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abby--9-23-13

Nameberry 9 by Abby Sandel of Appellation Mountain

Imagine that you were put in charge of names.

Effective immediately, you are the recorder of all given names, and no newborn’s birth certificate is official until it has received your stamp of approval.

After a giddy moment or two – think of all the names you’ll see! – reality sets in.  Will you impose rules?  What will the rules be?  Would you establish an official list of approved names?  Guidelines?  Is there an appeals process?

In the US and much of the world, we tend to respect the parents’ right to choose a child’s name, even if that name raises a few eyebrows.  Case in point: the baby briefly known as Martin McCullough has now been restored to his birth name, Messiah

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reese

So….2,449 people named their baby girls Reese last year. Which means that upon meeting those 2,449 little girls, almost everyone for the rest of their lives is going to say, Reese? You mean R-E-E-S-E? As in Reese Witherspoon?

If you name your baby Reese and you’re NOT a Legally Blonde maniac, you’re going to have some ‘splaining to do. Because names like Reese — and Aaliyah and Ashton and Miley and Penn — are so closely tied to one celebrity that people can’t help but think that choosing the name amounts to major fandom.

And thousands of parents every year choose names that are inspired by celebrities.

In fact at this very moment, an untold number of new parents in Britain are waiting to hear the royal baby name so they can adopt it for their own already-born children.

So our question of the week is: Can you imagine you’d be one of them?

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babyproof

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, SetBaby!”  This one has some fantastic tips for baby-proofing your home that go way beyond the obvious.

Baby-Proofing

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.

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babysurprised

Ideally, choosing your baby’s name is a fun, inspired endeavor, but too often baby name problems get in the way.  Here are the problems we hear most often, and how to fix them:

Your family interferes with your name choice

Your mom wants you to name the baby after her.  His dad wants you to name the baby after his mom.  And everybody hates the name you’ve chosen….and isn’t shy about telling you so.  Name discussions with family can be an illuminating way to pass your pregnancy, but the minute family members start to act like they have equal voting rights, it’s time to cut off the talks.  Bowing to family name pressure is the Number 1 reason for name regret.

Your friend ruins the name you love

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Marissa Mayer baby name

Okay, you’re Berries, of course you wouldn’t.

On the other hand, if crowd-sourcing your baby’s name is good enough for the most powerful new mom in corporate America…..

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and venture capitalist husband Zack Bogue had their first baby, a boy, on Sunday, and took to Twitter asking for name suggestions.

Nameberry, of course, rushed to the rescue, with these excellent (we thought) suggestions:

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