo Autoseal West Loop Insulated Travel Mug, available at Amazon, $17.24

Life with a baby doesn’t pause so parents can rest, so having a little caffeine on hand can be a lifesaver when a parent’s running morning errands on five hours of sleep. This leak-free travel mug keeps drinks hot or cold for up to seven hours, and it comes in 30 colors and a variety of sizes.

An Amazon Prime membership so new parents can order supplies

Amazon Prime Day 2018
What to buy on Amazon Prime Day 2018

Amazon Prime gift subscription, three months, $39

Nobody wants to make an extra trip to the store, especially busy new parents. A Prime membership lets them avoid the hassle, allowing them to order whatever they need and have it delivered instead, in two days.

A full-year subscription is $119. And if they already have a Prime membership, they’ll be able to convert your gift to credit so they can spend the money on anything they need.

A portable gadget for fussy sleepers

baby shusher

Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle, available at Buy Buy Baby, Walmart, Amazon, and Target, $34.99

White-noise machines are useful gadgets to have around because they’re helpful for getting a fussy baby to fall asleep. The Baby Susher plays a real human voice, and it’s easy to use at home, in the car, etc. 

A pacifier that won’t keep falling to the ground

avent giraffe soothie

Philips Avent Soothie Snuggle Pacifier Holder with Detachable Pacifier, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, from $14.88

This pacifier features a plush animal that can be detached to make cleaning both pieces fast and easy. You can choose from a variety of animals, including elephant, giraffe, monkey, and seal, that make it easy to find and comforting for babies to snuggle. 

A swaddling blanket that transforms their baby into a burrito

burrito blanket

Tortilla Baby, available at Uncommon Goods, $48

What’s better than a delicious burrito? A swaddling blanket that looks like a burrito and helps baby sleep tight after a long day.

A warm, embroidered blanket that will last for years

Metallic_Star_Sherpa_Baby_Blanket_$49.50_PotteryBarnKids2

Metallic Star Sherpa Baby Blanket, available at Pottery Barn Kids, $38.99

This cotton jersey blanket with a soft Sherpa backing is great for trekking outdoors when the temperatures drop. In addition to the stars, it can be personalized with the baby’s name or initials.

Socks for tired feet

Bombas socks

Gift a Bombas Gift Box, from $65

Bombas’ comfortable gym socks feature a blister tab and cushioned footbeds that wrap feet in luxury. Busy, tired parents will appreciate comfortable socks. Also, Bombas also donates a pair to a homeless shelter for every pair purchased. 

A jolt of caffeine after a sleepless night

Swift Cup

Agaro Free-Dried Coffee (6 cup box), available at Swift Cup Coffee, $15

Instant coffee isn’t what it used to be; it’s actually good now, and that’s excellent news. Tested by our experts, these six individual packets of freeze-dried Ethiopian coffee will give sleepy parents the quick jolt they’re looking for, and all they have to do it add 10 ounces of hot or cold water and stir.

A sleek bassinet that rocks crying babies to sleep

snoo

Snoo Rental Gift Card, available at Happiest Baby, from $29.69/week

There’s nothing new parents will appreciate more than a little help with a baby who doesn’t sleep well. Sensing when a baby is tense, the Snoo automatically rocks them to sleep with a gentle motion. There’s also a built-in white noise machine and a swaddle to help calm fussy little ones. Parents can control the bassinet and monitor it via the app. And while the Snoo is expensive, the company has a rental program for a more affordable option.

Bilingual board books for early learning

canticos_firsts_books canticos under $10

Canticos Board Books, available at Amazon, from $5.99

It’s never too soon to start learning a second language. These books help by introducing important early words like numbers, shapes, and more in both English and Spanish.

A mustache pacifier

Gifts for new parents Mustache Pacifier

Mustachifier, available on BuyBuyBaby, $9.99

This pacifier will have everyone doing a double take to see if that baby really does have a hipster mustache. And don’t overlook the value of peace and quiet that comes with it too.

A meal kit delivery service so they can cook for themselves

blue apron

Blue Apron Subscription Gift Card, from $60

Cooking can be an extra hassle for frazzled new parents, but a delivery service like this can make it a little easier to get a healthy, home-cooked meal. Blue Apron boxes come with preportioned ingredients and three easy-to-cook recipes. They’ll get one week of meal kits for $60.

Check out our guide to the best meal kit delivery services, which includes options for special diets.

A gadget to make diaper changes easier

Diapertainment

Diapertainment, available at Amazon, $19.99 

Diaper changing is much easier when a squirming baby is occupied. This smartphone mount does helps hold a little one’s attention with their favorite short videos so parents can get down to business.

