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Monday, September 15th, 2014
I don’t know about you, but nothing gets to me quite like the sound of my child crying. All it takes is a bad enough-sounding wail, and I’m on a panicky mission to do whatever it takes to make it stop. Science, of course, has some explanations for that.
On the one hand, my urge to soothe could be because my own parents were so hands-on with my sisters and me — at least if recent findings from a study at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are true. The university, together with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Fuller Theological Seminary, discovered that our childhood memories impact how we tend to our own crying kiddos. Specifically, moms who have positive memories of their parents or caregivers — or have worked through any bad ones — are more likely to be more responsive to their child’s needs. By the same token, women who are still grappling with a less-than-idyllic childhood are less responsive to a baby’s cries. The study followed 259 new moms and their babies, from conception through the first six months of baby’s life, and the results were published in Child Development, reports Science Daily.
But maybe it’s not that simple. Maybe our fight-or-flight reaction to crying is really just something that has been ingrained in us from the very beginning. With that in mind, a grad student at MIT has posited that our prehistoric ancestors were also deeply affected by wailing babies, so much so that they used them as a motivator to fight battles, reports NPR. According to Tomer Ullman, soldiers probably wore babies on their backs during wars and used all their screaming, or “infant stress vocalizations,” as a “natural adrenalin boost.” In essence, babies were the original WMDs.
While I can’t wrap my head around the logistics of wearing a baby while fighting, I admit that I can see how being attached to a sobbing child would make someone want to run for the hills. And apparently, I’m not the only one. Ullman made this proposal during last year’s BAHFest, an annual meeting where highly intelligent people present way-out-there ideas. Attendees there voted it the best of the event.
Tell us: How do you deal with your baby’s crying?
They grow up fast — make sure you don’t miss a single moment with our Baby Milestone Tracker. And keep up with the latest baby news by liking All About Babies on Facebook!
Image of crying baby courtesy of Shutterstock
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Monday, September 1st, 2014
It was a relatively quiet weekend for baby news — until today, when Grammy award-winning artist Carrie Underwood announced that she and husband Mike Fisher are expecting. This will be the couple’s first child.
The country star shared the news via an adorable Instagram photo of her pups Ace and Penny wearing t-shirts that read, “I’m going to be a big brother” and “I’m going to be a big sister.” For the caption, she wrote, “In honor of ‘Labor’ Day, Ace & Penny would like to make an announcement. Their parents couldn’t be happier…”
Though Underwood, 31, isn’t due until this spring, her hockey star husband is already mulling over baby names. “We haven’t picked names yet but it’s looking like Fly is gonna fly. #boyorgirl #flyfisher,” he tweeted earlier today. (Side note: Good thing they have some time to nail down baby’s name!)
Congratulations, Carrie and Mike!
Tell us: How did you announce your pregnancy?
Wondering what to name your baby? Check out our Create-a-Baby-Name Quiz to find a name you and your partner both love. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with all the latest baby news!
Photo of Carrie Underwood courtesy of Carrie Underwood via Instagram
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
On any given day, my Facebook news feed is a mix of the mundane (friends checking in at restaurants), the cryptic (screen shots of inspirational messages), the trendy (ice bucket challenge videos), and the tragic (mourning the loss of journalist James Foley).
Oh yeah, and lots and lots of babies. My nearest and dearest are diligent about recording every moment of their children’s lives and posting them all online. As much as I enjoy watching their kiddos grow up, I have no intention of reciprocating with pictures of my own son. Other than a few shots from three years ago, my social media accounts are purposely baby-free.
Turns out, I’m not the only one whose wall is missing posts about the family. As the AP reports, more parents are making efforts to keep their baby’s photos, name, and identity offline as part of a growing movement called “baby blackout.” The reasons why some moms and dads are consciously uncoupling from social media are varied: Many are concerned about privacy and safety breaches, while some are uneasy about what sites like Facebook and Instagram — or their users — could do with all that personal information. Still others believe in holding off creating an online footprint until their child is old enough to consent to it.
