When we caught up with Jordana Brewster, fresh on the heels of filming season three of Dallas and getting ready to shoot The Fast & The Furious 7, she was as grounded as we’d heard (no makeup! in public!). Not that she doesn’t work for it, “I’m very passionate about constantly working on myself, whether it be through therapy, meditation or self help books.” The mother of eight-month-old Julian – who grew up in Panama City, Brazil and NYC and now lives in Santa Monica – has an adorable practice with her two best friends: “We email each other a gratitude list at the end of the day. Every day. Shifting your perspective is so important!”

Toys Schmoys

Take things you already have around the house — a rock, pine cone, paper towel tube — and put them in a bowl or basket for your baby to play with. They love the different textures and once they tire of one, they move on to the next. You don’t even need traditional toys. Next up is edible paint, but he’s not old enough yet. I love The Imagination Tree website for this kind of thing!

Clothes Make The Baby

I’m obsessed with Petit Bateau and Nununu baby clothes, especially Nununu’s pants. Some days Julian’s style is very hipster/skater, and others I dress him like Prince George: a little gentleman.

Be Present

There’s no such thing as multitasking as a mom – if you’re answering emails, you aren’t giving the baby the attention he needs. I’m trying to be more mindful and setting aside time to devote myself to work so I can give him my full attention when I am with him. It’s a work in progress. I meditate twice a day to resist the urge!

Lifesaving Baby Products

For the first 6 months, the Nuna Leaf saved me. I loved that it’s not motorized, Julian found it so soothing and I had my hands free for a short while. Now he wants to be held at all times, but it was great while it lasted. Also the Baby Shusher is a genius invention. At first it felt really lazy, but all that shushing is exhausting! There’s also an app, which I used after I dropped and broke the actual shusher. Oh, and buy the NoseFrida. It’s so convenient and surprisingly addictive.

Skip It

Diaper bags are overrated. I just throw a Bambo diaper, Naty wipes, one toy and a sippy cup in my purse.

Insider Tricks

Find a pediatrician that answers emails or texts. It gives me so much peace of mind to be able to get timely answers without having to take the baby to the doctor. Also, I constantly start email chains with my mom friends about any question I have and they always ease my worries and have good advice.

Truth

I thought I would be this zen earth mama, but I am more paranoid about things than I used to be. People say that once you become a mom you’ll know exactly what to do, but that isn’t necessarily true. I find myself more anxious than before.

A Bag of Tricks

I was shooting Dallas in Texas and traveled back and forth 10 times with Julian. The trick is to give a bottle on the way up and down and to have a bag of tricks. You’re basically an entertainer for the whole plane ride, so pull one toy out at a time and let him play with it until he gets bored. You have to switch up what’s in the bag every trip too.

Hey, Jules

My husband and I had differing opinions on names but out of the blue one day, he said I love the name Jules. And I loved it too. And there we had it.

#Momfail

One day, Julian ate a leaf and then puked it up shortly thereafter. That’s when I realized I have to have my eyes on him at all times.

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Alice and Olivia founder Stacey Bendet Eisner is proud of the fact that her girls never have “typical” days. She’s constantly seeking out new creative activities for her two girls – Eloise, 5 and Scarlett, 3. What’s on her roster of musts? She opened her little black book to the best playgrounds, camps, and family entertainment in her home bases of Manhattan and Malibu.

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stacey_black_book_ny

CMA in SoHo is a hands-down favorite for family time.


Brunch at the Soho House.

The playgrounds down by Battery Park

Ballet classes at the Joffrey School

Gymnastics lessons at Chelsea Piers

Karma Kids Yoga

Brunch at Sarabeths in Tribeca

Trapeze school in Brooklyn

Bowling at Brooklyn Bowl

HiArts camp is amazing in the summer.

We love treats from Dominique Ansel.

Vegetarian food from Blossom

Smoothies from One Lucky Duck

Family dinners at Nobu

For a road trip, Weezee World in Chappaqua is amazing!

stacey_black_book_la

We love art classes with B
Johnson
, who comes to our house in Malibu.


Swim lessons with Lori
Armstrong
(world’s best swim teacher)
Contact: 310-457-4574

Pony camp at Cross Creek

Dance camp with Miss Charissa.

