Pregnancy to-do: Build a baby budget

Pregnant? Your next year is bound to be full of joy, excitement and dollar signs. According to a 2013 U.S. Department of Agriculture report, the average baby costs new parents around $12,800 for the first year. But before you break into a cold sweat, stop and make a plan. Budgeting for your little one can help you navigate these pricey waters - and keep stress and frustration to a minimum. Here are some major child-related expenses to consider when planning your baby budget:ChildbirthGiving …

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There I said it: I’ll never hire a nanny

What could be more heartbreaking than having your baby cry over the nanny leaving for the day? That, in a nutshell, is why I won't ever hire regular babysitting help. Call me selfish, possessive or downright crazy, but I didn't endure 12 hours of labor and a trip to the operating room just to have my sweet, darling kid bond closely to somebody else.I realize that I write this from a place of privilege: My husband and I are in the financial position to allow me to work freelance from home. …

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Name-napping: How to pick a baby name without the battle

As parents, we all want to feel like we're bestowing our babies with beautiful, strong and one-of-a-kind names. Hearing that others in our circles share the same tastes can be devastating. That being said, if you're not careful, choosing a name for your little one can turn into a tug-of-war. Here's how to avoid a battle, pick a moniker you love, and do it all while keeping your sanity (and relationships) in tact.Be intentionalIf you and your partner have your hearts set on …

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Living at High Altitude doubles risk of SIDS

Families living at high altitudes should be aware of a 2x higher risk of SIDS says a new study reported by the New York Times. Living at high altitude is associated with increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, a new report has found.Researchers studied Colorado birth certificate and death registries from 2007 to 2012, and assessed the link to altitude using maternal residential addresses for nearly 395,000 infants. The findings were published in Pediatrics. After controlling for …

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Babies shift the household balance – and not in your favor

We love when science puts data behind what we've been thinking all along. A new report, published in the June 2015 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, found that women primarily shoulder the burden of new parenthood. That may not sound like news, but the key point is that men thought they were sharing the load, when in fact they were letting their partners do the bulk of the baby work.The study zeroed in on 182 highly educated, dual-career couples who claimed that sharing the …

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Registry must-have: The baby sling

So you're in the throes of creating your baby registry? Skip adding another set of tiny pajamas and include an item you're definitely going to need: A baby sling. In some parts of the world, the act of babywearing is as old as time. But here in the U.S., it's a relatively new phenomenon, with dozens of different styles flooding the marketplace.What is it?First off, babywearing is just as it sounds - the act of quite literally strapping your son or daughter to your chest as you go …

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Cord blood: Why it’s OK not to bank it

As moms, we do a lot of things in the name of safety. But it turns out saving your newborn's cord blood doesn't have to be one of them. Spend any length of time researching your upcoming labor and delivery online, and you're bound to come across a private bank designed to store blood from your little one's umbilical cord. Here's what you need to know: The basics In recent years, there's been a lot of buzz about cord blood banking. This involves collecting blood from the umbilical cord shortly …

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Inductions lead to C-sections? A new report says ‘No more’

Talk to any natural birth advocate and he or she is bound to start in on the evils of labor induction. For years, the party line has been that one intervention during labor and delivery just snowballs and leads to another. While this may have a kernel of truth to it, a new report published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concludes that being induced doesn't increase your odds of the ultimate intervention - a Cesarean.This report should come as welcome news for any …

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Moon Cocoon Sleep Sack

This fluffy sleep sack is nice and warm and cozy. It's like a little sleeping bag that wraps around your baby. It looks like a tiny zip-on duvet.The colors are cute. The fabric is soft. I love the idea of a fluffy warm sleep sack which I can use until the baby can be covered in a real duvet. The snaps and zipper make the cocoon adjustable and fairly tight fitting under the arms to keep in warmth. Baby is toasty in the morning after a good night's sleep.The downside to all the …

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Should the government punish anti-vaxxers?

In ever-controversial vaccination news, Australians may lose big if they don't keep baby's records up-to-date. The country's Prime Minister Tony Abbott proposed cutting off government aid to parents who refused vaccines for their children.If approved, the new penalties will go into place in January of next year, rendering 10 percent of Australians ineligible for government assistance and family-related tax benefits totaling $15,000 per child. The bill is aimed strategically at …

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