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Category: Dos, Don’ts, Rules, & Guidelines

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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rainbowhat

Unisex names and the question of whether a child’s gender should be evident via his or her name is one that comes up frequently on Nameberry.  It’s an issue that’s changed a lot over the years we’ve been writing about baby names and that varies substantially in different cultures.

Starting with the baby boomlet of the 1980s, the first wave of feminist parents gave girls androgynous names like Morgan and Parker to make them more competitive with boys…..while parents of boys abandoned unisex names in favor of more traditional masculine choices.   Next came names that broke away from traditional boy or girl choices — Logan and Lake, Bellamy and Finn — but still somehow held onto a gendered identity.

Despite vast changes in naming practices around the world, some ancient cultures accommodate names that work for either sex — Japan is a notable example — while other countries such as Norway require that names carry gender identity.  Germany changed its naming laws in 2008 to allow the use of unisex names.

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yes-no

A few weeks ago we asked the Nameberry moms and dads to tell us their best baby names rules.  What followed were hundreds of suggestions, from the idiosyncratically individual (All middle names must be Celtic and begin with R) to rules so universal they might apply to everyone.

Rule Number 1, according to one berry?  No dumb names.  We’re down with that, along with these 21 other smart, sensible rules that every modern baby namer should follow:

1.     No yooneek spellings.  Name your son (or daughter) Peyton or even Payton.  But not Peighton, Patyn, or Paitynne.

2.     No made-up names.  Translating a meaningful place or word into a name is all right, but don’t manufacture a name from whole cloth.  Jaunel and Calton, we’re looking at you.

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