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First Weeks Home

When it’s time to bring your baby home, Huggies is here to lend a hand during those first few weeks. We’ve put together everything you need to make you and your baby feel right at home.

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What nobody tells you about postpartum life

Wake-up call

When you imagine the birth of your baby, we know that you have good intentions. You envision that magical moment when you gently rouse your partner from sleep. "It's time," you whisper — except in your fantasy, you look like Jennifer Aniston did when her character went to have her baby on the season finale of Friends. And you still look like Jennifer Aniston at the end of your fantasy, when you grip your partner's hand, smile at the doctors and nurses in the sterile room, and push your baby out into the world. The fantasy probably ends there.

We think that's sweet.

We also think you might benefit from a small taste of reality, and since we have had a few children already, here we offer some practical postpartum advice that eventually you will appreciate.

Trust us.

One hour after baby's birth

An hour after you give birth, you'll probably be ready to take your first postpartum trip to the potty. (Yes, you now have to call it a "potty" until your baby turns 27.) The fear you will feel at this moment will make your labor anxiety seem positively trivial. You may even beg the nurses to please let you just keep the catheter forever.

But eventually, what goes in must come out — and you are going to have to haul your floppy body off the bed and into the bathroom. There you will be given a small plastic bottle. Quite possibly, no one will explain what this mysterious bottle is for, because that would indicate a level of caring and helpfulness that people will seldom show you, now that you are a mom and no longer a pregnant person.

Well, we're here to tell you it's actually a "peri bottle," and you are supposed to fill it with warm water and spray it on your nether regions while and after you pee.

Do not stop reading.

This is so important, regardless of how ridiculous you think it sounds. If you try to pee without doing this, you will wish you were dead. And if you think you are going to actually wipe yourself after you pee, then you are a sick, sick woman, and we do not want to be friends with you anymore.

Be sure to take your peri bottle home from the hospital with you. You'll need it for about a week. Maybe more.

Also, dispense with any preconceptions you may have about peeing in the shower; it's not a bad way to go, at least for the very first time you go. And while you're at it, you may as well go ahead and drop all your other preconceptions about People Who Do Things Differently, because, my little chickadee, you are about to learn the great lesson of If It Works and No One Dies, It's OK.

One day after baby's birth

So now some time has passed. You're still in pain and you want it to stop. You've probably been cut off from your drug supply by now, and you're not happy about that.

We understand.

A sitz bath might help you. You get in a tub with a few inches of the hottest water you can stand. If this sounds appealing, go for it. Another suggestion: Dip a washcloth in witch hazel and just stick it, ah, wherever it hurts. For the sake of aesthetics, we recommend a dark-colored washcloth, and probably a cheap one that you won't mind throwing away afterwards. But that's your decision.

We have also heard that keeping the witch-hazel-immersed cloth in the fridge can make the whole experience so pleasurable that it borders on illegal activity; however, we did not actually try this. Our friend did, though, and we trust her — but don't blame us if you do not find Nirvana in your washcloth.

Two days after baby's birth

By now, you can no longer avoid The Big Potty Trip: the one during which you — how can we say this delicately? — do number two. You can cry all you want, but eventually, you are going to have to face that porcelain torture chamber, and you may as well get it over with so that your stomach will uncramp. Make sure you are well hydrated. Eat a lot of raisins, maybe some cole slaw (it's the raw cabbage you want). Ask your doc or midwife about a stool softener. A little prune juice isn't such a bad idea, either, and lay off the bananas after you give birth. No sense in making things any tougher (or firmer) than they have to be.

Put on a plate about five of the soft wipes you use on your precious baby's bottom and microwave them for about 10 seconds. They will be hot, and they'll have time to cool before you need them, but be careful. Take them into the bathroom with you. Lock the door, and tell your significant other or whatever Good Person Who Is Watching the Baby that you are Busy and Cannot Be Disturbed for the next little while. (If you are still in the hospital and cannot convince the nurses to microwave your wipes, simply run them under very hot water before you start.)

Now, here's a fact you'll just have to take on faith. (Remember that we have never lied to you about anything, and we are not going to start now.) You will not rip yourself apart when you go to the bathroom. You will not rip your stitches out, if you have stitches. You will not tear open a large, gaping hole in your body and bleed to death in the toilet. You may feel some discomfort (by which we mean pain), but you will not die in the bathroom.

Do what you need to do, then take your warm wipes and gently, gently dab. Do not tug or pull, unless you are feeling particularly sadistic. Use your peri bottle generously, then dab again with a fresh wipe. (By the way — don't flush the wipes unless you're so bored that you need the diversion of a hopelessly blocked toilet.)

