Category: Baby Stuff

Should Some Baby Names Illegal?

Posted on Dec 19, 2014 by No Comments

Last year I wrote about the list of banned baby names in New Zealand which included names like Hippo, Lucifer, and Majesty.

Granted, I wouldn’t pick such a name for my kid, but now members of the July 2014 Birth Club over at Baby Centre are talking about whether or not governments should be able to make certain names illegal. It seems that some typical baby names have even been banned in some places around the world.

Last year a child in Tennessee named Messiah made the news when a judge changed the baby’s name when the parents couldn’t agree on the sir name. That ruling didn’t stick but it does raise the question of whether or not laws should be able to govern what we name our kids.

Along with New Zealand, Sweden, Germany, and Australia have lists of banned names, while in the UK there aren’t any restrictions on what you name your baby with a few exceptional cases where a name is deemed offensive. This includes names like Anal, Fish and Chips, and @. However, the powers-that-be have allowed Superman and Gandalf!

In Germany the ban includes naming your child after a project or an object and in Malaysia you can’t name your baby after a fruit. In Saudi Arabia forbidden names include Alice, Sandy, Linda, and Laura.

A recent article in The Huffington Post says the reason behind these restrictions is that they are trying to spare the kids “embarrassment, ridicule and bullying.”

You would hope that parents would care enough that they wouldn’t put their child such a predicament. But names are a thing of personal preference.

What do you think? Should the government be able to tell parents what they can and cannot name their children? Or is this a matter of protecting children?

Photo credits: Amazon

Jimmy Fallon Shows Off Pics of His Newborn Daughter

Posted on Dec 12, 2014 by 1 Comment

Jimmy Fallon, host of the Tonight Show, took three days off from the show last week. When he returned on Monday, he updated his audience about why he was gone and shared pictures of his new baby, Frances Cole Fallon. She was born on Dec. 3, and weighed 5 lbs. 11 ounces.

Fallon went on to say, “I just want to say it’s just a big deal for us and I just want to thank everyone, the nurses and the doctors and our surrogate, who had our baby. There are angels in Dallas, Texas.”

This is the couple’s second child. Little Franny Fallon joins her big sister, Winnie Rose, who is now 16 months old and was also born via surrogate.

Jimmy and his wife, Nancy Juvonen, hadn’t announced the good news right away, but decided to enjoy their new daughter privately until Franny made her official debut.

The Tonight Show Tweeted, “Due to unexpected but delightful circumstances, there will not be new episodes tonight or Thursday evening.” Then on Wednesday, Jimmy sent out his own Tweet, “Franny sends her thanks,” he wrote.

Once the big news was announced, his team posted baby pics on the Fallon Tonight Twitter account, too.

Jimmy Fallon makes no secret of how much he loves having kids. In an interview with People in June, he admitted, “This has been the craziest year of my life. But being a father is the most exciting, amazing thing that ever happened to me. And everything is going well on the show. My life has never been so cool.”

And the coolness goes on. This year, he also wrote his first baby book, You Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, and has a second child to celebrate.

One of the things I like about Fallon is how real he is. He shares his life along with his talent. Now with two children, I expect twice the fun when they dress those little darlings in some of those ridiculous but cute outfits they put on Winnie.

Photo credits: Twitter

Parents Name Babies After Popular TV Characters

Posted on Dec 9, 2014 by 1 Comment

I admit I have named pets after some favorite characters in movies and TV, but not my kids. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I did consider naming her Clint after Clint Eastwood, if she were a boy.

Luckily she was a girl, but the point is I didn’t think of naming her Dirty Harry or Rowdy after the character he played in Rawhide. However, it turns out that with the advent of Netflix and other avenues we have to binge watch our favorite shows, it seems that more babies are being tagged with names from popular shows.

Baby Boy Names Based on Popular TV Characters

According to there’s a long list of names based on favorite TV characters from favorite shows, some of which were on back in the 70s. Here’s a handful of baby boy names resulting from this trend:

  • Adrian (Monk)
  • Angus (MacGyver)
  • Arthur (King of Queens)
  • Betram (Mad Men)
  • Boone (Lost)
  • Chandler (Friends)
  • Creed (The Office)
  • Gil (CSI)
  • Opie (Andy Griffith Show)
  • Sawyer (Lost)

Baby Girl Names Based on Popular TV Characters

  • Alice (The Brady Bunch)
  • Bree (Desperate Housewives)
  • Carmela (The Sopranos)
  • Gina (The Treatment)
  • Izzie (Grey’s Anatomy)
  • Mindy (Mork and Mindy)
  • Phoebe (Friends)
  • Remy (House)
  • Temperance (Bones)
  • Wilhelmina (Ugly Betty)

While the trend of naming our kids after TV shows is influencing baby names, it hasn’t influenced the top 10. Those top names have real staying power.

