How to get the most out of your baby’s first birthday
Our plan for Owen’s first birthday is to keep it small and intimate, at home. It’s not just that we are working with a smaller budget. We also recognize that the first birthday is, for the most part, more for the parents and the pictures than for our little guy. That said, no matter how intimate, if you want something memorable, a little preparation can go a long way. Here are 8 tips for planning your baby’s first birthday party and how to make the most of it.
- Keep the planning simple.
Life is busy. So rather than stressing myself out about organizing the party, I want to do my best to keep things simple. Why? Because if I keep things simple and organized, I’ll be more likely to actually enjoy the party too! Our little pals and gals only turn one once, after all. Finding a venue that’s both affordable and comfortable for you and your guests is key. We plan on doing Owen’s party at home, but there are many other cheap or even free options, like parks or a friend’s backyard or house.
5 things your pediatrician wants you to know about coxsackie.
“It’s going around,” is a common phrase I hear from parents. Right now, the normal seasonal increase in coxsackie virus (hand, foot, and mouth disease) is in full swing and we are seeing tons of kids with typical symptoms in the office. Even the mention of hand, foot mouth disease can send typically calm parents into full panic. I’m hoping after reading this article, that parents will realize that while this illness can certainly make your little one feel very uncomfortable, it is rarely life threatening or dangerous. Typically, with some time, love and good pain control, your little one will seem back to himself in a few days.
Here’s are five things your pediatrician wants you to know about hand, foot and mouth disease:
- It’s a virus. Hand, foot and mouth disease is an infection that is caused by a virus known as the coxsackie virus. I like to tell parents, “it’s a virus with a name.” It is no different than your child having a cold, it is just a different set of symptoms. And just because a virus has a name does not mean it will make a child sicker or is more dangerous than other viruses. Fun fact: it is named after a town in upstate New York where the virus was discovered.
It’s a new year! Fashions change, pop culture trends emerge, and the latest favored baby names emerge on every expectant parents’ list. In 2016, classic names like Sophia, Emma, Olivia were all the rage for girls and parents loved names like Aiden, Lucas, and Jackson for boys. Which baby names will trend this year? And which are our favorites?
Aria: This name has a classic feel with a uniqueness that many traditional girls' names don’t possess. Bonus points for giving this name to a baby in a musical family.
Mia: Rising on the top-names lists in 2016, Mia is a playful and feminine name for a 2017 arrival.
Matilda: According to nameberry.com, Matilda was the 75th most popular name of 2016, but we think this vintage name will be trending soon, especially given its literary allusions.
Luna: In Latin, Luna means “moon,” and its dreamy origin makes it a compelling name choice for 2017 babies.
Grace: We love the strength and beauty of the name Grace, a classic virtue name. With the resurgence of old-fashioned names, Grace has enjoyed a rise in popularity in the past several years.
Azalea: Flower names are always in style, and Azalea is a unique choice for those trying to stay away from the regular floral standbys.
Embry: This is a lesser-known name of 2016, but we like to think its originality is its charm. Embry works well for parents who love Emily and Emma, but want to avoid the super-popular names.
Jade: Strong and short, the name Jade is has a powerfully evocative quality to it. It’s no wonder: according to nameberry.com, the jade stone is said to spread wisdom, courage, and clarity.
Zoe: This name has enjoyed an upsurge in recent years. Not only is Zoe a newly popular choice in the U.S., parents in Spain, New Zealand, and France are also fond of the name.
Declan: In 2015, Declan was hardly on the radar and has enjoyed increased popularity in 2016. Irish names have surged in approval for little lads, and we think it’s time for the name Declan to shine.
William: A traditional name that withstands the latest fads, William is a top pick for princes and regular folk alike.
Oliver: Much like the uber-popular female counterpart, Olivia, Oliver is a lively name with a vintage air to it. Nameberry.com notes that it was very well-used in medieval times, but fell out of favor after the rule of Oliver Cromwell.
Noah: This is a popular name with biblical roots, and though it’s been trending for awhile, it has tremendous staying power.