You did it! You are very brave, and we are very proud of you.

Three days after baby's birth

By now, you are probably at home, and you are possibly beginning to feel like maybe you will live, and maybe you will even figure this mom thing out sometime in the next 27 years or so. Now's a good time for us to point out that, if you are still hurting a lot, and your healthcare professional says you're doing well, you may want to ask if a small glass of wine is OK. (We did not say you should get yourself snookered, and we do not recommend this as a daily remedy. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen might be a helpful alternative, but it could be said that neither one of these two is quite as much fun.)

It gets better every day

We don't expect you to memorize — or even believe — everything we tell you, but we hope you will at least save this article and refer to it when you need it. And remember: we are always here for you, and frankly, we are glad that you don't look like Jennifer Aniston.

We think you are even prettier.


Is it a Boy or a Girl? Diaper Cake Ideas for the Gender Neutral Baby Shower

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? When the mom to be doesn’t know (or doesn’t want to reveal) the sex of her expected baby, a gender-neutral baby shower is the way to go. But, being gender neutral doesn’t mean boring or drab, it simply means the mystery can be part of the fun.  From invites to favors, there are so many themes that don’t require knowing if it’s a boy or girl on the way.  And of course, don’t forget a key décor element to any baby shower - the diaper cake.

Diaper cakes make the perfect centerpieces for a tablescape at the shower. They are a whimsical way to extend the theme of the shower, and supply your host with loads of diapers, which she will certainly need no matter the sex of the baby! 

Check out tutorials online for how to DIY a tiered diaper cake, and then personalize it for the guest of honor by using one of these diaper cake ideas for the gender neutral baby shower.

Circus Diaper Cake- One thing is for sure: once a baby arrives, life will never be boring. Create a circus diaper cake by tying the diaper tiers with red and yellow striped ribbons that mimic the “big top.” Place stuffed toy lions, elephants, and tigers around the cake and atop the lower layers, and finish with a plush clown doll. 

Rubber Ducky Diaper Cake- Bath time will be a part of the new parents' nighttime routine for a very long time. Create a rubber ducky diaper cake by wrapping the diaper tiers in yellow ribbon and arranging various styles of rubber ducks on top of the layers. You can play up the bath theme by putting together a few bath time essentials such as small, soft washcloths, mild baby soap, and baby lotion in a mini bath caddy that tops the cake.

What Will the Baby Bee Diaper Cake- Don’t know what the sex of baby will "bee"? Turn the mystery into a pun with a bumblebee theme. Use yellow polka dot ribbon to encircle the diapers, and bumble bee printables to decorate the cake. Then top with a jar of honey or a small bunch of fake flowers for an extra sweet touch.  

Blue and Pink Diaper Cake- Take a cue from the hospital nursery wards that give newborn babies pink and blue striped hats so that they don’t have to worry about which baby gets which.  Alternate the decorating details of the diaper layers with pale blue and pink ribbons and top it with some baby necessities such as a bouquet of pacifiers.

Not knowing the sex of the baby is no reason not to produce a special and unique shower and diaper cake. Instead, use the mystery as a jumping off point for an entertaining and creatively themed celebration.

Image : Getty


Double the Fun! Twin Baby Shower Ideas

Double the anticipation. Double the love. Double the presents! Planning a baby shower for twins means having double the fun, and tapping into some creative themes that emphasize the adorable reality of welcoming two babies at a time. From the tried and true, to more unusual, here are some twin baby shower ideas that are sure to make double the celebration.

Noah’s Ark Shower: The animals came two by two and so will these new babies! With a Noah’s ark theme you can easily find invitations and other animal themed décor in your local party store or online. You can also incorporate small plush animals such as monkeys, elephants, and giraffes into your décor, and top a diaper cake with a big basket of animal bath toys, for decorative touches that are perfectly on theme and make sweet gifts for the mom to be.

Two Peas in Pod Shower: It’s inevitable when you’re having twins that someone will call them, “two peas in a pod.” But no matter how well-worn that term may be, it’s true that seeing two little babies swaddled up napping together is incredibly precious. Capitalize on the peas in pod theme with a green and white color scheme, and foods such as jellybeans in shades of green, minted pea salad, and limeade.

“&” The Ampersand Shower: Think of famous pairs and things that naturally go together to build a theme around the idea of “and.” Serve food such as peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese, mac and cheese, strawberries and cream, and milk and cookies. Create favor bags from famous candy like Good ‘n Plenty, M&Ms, Now & Laters, and Mike & Ikes. And speaking of pairs, diapers and wipes make a great gift. 