An interactive play mat

lovevery_play_gym

The Lovevery Play Gym, available at Lovevery, $140

This activity gym has different learning zones and a range of accessories designed to engage a baby as they grow. Designed by childhood development experts, there are features here for infants as well as toddlers.

A pregnancy journal to track progress and memories

"Expecting You  A Keepsake Pregnancy Journal"

“Expecting You: A Keepsake Pregnancy Journal”, available at Amazon, $13.46

Pregnancy is a journey, and this journal gives new parents the chance to track their memories and experiences. Whether they end up using it as a reference for subsequent children or just as a way to look back on a special time, this keepsake journal makes a timeless treasure for parents.

A portable way to secure babies to their seats

fast_table_chair Inglesina

Inglesina Fast Table Chair in Black, available at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon, $69.99

A popular choice for an easy-to-use high chair because of its convenience, the Inglesia Fast Table Chair can be used with any table up to 3.3 inches thick. And it can be used for children ranging in age from 6 months to 3 years.

A 5-in-1 machine to help baby sleep

baby_dream_machine

Baby Dream Machine, available at Baby Dream Machine, $99

On top of smoothing “pink noise” sound that help infants relax, the Baby Dream Machine is also a cool-mist humidifier as well as an aromatherapy machine. It even provides red light and night light therapy with an adorable bear design that will great in the nursery. 

The gift of getting some shut-eye

sleep_sack_swaddle Halo

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle Wrap, available at Buy Buy Baby and Target, $21.99

Swaddling helps a baby feel more relaxed, and a more relaxed baby is a better sleeper. This transitioning swaddle features a unique design that allows a baby to be wrapped with their arms in or out, which is important for safety once they start rolling.

An adjustable, washable pillow to ensure a good night’s rest

Best pillow Coop

Coop Home Goods Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow, available at Amazon, $59.99

Few things help exhausted parents fall asleep faster than a comfortable pillow. This customizable pillow is hypoallergenic and works well for all sleeping positions.

Fun PJs’ for any occasion

hanna andersson baby pjs

Earth Day Baby Zip Sleeper, available at Hanna Andersson, $42

Whether they’re cozying up to watch a parents’ favorite show or settling in for a special holiday, matching family pajama sets are a fun way for families to share an experience. Hanna Andersson makes a comfy set of pajamas featuring everything from holiday prints to dinosaurs to popular characters.

A time-saving food hack parents can feel good about

Cerebelly_Pouches_ButternutSquashWhiteBean_Wht

Cerebelly Pouches, available at Cerebelly, $2.17 each

With organic vegetable-based recipes that babies will love, these handy little pouches are perfect in a meal-time pinch. They’re self-stable, so they’ll last long enough to be around when you need them. Created by a neurosurgeon, this go-anywhere babyfood is also loaded with nutrients that help with brain development.  

A smart home device to act as an assistant

Best Echo Amazon Echo 4th gen

Echo Dot 4th generation, available at Target, $29.99

A smart speaker is the perfect nursery assistant. It can play gentle music to help lull babies to sleep or set timers for feeding times. They’re also compatible with a long list of smart home devices, which makes it easy to turn off light or set the thermostat while parents are busy changing diapers.

An Instant Pot for easy meals

Instant Pot Ultra

Instant Pot Duo 60, available at Amazon, $89

Our favorite Instant Pot includes a number features and functions, from pressure cooking to sautéing. Parents can make delicious one-pot meals for themselves and the baby with just a few easy steps and a lot less cleanup.

Something to soothe and protect baby’s delicate skin

baby_dove

Baby Dove Derma Care Body Wash, available at Walmart, $8.86

Baby Dove Eczema Care Cream, available at Rite Aid, $8.69

Newborns have delicate skin that requires gentle, soothing products to keep them clean and their outer layer soft and hydrated. Developed alongside pediatric dermatologists, Dove’s wash and cream are free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, steroids, and fragrances.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Women are taking a ‘rain check’ on babies, and it could change the shape of the economy

millennialskids_ Alexi Rosenfeld
The number of births have been declining during the pandemic.

  • America is seeing a “baby bust” as women put off having kids during the pandemic.
  • The drop in births intensifies a pre-pandemic trend of decreasing birth rates and fertility rates.
  • It could slow down the economy in the long term, but it could also result in a delayed baby boom.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The predicted baby boom is looking more like a baby bust.

While many thought a year locked up would lead to some serious babymaking, Brookings Institute economists Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine forecasted the opposite last June: The pandemic would lead to 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births in 2021, they said.

So far, their predictions are on track.