But baby blackouts are still the exception, not the rule. According to a 2011 study cited in the article, a whopping 66 percent of Gen X parents said they upload photos of their kiddos, while more than 50 percent said they spread the word about their child’s accomplishments over social media. And hey, I get it: posting something on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram is fast, efficient, and fun to boot. It’s a way to bridge the miles between you and distant friends and family.
Still, I’m firmly in the blackout camp. I’ve been working in the digital space for years now and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the stuff we put online doesn’t vanish easily. Even though sites like Facebook let you determine privacy settings to an extent, they’re also notorious for changing those settings without much notice, leaving previously protected content open for all the world to see. They’re also less than open about how they’re collecting and using our data, which makes me more than a little uncomfortable. While it’s not the end of the world if a friend of a friend stumbles across a photo of my child at soccer practice, why would I run the risk of it ending up in the wrong hands? My son has the rest of his life to create an online footprint — for now, I’m content keeping him unplugged.
Tell us: What kind of information do you share about your baby online?
Want to know when the next big developmental change is coming? Check out our Baby Milestone Tracker — and be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!
Image of woman on cell phone courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Monday, August 18th, 2014
Christina Aguilera has a new reason to sing: Her baby girl was born Saturday in Los Angeles, according to People.com. “So proud to welcome our beautiful daughter Summer Rain Rutler into the world,” the Grammy award-winning singer tweeted earlier.
This is the first child for Aguilera and fiancé Matt Rutler; she has a 6-year-old son, Max Liron, from her previous marriage to Jordan Bratman.
Summer Rain’s arrival is a high point in what has already been an exciting year for The Voice coach. On Valentine’s Day, she and Rutler announced their engagement. A week later, Aguilera shared news of her pregnancy, and in March she revealed she was having a girl. By all accounts, pregnancy clearly agrees with the pop star. She has described it as “very easy and enjoyable” and seems to have no qualms about the physical changes pregnancy brings (see: her nude photo in V magazine and the recently released photo of the star putting headphones over her bump, right).
Congratulations to the happy family!
Tell us: What do you think of the name Christina Aguilera chose for her daughter?
Getting ready to deliver? Make sure your hospital bag has everything it needs! Consult our handy Hospital Checklist for moms and for dads while packing. And keep up with the latest baby news by liking All About Babies on Facebook!
Image of Christina Aguilera courtesy of Christina Aguilera via Instagram
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All About Babies, Babies, Celebrity Babies, Celebrity Moms, News
Thursday, July 31st, 2014
…Jessica Simpson! What a year it’s been for her! She gave birth to her son, Ace Knute, last June, married longtime fiance Eric Johnson earlier this month, and this week was named World’s Sexiest Mom by the sexperts at Victoria’s Secret, reports USA Today.
She wasn’t the first celeb mom I thought of, but I can see it. Jessica has always been a knockout, obviously, and her post-baby bod (crazy-toned leg muscles and all) is definitely something to be proud of. But as great as the former Daisy Duke looks in her honeymoon selfies, I think she’s 10 times more stunning when she’s doing normal mom things, like making funny faces with her daughter, smooching her son or holding her friend’s newborn. Motherhood seems to have brought out a different side of the woman who once asked if Chicken of the Sea is really chicken. She’s more mature, more confident in herself, and totally in love with her family. And frankly, what’s sexier than that?
Speaking of sexy, also making this year’s Victoria’s Secret What Is Sexy? List are Jessica Biel (sexiest sporty style), Zooey Deschanel (sexiest sense of humor) and mom Jenna Dewan Tatum (sexiest bikini bod). Congratulations to all the winners!
Tell us: Who gets your vote as World’s Sexiest Mom?
Wondering how big your newborn will be? Download our free growth charts to track every inch. And be sure to like All About Babies on Facebook to keep up with the latest baby news!
Image of Jessica Simpson courtesy of Jessica Simpson via Instagram
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