American Baby's 75 Best Tips Ever

Decades before the Baby Bjorn, the Beaba, and the Bumbo seat, American Baby was printing parenting wisdom that stands the test of time. Check out these 75 truths from past issues that still resonate in 2013!

Spend a while picking a name

mother holding baby

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

1. Remember a name is a lifetime gift. Make sure that it will wear well. AUGUST 1966

2. Name experts agree that bizarre spellings typically are not good things. People with conventionally spelled names were perceived as more successful, more popular, and more caring than those whose names had unusual spellings. SEPTEMBER 1998

3. Short first names tend to go well with longer last names, and vice versa. NOVEMBER 2000

Have a great pregnancy

4. You never need to eat enough "for two." SEPTEMBER 1966

5. Being labeled high risk does not mean that you will have a problem. JUNE 1989

6. If heartburn becomes an issue, it will be helpful to eat small meals frequently rather than a few large ones. MAY 1967

7. It's okay to give into cravings. If you're set on something that's not terribly nutritious, like cupcakes, eat something healthful first. SEPTEMBER 1994

8. Walking, swaying, and rolling on a ball can help labor progress by using gravity to encourage movement of the baby down through the pelvic canal. OCTOBER 2008

9. Labor may surprise you with its intensity. Keep an open mind about whether or not you'll use medication. SEPTEMBER 1997

10. It may be trendy to ask your doctor to deliver early, but be patient. Healthy babies are worth the wait. DECEMBER 2011

11. Your support person in labor should be someone you can let it all hang out with. MAY 1998

Sleep Habits

12. The bedtime story still has no substitute when it comes to establishing a feeling of well being and drowsy relaxation in a child. OCTOBER 1964

13. A baby who is asleep should never be disturbed. DECEMBER 1971

14. Taking your baby outside for an afternoon walk might help her sleep better at night. FEBRUARY 2005

15. Put the baby in the crib when he is still awake, so that he gets in the habit of falling asleep himself. NOVEMBER 1973

16. Realize that the sleepless nights won't go on forever. Healthy babies usually begin to snooze for longer stretches at night, such as five or more hours, by 2 to 3 months of age. APRIL 2005

17. Once Baby can roll over, it's time to say sayonara to the swaddle. JUNE 2011

Cope with those tears

18. Don't get the impression that a baby's crying is an applause meter in reverse. He's not judging your motherly abilities -- he's just crying. MAY 1982

19. Distractions can help all of us forget our worries, and they can do the same for your little one. Anything from funny faces to a change in environment can take her focus off what's bothering her. JANUARY 2010

20. Try whispering in his ear. He will be so interested in hearing what you have to say that he will forget to cry. AUGUST 1976

21. If your cutie cries in the night, try not to pick her up from her crib. Instead, go to her and give her a quick caress and repeat a calming phrase, such as, "Sleep, sleep; Mommy loves you." DECEMBER 2012

Shop smart for baby stuff

22. Hand-me-downs often lack the safety devices that are stock items on new furniture. FEBRUARY 1965

23. If your child has a lovey, avoid a disaster by getting a duplicate, then swap the two occasionally so they look and smell similar. FEBRUARY 2006

24. Do not clutter the nursery; there should be a place for play. DECEMBER 1958

25. You may want to invest in dark blinds [cordless, per 2013 safety guidelines] for his room, if you have not already done so. They are a big help when the sun comes up so early and stays up so late. JUNE 1946

26. For a baby, things that aren't toys are often as much fun as toys. DECEMBER 1971

27. The safest crib for your baby contains a snug mattress with a tight-fitting crib sheet, and nothing else. SEPTEMBER 2011

28. An insider's secret for moms who plan to pump: Buy bottles that are the same brand as your breast pump. MARCH 2012

Encourage milestones

29. Do all that is possible to help your child grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. However, remember that a part of growth is gradually letting go. OCTOBER 1968

30. The best nursery-school experience is one which fosters the 3 S's -- security, self-esteem, and social growth. JANUARY 1977

31. Expose your child to a wide range of experiences, places, ideas, foods, friends, and even babysitters. This will allow her to exercise her flexibility "muscle" so that changes will be interesting instead of traumatic. FEBRUARY 1981

32. Routines help Baby recognize a pattern. Try it: Every time you change his diaper, nibble his toes. He will begin to associate changings with bonding. DECEMBER 2011

33. Respond to your new talker immediately, positively, and by rephrasing what she says. By using a variation of her words, you're helping her expand her vocabulary. SEPTEMBER 1986

34. Newborns develop neurologically at a rapid pace. This means that those precious coos are fleeting -- and the tough times are too. JULY 2012

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