Category: Guest Bloggers
When we named our son Alexander in 2004, it was a no-brainer, a family name that my husband very much wanted to pass down. Despite my baby name obsession, the choice was made without much thought.
I knew girls could answer to Alex as a tomboyish nickname for Alexandra. Heck, it was the kind of name I’d craved as a child. And I was fascinated by the medieval French Alix, the Italian Alessandra, the Russian Sasha.
The possibility of a girl Alex didn’t bother me a bit.
The classmate who told him that his nickname was a gender bender?
His name is Delaney.
So what’s happening with boys’ names in 2013? There’s pressure to choose a name that is clearly masculine, coupled with frustration that so many fresh possibilities for boys could easily be the next big thing for girls. Parents will drop Elliot if they see it mentioned on a message board as a vague possibility for a girl. Emerson has been ceded to Team Pink before she even cracks the Top 100 in the US.
The big trend in baby name news this week? It has to be borrowing a name from your family tree.
Once upon a time, it might have been expected that your firstborn son was a junior, or maybe shared his name with grandpa. In other places, family surnames were handed down along with the silver.
These days, there’s less pressure than ever to choose heirloom names. And yet we’re still inclined to honor our loved ones.
Other parents aren’t passing down family names, but they are coordinating their children’s names. Sometimes it is a shared first initial; other times, the theme is more subtle.
When I was a child, I had seven children…or so I believed. They may not have actually walked or talked, but I loved them unconditionally in spite of these limitations. Some of you international Berries may not know what I’m talking about, but you American Berries who were children of the ‘80s and ‘90s understand what I mean when I say that my Cabbage Patch Kids were my babies. This American line of dolls has been going strong since the late 1970s, each one coming with a unique set of features, clothing, and best of all, birth certificates, complete with first names, middle names, and birth dates. They were, as the legend goes, born in a magical cabbage patch presumably located in some supernatural corner of America that is birthing plastic-headed, soft-bodied babies to this very day.
Sometimes the changes are subtle. In the late 1800s, Sallie was more popular than Sally. In the 1950s, Kerry, Jimmie, and Lester were ordinary names for little boys, and their sisters were called Toni, Yolanda, and Marlene.
… it makes sense that we constantly adapt and expand our vocabulary to account for new concepts, events, inventions, etc. For example, we may invent new words, give existing words new meanings, or borrow words from other languages.
This is the second in the series of excerpts we’re running from the highly recommended, up-to-date, interactive guide to pregnancy and infancy, “Ready, Set, Baby!” This one has some fantastic tips for baby-proofing your home that go way beyond the obvious.
Here’s one thing you can be sure of when you become a parent: You’ll never look at your home in quite the same way again. That beloved reclaimed elm coffee table with the rough edges and iron legs? Suddenly it looks like a baby concussion waiting to happen. Not to mention the slippery staircase, the tangle of window blind cords, and the array of cleaning products stashed under the kitchen sink.
Packing up and moving to a cave with your baby and a year’s supply of diapers is one option. But caves can get cramped, and Internet service is spotty. More important, babies like to explore! Exploration is critical to your baby’s motor and brain development, so creating a home where your baby can learn about her environment safely tops the list of parenting responsibilities. Get acquainted with safety latches, gates, and electrical socket plugs. As your baby grows and develops, you will continually need to update your childproofing. While incorporating safety measures is never a substitute for vigilance, childproofing will considerably increase her safety at home.