Hudson: Hudson is well known as a surname and as the NYC river, but it’s becoming increasingly well known as a first name, too.
Vaughn: The meaning of the name is “small,” but we think this name makes a big statement.
Bodhi: Bodhi comes from the Sanskrit word for “awakening” or “enlightenment” and is a meaningful choice for a 2017 baby.
Knox: Perhaps most known from Fort Knox, Kentucky, the name has been used as a surname for centuries and has a rare ring to it.
Wyatt: The meaning of this English-origin name is “brave in war,” and had become more well-known in the last several years.Lincoln: The name Lincoln has been slowly rising in popularity over the past several years and is most likely to stir up thoughts of former presidents.
A unisex baby name is an excellent choice for your 2017 new arrival. Maybe you’re waiting to discover the sex of your baby, or perhaps you’d like a name without unyielding feminine or masculine associations. Whether you’re leaning toward the classic and traditional or the cutting-edge and funky, there are plenty of fabulous unisex names for every little boy or girl. We’ve rounded up our 15 favorite unisex names for you to add to your baby name shortlist.
Avery: This name has been rising in popularity over the past ten years and has been materializing all over popular culture. Avery is of English origin and means “ruler of the elves:” a whimsical choice for either sex.
Parker: Another name of English origin, Parker is an occupational name meaning “park keeper.” To date, Parker is used as a name for both boys or girls in nearly equal measure.
Sawyer: The name Sawyer might evoke images of Mark Twain characters, but Sawyer is being given to girls with nearly as much frequency as boys in recent years.
Albany: Place-based names always have a dedicated following, and Albany (of the New York state capital, of course) is a unique and stately choice.
Hadley: This name means “heather field,” and while Heather is more associated as a female name today, Hadley can easily go either way.
Cyan: The color cyan is a gorgeous greenish-blue, and the name is equally mysterious and rare-sounding. “Cy” as a nickname could also work well for either gender.
Addison: Addison has been rising on the popularity charts in the past few years. Though its meaning is “son of Adam,” it’s been used across the board for girls and for boys.
Lyric: This name works wonderfully for music-loving families especially, or for any parents who want a melodic name for either boy or girl. The name originates from the Greek word for “lyre” and has strong musical connotations.
Reese: Thanks to actress Reese Witherspoon, this name is slightly more popular for girls than for boys, but it is still a definitively unisex name. The name Reese means “ardor,” which is a captivating association for both genders.
Marley: The name Marley is a unique choice for boys and girls, and though it is not in the lists of trendiest names, we think it’s due for a comeback. Meaning “pleasant seaside meadow,” the name Marley has a calm and distinctive ring to it.
Merritt: With roots as a surname, Merritt has enjoyed a small surge as a unisex first name. With an unmistakable classic flair, the name Merritt can also be spelled Merit, as in the noun meaning “advantage” or “virtue.”
Kai: A bold name, Kai is a multicultural unisex name that boasts different meanings. According to nameberry.com, Kai means “sea” in Hawaiian, “forgiveness” in Japanese, “food” in Maori, and “willow tree” in Navajo.
Shiloh: The name Shiloh comes from Hebrew origins and is actually a Biblical place-name. It’s a relatively uncommon name, which is perfect for parents who want a rarer name for their baby girl or boy.
Sage: On the other hand, the name Sage is increasingly popular and is given in equal measure to both boys and girls alike. This monosyllabic herbal name is striking and fearless, and immediately brings to mind wisdom and great intellect.Morgan: Welsh in its origin, Morgan has climbed the charts as a girl's name more quickly than for boys, but is beginning to even out. The name has many connotations, from Arthurian legends to the Morgan horse, yet remains a familiar name for boys and girls.
Enhance baby’s growth with these fun, development-boosting activities.
