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Enjoying Your Pregnancy (Even Though Some Symptoms Really Aren't Enjoyable)

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

Let me preface this post by saying that I am one of those people who truly enjoyed being pregnant. I know there are others like me out there, but I also know there are those who were miserable their entire pregnancy. I have a lot of sympathy for you, because I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to be uncomfortable and uneasy for that long.

My biggest pregnancy complaint with all three babies was massive indigestion. I consider myself pretty lucky. Even though I had to sleep upright at a 90-degree angle throughout each pregnancy (I really did), I know it could have been a whole lot worse. And of course, I had the other typical symptoms including morning sickness in the first trimester, the fatigue and the achy back, but overall, I truly enjoyed my pregnancies.

It's amazing about what the human body is capable of, and each time I was pregnant I was aware of what my body had to do to sustain this other being inside of me. Nine months seems like a long time, and it is, but in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty short-lived.

It can be hard to step outside of the day-to-day monotony of clothes getting tighter, every part of you getting bigger and appendages getting puffier, but having the appreciation of what your body is accomplishing and being thankful for a routine pregnancy can be a great way to have perspective on the whole process.

But if you're having a normal pregnancy and just can't shake the feeling that there is an alien inside of your body (how one of my friends described her baby), I'd recommend focusing on anything positive that you can pull out of the pregnancy, not matter how small it is. If your hair is lustrous, get a really awesome-smelling shampoo that you look forward to using every day. If it's sleep you crave, get a body pillow and surround yourself with luxurious bedding to help ease you into bed at night.

And even though you might not appreciate your big belly and those puffy areas, do take pictures of yourself with the bun in the oven. One day, you might look back at those pictures and have moments of nostalgia over what a magical time it really was.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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Create a Lifestyle Baby Registry

Whether you’re creating a registry online or by visiting a local store, you can make the process less overwhelming by considering how your lifestyle will affect what baby needs. You’ll create a unique and interesting registry that reflects your family’s personality, and receive wonderful gifts that you and baby will actually use.

So after you’ve added the bibs, bottles and other basics you need, think about the categories below. Taking your lifestyle into consideration will help you generate ideas for additional necessary items that should be added to your baby registry.

Living space

Your needs (and baby’s) can vary depending upon the type of home you live in. If you’ll be living in an apartment, you may want to register for space-saving items such as a booster feeding seat rather than a large and clunky high chair. Items that can be stored flat, like folding baby bathtubs or playards, are also practical picks.

Will you be living in a house? If so, you may have space for a dedicated nursery. That means you can register for nursery décor items such as artwork, lamps or bookshelves. Having more room also allows you to accommodate larger toys and accessories—so go ahead and add them to your list.  And if you have lots of stairs in your home, don’t forget to add multiple hardware-mounted baby gates to your registry.

Your community

Living in the city means you and baby may be taking public transportation. You might need to register for a lightweight, foldable stroller, a sunshade cover, rain gear and stroller storage accessories for grocery shopping and other outings. Things like backpack diaper bags, slings and carriers are also great if you’ll be traveling by bus or train.   

If you’re in the suburbs, a car could be your main mode of transportation. Registering for a collapsible stroller and car accessories such as window shades or a back seat mirror definitely makes sense. Do you have a backyard? Think about outdoor toys that baby might use or grow into as a toddler.   

The climate

Will baby experience four seasons or just one? Think beyond the onesies and plan ahead for all the clothing needs baby will have during the first year. Remember, swimsuits, sweaters, jackets and pants are all outgrown very quickly. Consider your travel plans throughout the year too. You may live in the warm climate of California, but if you travel to Minnesota for the holidays, your little one will definitely need a snowsuit.

Recreational activities

Are you a runner who plans on jogging with baby? A frequent traveler who will be signing up her newborn for a miles account? Your recreational activities definitely affect the kind of gear and supplies baby will need during her first year.  Don’t be shy about registering for items such as a travel bassinet, hiking baby carrier or even sunhats and chemical-free sunscreen. Your loved ones, friends and co-workers will feel great about giving gifts that contribute to family fun. 

