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Congratulations! You have a little one on the way. Huggies wants to help you in a big way. We have lots of articles and videos on everything from baby names to shower planning and more, so you can celebrate every moment of this major milestone.

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A Nursery That Grows with the Baby

By Debbie Williams

One size does not fit all

When it comes time to plan for your baby's nursery, don't just hit the shops until you have a plan. A smart plan emphasizes safety and convenience, facilitates organization, and can save you both time and money. Put first things — like safety — first.

  • As you purchase furnishings for your nursery, remember that little hands like to explore. Cracks, crevices, holes, and slots are there for prodding — virtually nothing is off-limits in the mind of a child. Think safety first when making your wish list for furniture, bedding, and accessories.
  • Hand-me-down cribs and changing tables initially save on expenses, as long as you make sure they are safe. If the slats on the crib are not up to code, a child could get his head or arm stuck between them and get hurt.
  • Also remember that gliders can pinch curious fingers, rockers can smash fingers and toes, and flimsy shelves can fall onto baby as she is trying to stand or walk. Toy chests provide storage and additional seating when closed. However, they can injure or even trap a child if not equipped with a special safety hinge that remains open until closed by an adult.

Stow away!

Nursery storage is not limited to the traditional changing table or decorative wooden shelves.

  • Provide additional storage for your child's growing wardrobe by installing a customized closet organizer in the nursery closet.
  • If you relocate frequently or don't want to install a permanent unit, hang a three tiered crate over the dowel rod in the closet.
  • If you have limited wall space, move baby's chest of drawers into the closet to increase floor space. Or invest in a heavy-duty bookcase made from plastic to store toys, clothes and out-of-season clothing in your closet.
  • Use under-bed storage to store baby clothes that are out of season, too big or outgrown. Keep an extra one on hand for outgrown clothes, then take to your favorite charity, resale shop, or hand down to relatives when full.
  • Make a home for all those treasures you will want to keep for years to come. Photographs, baby's footprints, and other memories can be stored in a box under baby's bed, filed on a regular basis.
  • Don't forget the little things in life, because they truly do multiply. Rattles, teethers, socks, mittens and anything with small parts will take over the living areas in your home if you don't contain them from the very start. Clear plastic shoeboxes hold all types of small items for baby. Invest in boxes with good-fitting lids so that you don't have frequent spills on the nursery floor. Plastic boxes with hinged lids carry blocks, locking rings, and bath toys for an active child.
  • Corral the plethora of stuffed animals you will quickly accrue by hanging a toy hammock in the child's room, or use a doll playpen. If you would like to store toys that are not frequently used, wrap a tension rod or dowel with Velcro, then wedge it between floor and ceiling. The furry toys stick to the Velcro, adding height and dimension to your room.

Ages and stages

Bear in mind that your baby will not stay little for long. Your newborn will quickly outgrow a bassinet, so if you don't have room for one, consider using a Moses basket or heavy-duty stroller. Both are small, easily stored and portable.

  • Try to stay a step ahead of your baby's exploration by baby proofing before he arrives home from the hospital. You are never completely prepared for crawling, pulling up, sitting or walking. Each baby develops at a different rate, and although your baby is not sitting up yet, he soon will be. Maybe he'll be a roller and will roll into a fan or humidifier on the nursery floor. Be prepared for anything by organizing in advance for safety. You'll soon be so busy with the daily routine of feeding, bathing and cuddling your baby that these milestones will creep up on you when you least expect it.
  • Once baby begins to crawl and pull up, you will probably want to move stacked clothes and toiletries from the changing table to a closet or high ledge where they can't be rearranged by your little decorator. Convert the changing table to a toy shelf. Remove the changing pad after your child grows too big, securing the straps underneath. You now have additional shelving for toys or stuffed animals.
  • Nurture your child's need for independence by hanging a second clothes rod in the nursery closet (or use a hanging crate as described above). This allows toddlers to help decide what to wear, reducing the temptation to climb and reach favorite outfits.
  • Storing toys in plastic tubs eliminates clutter, but it also teaches your child to pick up on a regular basis. Tape or glue colorful pictures or stickers to describe the contents within. Baby will have fun matching, and it teaches early math and language skills.
  • Purchase a set of colorful stacking bins. Use in a single layer when baby is small, then stack two and three high as she grows. Keep them in the kitchen, by the phone, in the living room and bathroom. They're practically indestructible and grow with the needs of your baby.

Closing thoughts

Planning for the arrival of your first baby can be fun, creative and practical. Be as frivolous or frugal as you like, and still be well-organized. Plan, shop, and plan some more. Remember that you can always change your system at any time when it stops working for you and your child.