For instance, the top three boys’ names are the same as last year: Jackson, Aiden, and Liam. And the top three girl names have remained the same for three years with Sophia, Emma, and Olivia.

It’s important to remember that our kids are stuck with the names we give them. For instance, I like Mindy, but not so sure Mork would work in the long term. And while I like the name Adrienne, I wouldn’t want to name my son Monk.

Part of choosing a name is that we like it, so I know it’s all subjective, but I’m not sure about kids learning they are named after some TV character. Have you named your child after a TV character?

Photo credits:  wikimedia

Winter Activities for Kids

Posted on Dec 4, 2014 by 1 Comment

I grew up in Northern Illinois and when winter hit and snow fell, we still played outside. Looking back at it now, I wonder how I thought trying to walk through waist-high snow was fun, but I did.

We’d build forts, have snowball fights, sled, make snow angels, and go ice skating on a nearby lake. Yes, we walked a mile in the snow to get to the lake.

When we came back into the house we’d put our gloves on the heat vent to dry, hang our coats and leggings in the basement where they were free to drip on the floor, and then enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

By the time I had my kids, they played outside in the winter, too, doing much the same as I did, but in a limited fashion as subdivisions had sprouted and there wasn’t as much fresh snow and space to play. Let’s face it, once you’ve trampled through the snow in your yard and built the fort, it is time to go in the house.

And when the wind chill made it unhealthy to go outside everyone was trapped in the house. I recently read an article about things to do with your kids during the winter. One idea was to redo a room. Buy new bedding, rearrange, etc.

While that’s a great idea, I felt it smacked of Tom Sawyerism. Remember when he talked others into whitewashing the fence. I know there might be a handful of kids who think rearranging a room and decorating it is fun, but truth be told most of us parents would be operating solo within about an hour, once the kids were bored with our idea of fun.

My idea of fun winter activities for kids leans more toward crafts and baking. Kids enjoy making cookies and the reward that follows. Nothing like fresh homemade cookies while their warm.

And here’s a few of the craft ideas my kids thought were fun and still work today:

One last thing my kids liked to do was give me a make over. I’d pull out my old make up and let them paint my face. With two kids, each got one side of my face to work with. It wasn’t pretty, but it was fun and actually felt good. Sometimes I’d wash my face and we’d start all over again.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Boys Buried in Snow Fort Rescued Thanksgiving Morning

Posted on Dec 2, 2014 by 1 Comment

Kids love to build forts. Whether it’s blankets draped from furniture, building a tree fort, or making a fort from snow, they provide timeless hours of fun.

Growing up north of Chicago, snow forts and snowball fights were part of childhood, and part of snow forts for us were safety hatches we called trapdoors. They were placed strategically in case of accidental collapse. From time to time they were actually needed, but it didn’t seem like any big deal at the time.

On the day before Thanksgiving, two boys were building a snow fort in Newburgh, New York, in a parking lot near their homes. The thing is, they were building it in an existing snowbank and while they were inside their fort a snow plow came along to clear six inches of newly fallen snow.

The driver decided to dump it onto an existing snow bank. The very snow bank where the boys, ages 9 and 11, were playing. They were trapped inside.

The snowplow driver had no idea they were there. I don’t even think an escape hatch could have helped because it wasn’t a typical collapse. It was more like a mini avalanche which buried the boys. And no one knew where they were.

They weren’t reported missing for several hours. By 10:00 p.m. the families grew concerned and hit the streets searching the neighborhood. When they saw no sign of them they called the police almost two hours later.

When they learned the boys had been building a fort in the parking lot, nine officers and a police dog responded and searched the area in the pre-dawn hours on Thanksgiving morning.

One officer “found a shovel that was half-buried” and started digging into the bank. He spotted a small boot and a frantic rescue followed. Police said, “Officers, family members, community members, and mobile ambulance personnel assisted in digging out the boys with shovels and with their hands.”

At 2:10 a.m., the boys were pulled from snow alive and well. Sgt. Aaron Weaver told WCBS News that, “They were probably in about five feet of snow, but however it fell, there was, like, a dome around their heads, so there was air in there, like space for them.”

The boys were taken to the hospital for observation, and both were in good condition. Needless to say for those families, neighbors, and emergency personnel, it started Thanksgiving Day with a an extra measure of thankfulness.

Photo credits: MOMOKOY

Largest Stroller Recall Ever Spans 14 Years

Posted on Nov 26, 2014 by No Comments

Graco has issued a voluntary recall of nearly 5 million strollers due to an exposed hinge that could snip off the tip of tiny fingers.

According to a news release from the company, this hinge poses “a laceration or amputation hazard.” At this time, Graco has received 11 reports of finger injuries with six of them being finger amputations.

Graco Strollers Recalled

The strollers affected by this latest Graco recall were sold between August 2000 and November 2014. The fact that almost 85 percent of the strollers being recalled were sold more than 7 years ago means strollers bought at garage sales or second-hand outlets have a good chance of falling into this category.