Nine months after the first lockdowns began in the US, the number of births in the country had declined by 7%, according to data provided to CBS News by health departments across more than 24 states. And fertility rates – the number of live births a woman is expected to have over her lifetime – are already lower in the first few months of 2021, said Christine Percheski, associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University.

“We’re going to see many fewer babies in 2021,” she told Insider.

The drop continues a pre-pandemic trend of declining birth rates and fertility rates, as childbearing women, many of whom are millennials, delay having children. Both of these rates decreased by 2% from 2017 to 2018, per the latest CDC data, with the birth rate hitting its lowest in 32 years. As of January 2020, the US fertility rate sat at 1.73 births per mother – a stark contrast from the peak in 1957 at 3.77 births per women.

Demographers have expressed concerns over what this means for the future of America, as the fertility rate is below the replacement rate – producing as many births each year as deaths – of 2.1 births per woman.

The decline in births over time is the result of both economic distress as well as progress for women in the workplace, with potential long-term implications, such as a smaller workforce and higher cost of caring for the aging. It’s too soon to say whether we should be concerned about these economic effects, but it’s already clear the economy is in for a big change based off what happens to the American birthrate.

Catching up to a global shift

American women are having babies later. While US birth rates have declined for nearly all age groups of women under 35, per latest CDC data, they rose for women in their late 30s and early 40s.

But this is actually bringing the US in line with worldwide trends – or helping it catch up, depending on your perspective. High-income countries, and increasingly middle-income ones, have long seen women delaying their first child until later ages compared to American women, Percheski said.

It’s a sign of better access to education and employment opportunities, a rise in individualism and women’s autonomy, better sex education, and a shift from religious-based to more secular values, she said. But on a more individual level, having kids at a later age is also a result of women choosing to stay in school longer, waiting until later to marry, and paying off student debt first.

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American women delaying childbearing is bringing the US in line with worldwide trends.

To be sure, macroeconomic forces are another major factor in the decision to postpone having kids. Millennials have grappled with several of these, from the lingering effects of the Great Recession to soaring living costs for things like housing and, of course, childcare.

Finances are one of the top reasons why American millennials aren’t having kids or are having fewer kids than they considered ideal, Insider’s Shana Lebowitz reported, citing a survey by The New York Times. To raise a child to age 18 in America, it’ll cost parents an average of $230,000.

A ‘rain check’ on babies

Recessions typically have the strongest economic influence on birth and fertility rates. “People tend to wait during periods of political and social and rest,” Percheski said.

The Great Recession saw a 9% decline in births, per Brookings, about 400,000 babies fewer than there would have been otherwise. And while the Spanish Flu only resulted in an economic contraction, that public health crisis also led to a drop in births. A pandemic lumps together economic and health turmoil, which Brookings says could result in a greater impact on births.

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Sara Adelman became a working-from-home mom during the pandemic. Birth rates typically decline during periods of economic crisis.

But whether the current lapse in babymaking will translate to fewer babies overall or just a childbirth postponement, Percheski said. She said she thinks we’ll see a reduction in the number of women having two or three kids, as happened during the financial crisis.

Mauro Guillén, Wharton professor and author of “2030: How Today’s Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future” told Insider that the decline in births is a “temporary blip,” likely to last one to two years.

“Young couples have said, ‘Give me a rain check, I don’t want the baby now because there’s too much uncertainty,'” he said. “But they will have those babies later. They don’t cancel their plans to have babies for life.”

A ‘demographic time bomb?’

A decline in birth rates has sparked worries that the US may be headed for what’s known as a “demographic time bomb,” in which an aging population isn’t replaced by enough young workers.

This could slow the economy in the long term by creating higher government costs and a smaller workforce, who will have to front the care costs for aging populations. It could also create a shortage of pension and social security-type funds and impact things like school enrollment and college demand.

Japan is a famous example of just such a time bomb, long ticking demographically. Experts in that country are now worried that a pandemic-fueled baby bust could worsen the country’s aging crisis that strains the working population. Like Japan, Italy is facing an aging population and dropping fertility rates, to the point where the government has begun issuing fertility ads. So far, high levels of immigration have kept the US from seeing the same economic impact that has hit these other countries.

But Percheski said a decline in births isn’t necessarily bad – it will just require structural adjustments, like creating new public policies that respond to changes in population size.

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Today’s baby bust could end up being tomorrow’s baby boom.

In some ways, fewer classmates for those born in 2021 could be good, she added.”If there are fewer people competing for jobs when they hit the job market, that’s not bad from their perspective, but it does require us to make adjustments.”

America can also change now to avoid having to do it later, such as making childcare more affordable. “Raising children is one of the great joys of life, but it’s also one of the great burdens,” economist Tyler Cowen said in a recent panel with the American Enterprise Institute. “If we don’t have innovations to make raising children either easier or more fun or less costly, we’re in big trouble.”

