Author Archive

Real-Life Dads Finally Get Their Due

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

My husband (an awesome dad!) regularly gripes about how dads are portrayed in the media. And he has a point—it seems like the media image of dads hasn’t progressed beyond the “doofus dad” mode, even after a major diaper brand took the heat for insulting dads by showing them as completely incompetent when it comes to diaper changing. (Heck, even manly-man actor Channing Tatum spent a good part of an interview crowing about his diaper-changing prowess!)

Maybe there are pockets of these retro, hands-off dads out there, but all the dads I know and love are thoroughly involved in their kids’ lives—spending hours crafting Lego creations with their kiddos, taking late-night sick duty, and yes, changing diapers.  (more…)

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Celebrity Baby News: Lil Kim Has a Baby…

Monday, June 9th, 2014

It’s a girl for rapper Lil Kim, 39, who became a first-time mom at 9:58 this morning in New Jersey.

And Lil Kim gave her daughter a name that seems a bit more fitting for a child of Prince—Royal Reign. (You can get the full scoop on her name selection at our baby name blog, In Name Only.)

While some celebrities lately have talked about scaling back their careers in the wake of parenthood (including movie stars Kristen Bell and Channing Tatum) Lil Kim told Us Magazine recently that she had no plans to scale back on her music career after her baby arrives. “I’m still going to work. I’m still going to be hardcore,” she said. “The baby has made me even more of a beast!”

Congrats to the brand new mommy and her daughter!

(more…)

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Moms Rejoice: A Too-Clean House Is Bad for Baby!

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Put down the mops and step away from the sponges! It turns out that that old adage “A little dirt won’t hurt” is right—especially when it comes to allergies.

A new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that exposure to cat dander, a wide variety of bacteria and even rodent and roach detritus (ew!) when your baby’s under the age of one can help reduce the risk that she’ll develop allergies and asthma later on. (Kids who weren’t exposed to a wide variety of pathogens early on were three times more likely to develop wheezing and allergies as those who grew up in dirtier households.) But you’d better hurry and get her that kitten fast—if you start the exposure after age one, you’ll actually increase the likelihood that she’ll develop allergies. “It was the opposite of what we expected,” Dr. Robert Wood, chief of the division of allergy and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and co-author of the study, told NBC News. “We’re not promoting bringing rodents and cockroaches into the home, but this data does suggest that being too clean may not be good.”

The researchers theorize that the exposure to dirt gives the immune system something real to fight against, keeping your kid’s immune system from doing battle with harmless things like peanuts. It’s the exact opposite of what we’ve been told all along for allergies—my mom busted her butt keeping the house clean to deal with my issues with dust and pet dander.

So maybe you don’t want to start letting mice nibble in your pantry, but this is definitely a good excuse to hang up the mop and let your kiddo play on the (dirty) floor with you. And if your baby dips her binky in the dirt or sand before putting it back in her mouth, you probably shouldn’t worry too much!

Test your allergy knowledge with our quiz. And don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!

Baby Care Basics: Allergies
Baby Care Basics: Allergies
Baby Care Basics: Allergies

Image: Mom cleaning by Martin Novak/Shutterstock.com

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Check Out These Pics of Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett’s New Baby

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Hank Baskett and Kendra Wilkinson finally shared a few cute pictures of their daughter, Alijah! The first, via Instagram, is this adorable shot of everybody’s hands piled up—including big brother Hank IV and, of course, newborn Alijah. But Us Magazine scored the exclusive shots of the faces of the happy family, which you can check out on their website.

Obviously, celebrities have a whole different way of sharing shots of their newborns—no letterpressed announcements or adorable Facebook shots for them! It’s a pretty lucrative business for celebrity parents to release the first photos of their babies exclusively to magazines like People and Us. (The Jolie-Pitts scored the highest fee ever, raking in $15 million for releasing the images of the couple with their twins Knox and Vivienne. Though don’t worry that they were being greedy—they announced that they donated their fee to charities.) In fact, most of the most expensive celebrity photos out there were baby photos.

Personally, I kinda like the adorable Instagram shots that more down-to-earth stars like John Krasinski and Emily Blunt shared. (And Kendra’s cute Instagram shot we have here!)

Tell us: How did you share the first photos of your baby? Did you go with old-school mailed announcements, or Facebook or Instagram? And if you were a celeb, would you consider sharing the first photos of your baby to help you start a really nice college fund for them?

Want to see what your kiddo’s name would be if you were an A-lister? Try our Baby Fame Name Generator! And don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby news!

Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year
Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year
Our Favorite Celebrity Babies of the Year

Image: Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett by Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com

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Could Your Baby Help Prevent Bullying?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Babies generally don’t do much except be absolutely adorable. But in elementary schools throughout Canada, Scotland, New Zealand and now in Washington DC, a few little ones have been serving as teachers, and helping kids learn empathy. Through the Roots of Empathy program, kids in classrooms get visits from a volunteer baby (and her parent), where they get to interact with the baby, ask questions, and start a conversation about things like emotions and the reasons why a baby (or anyone) would cry.

According to an article in the Washington Post, studies of the Roots program find that it helps decrease bullying and increase helping among classmates. Still, that hasn’t stopped some experts from worrying that it’s taking resources and time away from learning other valuable skills, especially in cash-strapped school districts.

Personally, I’d love to see programs like this expand to schools around the country. I see already how kids’ attitudes improve and behaviors calm when everyone’s cooing around a classmate’s baby sister or brother—and anything that can reduce the amount of bullying that goes on in the schools is A-OK in my book. And after all, empathy and cooperation can be just as key to future success as math and language skills. My daughters’ school does something similar, with the guidance counselor’s dog stepping in for the baby in this case. I think that’s definitely helped improve behavior in some of the students.

Tell us: Would you bring your baby in to help with a program like this? Do you think spending time with babies can benefit older kids?

Check out our articles on how to bullyproof your child, and discover if your parenting style may make your child more likely to become a bully. And don’t forget to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.

Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying
Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying
Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying

Image: Baby by Dmitry Lobanov/Shutterstock.com

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