Model names  of strollers being recalled include: Aspen, Breeze, Capri, Cirrus, Glider, Kite, LiteRider, Sierra, Solara, Sterling and TravelMate. These stroller models are single-occupant strollers and are equipped with an external sliding fold-lock hinge on each side and a one-hand fold release mechanism on the handle.

More details including model names and numbers (located at the bottom of the stroller leg just above the rear wheels) can be found on their website.

While the majority of strollers being recalled are older models, Graco says they are “committed to the safety of our products and have included all strollers that used the same hinge design sold during the last 14 years.”

Graco Offering Free Fix

While the number of injuries is small, Graco hopes to alleviate consumer concerns by offering free hinge covers to those who have purchased any of the recalled strollers.

If you think your stroller may be one of the recalled models, you can order the repair kit by entering the model number on or by phone at (800)-345-4109 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Second Graco Recall This Year

Unfortunately for Graco, this is their second large recall this year. In the spring, they recalled 4.2 million car seats because the harness buckles could get stuck if gummed up by food and drinks.

In that case, they offered a replacement buckle for those affected car seats. And then in April, Evenflo also recalled 1.3 million child safety seat buckles for latch sticking problems.

For more information, call Graco at 800-345-4109 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Photo credits: Amazon

Earthy Bliss Baby Carriers Let You Keep Baby Close at All Times

Posted on Nov 24, 2014 by No Comments

In today’s on-the-go world, moms are busier today than ever before. Babywearing is ideal for keeping your little one close while leaving your hands free, but many baby carriers make wearing your baby difficult and uncomfortable.

Earthy Bliss baby carriers are designed to make babywearing an enjoyable experience for both mother and child. The carriers are one-size-fits-all, so both you and your husband or baby sitter can use the same carrier.

The carriers can also be adjusted to be used with children from birth to preschool. Carriers come in a wide range of styles and colorful fabric options so you can choose a carrier that you’ll be proud to use.

Since babywearing can be a bit confusing for a new mom, Earthy Bliss has a selection of instructional videos that explain how to use each baby carrier style as well as detailing the different methods of carrying newborns and older babies. If you’re not sure what style of baby carrier is best for you, watching the videos may help with your purchasing decision.

“I experienced firsthand how frustrating it can be to find comfortable, functional and fashionable baby carriers,” said founder Johna Bowden. “When I first became a mom, I searched high and low for the right one before I finally gave up and sewed it myself. The result was the first Earthy Bliss baby carrier prototype. Since that very first design, we’ve seen amazing response to our line of baby carriers. We started out hand sewing each individual order, but when the wait-list became overwhelming, we moved to mass manufacturing in Europe — and even now, we still can’t keep up with demand!”

Photo credit: Earthy Bliss

November Is Prematurity Awareness Month

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 by No Comments

I just learned November is Prematurity Awareness Month with November 17 being World Prematurity Awareness Day.

I’m not big on the idea of having months set aside for causes because there are so many worthy causes that usually what happens is that the message ends up being lost with so many vying for attention.

For instance, November is also “Adopt a Senior Pet Month,” “National Adoption Month,” “National Family Caregivers Month,” and that just a few from a long list of worthy causes that claim November as their month.

They are all important, but really prematurity is worth talking about whether it is November or not because it remains the number one cause of newborn mortality in the United States.

Since this month is suppose to be about awareness, it’s important to note that 1 in 8 babies in the U.S. are born too early. In some cases it’s not preventable, but moms can reduce their risk of preterm birth by making some changes to their behavior.

For instance, moms-to-be should stop smoking and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs.

While that might seem like a no-brainer, taking care of yourself in general can help make a difference. This includes getting regular prenatal care throughout your pregnancy, eating healthy, taking prenatal vitamins, and controlling diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

While these things all smack of common sense, in general staying healthy while pregnant can reduce the risk of a preterm birth. So that should be a mom-to-be’s goal

Prematurity Awareness Month is the brainchild of the March of Dimes. Their goal is to focus the nation’s attention on premature birth and to educate the public.

Be sure to visit their website to see how your state rates when it comes to premature births. They along with their partner organizations around the world are asking everyone to help spread the word on the serious problem of premature birth and what can be done to help prevent it.

Photo credits: wikimedia

Link Round-up: Nutella Hot Chocolate, Toys for Babies, a DIY Gift Idea, and More

Posted on Nov 18, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link roundup has cute toys for babies, Nutella hot chocolate, top baby names, a marbled clay ring dish, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for chocolate chip magic granola bars.

Kids’ Activities Blog showed us some games for babies.

Brit & Co. shared some of the top baby names.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make Nutella hot chocolate.

Painted Home Designs shared a DIY kindling pack gift idea.

Crafts ‘n Coffee showed us how to make a drinking straw Christmas tree.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons shared a cute Thanksgiving snack made up of a pear and berries.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess