No, I wasn’t ‘too posh to push’.
So you need to choose a baby name and the importance of this decision is weighing heavily on your mind – your child will be stuck with the name you choose for life! To make things more even more difficult, you and your partner may have different ideas about what makes a perfect name. Don’t know where to start? Some of these strategies will help.
Choose the surname first
Is it going to be your surname or your partner’s, or a combination of the two? Many of us will agree for the children to have the male partner’s name, even if we’ve kept our own surname after getting married. It’s how it’s been done traditionally and it’s an easy way to keep things simple. Besides, ladies, if you let your child have his surname, it gives you the upper hand when it comes to choosing the first name. Things have to be fair, right?
Discuss types of names
Do you prefer a popular name or an unusual one? How do you feel about a common name but with a different spelling? If the two of you come from different backgrounds, are there any names that are used or sound nice in both cultures? Will your child have a middle name? Agree on the general direction before getting down to the business of picking the actual name.
Make a list of names you like
Shortlist names you like. Use names of people you know or browse a book of baby names and don’t rush it. Every time you hear a name you like, add it to your list. Then once each of you has a few names in mind, examine each other’s lists and cross out any names that you absolutely hate. Hopefully, you will have a few options left. If not – it’s back to the drawing board, make another list.
Still finding it hard to choose a baby name? Leave the final decision until after you meet the baby. It can be much easier to decide once you have a face to put to the name.
Image by FeeLoona via pixabay.com
The eHarmony Dating Index is forecasting some of the lowest levels of dating activity this year, with the least romantic day of the year predicted to fall on Wednesday, July 15.
The eHarmony Dating Index measured interest in dating from 2012-2014 using Google search data for relevant terms like ‘date venues’, social media mentions of phrases like ‘date tonight’, and traffic to eHarmony.com.au, to plot daily interest in dating on a scale of 0 to 100.
Over the past three years, the third Wednesday of July has averaged 35 points on the Index, 15 per cent below the average daily score of 41 and 56 per cent lower than Valentine’s Day – the most romantic day of the year which sees an average score of 80. More peaks are usually seen around Christmas and the summer season.
As for a typical week, the Index shows Saturday as the most romantic day, and Wednesday the least romantic.
With eastern Australia in the midst of a cold front, this July looks to be no exception to the typically unromantic period. Studies commissioned by eHarmony show that 46 per cent of local members and 61 per cent of Australians find it challenging to plan exciting dates during winter, and a further 1 in 4 Aussies say their dating frequency won’t rise until the mercury does.
eHarmony dating and relationship expert, Melanie Schilling, says: “While our energy levels are lower during the cold weather, winter is full of opportunities for romance with the intimacy that comes with cosy winter dates! We can’t beat Mother Nature but we can change our dating mindset to not let the weather be a barrier, otherwise we risk missing good opportunities to meet potential partners.”
No matter how well you’ve prepared your older kids for the arrival of your new baby, you’re probably still nervous about the actual event. How are your older kids going to react? Will they like the baby? Will they know you still love them? If you’re wondering how to make this first encounter run smoothly, here are some things you can try.
Encourage your children make some gifts for the baby before the birth. It will help them feel grown up and important, and ready for their new role as a big brother or sister. My children made a bead necklace for their new baby sister – not the most appropriate item for a new baby, but it was very cute and I still have it in my box where I keep precious memories. You can also prepare a gift from the baby to her older siblings.
Be available to greet your older children
Whether your children are coming to visit you at the hospital or you’re returning home with your new bundle, have your hands free to give cuddles and reassurance. Ask the person who’s bringing them to the hospital give you a call before they get there or have someone else carry the baby when you arrive home.
Get your older children involved
Let them hold the baby and bring you items you might need. Take lots of pictures with them and your new baby, but be careful that you have some pictures of just you and your newborn, too, or the baby might get upset once she grows up. We had to look through my daughter’s baby photos for a school project recently and she wanted a photo of the two of us together. No luck, she was either by herself in the picture or her older brother was always there!
Be prepared that your older children may get jealous and act out in the beginning, but they will soon come to accept and love their new baby brother or sister.
Image by sathyatripodi via pixabay.com
As a first-time parent, you’ve become the baby gear galore’s marketing dream. There’s a huge list of ‘essential’ items and before you know it, money is just slipping away. There’s no denying how expensive babies are – and they cost more than enough without having to buy all this additional stuff too.
