Posts Tagged ‘ blog ’

Want a Better Sex Life After Baby? Try This!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

sex lifeIt happens to the best of us: You and your partner are getting along swimmingly, decide to have a baby—and then all hell breaks loose. After your little love bug arrives, your once-romantic nights and weekends become an endless stretch of crying jags, diaper changes, and round-the-clock feedings. And let’s not even talk about the inevitable bickering that comes when you’re both running on roughly 90 minutes of sleep.

Is it any wonder our relationship takes a hit when baby makes three?

But science may have uncovered the secret to sustaining your bond even though your shoulders are covered in spit-up: Share the parenting duties. (#bestsolutionever) According to new research, when both parents equally split the childcare workload, they tend to think positively about their relationship—and their sex life. This applies to couples across the board, whether they’re married or not.

These findings, based on a survey of 500 heterosexual partners, reflect the egalitarian attitude among today’s moms and dads. We’re not just okay divvying up responsibilities—we prefer it. “The main story here is that this study clearly shows that when it comes to child care, when couples share the workload and both partners pitch in, it produces higher quality solid relationships, less conflict, better communication and more intimacy,” says Daniel Carlson, the study’s author and an assistant professor of sociology at Georgia State University.

In the survey, parents assessed how childcare was divided in their home. (Childcare was defined here as making and enforcing rules, disciplining, supervising, offering praise, and playing with your child.) They also graded their relationship based on level of satisfaction, how much conflict they encountered, and their sex life.

The results were fascinating: When mom takes on the majority of the baby’s care, both partners tend to give their sex life low marks. The picture changes a bit when dad is the primary caregiver. There, both partners tend to look just as kindly on the health of their relationship and sex life as couples who go in 50-50. In fact, moms rank the quality of their sex life even higher than moms who split duties equally. Dads, meanwhile, give the quality of their sex life low marks.

It all boils down to the level of satisfaction with the childcare arrangement you and your partner have struck. Content couples tend to have less conflict and feel better about their relationship. “We don’t really know exactly what is behind this,” Carlson explains. “But it could be that a relationship suffers when one person feels overburdened, overworked or overtired. Or it could be that a certain degree of dissatisfaction with having to do all the work, while the other isn’t doing any of it, undermines the bond between couples. And that can carry over to the bedroom.”

This makes perfect sense. If you’re the default parent—and not by choice —it’s all too easy to resent a seemingly footloose and fancy-free partner who’s not wearing a day-old shirt covered in baby drool stains. No matter what your child’s age, parenting is a major undertaking, and it helps if you and your partner are in the thick of it together. That shared connection doesn’t just help carry you both through bouts of colic, it also helps bring the heat back into the bedroom. And it’s way cheaper than date night.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Better Sex After Baby
Better Sex After Baby
Better Sex After Baby

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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Yikes! Could There Be Glass in Some Baby Wipes?!

Monday, August 24th, 2015

baby wipes Like an American Express card, no parent I know leaves home without a pack of baby wipes. They’re a godsend when your little love nugget spits out her food, has an epic BM or gums an abandoned toy on the playground. But some parents are rethinking this diaper bag MVP after recent claims surfaced suggesting that some Huggies wipes may contain tiny shards of glass.

A mom in Guam was the first to blow the whistle, but it wasn’t long before other concerned parents presented similar findings online. In one YouTube video, California mama Melissa Estrella shows the teeny tiny glints woven in the wipes and quickly declares them shards of glass. “All that stuff shining, it’s all glass,” she said in the video. “I can’t even believe this right now.” She also rubbed her finger along the wipe and removed some of the material in question. It was impossible for me to tell whether she was right.

Huggies is also trying to get to the bottom of this. After the first red flag was raised, the wipes maker launched an investigation and enlisted safety and medical professionals to help determine what, exactly, those shiny specks are. A company rep told Chicago’s ABC affiliate that the “glass” might be nothing more than melted fibers, though the company can’t say for sure until its fact-finding mission is done.

