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Celebration & Planning

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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Fun Ideas for Toddler Birthday Parties

We can’t all be Martha Stewart. Luckily, we can grab cool themes from party pros and look just as good.

Bug ’em. "We did a bug theme for my daughter’s third birthday party; she loves bugs," says Laura Northrop, a mom of one in Birmingham, Alabama. "We had a picture of her dressed as a bumble bee on the invitation and put plastic bugs on the cake and table. We decorated with bug balloons and handed out bug catchers with gummy worms inside as favors. The guests had a great time looking all over the house for the bug toys we hid!"

Down on the farm. Cover tables in red-and-white checkered tablecloths. Wrap utensils in bandannas and place in a tin bucket. Put out a few bales of hay and pass out straw hats (you can usually find them in dollar stores). Make or get a cake in the shape of a pig or cow. Let kids play "Duck, duck, goose!" and sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm." Hide eggs and have kids go on a hunt.

Back to school. "My son’s birthday is in August, and when he turned 2 we did a back-to-school theme," says Colleen Peterman, a mom of three in Birmingham, Michigan. "I took pictures of each guest to place in a ‘yearbook’ that I had guests sign. The kids ate on trays, and I served milk in the little cartons. The cake was shaped like a school bus, and my son was dressed in a plaid outfit that looked like a school uniform. I had his name embroidered on his shirt as a special touch!"

Choo-choo cute. Try a train-themed party: Decorate an iced sheet cake with model train pieces on top. Pick up inexpensive conductor hats and whistles online. Decorate with red and blue balloons, and use red bandannas for napkins. Let kids play "Conductor Says" (same as Simon Says) in the backyard.

Go fish. Pick up an inexpensive fish bowl or two at the pet store and serve snacks inside (goldfish, anyone?). Fill a small tub or kiddie pool with dirt, plastic worms, and some little shovels—the kids can go digging for worms. Fill another pool with water and let children pretend to fish. Instead of a cake, decorate cupcakes with a pretzel pole and a candy fish. Bucket hats can be purchased from an online party store for about a dollar a piece and passed out as favors. Use nets and a tackle box as decorations.

Out of this world. "For my son’s most recentbirthday, we did a space theme," says Amy Berkheimer, mom of one, in Selah, Washington. "I cut a rocket out of cardboard and decorated it for the cake table. I made cupcakes with colored candies and space-themed stuff from the scrapbook section of the craft store. For an activity, we gave kids piles of cardboard boxes, egg cartons, paper towel tubes, pipe cleaners, and tape, and let them make their own robots. It was a huge hit!"

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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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The Most Popular Baby Names of the Past 100 Years

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Decide on the Perfect Baby Gift

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The Anatomy of a Baby Shower

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Building the Perfect Diaper Cake

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Host a Daddy Shower

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