Weekends at the Malibu
Farmers Market
for flowers,
organic treats and amazing
baskets from the Kenyan
weaving artisans.

We love the beach at Little
Dume
.

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Thanks, but no thanks:

Breastfeeding Advice
to Ignore

You’d think breastfeeding would be a sacred art seamlessly passed down from generation to generation. Nope. It’s surprisingly a tricky business rife with old wives’ tales and outdated advice.

We asked lactation consultant Quetzal Currie, LM, IBCLC (who’s seen it all after 16 years in the business) for the most common tips doled out by well-meaning moms, grandmas, and sister-in-laws you can politely ignore.

breast_feeding_myths_rub_lanolin

The Tip:



Rub lanolin on your nipples



The Truth:


Slippery nipples can actually make it harder for baby to get a deep latch, and some little ones don’t like the taste/texture. Plus if your nips are cracking, slathering them in goopy wax will keep them too moist to heal. Instead, speed the healing process by dabbing a saline solution (8 oz. water + ¼ tsp. salt) on nipples after nursing, exposing them to air as much as possible (read: go topless), and using breast shells under clothes.


breast_feeding_myths_no_paci

The Tip:



Don’t use a paci



The Truth:


In general it’s best to wait 4-6 weeks, but there are lots of exceptions. Some babies have powerful sucking reflexes and aren’t happy unless they’re sucking on something—if you’re not having latch issues, it’s totally fine to opt for a binky ASAP instead of becoming a human pacifier.


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breast_feeding_myths_calluses

The Tip:



It’s just going to hurt—until you develop calluses



The Truth:


Yes, it’s going to be uncomfortable at first. And it will get easier as baby’s mouth grows (not because your nipples get tougher). But you shouldn’t be bleeding or having persistent pain after the first few days. Don’t grin and bear it; that’s a sign you need help with the latch.


breast_feeding_myths_eating_often

The Tip:



She’s eating so often! (said judgily)



The Truth:


Older generations, especially those who formula-fed exclusively, may hint that babies should be put on a schedule. Currie advises nursing when baby is hungry, or as she says, “on demand—within reason.” Shoot for 15-30 minute feedings every 2-3 hours, but be flexible.


breast_feeding_myths_nurse_in_bed

The Tip:



You’ll get more sleep if you nurse lying down



The Truth:


Yeah, good luck with that. Currie considers it an “advanced technique” and a recipe for a shallow latch and sore nips. Until you’re a pro, sit upright in a comfortable chair, and strap on a My Brest Friend pillow (better for keeping baby at the right angle than the mushier Boppy). If your baby is flailing her arms, swaddle her first; you can always do skin-to-skin after nursing.


breast_feeding_myths_baby_on_bottle

The Tip:



Get baby on a bottle ASAP so Dad can bond – and help with feedings



The Truth:


Sweet sentiment, but don’t feel pressured. If you don’t have to pump, it’s best to wait 4-6 weeks, to avoid nipple confusion and overwhelming mom (she has enough going on as-is.) He’ll bond just fine while changing and swaddling the baby and taking care of you, thankyouverymuch.


Currie’s a baby and boob whisperer. To get in-person help in New York, Brooklyn, or New Jersey, email her at quetzalcurrie@gmail.com.

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21 Guilt-Free Educational Apps

Yep, there’s an app for that (and that and that and that). But only a handful are kid-friendly – and educator approved. We questioned three developmental experts – Dana Rosenbloom of Dana’s Kids and speech-language pathologists Jill Rappaport and Mara Cole – to find apps that entertain and educate kids from 12 months to 4 years old.

A few things to keep in mind:

1. Some are available in “lite” versions so you can try them before you buy.
2. The most value lies in apps that can engage toddlers one way and utilize different features for preschoolers.
3. Plan to participate with your child by following their lead to enhance the experience, especially early on.
4. Set limits from the beginning on when and how long kids can be on their tablet or phone.
5. For children under a year, limit exposure to just music and an occasional video.
6. Lead by example – if you don’t want your child using it incessantly, don’t do so in front of him.

Interactive Stories

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Vocabulary

Creativity

Learning the abc’s

Sorting, Classifying Skills

Shapes/Numbers/colors

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