In the meantime, Huggies reps took to Facebook to reassure parents they’re on the case. The statement reads in part, “Nothing is more important than the safety of the little ones who use our products. Families put their trust in Huggies wipes every day, and all of our Huggies products have been thoroughly evaluated to ensure they are safe. In addition, we have stringent quality controls in place, and no glass is used during the manufacture of our wipes.”

Reaction among moms and dads has been mixed: Some parents are convinced the material is indeed glass—how else to explain the “sandy/rough” texture and the rashes it leaves behind on their babies’ bottoms and faces? (It’s worth noting that some rashes were found to be caused by an ingredient in most baby wipes.) Meanwhile, some say they’ve never had a problem with Huggies wipes and will continue to use them. Still others say they’re switching brands for now, just to be safe. But I want to hear from you: Does this controversy affect the wipes you use on your baby?

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Allergic Reactions to Moistened Wipes on the Rise
Allergic Reactions to Moistened Wipes on the Rise
Allergic Reactions to Moistened Wipes on the Rise

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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The Top 40 Songs for Babies—Did Your Fave Make the Cut?

Friday, August 21st, 2015

babies musicI was born to folk music-loving parents, so my musical diet was more Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cloudy” than “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Fast forward thirtysomething years, and I find myself singing those very same folk songs to my own child. I think that’s what most of us parents do: We sing what we can remember and what we like. In the middle of the night, when we’re stifling yawns while trying to get our babies to sleep, we also turn to what’s familiar—and, frankly, what’s long—and chances are, that’s not “Wheels on the Bus.”

The folks at NPR have also had infant music on the brain. They recently asked their listeners to submit ideas for the first song a newborn should hear, and the results are fascinating. The top 40 picks—all available on a handy Spotify playlist—are a veritable rainbow of musical styles, eras, and themes.

Truth? I’ve probably sung exactly three of them to my kid.

It’s not for a lack of options. Songs run the gamut from classical (Aaron Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring”) to show tunes (Julie Andrews in “Cinderella”), soft rock (Elton John’s “Your Song”) to contemporary (Pharrell Williams’ infectious “Happy”). A smattering of Lauryn Hill, Ramones, Bon Iver, The Muppets, Stevie Wonder, and more are thrown in for good measure.

Related: Our All-Time Favorite Lullabies

Not too shabby, but as with any list, there’s room for improvement. (Well, at least in my opinion.) Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge” instead of John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy”? Really? And what about Loudon Wainwright’s “Daughter“? How did that not make the cut but Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” did?

Still, NPR’s audience totally nailed the top song. Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” is an obvious but well-deserved number one. After all, what a sweeter way to introduce babies to their new world than to sing about skies of blue, clouds of white, bright blessed days, and dark sacred nights? In fact, it’s as good as lulling baby to sleep with a classic tune about parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Well, almost.

Now it’s your turn: Tell us what songs you sing to your baby!

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years
The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years
The Lasting Impact of the Early Childhood Years

Image of mom and baby courtesy of Shutterstock

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Should Hilaria Baldwin (or Any Mom) Have to Defend Having Help?

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

momAlec Baldwin usually makes news for his rants, but this time, he’s made headlines for a sweet note of gratitude that has since sparked some controversy. On Wednesday, the actor took to Instagram to thank his children’s caregivers for their help. He shared a photo of 2-year-old Carmen snuggling on her nanny’s shoulder while another woman tends to 2-month-old Rafael. The caption: “I am forever indebted to the women who have helped care for our children. Muchos gracias Lizzy, Sandra, Zena, Lisa and Avril.”

Pretty nice, right? But rather than focus on the dad’s kind sentiments, some critics incorrectly latched on to the fact that he lists five “nannies” who help care for their babies. (In fact, some of the women are babysitters.) The not-so-subtle subtext from these critics is that the super-rich Baldwins are essentially outsourcing their daily parenting duties to a small army of caregivers.

Not so, said Hilaria, who quickly addressed the harsh claim in her own Instagram account. She wrote that the slam made her “sound like a lazy mom… that hurts.” She went on explain, “Yes we do have help. When I am working, or working out, or we are going to an event, or having a date night. I also often have help with one child when I am with the other. My husband likes to joke that when I put down one child, I pick up the other. Including when I sleep. Rafael sleeps with us (as I am breastfeeding) and Carmen sometimes joins our bed party too.” Want proof? Just check out her latest nursing pic.

