Archive for the General Category
Jackson held his ground at number one, having bumped eight-year champ Aiden from that spot last year. Nolan boasted the largest surge in popularity on the boys’ list, vaulting over 18 spots to land at number 68. Tumbling farthest down the list were Brayden (slumping 19 spots) and Chase (slipping 17). Let’s offer a warm welcome to the four newcomers who joined the party this year: Easton, Xander, Ryder, and Sean.
Note: To capture true popularity, our exclusive baby names list combines names that sound the same but have multiple spellings (like Jackson and Jaxon). Our data comes from nearly half a million parents who shared their baby’s name with us in 2014.
Top 100 baby boy names
While Sophia revels in the number one spot she held on our list last year, her cousin Sophie took a spill, tumbling 20 spots to land at number 59. The year’s fastest climber award goes to Skyler, who floated up an impressive 36 spots and touched down at number 63. Watch for a scattering of quiet trendsetters toward the bottom of the list who glided into the top 100 this year: Cora, Piper, Paisley, Clara, and Cadence.
Note: To capture true popularity, our exclusive baby names list combines names that sound the same but have multiple spellings (like Sophia and Sofia). Our data comes from nearly half a million parents who shared their baby’s name with us.
Top 100 baby girl names
Silly shower games are fun when guests are in the mood. If not, there are plenty of other activities to amuse and engage your guests. A handwritten book of advice may be the best gift of all for an expectant mother. Or consider a group craft project. Below are some of our favorite activities.
Write a book
Buy a small blank book. Ask each guest to write a piece of advice in the book for the mother- or parents-to-be.
Expectant mother Arielle Ikeda of Forest Knolls, California, gave us a sampling of the words of wisdom culled from family and friends at her baby shower. “Most of the advice was about sleep – ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps,’ ‘Get as much rest as possible,’ ” she says.
But some of the more unusual advice was to remember that when she’s up at 2 a.m. nursing the baby – feeling exhausted and lonely – hundreds of other women are up with their babies too. Her favorite piece of advice came from the hostess: “Whatever works.”
A variation on the advice book involves asking each guest to write a wish or proverb for the baby. You could choose a favorite poem or quote, or write something original.
Arts and crafts
Craft projects can be a great activity at a shower if your guests are comfortable with the idea. You can float it by them ahead of time. Here are a few suggestions:
A quilting bee: Have your guests bring squares of favorite fabrics to the shower, or the host can provide the squares. They need to be a uniform size, though – 6 inches square works well.
At the shower, provide fabric pens or paint so each guest can decorate her square with a picture or a message for the baby. Then the group can sew the quilt together at the shower, or one person can take the squares home and put it together later. It’s a nice way to remember the day and get everyone involved in a group project.
A felt board: Choose a theme or a book and buy a felt board and felt. The guests trace shapes, cut them out, and glue on features. You could do an animal theme or numbers and letters. The possibilities are endless: Think of Goodnight Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, or The Cat in the Hat. When you’re done, the mom-to-be has a wonderful decoration for her nursery.
A handmade wall hanging or floor mat: This is a great group project – guests can help paint or design the mat – and it’s something any parent would cherish. “If you know the future parents’ taste and preferences and are artistically inclined, this can be a wonderful and unique gift,” says Jill Wood of A Child’s Eye View, a children’s design firm in Oakland, California.
“If you know the baby’s sex and name, you can even personalize it. You can take cues from the baby’s room or nursery. For instance, if it’s a nautical theme, the mat can be an ocean mural, or a circus scene if it’s clown wallpaper,” says Wood.
You’ll find everything you need at art supply stores. Use acrylic paints, a primed canvas mat, and a satin polymer varnish to seal it.
Prefired pottery at do-it-yourself shops: These studios offer a great setting for parties. You can host the shower at the shop and decorate plates, bowls, mugs, or picture frames for the expectant parents.
Blow by blow
Consider a piñata. The mom-to-be should be cautious about swinging a bat, of course, but this can be a great activity, especially if the shower is an outdoor event like a barbecue. Some party stores have appropriate shapes, such as a stork, bunny, or lamb. In addition to baby-themed candy (try mini Baby Ruths), fill the piñata with baby paraphernalia, like pacifiers, diaper pins, or tiny baby dolls.
A personal touch
Rituals can be nice. Suzi Lee of Davis, California, organized a small shower for her best friend. “There were only four of us, which made it intimate. Each of us had a candle wrapped as a gift. We lit a candle and said a blessing or poem for the baby.”
Suzi’s son gathered stones from a nearby river, and she put them in a dish, which became the candleholder.
A mum described a similar ritual from her shower: “There was a cake. Each of us lit a candle and made a wish out loud for the baby. The wishes reflected all our personalities. Then, like a birthday cake, I blew the candles out.”