But if the pandemic-fueled birth decline just results in women bearing children at a later age rather than having fewer kids or none at all, per Brookings, the fertility rate may be underestimated. It could even result in a delayed baby boom.

Guillen said he thinks we’ll see a higher number of births in 2022 and 2023, which could make preschools fuller. He said he’s more concerned with the mortality rate than the birth rate, but in any case the full effects of the birth decline won’t truly be seen until 20 to 30 years later.

“Generally, it would be better to have a smoother evolution of pace, but recessions always have their effect,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

40 thoughtful baby shower gifts that new parents will thank you for – all under $50

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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  • Baby showers celebrate the arrival of a new life and help parents collect useful, clever gifts that make life easier.
  • Below are 40 gifts under $50 that make for thoughtful baby shower gifts.
  • Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Reviews’ gift guides here.

The world of baby products – especially for non-parents – can be daunting and confusing. What’s needed? What works? What do new parents want or love?

If you’re attending a baby shower, this makes selecting the perfect gift a bit difficult. You want to make the lives of soon-to-be exhausted parents easier and brighter.

Plenty of new parents put together a baby registry, but if most of the gifts are already gone or you want to go rogue and pick up something they’ve never heard of but will absolutely love, you’ll find 40 options below – none of which will cost more than $50.

Below are 40 thoughtful baby shower gifts under $50:

A portable changing station for on-the-go parents

Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station

Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station, available at Amazon, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and BuyBuyBaby, from $27.99

This padded changing station includes multiple pockets for diapers and wipes, and it can be folded up into a clutch after baby has been changed. Parents can toss it in the diaper bag, clip it to the stroller, or leave it in the car for convenient changes.

A white noise machine so parents can get some sleep

Hatch Rest Mini Machine

Hatch Rest Mini Machine, available at Hatch, $39.99

A white noise machine will relax and calm both parent and baby, letting each of them get some much-needed rest. The machine goes all night long — blocking out the random noises of the neighborhood. They can control the Rest Mini from their phone, so they don’t even need to get out of bed.

A gift card for organic baby clothes that gives back

Hanna Andersson Baby Clothes

Hanna Andersson Gift Card, available at Hanna Andersson, $50

Perhaps known best for its matching family pajamas, Hanna Andersson also makes virtually every piece of baby clothing imaginable. Some of their prints feature rainbows, dachshunds, and Winnie the Pooh. Plus, the brand partners with Baby2Baby, providing children living in poverty with diapers, clothing, and basic necessities.

A diaper cake

Hello Bello Diaper Cake

Hello Bello Diaper Cake, available at Walmart, $34.97

Diaper cakes are a classic baby shower gift, but not everybody has the DIY skills to create one. This diaper cake includes wipes, shampoo, and bubble bath in addition to 35 newborn diapers.

A diaper bag backpack that holds everything they need

HaloVa Diaper Bag

HaloVa Diaper Bag, available at Amazon, $32.99

This functional diaper bag has a spot for everything. Parents can stash all their essentials with two bottle pockets, a wet clothes pocket, a wipe pouch, and multiple main-compartment pockets. Best of all: It’s machine washable.

A top knot hat to keep baby’s head warm

Copper Pearl Top Knot Hat

Copper Pearl Top Knot Hat, available at Amazon, $12.50

This tiny top knot hat keeps baby’s head warm and cozy. Pair it with a matching knotted gown for the most adorable newborn photoshoot.

A new nursing bra

Third Love nursing bra

ThirdLove gift card, available at ThirdLove, starting at $15

Bra size can change rapidly and drastically throughout pregnancy and postpartum. Give a Third Love gift card so they can take the brand’s quiz and find the right size. Third Love’s 24/7 Classic Nursing Bra is available in sizes A-I.

An activity gym that stimulates the senses

Baby Einstein 4 in 1 Kickin' Tunes

Baby Einstein 4-in-1 Kickin’ Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym, available at Target and BuyBuyBaby, $49.99

This music-themed activity gym encourages babies to kick, which is an important gross-motor skill. The set includes a piano, sensory toys, a mirror, and a prop pillow.

Baby bottles that reduce colic

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options Anti Colic Glass Baby Bottles

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Options Anti-Colic Glass Baby Bottles, 2 pack, available at Amazon, $15.98

These affordable glass baby bottles have a removable vent that is designed to reduce colic. You can also purchase additional accessories like different nipples or silicone sleeves.

A simple sensory board book

That’s Not My Monkey Book

That’s Not My Monkey by Fiona Watt, available at Barnes & Noble, $9.99

Babies will be fascinated by this book that only has a few pages. Each page is illustrated in bright colors and features a different texture for baby to feel.

