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Celebrity Baby News: Ginnifer Goodwin Has a Baby…

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas
It’s a boy for Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas!

A rep for the couple told People magazine on Friday night: “Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas welcomed a baby boy yesterday, May 29. This is their first child. Both mom and baby are doing great.”

Talk about a great belated birthday present: the Once Upon a Time actress just turned 36 on May 22nd.

We’ve no doubt that Goodwin and her hubby will be great parents—as Josh told Us Weekly earlier this month, he’s already bonding with the baby: “I’m very excited. I’ve already started reading books. I’ve read, like 20 to 30 books already to the bump, to the baby bump.” (more…)

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A New App Helps You Track… Baby Poop Color!

Friday, April 18th, 2014

baby wearing diaperWhen you become a mom, you start thinking about baby poop in a whole new way. For one thing, you actually think about it, and how it relates to your baby’s health. Is it normal? Is it supposed to be that color? That texture? You end up spending more time than your pre-baby self ever imagined looking at the contents of your newborn’s diaper, wondering if it’s all good.

Well, wonder no more. Pediatric gasteroenterologists from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center have developed two new tools that can help parents pay attention to ever-important baby poop color: A one-page stool color chart with downloadable color card (which will be distributed to birthing centers by Procter & Gamble), and a free app called PoopMD. Both can help alert parents to baby poop colors that could be cause for concern—especially white or clay-colored stool, which can be a sign of a life-threatening liver condition called biliary atresia.

According to a news release, the app “uses color recognition software to allow parents to snap photos of their baby’s stool and receive feedback within seconds. Parents then have the option of sending the photos to their pediatrician. The app also offers reminder notifications for stool-color checks every two weeks between birth and 2 months of age, the critical window to diagnose the disease. However, the experts caution, the app is an educational, rather than diagnostic, tool and parents should consult a physician if they have any concerns.”

Sure, snapping pics of your baby’s dirty diaper sounds gross, but I’m all for anything that can give new parents peace of mind—and quite possibly protect their baby’s health.

Image of a baby’s diaper courtesy of Shutterstock

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Do Fussy Babies Watch More TV?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

baby watching tvThe American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that TV and “other entertainment media” be avoided for kids age 2 and under—but do you follow those guidelines to the letter? If you’re a parent who’s a little lax on screen time, the findings of a new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, might have you rethinking your tot’s tube time.

According to CNN.com, study author Dr. Jenny Radskey, who works in the division of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Boston Medical Center, says researchers “found that babies and toddlers whose mothers rated them as having self-regulation problems—meaning, problems with calming down, soothing themselves, settling down to sleep, or waiting for food or toys—watched more TV and videos when they were age 2.” In fact, the article says the study found that the fussiest kiddos were 40 percent more likely exceeded the AAP’s screen time recommendations.

While Radskey said it’s not clear if the babies and toddlers were fussy and then plopped in front of the boob tube, or if the TV-viewing contributed to the fussiness, the findings, for me, are eye-opening. I’ve written before in this space about how ours isn’t a screen-free household—my kids are allowed to watch a cartoon or two in the morning, my toddler loves to do Starfall on the computer, and my 7-year-old loves playing Minecraft—and this study is definitely making me rethink the role general TV-viewing plays in our lives. For tired, busy parents (like me! And probably like you!) it’s super-easy to let screen time creep up. This is a good reminder that we can find better things to do with our kids’ time.

Quiz: What’s your infant sleep IQ?

Shop: Browse the best interactive baby toys.

Image of baby watching TV courtesy of Shutterstock

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U.S. Circumcision Rates Are Falling for Baby Boys

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

newborn baby boyTo circumcise, or not to circumcise…that’s the decision that every parent of a baby boy has to make. It’s a decision my husband and I made twice—and in both cases, we chose not to circumcise our sons. According to a new report, we’re not alone: fewer moms and dads are electing to make the cut these days.

The report, which was published yesterday in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, finds that circumcision rates have fallen to just 77%.

Depending on your personal point of view, of course, you’ll either find a declining circumcision rate good news or worrisome. The authors fall into the latter category, with a press release about the report stating that the study’s authors “found that over their lifetime half of uncircumcised males will contract an adverse medical condition caused by their foreskin.” (Among them: potentially kidney-damaging urinary tract infections, or UTIs.)

Well, yikes. My husband and I agreed pretty much as soon as we found out we were expecting a boy that we didn’t want to circumcise—there was no arguing, just a lot of information-gathering. And after doing research and talking to health professionals, we stuck with our initial gut feeling. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t obsessed over whether or not that was the right choice—and studies like this always make me feel a little panicky that it wasn’t.

I asked Dr. Ari Brown, an Austin, Texas-based pediatrician and author of Expecting 411 and Baby 411, for her take on the news. Here’s what she had to say after reading the press release about the report:

“Based on the data I know exists on the potential health benefts, I will say this: We know that there are some health benefits to circumcision—the biggest being a lower risk of HIV and HPV. And there is very little risk with the procedure. It’s important for parents to be well informed of the risks and benefits to be able to make an informed decision about what to do. Often, parents base this decision on social, cultural, or religious reasons. But, they should be aware of medical reasons as well. But at the end of the day, it is totally up to the parent…or up to the child when he is older to make that choice. I will say that if everyone made safe, responsible choices regarding sexuality, many of the health benefits of circumcision could be prevented.”

Tell us: What’s your view on circumcision?

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Baby Care Basics: Baby First Aid
Baby Care Basics: Baby First Aid
Baby Care Basics: Baby First Aid

Image of a newborn baby boy courtesy of Shutterstock

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Baby Suiting: Our Favorite New Instagram Trend

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Baby SuitingMommy Shorts blogger Ilana Wiles, who was a 2014 Parents Social Media Awards winner, is at it again.

The mom behind Baby Mugging, Epic Baby Hair, and Evil Baby Glare-Off has started another amazing meme called Baby Suiting (#babysuiting), which involves dressing up babies in grown-up sized suits and ties.

I can’t decide if I think it’s totally fantastic or the tiniest bit creepy—or both. Maybe I just need to get my hands on a baby so I can get in on the act myself. (My toddler would totally not stand for this.)

Wiles told New York Daily News that the idea originally stemmed from trying to dress babies up to look like characters from Mad Men, “but women’s clothing really didn’t work. The suits were much funnier. Something about the big padded shoulders made them all look like that scene in Beetlejuice with the shrunken head.”

In fact, Wiles almost called the concept #beetlejuicing, but worried that not everyone would get the shrunken-head reference from the movie. Frankly, I love that, because those baby heads do look so incredibly tiny in those enormous suits.

You can see some of Wiles original baby suiting images below, as well as the funniest Baby Suiting Instagram submissions she’s received. Want to suit up your own baby? You can submit pics to Wiles’ Instagram page (@mommyshorts).

baby suiting 1

baby suiting 2

baby suiting 3

Fine out when your child will start talking and other major milestones using our Baby Milestone Tracker!

Lords of the Playground: Babble
Lords of the Playground: Babble
Lords of the Playground: Babble

Images of #babysuiting courtesy of Mommy Shorts

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