Keep an eye out for creative uses of wicker baskets, baby wipe containers and other things to contain the clutter in your nursery. No matter how much you organize it, you'll find that it mysteriously multiplies, taking over your entire house. But don't worry — by that time, you'll be so enchanted by your little one that you won't mind at all.

You will grow with the flow of things, adapting your standards to focus on more important things, like rocking, singing, bathing, and catching stolen moments with your baby.


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25 Cool Names for Boys Whose Initials Make Great Nicknames

alphabet

When choosing a baby's name, pondering the initials isn't always an afterthought. Sometimes, they can become a focal point for parents who crave an initial-based nickname like A.J., J.R., or P.T. And these punchy initial names are particularly popular for boys.

"Initials have the fun, informal style of classic nicknames, but with extra energy," explains Laura Wattenberg, baby name expert and founder of BabyNameWizard. "They're not diminutives -- compare the nickname T.J. to Timmy -- so they grow up well."

In case you're looking for such a combo, keep a few rules in mind: "It's all about rhythm," says Wattenberg. "And one-syllable names are the key. They're hugely popular as middle names to go with a longer first name, and it can work in the other direction, too."

To get your gears turning, here are a few two-name combos with cute initial nicknames to consider:

A.J.

Albert James -- A strong, classic name with German and Latin roots.  

Alexander Joel -- Long first names often pair well with shorter seconds, which makes this Greek-themed combo a winner.

Ashton Jacob -- Ashton, a "place name" derived from a town in England, gets a good rhythm going with this Latin middle name.

C.J.

Cameron Jett -- This zippy middle name adds zing to a long Scottish first name.

Colby Jarrett -- An Old Norse first name meets an English middle for a sophisticated combo.

Cole Jamison -- A simple first name pairs well with this longer, more lyrical English name in the middle.

D.J.

Drew Jackson -- Drew is short for Andrew, but the surname-derived Jackson gives it weight ... and how cool is it to raise a baby DJ?

Dylan Julius -- The l's in each name add a lyrical quality.

J.D.

Jayden Dean -- Jayden, a combination of Jacob and Aidan, rose to popularity thanks to Will Smith's son; Dean provides a gentle echo.

Jasper Dax -- One of the Three Wise Men had the first name, while the middle means "leader."

Jonah David -- A classic biblical combo with a snappy nickname when you use the initials.

J.J.

John Junior -- if you want your husband's name passed down but worry about the ensuing confusion, J.J. is the perfect way to tell them apart!

Jeremiah James -- A long first name pairs well with a short, stately middle one.

J.P.

John Paul -- Naming your kid after the Pope has to bode well for his future, right?

James Patrick -- Patrick, named after the patron saint of Ireland, pairs well with this solid first name.

Jean Pierre -- These two French names go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

J.R.

James Roderick -- Reality star Rosie Pope chose this name for her son; the middle name is German for "ruler."

J.T.

Justin Thomas -- A masculine, Latin-derived name with the double s's adding a hint of breeziness.

M.J.

Mason James -- This masculine, yet unusual, first name goes well with a more classic middle one, plus the "a" sound provides a nice echo.

P.J.

Preston Philip -- The first is an English place name that you don't hear too often, the second is for an English royal -- perfect for any Anglophile.

Paxton James -- Paxton is hot due to Angelina Jolie, while the middle name maintains a classic streak.

P.T.

Phineas Taylor -- This was beloved circus founder P.T. Barnum's full name, so your kid will have some fun-loving shoes to fill. 

R.J.

Robert John -- A classic male name combo with a jazzy two-initial nickname.

T.J.

Travis Jordan -- This first name, French for "to cross," meshes well with this middle name which means "to flow." 

Tanner Kendrick -- English and Scottish surnames combine for a unique name that can be shortened to a cute nickname.

How do you feel about nicknames derived from initials?

For more great baby name ideas, visit BabyNameWizard

 

This article was written by Judy Dutton from CafeMom and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image: Getty

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25 Groovy 'G' Names for Baby Boys

letter G alphabet cubes font

Because of the strong sound and powerful look (seriously, how cool is the cursive G?), 'G' names for boys have always been popular. From the classic George to the more modern Greyson (or Grayson!), the monikers have topped baby name charts and have been in the popular consciousness for years. And rightfully so.

Settled on naming your little guy something that begins with a G? 