A healthcare kit with all the essentials

Safety 1st Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit

Safety 1st Deluxe 25-Piece Baby Healthcare and Grooming Kit, available at Amazon, 19.99

Make the postpartum period a little less stressful by gifting some healthcare essentials. This kit includes nail clippers, a thermometer, combs, and a nasal aspirator. It even comes with a carrying case that has convenient see-through compartments.

Clever, unique bibs that actually make baby messes cute

Hudson Baby Drooler Bibs

Hudson Baby Food-Themed Drooler Bibs, available at Amazon and BuyBuyBaby, from $18.80

The only thing that makes spit up and pureed avocado stains funny is one of these food-themed pun bibs.

A stuffed animal that plays peek-a-boo

Flappy the Elephant

Flappy the Elephant, available at Amazon, from $29.99

This plush elephant plays peek-a-boo and sings “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” For added effect, the elephant’s ears flop back and forth, actually covering its eyes during the game.

Fun animal-inspired plates and bowls

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Silicone Elephant Shaped Plate & Bowl, available at Pottery Barn Kids, from $5.99

If you’re looking for an inexpensive add-on gift, these adorable animal-inspired bowls and plates are a sweet option. 

Five natural, gentle essentials

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Mustela Newborn Arrival Gift Set, available at Nordstrom, $34.99

Mustela is another well-loved brand for babies, and this set of newborn arrival essentials has five products designed for delicate newborn skin. Parents can trust all the products to work together gently and effectively. 

Wrist rattles

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Infantino Gaga Wrist Rattle, available at Target, $6.99

Wrist rattles are the distraction that baby won’t accidentally shake off as easily as other toys. They also have teethable, textured silicone borders that are BPA-free. 

A book that fosters cultural learning

Fry Bread  A Native American Family Story

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, from $15.36

“Fry Bread” is a story centered around food and culture. The book is chock-full of metaphors and even includes an educational note from the author and a delicious fry bread recipe.

Nursery skin care essentials

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Honest Baby Arrival Gift Set, available on The Honest Company, $49.95

Honest is well-loved by parents because all of its products are meant to be safe, gentle, and as minimally processed as possible. This set includes face and body lotion, shampoo and body wash, healing balm, and other essentials that are hypoallergenic and free of parabens, sulfates, dyes, and other risky additives. 

Cult-favorite cream moms swear by after breastfeeding

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Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Minis, 3-Count, available at Target, $8.25

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream, available on Amazon, $8.25

You don’t have to hunt far online for the most beloved new mom products for mention of Lansinoh’s Lanolin nipple cream. It soothes, protects, and is really effective. It’s also 100% natural and preservative-free. 

Tethers that keep things like spoons and sippy cups from falling

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Lil’ Sidekick Multi-Functional Tether, available at Lil’ Sidekick, $9.99

These multifunctional tethers may not be on the registry, but they should be. They’ll keep things like spoons and forks from falling to the floor while baby eats. 

Amazon Prime for easy, cheap, and fast refills of essentials

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Amazon Prime Three Month Subscription, available at Amazon, $39

The best thing you can give — if they don’t already have it — is probably an Amazon Prime membership. Parents can order essentials without leaving the house, pay less, and get it within two days with free shipping. It’ll also give them access to tons of other benefits. Plus, if they do have Prime already, your gift will convert into a gift card for them to use on any supplies they need.

A clever baby briefcase to store all of baby’s important documents

A baby briefcase to keep all their important documents in one place

Document Organizer, available at Nordstrom, $29.95

This clever baby briefcase is a cute (and helpful) way to organize all the important papers parents will need to keep track of — from birth certificates to passport photos. 

A fun, nourishing mask for her belly

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Hatch Belly Mask, available at Hatch, $12

Hatch’s Belly Mask is a fun way for them to relax and spend time caring for themselves. The mask is full of nourishing ingredients like aloe vera and propolis to minimize stretch marks during pregnancy and soften skin postpartum. 

Tiny booties that look like fortune cookies

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Baby Fortune Cookie Booties, available at Uncommon Goods, $29

Cute, unique, and sure to give baby’s parents a laugh. Don’t gift these if you aren’t ready for all the pictures grateful parents will send you. 

A soothing anti-swelling cream for legs and feet

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Hatch Down, Girl Soothing Leg + Foot Relief, available at Hatch, $42

Hatch is a popular brand for maternity wear — so popular, in fact, that a good portion of the startup’s customers wear the clothes long after pregnancy because they love the aesthetic. 

