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After a few months of days full of water play, ice cream sandwich snack breaks, and the constant aroma of sunscreen floating in the air, you may find yourself recoiling at the sight of back-to-school displays at your local big-box store. Or, perhaps you spent your summer tirelessly battling the dreaded “I’m bored!” declaration from your kids, so the stacks of notebooks and shelves lined with fresh boxes of crayons add a little spring to your step. Regardless of where you fall on the back-to-school spectrum, it’s that time of year again, whether you’re ready for it or not.
This year, I have one little one in daycare and another entering first grade, and I have to say I love the back-to-school season. I get immense joy going through school supply lists, scouring the shelves for sparkly pink pencil boxes and notebooks, and getting the opportunity to be a “yes mom” for a day as we shop for new clothes. When I look back on my own childhood, I feel a warmth come over me when I remember back-to-school shopping with my mom. Every summer, it was a chance for us to connect and bond one more time before life got busy again, and I am thrilled that I get to carry on the tradition with two daughters of my own.
That being said, when I remove all of the emotions I have attached to back-to-school shopping, I am fully aware that this time of year basically equates to one giant to-do list for parents. And while online shopping is a real life-saver at times, it can also be incredibly overwhelming when you just want to find your kid a lunchbox that won’t fall apart before December break. I get it—all of the editors at Pregnancy & Newborn get it. So this month, we came together to curate a list of some of our favorite back-to-school products for 2023 to (hopefully) save you some time on research.