Tea for Two Shower: An afternoon tea is always a lovely idea for a baby shower, but when it’s centered around twins tea for two takes on a whole new meaning. Think elegant and shabby chic, mismatched china, finger sandwiches, scones and petit fours to create the ultimate grown-up tea party. Decorate with tea roses, silver vases and serving pieces, and sparkling glass tumblers.  

There are some twin baby shower essentials that will be the same no matter which theme you choose. A twin mom needs plenty of diapers so be sure to create an extra large diaper cake, or even two diaper cakes to help stock her up for the many, many diaper changes ahead. Be sure to check with the mom to be to find out if she will be dressing her twins alike or not, and then let your guests discreetly know so she doesn’t get a slew of matching outfits that she may not want.

Above all, enjoy the special details that make a twin shower twice as nice!


Image : Getty


Nesting & Spring Cleaning: What to Know

If you’re expecting a spring or summer baby, your nesting instincts may be kicking into overdrive really soon. While not everyone will get the nesting urge, those who do tend to experience that sudden burst of energy and compelling need to get absolutely everything ready for baby during their third trimester. 

Since nesting is all about prepping your home for your little one’s arrival, spring cleaning may quickly rise to the top of your to-do list at this time of year. But before you rush out to load up on supplies, here are some tips to keep in mind that will help keep you and baby safe during your spring-cleaning marathon. 

Take a Pass on the Paint

Yep, sprucing things up with a fresh coat of paint is not recommended. The EPA states that all pregnant women should avoid being exposed to paint fumes—they are dangerous for both moms and babies. Even water-based paints, low-VOC and zero-VOC paints can pose a threat. 

Lose the Ladder
Your baby bump is bigger than ever. This means that your center of gravity has shifted, and that puts you at an increased risk of falling. This is especially true if you are in your third trimester. Dusty ceiling fans will need to be put at the top of someone else’s to-do list for now.

Forget the Oven
Even if you haven’t cleaned your oven in years, now is definitely not the time to start. Oven cleaners frequently contain toxic solvents such as glycol ethers that can increase your risk of miscarriage.

Delegate Kitty Litter Duty

You should definitely have your partner change the kitty litter and clean all pet cages when you’re pregnant. If you were to tackle these cleaning duties, you would be putting yourself at risk of getting an infection called toxoplasmosis. This infection, which is caused by exposure to pet droppings, won’t harm you, but it could cause hearing or vision problems if it is passed on to baby.

Open the Windows

Exposure to fumes from some cleaning products can put your baby at risk for health problems such as asthma. This is because of the toxic solvents, acids, and fragrances that are often used in many conventional products. Wear gloves and open windows for proper ventilation if working with these products. Better still, try using inexpensive natural ingredients such as vinegar, water and baking soda to clean.

Read the labels
When in doubt about buying or using commercial cleaning products, check the labels to see if there is a warning for pregnant women. If a product label states the item is toxic, or if it contains harmful ingredients like phenols, phthalates or glycol ethers, then you should definitely avoid using it when spring cleaning your home.   

Image : Getty 


Initials That Do and Don't Make Great Boy Names

It’s hard enough to come up with a great name for your baby-to-be that works with your last name and makes you and your partner happy. But there’s something else you should take into account -- what your future son’s initials spell out.

It’s something that’s easy to overlook since initials aren’t used all that often. But not only do you want to think about how they will look monogrammed on a kindergarten backpack or even someday embroidered on the shirt under his business suit, you also want to protect him on the playground, says Jennifer Moss, founder and CEO of

You want to avoid initials that form an undesirable or unflattering word or can be an unfortunate abbreviation or acronym. “You don’t want them to spell anything that could be embarrassing for your child,” says Moss. She lists the “teasing potential” of names and initials as one of her top seven tips for choosing a baby name in her “The One-in-a-Million Baby Name Book.”  Consider not only how the initials look, but sound, as well, she says.

You might also want to stay away from initials that make up common text phrases like OMG or LOL. Of course, in our Twitter and text society, every day we’re shortening words and creating new acronyms, but at least try to avoid the less desirable ones that are around today. Of course, you also don’t want your son’s initials to spell out words like FAT, ICK, or UGH, for example.  Remember, kids can be merciless and schoolyard taunts can be cruel. Give the bullies one less reason to pick on your child, says Moss.