Soon you find yourself asking “how can one tiny baby possibly need all this stuff!?” No doubt you simply want to do what’s best for your newborn, but the reality is you don’t need to be stocked up with countless purchases to accommodate the arrival. Take the clutter out of your baby’s homecoming and make sure your nursery is only filled with the ‘must have’s’! Here’s a list of items your baby doesn’t need:
Until they start to stand and walk babies have no real need for shoes, and most of the time they barely stay on anyway. Before you know it, you’ll have all the time in the world to buy those adorable sets of kicks – but as for tiny newborns slip those little feet into socks for warmth instead or ugg-boot type booties. As your baby starts to experiment with toddling around your home, bare feet or socks is actually much healthier for their development.
2. Oodles of stuffed toys
Whilst every newborn baby defiantly needs a cuddly teddy bear or two, you don’t need to spend a fortune on making sure they have every soft toy on the market. The ultimate toy for a newborn is your company, face and voice which serve as a stimulating entertainment session they actually need. As your newborn gets older (around 6 months is good), stuffed toys become necessary – until then, save your money. An overload on cuddly animals and bears as a newborn can also pose as a SIDS risk, another important reason to consider.
3. Fancy designer clothes
Sure, you want your baby to look stylish and amazing but at such a young age, it’s best to resist the urge to go on an expensive shopping spree. Buying baby designer clothes may look extremely cute but it’s inevitable your newborn will outgrow them in the next week or two. Not to mention all the spills, drool and diaper blowouts that’ll get in the way.
4. A baby bath
A big spending mistake first-time parents make is buying a baby bath when in fact; your house already comes with one. Yes – a sink! Believe it not, your sink in your laundry is actually the perfect baby bath for your newborn. Whilst it may not come with cute little ducks printed on it, it’s not going to cost you any extra.
As with designer clothes, a newborn baby will undoubtedly grow out of a baby bath pretty quickly. Utilising sinks in your home and then upgrading to the bath tub is a much more ideal and cheaper option. If you want to ‘prettify’ the sink, you can use fun wall stickers above the area for your baby to coo at and throw a rubber duckie into the sink too.
5. Expensive baby bedding
Sure you want your newborn to be sleeping in super comfy bedding, but it doesn’t need to cost you and arm and a leg. Some baby bedding sets can cost hundreds and at the end of the day, they’re just going to be ruined and washed over and over again. Many parents are drawn to the cute fluffiness of baby bedding and will spend a fortune on adorable patterns. Few of these though are actually safe and appropriate though as they pose a risk to your sleeping baby with their fleecy texture and risk of overheating. Instead, opt for thinner receiving blankets or swaddling blankets that’ll wrap your baby like a safe little burrito.
6. Changing table
As with the baby bath, your home already comes complete with your very own changing table. If your home is lacking room as it is, there’s really no use in adding another piece of furniture you’re not going to need – save your money and space! A dresser, living room table or mat on the floor can be converted into the perfect changing table for your baby. Purchase an easy-to-clean changing pad that can effectively turn almost any nook in your home into an instant changing table. Depending on which one you choose, most changing pads come complete with a safety strap and nappy storage for convenience.
7. Bottle warmer
A bottle warmer may be convenient, but it’s definitely not an essential item you’re going to need for your newborn baby. With good reason too – many parents aren’t too keen on heating a bottle up in the microwave (and we wouldn’t recommend this) but you do have hot water that’s more than suitable. Instead, sit the bottle in a pot of warming water. After a few minutes test the contents of the bottle (usually on the wrist as this is a sensitive place) and once it’s at a good temperature you can feed it to your baby. As long as you have brought the real essentials (baby bottles!), you can safely warm up a bottle without using a pricey bottle warmer.
By Corina Mentink, director of Boxt.com.au, a leading online provider of hampers, balloons and gift delivery in Australia. Connect with Corina on LinkedIn
Buying a gift for a newborn child isn’t always as simple as you think. The most common gifts include onesies, rattles, stuffed toys and bedding all of which the impending parents-to-be have already taken care of themselves. But exactly what else is there? Below are some not-so-common gift ideas which won’t be re-gifted or left sitting at the back of the closet.
HALO Sleepsack Swaddle, $28.95
Made from 100% cotton, these innovative gifts are available in a variety of colours and styles which will suit your baby regardless of their age. The SleepSack Swaddle aims to replace blankets, and is designed to keep your baby tucked in and comfortable throughout their naps without fear of preventing the startle reflex.
Winnie The Pooh Starry Night Universal Change Pad, $29.99
This foam change pad is a great gift for parents since it fits into a variety of change tables. Easy to wash and equipped with a vinyl cover you can throw into the washing machine, it is a cheap and cheerful gift which is practical and will be used every single day.