15 minutes of fame
If you’re handy with your camera, consider making a video. Interview family and friends about the parents-to-be and ask who they think the baby will be like. Or produce a mock documentary about the family. Show the video during the shower, and make sure the parents-to-be get a copy to keep.
Another great idea is to make a video version of the advice book. During the party, go around to each guest and ask what advice they have for the new parents. Or better yet, ask them to address a message to the baby, either about the day, the family, or just offer some wise words to remember.
Or you could take a group photo with the mother-to-be in the center. Print the photo and ask guests to sign the back, and then place the photo in a special frame.
What kind of invitations should I use?
You can send traditional invitations through the mail or email invitations.
In addition to including the basic who, what, where, when, and RSVP instructions on the invitation, it never hurts to spell out the theme of the shower. If the expectant parents are registered anywhere for baby gear, it’s fine to mention that, too. Or you can offer registry information when guests RSVP.
When should I send the invitations?
Plan to send invitations out early enough to give the guests at least a few weeks’ notice: This allows them enough time to work the shower into their schedules and shop for the perfect gift.
What should we do at the baby shower?
There are a bunch of things to consider:
You may want to select a theme to tie everything together. It’s certainly not necessary, but it can help you make decisions about the various elements of the party and it’s often fun for guests.
You’ll probably want to serve some type of food and refreshment, depending on time of day, budget, and how fancy versus informal you want the shower to be.
Baby showers usually aren’t complete without some fun or silly games. If you’d rather skip the competition, there are plenty of other kinds of festive activities to keep guests entertained.
It’s common to provide favors to everyone who attends the baby shower, or you can just offer prizes to the guests who win games.
Aside from socializing and honoring the mom-to-be, the main event at a baby shower is often the opening of gifts. If any of the invitees need help figuring out what to bring, you can have them check our list of top baby shower gifts and our roundup of readers’ favorite baby shower gifts.
Who can throw a baby shower??
Usually someone who’s not a relative throws the shower to avoid giving the impression that the family is asking for presents. Practically speaking, this means anyone except the mum-to-be and dad-to-be. However, often it’s less clear-cut than that.
The best advice is to go with what feels right. You or any relative, close friend or work colleague should feel perfectly happy about planning your baby shower.
When should the baby shower happen?
Any time after conception is fine, but most mums-to-be appreciate a shower later in pregnancy. By then, she can sure that all is going well. And a party can be a welcome diversion as the months tick by. Besides, it makes it seem more real if the mum-to-be is touting a big belly.
Before setting a date for the party, talk to guests you really want to be there. They may be able to warn you about any prior commitments.
You may also have to take into account the prior commitments of grandparents, if you want them to come too. Nothing is worse than planning a party and sending out invitations, only to find that the most important people can’t make it.
If you decide to have your shower after your baby is born, that’s fine, too. Then guests can bring gifts specific to your baby’s sex. And with a newborn baby to fuss over, there will be lots to talk about!
Where should we hold the baby shower?
You need to consider the location before deciding on how many people to invite. Ideally, the party shouldn’t be held at the mum-to-be’s house. It’s not fair for her to have to worry about cleaning up before everyone arrives and after they’ve gone. If the mum-to-be does want to be at home, you could ask a few of the invitees if they’ll stay behind to help clear up.
Or ask around to see if anyone else is prepared to host the event at their home. If not, think of booking a room at a community hall or local club.
What kind of invitations are right for a baby shower?
You can send traditional invitations by post, or email invitations.
Make the theme of the shower clear on the invitation, as well as including the basic who, what, where, when, and RSVP instructions.
You may have registered with a baby shop or department store and have a nursery list guests can view. If so, mention that, too. Or you can offer the information when guests reply.
Plan to send invitations out early enough to give the guests at least a few weeks’ notice. This should give them enough time to work the shower into their calendar and shop for the perfect present.
What should we do at the baby shower?
Before finalising your activities, consider the following:
You may want to choose a theme to tie everything together. Although it’s not necessary, it can help you make decisions about the various elements of the party and it’s often fun for guests.
You’ll probably want to serve some kind of food and drink, depending on the time of day, your budget, and how formal or casual you want the shower to be.
Baby showers usually aren’t complete without some fun or silly games. But don’t worry if your guests aren’t the competitive types, there are plenty of other kinds of activities to keep them entertained.
It’s common to give a goody bag to everyone who attends a baby shower, or you can just offer individual prizes to guests who win games.
How big should the budget be?
If you don’t want to pay for the whole thing yourself, the best way to cover the cost is to ask each guest to chip in. When working out how much it might add up to, factor in the following:
The main gift, if you all want to contribute to a bigger, combined present.
Food, drinks, paper plates, cups, plastic knives and forks.
Going-home goody bags.
Prizes for games.
Who should be on the invitation list for the baby shower?
If you’re hosting the shower, you probably have a good idea of who you want to invite. However, if someone else is organising your shower for you, make sure they consult you before finalising the guest list. That way you’ll avoid leaving out someone important or inviting someone you would rather not include.