Down, Girl is a cooling, anti-inflammatory gel-based cream that Hatch designed to soothe  and reduce swelling in legs and feet during pregnancy. 

A beloved teething toy

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Baby Banana Infant Training Toothbrush and Teether, available at Amazon, $6.79

This infant training toothbrush and teether looks like a banana and helps kids get through the terrible teething phase with minimal tears. 

A contoured bath sponge that makes it easier to bathe newborns

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Summer Infant Comfy Bath Sponge, available at Target, $7.99

This infant bath sponge is a slip-resistant cushion with a contoured shape that makes it easier to bathe newborns. There’s a slight incline to support baby’s head, neck, and back, and the foam is quick-drying for fast cleanup.

Lots and lots of diapers

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Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers, available at Target, $8.29

It’s not as fun as buying baby moccasins in a gemstone color, but diapers are one of the most practical and thoughtful gifts you can give a new parent. They’ll need as many as they can stockpile, and it’s a relief to already have them at home. Consider purchasing larger sizes — many babies grow out of newborn diapers long before their stash runs out. 

A hooded baby towel for cozy bath time

parachute baby towel

Parachute Hooded Baby Towel, available at Parachute, $29

Parachute’s line of baby sheets and towels is extremely cute, and the brand has earned its reputation for quality linens. This hooded towel is perfect for a cozy bath time and a quick dry. 

Crib sheets in cute prints from a beloved startup

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Brooklittles Crib Sheets, available at Brooklinen, from $28.80

The internet’s favorite adult bedding startup also offers a line of sheets for little ones. Brooklinen’s Brooklittles line comes in tons of fun, vibrant patterns and prints.

A cult-favorite, comfortable baby wrap

A cult-favorite, comfortable baby wrap

Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier, available at Amazon, $49.95

This sling is comfortable, doesn’t have any complicated straps and buckles, and can be used with kids from babies to toddlers to help parents get more time with two free hands.  When we polled Business Insider parents for their favorite registry items, one told us this is the only thing she gives as a baby gift because of how good it is. 

Classic swaddling cloths

aiden anais swaddle

Aden + Anais Set of 4 Classic Swaddling Cloths, available at Nordstrom, $49.95

Aden + Anais are known for making quality baby products, and this set of classic swaddling cloths is no different. They come in cheerful patterns and are made from breathable, lightweight muslin that can be used for virtually anything. 

A portable gadget for fussy sleepers

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Baby Shusher Sleep Miracle Soother, available at Target, $34.99

No matter where baby is — in the car, at home, or in public — this little white noise machine helps fussy babies fall asleep. 

A pacifier that won’t keep falling to the ground in a never-ending loop

$15 ish

WubbaNub Monkey Pacifier, available at Nordstrom, $14.95

This WubbaNub pacifier is beloved among parents for good reason — a pacifier attached to a stuffed animal is less likely to fall to the ground a thousand times a day. They will thank you for this cute and clever gift. 

The go-to set for baby’s bath time

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Aveeno Baby Daily Bathtime Solutions Gift Set, available at Amazon, $17.92

Make bath time easier with a set of gentle essentials parents can feel good about using — and that they’ll love having on hand for messy days ahead, without a trip to the store. 

All the baby basics in one convenient kit

All the baby basics in one convenient kit

Fridababy Baby Basics Kit, available at Amazon, $34.98

If you’re a parent, don’t you kind of wish the mythical stork dropped off an entire bag of essentials at the same time? This Baby Basics Kit attempts to do something similar: grouping favorite products from trusted brand Fridababy for everything from “claws” (nails) to “flakes” (dry skin). 

A silicone roll-up bib that will save them time and time again

$12

OXO Tot Waterproof Silicone Roll Up Bib (2-pack), available at Amazon, $19.99

What’s conveniently mobile, well-designed, extremely useful, and far better than the status quo it replaces? A roll-up, silicone bib with a shelf to catch the rainstorm of food that babies drop while eating. Plus, the Velcro means it’s easily removed. Even if it’s not on the registry already, parents will thank you for it. 

Adorable, bright baby moccasins

Adorable, bright baby moccasins

Freshly Picked Baby Moccasins, available at Freshly Picked, from $45

It’s not anywhere near as practical as gifting diapers, but these tiny moccasins are adorable — and they come in a huge selection of fun prints and vibrant colors. 

Funny pacifiers that parents will get a kick out of

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Mustachifier, available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon, $9.99

Few things diffuse tears and panic for babies like pacifiers. For adults, the same thing can be achieved with a little much-needed chuckle at their child.