Image : Getty


Fun Ideas for Your Fall Gender Reveal

Once autumn hits, everyone’s thoughts and plans naturally shift to giving thanks and getting together with family and friends. That’s why fall is such a fabulous time to announce baby’s gender to your loved ones.

This time of year also provides lots of fun themes that you can use to help you share the good news. Here are some ideas to create an unforgettable announcement for your baby’s fall gender reveal:

Pumpkin patch

Take that awesome fall pic you took of all the pumpkins at the pumpkin patch and change it to a black and white image. Color just one small pumpkin in pastel pink or baby blue. Follow up that eye-catching image with the message: Our little pumpkin is a (girl or boy)! No existing pic to work with? Create a mini pumpkin patch in your yard or at the park with five or six small pumpkins and then snap a close-up.

Scarecrow family

Line up two large scarecrows that represent a mom and a dad against an old wooden fence. Add one smaller scarecrow to the scene to represent baby. Dress up the baby scarecrow as either a girl or boy to help officially announce your baby’s gender.  

Football fanatics

If you and your family are serious football fans—or you’re expecting baby number two, three or four—this could be the theme for you. Snap a pic of your family in football uniforms or jerseys and set out a pink or blue helmet or football to represent baby in your team photo. Wrap it all up with the line: Our team’s new rookie is going to be a (girl or boy)!

Fall color

Nothing says fall like the changing colors. So why not take this classic autumn moment and give it a twist to help announce your baby’s gender? Take a picture that includes multiple colorful trees. When you edit your picture, change all the leaves on one tree to pink if you’re having a girl or blue if you’re having a boy. You can caption the pic with a play on a commonly heard fall phrase by writing:  A sure sign that a little (girl or boy) is on the way.

Baby cornucopia

The cornucopia is a very traditional symbol of fall and harvest time. Though the horn-shaped basket is usually shown overflowing with fruit or food items, you can easily use it to announce your baby’s gender in a creative way. For an announcement with a visual that says it all, pick up a cone-shaped basket at the store and forget about filling it with food. Instead, fill it with all pink or all blue baby items such as blankets, onesies and bath towels. You can artfully arrange your bounty of items so that they pour out of the cornucopia in a very dramatic way.

Thanksgiving themes

Share a seemingly routine Happy Thanksgiving email or post with family and friends. To clue everyone into the fact that your announcement is no ordinary holiday message, include a bold and memorable image that will immediately get attention. You could use a picture of Thanksgiving-themed pilgrim cupcakes featuring only girl pilgrims dressed in pink. If you’re expecting a boy, you might want to set a fancy Thanksgiving table with blue plates, cups and napkins. Finish it off by saying: We’re expecting a boy.

Image : Getty


6 Ways to Announce a Winter Pregnancy

It may be cold outside, but your big news is guaranteed to warm the hearts of lots of friends and family members at this time of year. Take advantage of the many celebrations and traditions the season brings by using them as inspiration for your winter pregnancy announcement.

Of course, you’ll want a creative and memorable announcement to share the big news with everyone, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Here are some ideas to help you select the perfect winter pregnancy announcement.

Baby boarding pass

Traveling to visit family is frequently on the to-do list for lots of couples during the winter months. If you make an annual trek to visit loved ones at this time of year, take a close-up of three boarding passes: one for you, another for your husband and one that is simply labeled baby. Make the date of departure on baby’s boarding pass the anticipated due date and add in other funny details such as baby having a direct flight from the womb to the world.

Next year’s holiday table

Picture this: A super-elegant holiday table that features fancy place settings, a cloth tablecloth, candles and… a big and brightly colored highchair at one end. Everyone is sure to get the message that a very special guest will be joining the family soon.

Baby skis

Has an annual ski trip been a definite must for you every year? Take a pic of your skis lined up in the snow and add in a set of tiny doll skis and poles. Label your announcement Family Ski Trip and add next year’s date to send the message loud and clear.

Updated wish list

Lots of families share wish lists during this time of year. If this is one of your holiday traditions, don’t stop now. But this time load it with baby items only. Share with family or take a screenshot to use in your announcement.

Teeny-tiny stocking

If you celebrate Christmas, buy the smallest red and white stocking you can find. Hang really large stockings for each member of your family from the fireplace mantel or any other spot in your house. Place the teeny-tiny stocking representing baby at the very end.