Bust out your baby name list, and add these great 'G' names for boys:

  1. Gabriel: The Biblical name, which means "God is my strength," has Gabe as a nickname and is one of the most popular 'G' names for boys. Ever since 2012, it's topped the charts in multiple countries around the world.
  2. Gael: The Gaelic name, pronounced GAH-ehl, literally translates into "Irishman" and has recently become a more popular name for little boys. Before 2012, the name hadn't been on many parents' radar screens, but actor Gael Garcia Bernal has helped it reach higher levels of popularity.
  3. Gage: Whether it's spelled Gage or Gaige, the name is similar to other strong-words-turned-names like Chance or Stone. It's also the name of one of the main characters in the 1989 horror film, Pet Sematary.
  4. Gannon: The original Irish last name means "descendant of the fair-haired man," is a character in the "Legend of Zelda." Teen Mom 3 star Mackenzie Douthit also used the name for her first-born son.
  5. Garrett: Originally a spin-off from Gerald, which means "spear rule," and Gerard, which means "brave with a spear," Garrett has been a top name for boys ever since the 1990s.
  6. Garth: The Middle English garth means "an enclosed yard or garden" and was used as a nickname for anyone in charge of a garden space, but singers Garth Hudson and Garth Brooks give the name a musical twist.
  7. Gatsby: Taken from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby, the name has immediate connections to the roaring 1920s and classic American literature.
  8. Gavin: The classic Gaelic name means "a hawk" and "a blow, battle," and it can also be attributed to the historical Arthurian stories. Sir Gawain (or Gavin) was a knight at the Round Table.
  9. Geoffrey: Originating from the Old French Geoffroi and an alternative to Jeffrey, the name has been made popular by English author Geoffrey Chaucer and Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.
  10. George: The classic boys name means "earth worker" or "farmer" and was most popular in the 1880s. But thanks to the royals and Prince George, the name has become a bigger possibility for today's parents.
  11. German: Though it's obviously an adjective for people who hail from the European country, the baby name is actually a version of Hermann, and means "soldier, warrior." 
  12. Gideon: Meaning "one who cuts down" in Hebrew, the name gained extra popularity when Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka named their son Gideon Scott in 2010. 
  13. Gilbert: The original French name Guillebert means "pledge" and "bright or famous" and was most popular back in the 1930s. It got worldwide recognition thanks to Gilbert Blythe of Anne of Green Gables.

 Which 'G' name for boys is your favorite?

For more great baby name ideas to find your perfect baby name match, visit Baby Name Wizard.

This article was written by Suzee Skwiot from CafeMom and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image: Getty 


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10 Creative Ways to Start Spreading the News

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Top 10 Must Haves
for the Nursery

Mobile

Hang a safe, exciting mobile over the crib and keep the little one happy and content as she falls asleep. Try a black-and-white one during the first few months as she learns to follow high-contrast shapes and objects. Some mobiles even have clips where you can change out the cards or insert family photos.

Glider rocker

Whether it's a large, overstuffed chair or a simple rocker, a quiet, comfy spot is important for breastfeeding, bottle feeding or just rocking the little one to sleep. Pick a comfy one — you'll be spending a lot of time here.

Changing pad and diaper caddy

You don't need to invest in an expensive changing table or dresser with a top — just find a functional changing pad for diaper time. Most are waterproof, with removable covers that are easy to wash. And, you can use a simple wicker basket with a handle as a portable diaper caddy. That way you always have easy access to diapers and wipes.

White noise

Capitalizing on the fact that babies find white noise soothing, many companies make machines that produce sounds such as a rainstorm, a babbling brook — or even the sounds the baby heard inside the womb. Some look like small radios, while others are tucked inside cute stuffed animals. Be careful not to rely completely on these magic wonders, because some children become addicted to the noise and cannot sleep without it. Use only when needed, and you will understand why these are so popular.

Ceiling fan

Overhead fans have been promoted as helping to prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) when installed in a nursery. You don't have to run it at full speed to keep a nice breeze moving throughout the room.

Trash can

Whether you choose the Diaper Genie or a simple receptacle with scented garbage bags, you will appreciate the proximity of this item to the changing table. When the trash cans nearby, it's easy to toss out diapers, wipes and other items to keep the nursery clean.

Temperature with control

Babies need to sleep at a different temperature than adults, and they're not able to regulate their own body temperatures. A thermostat just for the nursery helps you keep a handle on the situation and ensure that Baby has an optimally healthful environment in which to snooze.

Play mat or rug

Tummy time is very important for newborns. Buy a mat or rug on which your baby can lie in the beginning months while playing with family members. Later on, you can set his toys out on the rug, which the baby will learn is his special spot.

Books

No matter the age of the baby, the benefits of reading to her are incredible. Read often to the baby, and she will learn to cherish and look forward to this time with you. Knowing this, you can never have too many books (you probably received many as shower presents). Find an accessible space to store them, and in doing so, show her that books are an important part of her world.

Calming colors

While many parents want to go wild with bright green or fire-engine red in the nursery, such choices can keep a baby awake or make her anxious. Soft, calming colors are far better for a baby's sleeping area. Paint stores offer low-VOC paints that are almost odorless, are non-toxic and come in a variety of pastels and soothing colors.

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