Can I throw a shower for the mum-to-be and dad-to-be?
Although many baby showers are still for women only, baby showers for both women and men are becoming more popular. It really depends on the type of party you’re planning.
If the shower is for a second or subsequent baby, the guest list is often made up of close friends and family and anyone else the mum-to-be or dad-to-be wants to include.
A word of caution: think long and hard before deciding to throw a surprise party. If the parents-to-be don’t like surprises, they may feel awkward and the party may not be as memorable as you’d hoped.
Unless you’re sure they’d appreciate your clandestine efforts, it’s safer to let them in on the arrangements. That way you can be confident that the stars of the baby shower will be pleased with the outcome.
Are you a new mum of perhaps an experienced mum with a newborn baby? Has your child been labelled as colicky or grumpy? Searching for some colic relief and want to check out gripe water? Look no further, everything you need to know about gripe water and the gripe water side effects is in this page.
How do you know if gripe water works and if it really does treat colic? Find out the truth behind gripe water.
Gripe water is an age old cure that was concocted in England in the 1800’s. Having been founded in England, its fame spread throughout Europe and so is found commonly in pharmacies or medical shops in Europe, however, it is now gaining popularity throughout the world.
What does gripe water really consist of? The true gripe water contained dill, fennel, sodium bicarbonate and alcohol which has been deemed as unsafe for infant consumption.
If you are confused with the variety of gripe water treatments available, I don’t blame you! Stick with the truly herbal formulations or perhaps try making one yourself just to be sure they are purely herbal and not harmful.
Common ingredients found in gripe water are Fennel, Caraway, Lemon Balm, Ginger, Peppermint, Chamomile, Aloe vera, Blackthorn, Dill, Angelica, Cinnamon and Aniseed. Some contain sucrose which is not recommended for young infants. Unfortunately the most common side effects are allergies and these can range from skin rashes to breathing problems and swelling of the eyes and lips.
Confusion is easily set in when as a consumer you are faced with so many different kinds of gripe water and you are unsure of which ones work best. Stick with the purely herbal formulations or perhaps try making one on your own just to be sure they are purely herbal and not harmful. If your baby experiences a worsening of symptoms or any allergic reaction, stop the remedy at once.
Can gripe water treat colic and ease the symptoms of a crying baby? Soothing and curing are two very different things as soothing is simply easing the pain but curing is getting rid of the root cause of the pain.
Indigestion, wind and gas are not the cause of colic but are just the symptoms of an underlying problem. To find a cure that works you need to know what the cause of these symptoms is.
Gripe water soothes the symptoms of colic by aiding babies digestion and helps to ease the discomfort associated with teething, however, there is no evidence that gripe water treats colic. Without knowing the actual cause we are just looking for ways to treat the symptoms and this is what gripe water and most other colic cures are used for. By all means comfort the symptoms with gripe water but do not forget to treat the cause of colic!
Based on personal experience, a huge amount of self-control is required to prevent yourself from buying all those cute baby items in shops in anticipation of the arrival of your new baby. When I was pregnant with my first baby, it seemed like a huge invisible magnet kept pulling me towards the baby section and once I got there, let’s just say it was very hard to resist. Babies quickly outgrow many items and also have no need for many of those offered in the stores today. So what should you buy and how many? Here are some tips that expectant parents can use in preparing for the arrival of the newest member of the family:
* Try to hold off on buying items until after the baby shower. Often with the first child you will receive many gifts from friends and relatives at your baby shower. You may also receive gift cards that you can use in buying the things that your baby will need, such as clothing, bedding and furniture. Postponing your shopping until after the baby shower will prevent you from receiving duplicate items.
* Prepare a list of the basics. In the first few months of your baby’s life, he/she will most likely sleep, feed, sleep and feed. Babies don’t really care too much about the things going on around them. They will just cry when hungry and sleep most of the time. That’s how simple a baby’s life can be. Create a list of the things that are truly essential. You can always buy items as the need arises.
* Accept hand-me-downs or buy second-hand baby items. You don’t have to feel bad for not buying brand new items for your dear little one. They won’t know. Buying good quality second hand can save your money and enable you to buy other items you would like for your baby. With second hand baby clothes, you can clean them up using mild detergents and fabric softener to make them seem like new. I even used a mild baby soap bar to wash the clothes that were handed down by my elder sister’s son.
* Prepare a fuss-free baby nursery. Babies will never remember what their nurseries looked like. Keep things simple and avoid the frills. Most of the time, over-decorated nurseries will only serve its purpose in photographs. For safety reasons, it is best to minimise all the frills in the cot, so really they are pointless. A good nursery should have a cot where baby can sleep comfortably, a change area, a few baby-safe toys that they can play with and all the other basics like blankets to keep him warm.
Being a first time parent can be overwhelming, however it doesn’t need to be. Good luck and enjoy your baby – remember you are the most important thing in his/her life.