Childcare 4 in 1 Travel Cot, $159.99
Perfect to use for a newborn from the moment they’re back home from the hospital, the easy to assemble cot is convenient to use if you’re constantly on the go or choose to have the baby by your side. Featuring a bassinet changer, wheels for easy movement and pockets for storage, it is a great gift if you’re looking to splurge.
Philips AVENT Microwave Steriliser, $55.99
Holds up to four bottles and provides easy sterilisation for up to 24 hours. Compact enough to pop into a bag if you’re travelling, and comes with a lid for easy storage.
Choose gifts which can be used immediately after coming home from the hospital, and communicate with parents to find gifts which are suitable to buy for newborns. Bibs, bottles and face washers are also fantastic gifts which make the transition for parents with newborns much easier to deal with.
Image via Blog Cdn
By Felicia Sapountzis
The arrival of a new baby can be one of the most exciting times in our lives, but for their siblings it can also be a time of uncertainty, jealousy and frustration. The realisation that they won’t have your undivided attention anymore can be a hard concept to grasp for some children, especially if they are an only child and haven’t had to compete for attention in the past. So here are some tips to help make the transition a bit smoother.
Before the baby is born…
Organise sleeping arrangements prior to the birth
If your toddler is being moved to a bed so the new baby can sleep in the cot, make the transition as far in advance as possible so your toddler doesn’t feel as though they have been pushed out of their bed for the new baby. It gives them time to adjust to the new sleeping arrangements before you also throw a new baby into the mix.
Take your children along to your appointments
Taking your children to see the baby on the ultrasound or hear their heartbeat can help your children to feel more included in the whole pregnancy experience. You can try telling a child for hours about a new baby coming into your lives but until they actually see it for themselves on the scan it may not actually make sense to them.
Read books about new babies to your children
Books are a great way of explaining confusing situations to young children with simple words and pictures. There are numerous children’s books which cover the topic of a new baby that can help your children to understand the situation a bit better.
Consider a new sibling class
A new sibling class can be a great way for your children to learn about the new baby that is soon to arrive and the impact it’s going to have on the family. A lot of hospitals offer the class which teaches the children how to hold and care for a new baby as well as how to be a great big brother or sister.
Once the baby has arrived…
Offer gifts from the new baby
Arrange some small gifts from the new baby that can be given to your children. Presents are generally well received by little ones so if you explain that the present is from the new baby it may help to ease the feelings of jealousy. Your toddler might even like to buy something in return for the new baby. Let them choose the gift and get them to wrap it up themselves.
Be prepared for tantrums
Once your new baby has arrived be prepared for your toddler to throw more tantrums than usual. Having a newborn means you won’t be able to devote all of your time to the other children so it’s common for them to become frustrated. You may also find that they are more demanding and they are clingier than usual. These are all natural reactions to a new baby but they should slowly subside as your toddler adjusts to the new arrival.
Designate tasks to your children
Appointing your children to be in charge of certain things such as handing out the wipes at nappy change times, or choosing the baby’s clothes when it’s time to get changed makes them feel important and helps to ease the feelings of being left out.
But most of all, be patient. A new arrival in the household can shake things up immensely and the time it takes to adjust to the changes is different for everyone. Good luck!
Image via preschoolers.about.com
By Karyn Miller
Life as a new parent isn’t all adorable newborn cuddles, cooing and heart melts – you may also develop chronic sleep deprivation. Forget the epic births, painful post-birth aftermath or breastfeeding battles; for me, chronic sleep deprivation has been the most debilitating aspect of becoming a new parent for the second time.
Our first baby slept like an angel from 7pm-7am from about eight weeks. Armed with supreme hubris, when our baby turned nine months, my husband and I got cracking on baby no.2, as per our GP’s advice, given we were both in our late 30s. How hard could it be having two toddlers under 2? We’d blitzed this baby business with the first, so we could do it with the second, right? Wrong!
We were fortunate enough to fall pregnant with our second daughter straight away, and our hearts swelled to twice the size when she came into the world screaming like a banshee, just as her gorgeous sister had done. But there was one crucial difference between our two girls – the second little blighter was a problem sleeper, waking constantly through the night, no matter what we tried. And believe me, we tried everything – breastfeeding, rocking, singing and more.
This was a rude shock to say the least and all our pride and confidence was crushed, only to be quickly replaced by upset, bewilderment and angst. Would we ever learn up cope with the 5-6 nocturnal wake-up calls? It didn’t help that she was a big baby (almost 10 pounds) and a voracious breastfeeder. Now that our challenging, little sleeper is 13 months, and finally sleeping beautifully through the night, here are some handy survival tips which may hopefully help you, if faced with a devil child, sorry, difficult sleeper:
Nap when they do
I hated this well-worn advice, but you don’t really have a choice when seriously sleep-deprived – the minute your babies go down, so too should you. Take turns with your husband, or enlist the help of family members if need be, to help care for your other kids.
