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A Nursery That Grows with the Baby

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.

By: Debbie Williams

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The Ultimate Library Checklist

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Consejos para futuras mamás | Gustitos para las embarazadas| Huggies.com

Los 12 gustitos que toda embarazada merece darse

...aparte de un masaje a pedido o el derecho a escoger el restaurante preferido… ¡obviamente!

1. La cantidad de sirope de chocolate que quieras en tu café moca.

2. Un regalo para el día de las madres… sin lugar a dudas.

3. Unos cuantos lindos sostenes, aunque solo los necesites por unos pocos meses.

4. El coctel (sin alcohol) más exótico del bar. ¿Quieres la sombrillita? Sí. ¿Una cereza? ¡Sí! ¿Capas y capas de sirope? Por supuesto.

5. Un asiento en el bus cuando esté lleno. Ojo: Esto no es un lujo, es un derecho.

6. Palomitas de maíz y dulces en el cine.


7. Un vale por ‘olvido justificado’ para cualquier cosa que se te pase sin querer en el día… para cada día. ¡Las hormonas no están para aguantar ‘culpabilidades’!

8. Un par de vaqueros muy elegantes. Gastarás un poco más pero piensa en todo el uso que les vas a dar. Prácticamente representarán sólo $1 por día. ¡Qué ganga!

9. Soñar que tienes la barriga de antes.

10. Esa manta afelpada con mangas, cursi pero súper cómoda. ¡Sea lo que sea…si te gusta, adelante!

11. ¡Desayunos dobles!

12. Fotos de la preciosa panza para poder verlas dentro de unos años con esa sensación de asombro que nunca desaparecerá.

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10 Things to Love About Your Growing Bump

1. Catches crumbs before they hit the floor. Also handy for laundry-folding.

2. Gets you to the front of the line faster than you can say, “I reallly have to go to the bath—”

3. Makes maternity clothes look good (seriously, imagine the sacks they’d be without it).

4. Very entertaining on the dance floor at weddings.

5. When your arms are full, it’s an excellent door closer/grocery cart pusher/chair scooter-inner.

6. Yay: No x-rays at the dentist’s office!

7. It’s every bit as sexy as a celeb’s bump. Maybe even sexier.

8. Makes you The Most Awesome Woman at the gym, hands down. Even if all you’re doing is walking on the treadmill at 2 mph. Or just standing there, holding a towel.

9. Convenient perch for a good book, the remote, a cup of tea, an iPad, a box of chocolates—pick your pleasure.

10. As it grows, so does your husband’s awe and respect for what you’re doing in there.

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To Indulge or Not To Indulge: Let's Talk about Cravings

Depending on what foods you crave during your pregnancy, you can indulge a little — or a lot. Certainly if you're craving yogurt and fruit shakes, or bowls of oatmeal, you can probably eat to your heart's content! But what if all you can think of is that premium, high-fat strawberry ice cream? Experts say concentrate on what it is about this snack that's making you feel satisfied.

Try a substitution

Is it the sweet taste, the creamy consistency, the strawberry flavor? Or maybe it's just the idea of eating something cold that satisfies those cravings. Once you lock in on the nature of what you crave, substituting a low-calorie, somewhat healthier food may be easy — like exchanging that bowl of ice cream for low-fat strawberry yogurt or fresh strawberries with a low-fat dessert topping.

Healthy food fixes

Craving: Ice cream
Try: Nonfat frozen yogurt, sorbet or sherbet

Craving: Cola/sodas
Try: Flavored carbonated mineral water

Craving: Doughnuts/pastry
Try: Whole grain bagel with fresh fruit jam

Craving: Cake
Try: Low-fat banana or zucchini bread

Craving: Sugar-coated cereal
Try: Whole grain cereal or oatmeal with brown sugar

Craving: Potato chips
Try: Low-sodium, low-fat chips, popcorn, pretzels or veggie chips

Craving: Sour cream
Try: Nonfat sour cream or nonfat plain yogurt flavored with herbs

Craving: Sundae toppings
Try: Fresh berries or bananas

Craving: Canned fruits in heavy syrup
Try: Fresh fruit, frozen unsweetened fruit packed in water or fruit juice

Craving: Lunch meats
Try: Low-fat or fat-free versions; substitute turkey bologna or hot dogs for beef variety or try soy dogs

Craving: Whipped cream
Try: Ice cold nonfat milk whipped with a hand-held immersion blender

An article from

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5 Key Things To Know About Prenatal Vitamins

1. Prenatal vitamins pack serious Good Stuff. Think folic acid; taking that at least one month prior to conception and during the first trimester can reduce the risk of certain birth defects by up to 70 percent. You also need more iron during those nine months, since pregnant women are more susceptible to anemia.