A personalized bedtime book

A personalized bedtime book

Personalized Goodnight Little Me Book, available at Uncommon Goods, $40

Create a personalized goodnight book for a gift they’ll always remember. To make it even more sentimental, write a heartfelt inscription inside for when baby grows up. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Parents are set to be some of the biggest winners under the Biden administration. Here are 4 ways Democrats aim to support families.

biden vaccine
President Joe Biden.

  • Parents are set to be some of the biggest winners in Biden’s fiscal stimulus proposal.
  • Democrats are trying to expand relief for families through four key proposals.
  • They are a child tax credit, “baby bonds,” school aid, and childcare assistance. Biden wants to make the first one permanent.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Democrats are pushing forward with President Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus proposal, with Senate Democrats advancing the bill today. Parents are set to be among the biggest beneficiaries.

The president’s $1.9 trillion relief package is meant to accelerate the US economy’s rebound from the coronavirus recession. The legislation’s most-talked-about elements include $1,400 direct payments and an expansion of federal unemployment benefits, but the package could help American families, too.

The CARES Act, enacted last March, helped parents with direct payments for children, but Democrats are looking to further alleviate families’ economic pressures.

Biden has indicated he aims to pass the measure with bipartisan support, but congressional Democrats have taken steps to pass it through budget reconciliation, a process that allows the Senate to pass bills with a simple majority.

Should all 50 Senate Democrats line up in support of the package, Vice President Kamala Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote, approving the measure without any Republican backing.

Here’s how Biden and congressional Democrats plan to support parents through the coronavirus recession, from an expanded child tax credit to new aid for childcare providers.

You can jump to a section or group through the table of contents here, or you can scroll through.

Table of Contents: Static

1. At least $3,000 in direct annual payments

Congressional Democrats proposed that the American Family Act form a critical part of Biden’s rescue package. Biden told House Democrats on Wednesday he supports making the temporary beefed-up child tax credit permanent, Insider’s Joseph Zeballos-Roig reported, the first time the president has indicated such support.

The child-tax-credit program would, over the course of 2021, provide families $3,600 per child 5 and under, and $3,000 per child between 6 and 17. That would be up to $300 in monthly cash benefits per child for American families.

The initiative would be set up as a one-year emergency federal program, with the IRS doling out monthly benefits beginning July 1 to ease childcare costs and assist families who lost income during the pandemic. Some experts have deemed the timeline ambitious, considering tax season and the pandemic.

Nina Olson, the former head of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, noted that the IRS spent years building a framework for Obamacare’s premium tax credit.

“It is fine to authorize the payments, but there needs to be at least 18 months’ lead time, and even that is a stretch,” Olson told Politico. “Otherwise you just get something that is tacked on to mid-20th-century technology that is completely inflexible.”

One of the legislation’s sponsors, Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, has insisted a monthly rollout is better. “Nobody pays their bills once a year – you pay your bills each month,” she said at a virtual news briefing on the plan. “The design makes more sense and helps families make ends meet through difficult months.”

The payments could start phasing out for individuals earning $75,000 and for couples making $150,000, though this could change in the coming weeks as committees draft the legislation. The credit would be refundable, meaning lower-income families could see higher tax refunds.

Researchers at Columbia University projected that the plan could cut the child poverty rate in half. The Biden administration has indicated support, and Democrats said they’d likely press for a permanent extension later this year.

2. ‘Baby bonds’

Democrats also unveiled a plan to create $1,000 savings accounts for every American child that become accessible when they turn 18. The measure, backed by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, would add up to $2,000 to each child’s account every year.

Pressley said that introducing this so-called baby bond as a birthright would combat racial and economic injustice and set Americans up for brighter futures.

“Our bill will provide every child an opportunity to pursue higher education, purchase a home, and build wealth for generations to come,” she said in a statement.

The interest-accruing accounts would be managed by the Treasury Department. Holders could tap the account once they reach 18, and the funds could be used for only specific kinds of purchases, a 2018 press release unveiling the proposal said. Some of those are buying a home, paying for higher education, or opening a business – taking some pressure off parents who might have had to shoulder those costs.

The measure isn’t included in Biden’s proposal, but it has garnered support from influential party members including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

Booker has said the program’s $60 billion-a-year price tag could be easily offset by lifting estate taxes and eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy. While some federal policies have exacerbated the income gap, baby bonds could start to “level the playing field,” he said.

3. School aid

To support a school system strained by the pandemic, the administration is pushing for $130 billion to reopen and rebuild K-12 schools.

These funds are designed to help make schools a safe space during the pandemic, Biden’s website said. The proposal outlines reduced class sizes, modified spaces for social distancing, improved ventilation, provisions for personal protective equipment, and increased transportation to provide for social distancing on buses. Some of the funds would be allocated toward support for students’ academic, social, and emotional needs through things like extended learning time and counselors.