Backwards holiday makeover

Visually split your announcement in half and label one section before and the other after. The before picture can feature you and daddy-to-be all dressed up as if you were going to a New Year’s Eve party. The after picture can be the two of you in sweats and leggings pushing a stroller and holding a baby carrier, diaper bag, baby monitor and lots of other supplies.

Image : Getty


Upcycling ideas for your baby gear

Once your little angel hits her toddler years, she’ll quickly outgrow all her baby gear. So what will you do with all that stuff your baby no longer needs? You can definitely donate some items and hand things down to family and friends, but that won’t be enough to clear out all the closets.

Before you haul out the super-sized trash bags, consider how you might be able to upcycle and reuse many of your baby’s items. When you upcycle baby gear, you can create a new life for items that have sentimental value and find a use for things that can’t be recycled or given away. Either way, you’ll feel good about helping the planet (and your pocketbook), while also preserving some very special memories of your little one’s first years.

Feeling inspired? Here are some ideas to help you get started on your upcycling adventure.

Create a keepsake from baby’s clothes

Your little ones clothes can be really difficult to part with because they hold so much sentimental value. If letting go of baby’s coming home outfit, teeny-tiny onesies or super-cute footie pajamas is a struggle for you, consider upcycling them. There are many online shop owners that can reuse the fabric from baby’s most beloved clothes to create a beautiful memory quilt. The result is a special keepsake that can be enjoyed in your family for many years to come.

Shed new light on a nursery lamp

Is it time to upgrade to a toddler-style lamp? Well, don’t run out to your local retail store just yet. There is a really easy upcycling option available for this DIY task. Upcycle the base and pick up an inexpensive white lampshade that you can customize with your own design by using colored fabric markers. Let you child help out in the process, turning decorating their new lamp a fun bonding activity. 

Craft something new from the crib

Getting rid of baby’s crib can be a difficult task because many thrift stores and other non-profit organizations do not accept crib donations. Giving your crib away is also not recommended due to potential recalls. However, if you or someone you know is a bit crafty, you can upcycle this into something useful again. Simply remove one of the railings from the crib and you have yourself a handy new bike rack. All you have to do is mount the railing to a simple base for support, easily cobbled together with some leftover 2x4's from your last project. In no time at all you'll have a useful new item to help keep your garage more organized. 

Image : Getty


7 Tips for Documenting Your Pregnancy

By: Jen Lula, Disney Baby

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.


10 Signs You’re Nearing the End of Pregnancy

My due date is 20 days from now, and as it approaches, I’ve been thinking about how different these final days are in comparison with the rest of pregnancy. Obviously the end of pregnancy looks different for each woman, but for the most part, these are some signs that the end is near… at least for me!

1. You buy milk and the expiration date is after your due date

I remember this happening with my daughter and it’s about to start happening with this pregnancy. It’s the weirdest thing knowing you’ll probably bring home a new baby sooner than you’ll bring home a new gallon of milk!

2. Your fear of the pain of birth has been outweighed by your desire to be un-pregnant

Especially if this is your first pregnancy, it can be easy to focus on the pain that comes with childbirth, but as the end of pregnancy approaches, this fear is replaced by a desire to simply not be pregnant and uncomfortable anymore. A little bit of discomfort in birth is better than another month of the discomfort of pregnancy, right? Or at least this seems to be my end-of-pregnancy logic.

3. Nothing fits

Like… seriously nothing at all. Last week I ripped a hole in my only pair of maternity jeans, so now I’m relegated to leggings and the two dresses that sort of still fit me. Most of my dresses have become shirts and all of my shirts have become unwearable.

4. Puffy face, hands, feet…

Oh the puffiness. My face looks eerily similar to the time I got my wisdom teeth taken out and all of the rings on my fingers have been removed. In addition, my feet have decided to boycott all shoes.

5. People keep telling you that you look “ready to pop”

Random strangers start giving you that “Whoa!” look like you just might give birth in the middle of the grocery store aisle and telling you that you look like you’re “ready to pop”… just in case you hadn’t noticed.

