Michelle Horton

Michelle Horton is the founder of EarlyMama.com — a site that encourages and inspires anyone who started families on the "earlier" end of the parenting spectrum — and is a regular contributor to Babble.com, including their Family Style and Being Pregnant blogs. If she's not writing articles or testing out baby gear, she's most likely wrapped up in her toddler's imaginative role play. She lives in New York with her husband and son. Follow Michelle on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

8 Reasons I Love Having a Little Boy

Piggy-backing off Lauren’s recent post on why she loves having a little girl, I figured I’d add my opinion in here as well. I grew up with a lot of estrogen in my life — a sister, female cousins, a gaggle of aunts. The world of a little boy was foreign, and so my childhood visions of motherhood included tea parties and dance recitals. It’s all I knew.

But then I got pregnant way younger than I ever expected (22 years old), and the thought of having a little girl sent me into a panic. Well — maybe not a panic. Brainstorming baby girl names and imagining a wardrobe of tiny dresses was always appealing. But I was barely a woman myself — how could I raise a little girl to be the confident, healthy young woman I was still hoping to be?

Of course I now know that I would’ve been just fine raising a mini-me, and I certainly have moments of mourning for the daughter I may never have, but I’m grateful for my little boy in so many unexpected ways. Here are some of the (many) reasons I love having a little boy:

Yet ANOTHER Reason to Book a Disney Cruise

I’ve been somewhat of a Disney Cruise spokesperson since stepping off the Disney Magic in December — explaining to parents, especially parents with babies and toddlers, why a Disney cruise is the perfect compromise vacation.

You get the entire Disney experience without the long lines, extensive walking, and overwhelming itinerary — most of which babies/toddlers have no patience for. All of the magic is brought to you — characters, Broadway-style shows, Disney activities — and it’s really the one way that the entire family, from babies to grandparents, can have the kind of vacation they want. The kids’ clubs and baby nursery will keep the little ones occupied and entertained, while the spa and hot tubs and adults-only restaurants give grown-ups a relaxing break.

I can’t possibly sing its praises more loudly! DISNEY CRUISE, FTW!

Except maybe now that I see the complete transformation that the Disney Magic cruise is undergoing. If you’re contemplating a Disney cruise, now is the perfect time. Because coming from someone who recently sailed this ship, these renovations have me itching to go back. And yes, even with a baby.

4 Reasons Babies Are So Charming

Thanks to Disney for sponsoring this post and for giving me the Kermit bodysuit, THE LION KING Premier Pounce & Play, and Simba’s King-Sized Play Gym for free.

Not all babies are alike — some are shy, some are colicky, some aren’t as affectionate as others — but there are a lot of charming babies out there.

You know the type; in fact, you can spot them from across the room. They’re the ones with a flock of adults being drawn toward their radiating happiness like human magnets. They turn heads, provoke friendly waves, and make even the grumpiest men crack smiles.

Which is why this Lil’ Charmer bodysuit is so appropriate…

A Play Gym That's Cooler Than the Rest

Thanks to Disney for sponsoring this post and giving me Simba’s King-Sized Play Gym for free.

There are three things an aunt needs: the best toys, the best homemade cookies, and the best embarrassing stories of their parents.

And while #2 and #3 will have to wait a few years, my 5-month-old nephew can certainly think Aunt Michelle has the best toys. Especially with the Disney goodies I had waiting for him last week.

Like this Fisher-Price play gym featuring The Lion King — which is way cooler than his play gym at home. (Score 1 for the Aunt.) Take a look at Exhibit A of why Benjamin loves to visit Aunt Michelle’s house:

12 Summer Stroller Accessories You'll Be Thankful For

Strollers are useful in any season, but they quickly become a must-have in the summer — when we’re doing more walking, traveling, and daily outings.

And summer strollers can require more bells and whistles, whether you need to keep out the sun or hold cold drinks. You can probably get by just fine without them, but you’ll be super grateful to have these stroller accessories once the warm weather hits:

Rocket Fuel