Then again, there are some initials that can make great nicknames for boys -- A.J., D.J. and J.J. all work on their own. Some people, in fact, choose the initials first and then find names that fit. If you choose the initials of a special person you want to name your son after, this gives them extra meaning.

Initials make an informal, classic nickname that can work for any age. Think P.J., T.J., K.C. and J.T., if Justin Timberlake doesn’t mind you borrowing his.

There are also many three letter initial combos that make great names and nicknames. How about AXE, ACE, KIT or ZED? These all sound and look good. JAX, JOE, ELI, ARI, SAM, AXL, REX and GUS are all strong male names from initials. They’re short and snappy. Adorbs for a baby or a teen and even nice and informal for the boardroom. Hey, you’ve got to think ahead.

Image : Getty


8 Ways Having a Baby Will Change Your Life

You’ve set up the nursery, stocked up on diapers, and read all the expecting baby books, but nothing can fully prepare you for the arrival of your new baby.  Here are just a few examples of how your life is going to change in new and unexpected ways.

  1. You are on baby time. Forget your daily routine, your alarm clock, your live TV.  Once your baby arrives your whole day will revolve around feeding, diaper changing and sleeping – when the baby sleeps. You will eventually develop a new regular schedule, but it will be dictated by your baby’s preferences and behavior, not your own.
  2. You will want to put the world in a bubble. Square table corners? Grandma’s purse? Door hinges? Everything suddenly takes on an ominous vibe and seems like potential baby danger. Baby proofing will actually be really fun (and you might stash a few outlet covers in your diaper bag – really).
  3. Taking a shower will be a fantastic luxury.  Things you took for granted before baby, such as taking a hot shower uninterrupted, reading a book, or meeting a girlfriend for coffee, will now seem indulgent – and really special. Don’t forget to make time for yourself, but it will be harder to come by in the beginning.
  4. You will find your silly. Babbling, cooing, making goofy faces –  get ready to bring out your silly side to engage and communicate with your baby. You’ll find yourself knowing every word to the most ridiculous children’s songs, dancing unconsciously to puppet videos playing on TV, and giving over your playlist priorities to making your baby happy. Unleashing your inner child will be one of the true delights of being a new mom.
  5. You will have new respect for your mom and the moms in your life.  Caring for your baby, worrying over every little hiccup, persevering through sleepless nights, and putting yourself second will give you a new appreciation for what your parents went through raising you.
  6. Bodily functions and fluid will not faze you at all.  Spit up? Vomit? Poop? No big deal. You’ll be cleaning up messes you never imagined possible, and then you’ll just move on with your day.
  7. You will see your body differently – and it will be different. After nine months of watching your body change you will now watch it transform again. You will have a new respect for what your body can do, and care a lot less about what other people think about it.
  8. You won’t take selfies; you’ll take hundreds of baby pictures instead. Instead of filtering everything just so, you’ll be busy taking endless photos of your baby and trying desperately to capture every single moment. And, of course you’ll be sharing them all with friends and family!

Enjoy the changes that come with having a new baby. Your life will never be the same - it will be richer and full of many wonderful surprises that no parenting book could ever prepare you for.

Image : Getty  


Hillary or Donald? Arya or Anakin? Baby Name Trends for 2016

Thankfully pregnancy lasts for nine months because it often takes that long for a couple to decide and agree upon the name they will give their new baby. Will it be a family name? Something cute? Quirky? Old fashioned? Trendy? That is the big question that leads to hours of debate and discussion.

A lot of things influence baby naming these days and at the top of the list is pop culture, celebrities and what they name their children, explains Jennifer Moss, founder and CEO of, an online source for names and their meanings. “Because of the Internet, it’s more in your face now. Trends are moving faster.”

Often when parents see that a name they are considering hits the top 10, they tend to avoid it. So a popular feature on her website shows what names are moving up and down in popularity. After all, she says, parents want their child to be unique and not find themselves in a kindergarten classroom with five other children with the same name. And as a “Jennifer,” she should know; it was one of the most popular names of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Other name influencers come from the worlds of fashion, TV, movies, and music. Moss says there has recently been a big jump in names from HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” with Arya and Khaleesi trending as popular girl’s names. She also expects to see “Star Wars” leading to a new rash of Lukes and Leias. Anakin, anyone?

Mother nature is inspiring more and more parents lately as well. Welcome back Violet, Savannah, Rose and Autumn, along with Everly, the name of actor Channing Tatum’s baby. Embracing the idea that everything old is new again, vintage names continue to climb the charts with Abigail, Sadie, Ezra and Leo rising in popularity.