6. You start nesting like Martha Stewart on six shots of espresso

Some people are more intense than others during the nesting stage (like my friend Amnah here at Disney Baby!), but many women experience nesting to some degree or another as labor gets closer. For me, nesting takes on the form of scheduling blog posts ahead of time and making sure my house is tidy and dishes are done every night before bed. It also means purging old things and organizing the nursery and completing any other last-minute pre-birth tasks.

7. You’re practically sleepwalking

In the days and weeks leading up to your due date you may feel extra tired. I know I become positively narcoleptic. I doze off on the couch in the middle of the day, even though I’m not usually a napper at all. I’d like to think it’s my body’s way of telling me to store up all the extra sleep I can, because I’m definitely going to need it.

8. Your grooming habits suddenly improve

The idea of going into labor with unshaven legs and a serious need for a pedicure inspires you to up your grooming game. You schedule yourself a pedicure and start shaving your legs again on a regular basis. You may even start showering/doing your hair more often “just in case.” You never can be too prepared for those photo ops, you know!

9. You stop making plans

As much as you try to remind yourself that this pregnancy might last beyond your due date, it’s hard to just carry on with life as usual. If you’re anything like me, you slowly stop making plans… just in case. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I looked at my schedule recently and saw that it’s gotten more and more empty as my due date is approaching. I guess I wanted to make sure I didn’t double book my birth with anything else!

10. Getting extra emotional about life changes

Toward the end of my first pregnancy, I found myself getting emotional about all of the changes that were about to take place. Going from being a married couple to being parents felt intimidating at times, and like the end of an era. I definitely got nostalgic. This time around, I’ve slowly started feeling the same about the change in our family dynamic — going from three of us to four. I get weepy about it multiple times a day — sometimes because I’m a little sad and other times because I’m happy. Pregnancy emotions… they’ll get you every time.

What would you add to my list?

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Image : Getty

Mother holding baby with a tiara on

7 Moms Reveal Their Silliest Pregnancy Cravings

Everyone knows that pregnant women have some weird cravings. That’s why you see so many jokes about pregnant women eating pickles and ice cream!

When I was pregnant with Liam, I didn’t have cravings for pickles and ice cream, but I do remember making my husband drive to the gas station one night to get some Ruffles chips and French onion dip because I HAD TO HAVE IT. When I was pregnant with Isabel, I just wanted copious amounts of ice cream. But that’s nothing new; I always want ice cream. Those cravings are tame, however, compared to some cravings other women have had.

Some of my friends shared with me their weirdest pregnancy cravings:

Apryl says she had her husband go to the store for steak, Nutella, and marshmallow puffs. Once her husband grilled up that nice juicy steak, she proceeded to spread the Nutella and marshmallow puffs over the steak and devoured it. What?!

Megan just wanted plain cream cheese. No bagel. No bread. Just cream cheese.

Jennifer is currently pregnant with her second child and says that just the other night, she had a sandwich with Swiss cheese and banana peppers. Her husband thought it was gross, but Jennifer was ready for seconds.

Elizabeth’s request was ice. But not just any ice. She had to have ice from Sonic. I have to admit, there is something really good about the ice from that restaurant.

Katherine hadn’t touched hot dogs in 12 years, but something about being pregnant made her really want one. Funny how pregnancy can make you want foods you normally wouldn’t like.

My sister, Danibel, wanted 2% milk with lots of ice when she was pregnant.

And my aunt would eat Oreo cookies with V8 juice (yeah, the vegetable juice) and peeled lime with salt and milk for breakfast. Wow!

Did you experience any strange cravings while you were pregnant?

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Image : Disney

Baby in yellow shirt crawling in crib

20 Cool Retro Baby Names from 1916

I’m a little obsessed with looking through the Social Security baby names list and seeing what names are becoming popular or starting to be used less.

Recently, I pulled up the list of the top names from 100 years ago (1916!) and it was so fun to see what names have drifted into obscurity — Hedwig, anyone? – and which names have made a comeback in recent years.

I couldn’t help but make a list of some of my favorites for both boys and girls.

If you’re looking for something with staying power, try one of these on for size!


1. Stanford – 100 years ago, this name sat at 684 on the Social Security roster, but after 1973, it dropped off entirely, so if you’re looking for something that isn’t too popular, this is a great choice. I love it!