2. Don’t worry if you have horse-pill phobia. “I take my prenatal with chocolate milk in the morning,” says Heidi Krauss, a mom of two in Dobbs Ferry, New York. “That way, I have an enjoyable way to swallow it and get extra calcium.” You can also crush yours and sprinkle it over food, like a cup of yogurt or cereal. Prenatal vitamins don’t have to be taken whole to work.

3. Yes, you can beat the pill nausea some women get. Taking the vitamin before bedtime can help a lot. “I just slept right through that nauseous feeling,” says Emily Richeda, a mom of one from St. Louis, Minnesota. Ask your ob/gyn about your iron levels; if you aren’t at risk for anemia, she may prescribe a vitamin with slightly less iron, the mineral that typically triggers stomach upset.

4. Most doctors recommend prescription prenatals. “They contain more folic acid than over-the-counter ones and some also have omega-3 fatty acids, which research shows can deliver cognitive benefits in babies up to age 18 months,” says Judith Brown, R.D., author of What to Eat Before, During and After Pregnancy. “Women who don’t eat a lot of fish (a food high in omega-3 fatty acids) might especially want to consider this.”

5. Prenatal vitamins are no substitute for a healthy diet (but you knew that). Get your fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins. Add a prenatal vitamin, and you can feel confident that you’re eating your way to a healthy pregnancy.

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5 Things Mom Needs in the Closet

If you are newly pregnant, you can feel a little overwhelmed by everything you need for baby and for yourself.

  1. Jeans: Look for an adjustable waistband, stretch material and a flattering cut, such as a bootleg. This would be a good item to splurge on because you will probably wear these for a bit after the baby is born.
  2. Cargo Pants: Pull on these lightweight, fashionable pants for everything from shopping to lounging. These pants look great with a fitted tee or an empire-waist top.
  3. Skirt: Look for a skirt in a basic color (black or brown) with a lightweight material and a stretchy waistband.
  4. Dress: A wrap jersey dress will look great on your pregnant body, and is a perfect look for a date night with your honey.
  5. Tops: Pick up a figure-hugging top with a cute neckline to accentuate your bump. A flirty and feminine empire-waist shirt is also a great look, and you can never go wrong with a fitted tee.

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7 Tips for Documenting Your Pregnancy

By: Jen Lula

When I was pregnant for the first time, I wanted to document every part of it! It was new, exciting and I really wanted to remember how I looked and felt each week. There are lots of different ways you can go about doing that but here are some tips that worked for me…

40 Weeks

Easy tips for documenting your pregnancy.

Photograph Each Week

Take a special picture in the same place each week. That way you can easily see your progression as the weeks go by.

Add Text Or A Fun Graphic

By using photo editing programs like Photoshop, you can add text to your pictures to make them a little more special. Create a graphic to show how far along you are.

Write A Weekly Letter

Write a weekly letter to your growing little babe. Share your thoughts and excitement about their upcoming arrival. It will be something they will cherish when they get older.

Try A Chalkboard

Not a whiz on the computer? Get a chalkboard and create unique weekly signs to take your picture in front of. No computer skills necessary!

Start A Scrapbook

The journey through pregnancy can be a long one. Try getting creative by starting a little scrapbook for your baby. Include things like sonogram pictures, inspiration for their nursery, quotes, and silly pictures of Mommy and Daddy.

Start A Family Blog

It doesn’t have to be public if you don’t want, but create an online space that you can share with close family and friends. Share daily pictures and adventures of your 40 week journey. It will be a great place after the baby is born to keep out of town family up to date on the baby.

Make Videos

Each week make a simple video (even just using your phone). Interview each other about how you are feeling that week. Talk about what you are most excited about and what you can’t wait to do with the baby when they arrive. Make them silly and fun. You will love looking back on them as time passes.