Boy’s surnames continue to be popular, like Jackson and Grayson. Plus there’s a British and Celtic influence with boy’s names like Liam, Owen and Finn moving up the charts, Moss says.

Inspiration is often found in history. Lincoln is a name rising in the ranks for both girls and boys possibly due to Hollywood’s recent fascination with the 16th U.S. President in movies like “Lincoln” with Daniel Day-Lewis and “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

It also is part of the inclination towards gender-neutral names that Moss expects will grow in 2016. Actress Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepard recently named their daughter Lincoln Bell Shepard. Their latest creation: another girl, named Delta. Always a trendsetter, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg named his new daughter Max, while Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have a baby girl named James.

When coming up with a baby name, try to avoid “anything that will be a burden or is teasable,” suggests Moss, also the author of “The One-in-a-Million Baby Name Book.” You also don’t want to choose a name that’s “too cute,” and while it may sound good for a baby, it might not be good for the boardroom. “Think long term,” says Moss. 

Also consider Googling the full name of your baby-to-be to make sure it’s not associated with someone who is notorious or disreputable.

While the Kardasians have influence on many things, she doesn’t see the names North, Saint or Reign becoming top picks. But this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may add some new names to the mix as athletic superstars hit the podium.

And of course, we have a presidential election in 2016. “Politics don’t usually influence baby naming, people are polarized by it,” she says, noting that there weren’t a record number of Baracks born in the last eight years.

But who knows? Only time will tell if there will be little Bernies, Hillarys or Donalds arriving in hospital delivery rooms across the U.S. 

Image : Getty


Welcome Home Baby -- Hot Nursery Trends For 2016

One of the most fun things to do during pregnancy is designing and decorating your baby-to-be’s room as you get ready to welcome him or her to the world. While you are choosing a crib, bedding, wallpaper or wall stickers, you are anticipating and picturing the tiny being that will soon fill not only the room, but your heart.

Many people have long known exactly what they want baby’s room to look like. Others need inspiration. So what are some of the current trends you’ll be seeing in the months ahead? We talked to some designers to find out what’s hot. And note: most of these can be done on budget without breaking the bank.

The good earth: Consumers are becoming more educated about the health impact of products in their homes and they are increasingly choosing those that are eco-friendly and sustainable, “especially when the occupant’s body and upper respiratory system is still developing,” says nursery design consultant DeAnna Radaj of DeAnna On Design. “They are looking at flooring, carpeting and furniture that are healthy and safe for baby.”

Product labeling continues to improve, she notes. Avoid furniture made with formaldehyde (some compressed wood contains this), she suggests. Check labels for any components or ingredients that may be toxic and potentially harmful to baby, or ask manufacturers for their safety data sheets. Expect to see an increase in bedding, rugs and furniture made of bamboo, a “green,” natural element.

Calming colors: Pantone's colors of 2016 are a pale pink Rose Quartz and baby blue Serenity, while Sherwin-Williams is celebrating Alabaster and Benjamin Moore chose Simply White. “All are very calming and Zen-like,” says Radaj. She anticipates soft pastel colors to be prominent in nurseries this year instead of bolder primary colors.

Back to nature: Nature pictures (clouds, moon, trees, etc.), whimsical woodland designs and playful animals continue to be popular for nursery décor. “It’s very soothing for baby,” according to Radaj.

New metals: Move over gold and silver and enter rose gold. This is the new color for all things metal, including dresser pulls, lamps, side tables and photo frame accents, says celebrity nursery designer Vanessa Antonelli.

Interesting features: While wood panels have been popular since 2014, “trendsetters have moved on,” says Antonelli, owner of NessaLee Baby, a luxury baby boutique in the NJ Metro area. Marbleized wallpapers, fabric panels and stone elements are all going to make their debut in baby rooms.

Bye, bye bedding: Once upon a time the nursery’s focus and color palette were determined by the crib’s bedding, but now less is more due to safety fears about suffocation. Instead, says Antonelli,“Parents are adding tons of colors, décor and accents throughout the room and toning down bedding choices, sometimes to just a mattress.”

Focal art: Eclectic photo and wall art is so “last year,” she adds. It’s now being replaced by bigger, single pieces of art creating an impact and making a statement. “It’s a great opportunity for the parents or even young siblings to make something special for baby’s room.”

Think long term and multi-functional: “Babies grow fast, and decorating and designing these spaces can be expensive,” notes Radaj. Thus parents continue to look for simple lines, repurposed/upcycled and multi-use furniture. “I always work on a 4-5 year plan for the room that parents can easily implement as the child goes from baby to toddler to preschooler.”

Image : Getty


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