Babies are born scientists. From the moment they come into being, they are observing and absorbing the world around them. Countless studies tout the incredible growth and development of a child’s first 3 years. More specifically, experiences and interactions within the very first year of life have lasting impacts on a child’s foundation for thought, feeling and overall well-being. Here’s a list of engaging activities that stimulate development, nurture curiosity and foster happiness in children under one:
During Reading Time. Everyone knows the importance of reading. Beyond simply reading a book, there are so many easy activities to incorporate into reading time to maximize the experience and impact.
It’s baby’s first holiday season! Undoubtedly, there will be loads of celebration around the new arrival and her family during the holidays. As you spoil the newborn with gifts and affection, don’t forget the new mother! While it’s always the thought that counts, there are some things that a new mom particularly covets, and believe us, it’s not diapers, pacifiers, and baby socks. Here are our suggestions for holiday gifts specifically for the new mom.
Get her a fashionable new accessory. As a new mother, fashion (or even showering) often comes last. Treat a new mother with a stylish accessory that she can enjoy now, and in the months to come. Clothing is fun, but a new mom’s body is still changing, so an accessory will have staying power. Check out scarves, jewelry, or hair accessories for a perfect gift. We love the From the Road Siva Hand Stitched Scarf, found at Goop.
Let her splurge on pregnancy no-no’s. The new mom has most likely eschewed caffeine, alcohol, soft cheese and more during the nine long months when she was pregnant. End her deprivation with a stellar wine, craft coffee, or a sampling of cheese and crackers, and she will be endlessly grateful. We can’t get enough of the cheese collection from Dean & Deluca, available in 3, 6, or 12 month subscriptions.
Don’t underestimate the essentials. It can be hard for a new mom to get out of the house to stay stocked in everyday toiletries and essentials. Giving the gift of all natural bath products, like the Nine Naturals Bath Bundle, will let her relax knowing that she’s using the finest products, without worrying that mommy-brain will make her forget to stock up.
Help her out! You can make up cutesy DIY coupons, or outsource these presents with gift cards, but consider giving a new mom what she really needs: a helping hand. Get childcare set up or offer a few evenings out of the house, taking care of the new baby. Or schedule a month of house cleanings for her place. You can also subscribe her to a week of meals, which will lighten her heavy load of chores. If you want to crowdsource meals, we like Meal Train for setting up a schedule of dinners delivered to the new mother.
Stuff a stocking with brand new cosmetics. Put together a small basket or stocking of new makeup for the new mom. She’ll appreciate the notion of getting dressed up and put together, even if she’s just going out for a morning walk. As most new mothers know, it’s easy to forget to do anything for ourselves, but a swipe of mascara or painted nails can be the small indulgence that’s needed. Check out the Nine Naturals Covet Shop for our favorite nail polish from Trust Fund in a variety of shades.
Trust us: new mothers need a spa day. Find a favorite local spa and give the new mama in your life a day of comfort and relaxation. Bonus points if you throw in a service like hot stone massage or a facial, and don’t forget to arrange childcare for the day. New moms are overwhelmed with worry about their little ones, so give her the all-important gift of Peace of Mind.
Find a fragrance other than Eau de Diaper Genie. It’s no secret that the most looming scent in a newborn home isn’t the most desirable one. Give a new mother a nice perfume that she can wear out of the house, like doesn’t make her smell like formula and over-exhaustion. We love the selection at Diptyque, especially the Philosykos Eau de Parfum.
Give her a trendy tote for her new mommy belongings. As a new mother, there’s always more to bring along than we can carry. Diaper bags are usually taken care of in the baby gift registry, but consider giving a tote bag that’s more stylish than a diaper bag, which she can use to store a few extra diapers, or her own belongings. You can find several chic options, no matter the mom’s style, at Neiman Marcus. We especially like the Saint Laurent Medium North-South Shopping Tote Bag.
Gift a new mother with warm weather gear. New mothers may find themselves pushing strollers around the block at the strangest, and coldest times of day and night, in hopes of getting in a walk or putting their baby to sleep. Keep her warm as she braves the icy weather with baby in tow. For a trendy and luxurious pick, we like these Pom-Pom Embellished Cashmere Beanies.