We can all agree that pregnancy is an adventure! Have fun figuring out what works best for you as you document your 40 week journey.

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9 Months of Maternity Style

By: Jen Lula

I am 6 months into my second pregnancy and I am pretty sure I’ve hit the pregnancy style rut. It’s hard to dress your constantly growing belly. Things that fit one day, seem to be to tight the next. What’s a gal supposed to do? Here are my tips to help along the way (and to steer clear of the maternity section)…

9 Months of Style

Stylish outfits through each month of pregnancy

2 Months

Loose tops and Vintage dresses still work wonders.

3 Months

Longer tanks are the perfect fit over a growing belly.

4 Months

Cotton dresses and shirts make for a comfortable transition.

5 Months

Elastic waist skirts are great for pulling up and over your belly!

6 Months

Empire waist dresses let you wear non maternity items well into pregnancy.

7 Months

Longer lengths work perfect to cover your belly without becoming too short.

8 Months

Cute accessories can make even a plain outfit seem special.

9 Months

Get creative! Try things on you expect won’t fit. You may be surprised.

Stay Positive!

It gets tough at the end but try to have fun with it all!

1. Get Creative! Don’t assume you have to jump right into maternity wear. That stuff is ugly, frumpy and will not make you feel good about yourself. There does come a time when it is a must, but first try things on in your closet. Then try non-maternity items on in stores. You will be surprised at what will still fit (maybe just in a larger size).

2. Look for Elastic Waist Skirts! Then pull it up over your bump, tuck in a cute shirt, add a few accessories and you will be good to go. You will be surpirsed how many combinations of new outfits you can make with a few skirts and tops. The thrift stores are perfect for looking for skirts like this!

3. Mid Length, Empire Waist Dresses! You can wear these throughout your entire pregnancy! You can find them at almost any store, in all sorts of beautiful fabrics.

4. Longer Length Tops: Tunics and longer length tops are all the rage now a days. They are the perfect length to cover your belly. You may have to invest in some maternity bottoms, but you shouldn’t have so much trouble with tops

5. Don’t Get Discouraged! Stay positive and try to have fun with it.

Here was a great blog post about the ease of wearing a maxi skirt during pregnancy!

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Traveling with the New Bump

Whether you're planning one last fling for just the two of you, have a business trip or are just taking a little weekend getaway, it's all a bit different now that you're pregnant. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you travel during pregnancy.

For the pregnant traveler

  • The second trimester is the best time to travel. You're probably over the sick or queasy feelings of the first trimester as well as the main miscarriage risk, and not yet to the bulky third trimester and when labor is growing increasingly imminent.
  • Try to plan relaxing vacations, not major tours. During pregnancy, blood volume is up, your center of gravity has changed and your joints are loosening...so take it easy.
  • On the road or in the air, avoid sitting for extended periods of time — try to walk around at least every hour or two. On a plane or train, even a trip up and down the aisles can help get your circulation going. Also make frequent trips to the restroom.
  • Eat and drink regularly. Especially when you're traveling and sitting for longer periods of time than usual, eat plenty of fiber and drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration, constipation and other digestive problems.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before leaving if you'll be traveling more than an hour or two from home, or to anywhere with extreme conditions (heat, cold, high altitude). If you have a high-risk pregnancy or are close to term, you might be advised not to travel.
  • Many airlines will not allow women past 34 weeks of pregnancy as passengers, at least not without a physician's approval. The high altitude will not send you into labor — their concern is that the odds of you going into labor spontaneously is greater the closer you are to term. If you go into labor in the air, they have to land soon and get you to a hospital. (Never fly on a plane with an unpressurized cabin.)
  • Consider taking your medical records with you and find out the name of the nearest hospital to your destination that handles births — this is particularly important if you're not yet term.
  • If you're traveling outside of the country, check to see if there are immunizations you need (yellow fever, typhoid fever, cholera, meningococcal meningitis), and whether or not you may receive such immunizations safely during pregnancy. Also be aware of medications you may need to take to prevent parasitic infections such as malaria.
  • Finally, always wear your seat belt, fastened low and snug across your pelvis.

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