2. Harvey – This was in the top 100 back in 1916, but dropped off fast in the mid-’90s. Now it’s back with a vengeance, reappearing on the top 1000 in 2000 and currently sitting in the 400s!

3. Gilbert – I’m an Anne of Green Gables girl at heart, so I’ll always have a soft spot for this name.

4. Emmett – This name has serious longevity. It was in the top 200 names a century ago and now is in the top 150!

5. Forest – This name is popular but not TOO popular, currently sitting at 749.

6. Harlan – This name has German roots and means “rocky land.”

7. Booker – As a former librarian and lifelong avid reader, how could I not love this name?

8. Sterling – Sitting almost continually in the top 500 for the last century, this name is just a classic without being too overused.

9. Royal – If you’re looking for something strong and catchy, this is a great choice.

10. Pierce – This English name always makes me think of James Bond. Not the worst association you could have.


1. Coral – With so many old-fashioned baby names making a huge comeback, I was surprised to see that Coral hasn’t even made it back into the top 1000 since the early ’90s! If you like something vintage but not trendy, this is a great choice.

2. Audry – If you spell it “Audrey,” this name is a perennial favorite, usually in the top 100. But without the “e” it’s much less common.

3. Callie – I was really surprised to see that this name is currently at 196 – I’ve never met someone named this! (Mallie is also a fun choice that’s barely staying on the top 1000).

4. Dale – While this is generally consider a male name now, this name also showed up for girls fairly frequently until it disappeared from the list in 1971.

5. Nola – Nora is going nuts right now, currently sitting at 41, but Nola is at 767, so your child is much less likely to be the third one in her kindergarten class.

6. Allene – This pretty Slavonic name means “bright” and “beautiful.” Hard to go wrong there!

7. Nita – A Native American name that means “bear,” this one is simple, easy to spell, and just plain pretty.

8. Libby – I’m not usually a nickname person, but in this case, I love the shortened version of Elizabeth.

9. Tressie – This name hasn’t been on the top 1000 since 1939, but it’s so pretty, I’m surprised it’s not more popular!

10. Aurora – There’s always room in the top 1000 for a Disney Princess name, and this one is more popular than ever right now, at spot 79!

Image: Thinkstock


100+ Baby Girl Names for Every Letter of the Alphabet

I recently saw a post on Facebook where a friend of mine couldn’t decide what to name her daughter, but she knew what letter she wanted it to start with. So I thought, man, that’s a great way to start. Pick the first letter!

Here is a list of my favorite baby girl names for each letter of the alphabet — and of course, I included some classic Disney princess names.


Adeline, Ariel, Abigail, Averie, Aurora, Alex


Brielle, Berkleigh, Brinley, Brooklyn, Blake, Belle


Crystal, Catarina, Cambridge, Camryn, Cayleigh


Delilah, Demi (Hmmm, wonder how I thought of that?), Dani (short for Danielle or Daniella), Darsey, Desiree


Emma, Emory, Elsa, Eva, Ellerie, Ember


Fiona, Felicia, Faith, Felicity, Frankie


Georgia, Gabriella, Gianna, Gisele, Gemma


Hendrix, Henley, Harper, Hadley, Harmony


Isabella, Illianna, Iris, Izzie


Juliana, Jordyn, Jillian, Jasmine, Jaclyn, Josie


Kimber, Katalina, Kya, Kayleigh, Kadence


Lily, Lianna, Leah, Lacie, Lola


Merida, Madeline, Marcilee, Maisie, Makaylyn, Max


Nora, Nia, Nadia, Natalia, Nahla


Orion, Owyn, Ophelia, Olivia, Oriahna


Phoenix, Priscilla, Paige, Polly, Primrose


Quinn, Quaid


Randalynn, Randi, Roxy, Raven, Renee


Staci, Sami, Selah, Sky, Snow


Tianna, Tiffany (I had to :)), Teigan, Tessa, Trinity


Ursula, Uriah


Vivi, Victoria, Venicia, Valentina, Venus


Winona, Wendy, Winnie, Waverly, Willow


Xenia, Xia


Yoli, Yasmine, Ysabelle, Yesenia


Zora, Zoe, Zayla, Zahra

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