Hilaria’s retort is spot on, but it’s a shame it was even necessary. I don’t care what the haters say, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help with your children, whether that takes the form of a trusted relative, babysitter, nanny, or daycare facility. Celebrity or not, the fact is that Hilaria and Alec have two kids under 2, which means nonstop work. Just ask William and Kate. Add to that career demands, travel, and the need for an occasional date night, and it’s easy to see why the couple relies on this select group of women.

Full disclosure: I didn’t always feel this way. A few years ago, I distinctly remember judging a SAHM I know who, after giving birth to her first child, hired a nanny, two babysitters, a landscaper, and a dog walker. She also asked her mother to care for the baby after hours. I couldn’t help but wonder what she did all day. (Short answer: none of my business.) When I had a baby of my own, I quickly realized how idiotic I was to judge—or begrudge—any parent’s need for extra help. The truth is, taking care of a baby is exhausting work. It’s relentless, draining and, yes, rewarding. Somewhere in between diaper changes and sleep training, we parents are somehow expected to also squeeze in work, relationships and, oh yeah, our own needs. It’s not an easy balancing act to pull off. If bringing in an extra set of hands eases your load just a bit—and you have the resources to make it happen—why wouldn’t you do it?

Rather than harp on the Baldwins for staffing up, we should respect their it-takes-a-village attitude. As Hilaria explained on Instagram, she and Alec think of themselves—and anyone who enters their home—as part of a team. “We are so lucky to have wonderful people in our lives, both paid, and not paid, who love our children,” she wrote. And at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter!

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care
Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care
Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care

Photo courtesy of Alec Baldwin via Instagram

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OMG! Seattle Baby Born During Routine Traffic Stop

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

babiesBack when I was taking a birthing class, our instructor asked, “What’s your biggest fear about childbirth?” The obviously pain topped everyone’s list, but the runner-up was not making it to the hospital in time to give birth. Considering we were all living in the middle of Manhattan, that pretty much would have meant delivering baby in the backseat of a cab (with the meter running, no doubt!) or on the floor of the subway with hundreds of strangers watching. Yikes! Our instructor brushed off the idea, reassuring us that it mostly happens in the movies.

She was wrong.

If this summer has shown us anything, it’s that when it comes to labor and delivery, sometimes life imitates Hollywood. Already we’ve read about a few babies born on the road, including the Texas mama who gave birth in the passenger seat of her car while her husband captured the whole thing on his GoPro. This past Sunday morning, a woman in Seattle also ended up delivering a baby in the car—but not before her frantic husband was pulled over by the police for whizzing through red lights and stop signs.

When the cops working the graveyard shift approached the car (check out the full dash cam video), it was obvious this traffic stop would be anything but typical. In a viral video captured by the cops’ dashcam, the dad-to-be explained he was rushing his laboring wife to the hospital so she could deliver their fourth child. The police officer, to his credit, stayed perfectly calm, calling the ambulance and even asking about the time between contractions. About three minutes later, we hear a pained “Oh my god, the baby is coming out!” from the mom, then the cries of her newborn daughter. <chills>

According to Seattle PD, the baby had difficulty breathing, so quick-thinking Officer Anthony Reynolds helped clear her airway so she could breathe. An ambulance arrived soon after and took the mom and baby to the hospital. Both are reportedly in stable condition.

Later, the unnamed father sent the police officers a thank you note, saying in part, “I was surprised and deeply touched by the compassion of Officer Reynolds. He stayed with us during the entire time and went above and beyond to ensure the safety of my wife and newborn child. Our baby is very healthy and arrived in the hospital in stable condition. All of my family and friends would like to thank the Seattle Police Department for their strong code of ethics. You have helped deliver a precious gift and we are so grateful. I wanted to thank SPD for all their support.”

No word on whether the dad ever got that ticket. Congratulations to the family on their newest arrival!

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter!

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Screen shot courtesy of YouTube

Birth Stories:
Birth Stories:
Birth Stories: "My Water Broke..."

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