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Give Yourself a Bedtime, Too!

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

woman sleepingIt’s just after 10 P.M. The house is quiet, and it’s the end of a long, but enjoyable day. Ahhhhh.

This is the time of night I reserve just for me. I catch up on my to-do list, watch a TV episode (or four, like I did last night), or use this time to get creative in the kitchen. It’s all part of the unwinding process as I prepare for bed—ambitiously aiming for a solid 8 hours of sleep.

Bedtime comes.

….And bedtime goes.

Before you know it, it’s approaching 2 A.M. and I’ve sealed my fate: I’m going to be a miserable, under slept zombie the following morning.

Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. But not all of us are getting that. In fact, according to a Parents sleep survey, only two thirds of the 13,000 women surveyed clocked at least six hours a night.

When you’re tired, your judgement, mood, and ability to learn and retain information is affected, so prioritizing sleep is a must to boost your overall happiness. Just yesterday, I spoke with Gretchen Rubin, the bestselling author of The Happiness Project, and she said: If you do just one thing for yoruself, get more sleep. To turn this fantasy into a reality, Rubin suggests being just as rigorous about your own bedtime as you are about your child’s. Pick a target bedtime that’s about 8 hours earlier than the time you need to be up in the morning, and set an alarm on your phone to go off at this time every night that will cue you for bed.

With time, this little trick should help get a longer night’s rest and help you develop healthier sleep habits overall—even if you still stay up all night watching marathons of New Girl on occasion instead of going to sleep as planned.

Are you getting enough sleep since becoming a mom? Take our quiz to find out.

Image: Woman sleeping via Shutterstock.

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Tags: , , | Categories: The Parents Perspective

Tattoos… For Kids?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

kid with tattoo

As an art experiment to see how people would react, Sadie Hennessy opened a fake tattoo parlor for children in Whitstable, Kent, called “My First Tattoo.” According to, the response was divided 50/50 over the idea of a tattoo shop for kids—and ten parents even signed their children up to get inked. We want to know, Do you think real tattoos are okay for kids? Take our poll, and share your comments below.

Image: Kid with tattoo via Shutterstock

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Tags: , , | Categories: The Parents Perspective

An Energy Boost From Drinking Breast Milk?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

baby bottleTrend alert: Breast milk is gaining popularity with some men due to its health benefits and the energy boost it provides. In some ways, it makes sense that this natural elixir—which is a complete source of nutrition for your growing baby—could benefit adults, too. But we want to know, Would you allow your partner to use your breast milk as an energy drink? Take our poll, and share your comments below.



Image: Baby bottle via Shutterstock

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Do Pretty Kids Get Extra Perks?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Girl playing in makeupIt’s no surprise that beauty can play a role in how you are treated in life, but a new paper by the Council on Contemporary Families says that beauty counts in the classroom, too. Good-looking kids are often favored in school evaluations by teachers and peers. And while the briefing says that your child’s high school years are the critical period when this inequality becomes established, we want to know, Have you noticed teachers favoring good-looking students? Take our poll, and then post a comment below—it could appear in a future issue of Parents.



You can also try our Height Prediction Quiz to see just how tall your child is likely to grow.

Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be
Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be
Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be

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The Power of a Name

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

baby names list

There was a time where I didn’t like my name. “Maryn” was too different; people had trouble pronouncing it; and there were never any coffee mugs for sale that had my name printed on it. But as an adult, I sing a completely different tune. I love my name. I’ve never met another Maryn; I’ve only heard of others. (You know, a “friend of a friend” kind of thing). And that, in my opinion, has allowed me to grow into my name in any way I choose.

These thoughts—and more—come into play when deciding upon the perfect moniker for your baby. Everything matters: Does it roll of the tongue easily? How does it sound with your baby’s last name? Is it the right number of syllables?

Turns out, naming a hurricane is just as complex. (Who knew!) A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, found that female-named hurricanes caused the most deaths: an average of 45 death in storms named after women as compared to an average of 23 deaths in storms named after men. What these findings suggest is that perhaps people perceive storms with female names as being less dangerous, and therefore are less likely to flee harm’s way.

Now that’s a lot of power in a name—and that’s precisely why parents-to-be spend so much time deciding upon the perfect name for their baby, since it’s a big part of your child’s first impression.

According to, past research conducted by David Figlio at Northwestern University set out to find exactly what effects your child’s name will have on his future. Among his conclusions: Kids with so-called “linguistically low-status” names (such as those that include letter combinations almost never seen in middle-class families, like “kz”) were treated differently and were more likely to be referred for special education than their peers. Boys with girly-sounding names, like Shannon, Ashley and Courtney, were more likely to have behavior problems in middle school. And females with linguistically feminine names (like Anastasia) were more likely to stick with arts and humanities classes in school than their androgynously named (like Jordan) counterparts.

These findings reinforce the idea that a name has influence on a child’s future, making the answer to, “What are you going to name your baby?” all the more complex.

Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name
Baby Names: How to Pick a Great Name

For thousands of ideas, try our Baby Name Finder. Or, keep dreaming up names on the go, with our free Baby Names app for Android or iPhone.

Image: Baby names list via Shutterstock

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