The aid is intended to close the digital divide that has deepened the socioeconomic gap. Some of the money would go to a COVID-19 Educational Equity Gap Challenge Grant for underserved communities and schools.

Public education, including community colleges and historically Black colleges, would get $45 billion, and $5 billion would go to governors to use for educational programs for both K-12 and higher-education students significantly affected by the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education, and the students and parents they serve,” Biden said in a statement in January when he first pitched the plan. “School closures have disproportionately impacted the learning of Black and Hispanic students, as well as students with disabilities and English language learners.”

4. Childcare assistance

Childcare would form a $40 billion chunk of the package, with $25 billion earmarked for an emergency stabilization fund for care providers.

A study from the National Association for the Education of Young Children in July found that about four in 10 providers said they expected to close permanently if the government didn’t offer support.

“No one can go back to work in other industries if their children aren’t in safe, healthy settings,” said Ami Gadhia, the chief of policy, research, and programs at Child Care Aware.

Another $15 billion investment would expand childcare assistance to millions of families and parents who experienced job interruption due to the pandemic. The relief aims to help the disproportionate number of women who were forced to exit the workforce and become family caregivers.

The plan also seeks to provide a tax credit for as much as half of parents’ spending on childcare for children under 13. The credit could reach up to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for two children. The full 50% reimbursement would start to phase out for families making more than $125,000 a year.

Outside childcare, Democrats are pushing to invest $3 billion in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. More people have used the program, commonly known as WIC, as more Americans have gone hungry through the pandemic.

The administration said the new funding would be spread out over several years and “ensure that low-income families have access to high-quality nutritious food and nutrition education.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

How employers can better support working moms with in-person and hybrid work options after the pandemic

working from home virtual learning
Moms may report more anxiety and loneliness while working from home.

  • Working moms face a particular disadvantage when it comes to balancing remote work with domestic duties.
  • A Yale University study suggests moms are more likely to feel depressed, anxious, and lonely while working from home.
  • When deciding on continuing remote work after the pandemic, employers should consider making accommodations for working moms.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Many employers have found to their surprise that remote work offers productivity and savings. Why return to the office, and continue paying that pricey lease, when your employees are just as productive from home? I can already hear the groan of discontent from parents around the country – particularly mothers. Indeed, studies have found that mothers suffer a gender disadvantage in the remote work environment. They are more likely to work with their children present. Their household chores increase when they work from home. They are more likely to report depression, anxiety, and loneliness than their husbands.

Regardless of how attentive their husbands are to the gender imbalance in child-rearing, the fact is that mothers of young and school-aged children tend to be the primary caregiver. They have found it more difficult to manage their maternal and remote work responsibilities during the health crisis.

Employers who decide to continue the experiment with remote work after the global health crisis must avoid contributing to this gender disparity. My research and discussions with mothers reveal a singular finding about how to close the gender gap from remote work: Remote work should be an option, not a requirement.

A case for in-person work

Just as parents realized they relied on school as a form of daycare, mothers have come to realize that they rely on in-person work as a break from their domestic roles. A study by Yale University found that mothers suffered the most due to the clash between the domestic and career roles while working from home. Going to work creates a clear demarcation between these roles.

One friend, I’ll call her M., recently took mental leave because she found the demands of remote work and child-rearing too overwhelming. “I found myself scolding my kids simply because they wanted to spend time with me. They are still too young to realize that they were interrupting my work.” M. is fortunate enough to have the option of paid leave. Now she’s afraid that her firm might decide to require remote work post-health-crisis. “I cannot wait to go back to the office, and I’m not sure if I can stay at home if we go full remote.”

The allure of going remote for some businesses is obvious. Firms can save significantly on fixed overhead costs if they downsize or even eliminate their office space entirely. Indeed, many firms are considering going hybrid – placing some of their workforce in-person and the rest remaining at home. Employers are conducting occupational analyses to determine who will stay remote and who will return to work.

Pressures on mothers

Employers should also consider the gender factor. Some accommodations should be made for mothers (and anyone else, frankly) experiencing difficulties with remote work. They should have the option to return to work even if their positions have been deemed suitable for working remote.

It’s important to note that this problem will not just go away when children return to school after the health crisis. Mothers of young children will continue to care for their children at home. Many parents will decide, regardless of the distress, to save on the costs of childcare and aftercare if at least one parent is working from home.

This is not just a matter of accommodating subjective preferences. The research shows significant mental health problems for many mothers working remotely due to the health crisis. Remote work has altered the work-life balance for many mothers in ways they never envisioned, and employers considering a permanent or hybrid remote work approach must keep mothers in mind.

Read the original article on Business Insider