Get a night nurse
If money is no object (lucky you!) get a night nurse or mobile midwife to come help you survive those long, long days and nights. One of the best baby shower gifts I’ve ever heard of is a bunch of friends pitching in for the cost of a night nurse for a few months as a gift to a very fortunate mum-to-be.
Leave the chores
I know it’s often impossibly hard to ignore, but leave the dirty dishes and the mountain of laundry in favour of sleep, as often as you can. And delegate, delegate, delegate – ideally, this is when your mum or mother-in-law will show their true mettle and step up to help you.
Take turns on night duty
Another survival tactic is to take turns one night on, one night off, with your significant other. While one of you gets up with the baby for cuddles/night feeds (you may have to pump milk ahead of time for your partner), the other parent can be getting some much-needed rest.
Take a break
Make a habit of getting out into the fresh air and sunshine, as often as you can, to cope with the stress, anxiety and upset of sleep deprivation. Do something that makes you feel good to boost your self-esteem and energy levels – exercise, get a beauty treatment, or spend time with a supportive friend.
Chronic sleep deprivation seriously affects your mood and coping mechanisms – there’s also a proven direct link between infant sleep problems and baby blues and postnatal depression. Get help ASAP with your local GP, visit beyondblue.org.au or phone Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.
By Nicole Carrington-Sima
It’s 7pm, your newborn’s finally gone to bed and you catch sight of yourself in the mirror: you’ve got baby vomit on your shoulder, dirty hair and dark circles no amount of YSL/science can fix. You collapse in a heap on the bed, your poor, sleep-deprived mind and body aching for some sleep. Next, your equally delirious and sleep-deprived husband spots you lying on the bed and mistakes your prone form as an open invitation.
You’ve dozed off for a second, but wake with a start at his gentle caresses. “What are you doing?” you screech, all mad banshee. “I just need 10 minutes to myself!” Your rejected lover slinks into the kitchen, with only his beer to make love to. Sound familiar? You’re not alone – it can be extremely hard to locate your libido post-baby, when it’s often packed up along with your long-lost pre-baby abs and size 10 clothes.
And while your man’s deep, primal sexual desires may be largely unchanged post-baby, chances are, like most new mums, you’re suffering body image issues, an identity crisis and would much rather get some precious, much-needed sleep than swing naked from the chandeliers. So, how do couples rekindle the romance and rediscover their mojo, post-baby? Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein’s top three tips include:
Strike a balance
Reach out to family and friends for help whenever you can, whether it’s to find time to reconnect with your partner sans baby, even if it’s just for a quick meal, or some quality alone time. “You have to really, really work on intimacy post-baby and try to strike a balance between ‘me’, ‘sexy couple’ and ‘baby’ time,” Dr Goldstein says. “Get creative and plan ahead – women need to feel helped and supported to feel sexual. Try to find time to do something that makes you feel nice: a blow dry, manicure or a new outfit. Feeling nourished can switch a woman’s mood and make her feel more sexual – she may even initiate sex.”
Get real, girlfriend
It can be very hard to feel sexual and connected to your post-baby body, especially with armchair motherhood critics and Hollywood celebrities distorting our reality. “There’s incredible pressure on women to lose their baby weight and get sexual very quickly,” Dr Goldstein says. “Look at Kim Kardashian – she went into hiding post-baby so that people weren’t seeing the real Kim, with baby vomit down her front, greasy hair and with someone else looking after her child so she could exercise for hours every day. Post-natal depression is a very real and common problem – many women have a false sense of reality about what motherhood should be. So, get real and be gentle with yourself.”
Slow then fast, baby
Couples looking to set each other on fire between the sheets should start off slow post-baby, Dr Goldstein says. Try snuggling on the couch – reconnecting with your partner through non-penetrative intimacy. Then, once you’re both ready for more – turn up the heat and rediscover your sensuality via bedroom accessories, whether together or alone.
“All relationships should have Tengas: sexual aids,” Dr Goldstein says. “Male masturbation aids like Tengas can come in handy if women are sore post-baby. But sex toys for women are also an invaluable bedroom tool.” Pun very much intended.
By Nicole Carrington
Each year the list of the popular baby names is released and reveals the trends in naming across the country. We’ve taken a step away from the weird and wonderful and have continued on our flashback to traditional names that were popular at the turn of the century. Below are the most popular names for boys and girls in Australia in 2013.
Top 20 girls’ names:
Top 20 boys’ names: