How To Choose A Baby Name Without A Fight

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.

RELATED: Celebrity Baby Names

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

What To Do When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying

You’ve done everything you could think of. You’ve fed your baby, you’ve changed her half a dozen times in the last hour, you gave her lots of cuddles, you even checked her temperature to make sure she doesn’t have a fever and she still won’t stop crying. What else could you do?

Common reasons why babies cry

You’ve probably already know most of these reasons, but I’ll mention them anyway because sometimes in the middle of sleepless haze we can forget the most obvious things. Babies cry because they’re hungry, tired, they need a nappy change, they’re overstimulated, they have gas, they’re suffering from pain or illness. Sometimes they seem to cry for a reason only known to them and unfortunately they can’t communicate it.

Even when you identify the reason, you may not be sure what to do about it. Take overtiredness or overstimulation, for example. It’s not as simple as putting your baby to bed or taking the stimuli away – by that time your baby have probably already worked herself into a state of uncontrollable crying that she can’t just snap out of.

Tricks to calm a crying baby

If you’re worried that your baby is sick or in pain, don’t hesitate to get a doctor’s advice, even if they already recognise your voice over the phone at the doctor’s practice. It’ll give you a peace of mind and a reassurance that you’re doing everything you can.

Once you’ve eliminated illness and most of the other reasons for crying, try some of these tricks:

  • Offer breastfeeds for comfort, even if your baby is not hungry. You cannot overfeed a breastfeeding baby.
  • Put the baby in a baby carrier or a pram and go for a walk. This worked so well for my own babies that eventually I got convinced that they were only crying because they wanted to go out. That was probably not the case, it’s more likely that the movement and the change of scenery calmed them and distracted them into finally falling asleep.
  • Use an exercise ball to bounce on while holding your baby. It’ll give you a break from the constant pacing around the room and still provide calming motion for your baby.
  • Use white noise like the vacuum cleaner or special white noise recordings. I haven’t found this effective, but I know other people who swear by this method, so it’s worth giving it a try.
  • Change the baby’s position onto her side or her stomach. Some experts say that it reminds the baby of her position in the uterus and it may also help release the gas, if that’s what’s bothering her.

Recognise your own limits

Spending hours trying to comfort a crying baby can be exhausting and can make you doubt your abilities as a mother. In truth, these crying episodes have happened to most of us and they have no reflection on your parenting skills. Not being able to cope with the constant crying is definitely not a sign that you’re a bad mum, either, and neither is reaching out for help. Ask your partner or a friend to take over while you’re having a break or call a helpline for emotional support.

Image by TanyaVdB via pixabay.com

By Tatiana Apostolova

Best Gifts For A Baby Shower

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


How To Cope With New-Parent Sleep Deprivation

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 

Sex And Romance After Having A Baby

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

Most Popular Baby Names

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:

  1. Charlotte
  2. Ava
  3. Chloe
  4. Emily
  5. Olivia
  6. Zoe
  7. Lily
  8. Sophie
  9. Amelia
  10. Sofia
  11. Ella
  12. Isabella
  13. Ruby
  14. Sienna
  15. Mia
  16. Grace
  17. Emma
  18. Ivy
  19. Layla
  20. Abigail

Top 20 boys’ names:

  1. Oliver
  2. Jack
  3. Jackson
  4. William
  5. Ethan
  6. Charlie
  7. Lucas
  8. Cooper
  9. Lachlan
  10. Noah
  11. Liam
  12. Alexander
  13. Max
  14. Isaac
  15. Thomas
  16. Xavier
  17. Oscar
  18. Benjamin
  19. Aiden
  20. Mason