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  • The Best Place to Be Born in 2013

    VeerBy Kate at
    Not that one can choose such things, but The Economist has published a ranking of the best and worst countries to be born in for 2013-and the US isn't number one.

    The index averages rankings from 11 geographic, social and economic factors. Switzerland ranked first and Nigeria ranked last. And the US? America came in at 16th place. When The World created a Where to be Born index way back in 1988, the US ranked first. Also ranked in the top were Nordic countries, Australia and Singapore; nations in Africa and eastern Europe came in last.

    Plus: The Best and Worst Place to Give Birth

    What's changed for the US? Inheriting the baby boomers' debt brings down the US' economic ranking, and in 1988, factors for a country's "yawn-worthiness" and "philistine ranking" brought other stable but boring countries down.

    Plus: Birth and Maternal Health Around the World

    Do you think the United States is the best place to be born? Would you prefer to raise your

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  • U.S. Birth Rate Dips to Record Low

    © VeerBy Sasha Emmons.

    According to preliminary data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the birth rate fell to its lowest point since 1920, the first year they started keeping track. Analysis by the Pew Research Center closely ties the decline to the downturn in the economy, starting around 2008.

    Plus: Pre-term Birth Rate Lowest in a Decade

    The birth rate is the annual number of births per 1,000 women in the prime childbearing ages of 15 to 44. It was 63.2 in 2011, a dip of 8% since 2007. This decrease is led by immigrant women, who experienced a 14% drop in fertility rates since 2007. Mexican women comprised the steepest decline, at 23%.

    "If you apply the common sense lens here, when it comes to decisions about when to have children, how many and how to space them, the economy clearly matters," said Bill Albert, spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, told CNN. It's unclear how much of a role the trend to marry later in life,

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  • Will Your Child Become Obese?

    © iStockphoto

    By: Sasha Emmons
    A new online tool let parents calculate their child's chance of being overweight, reports MSNBC. Researchers at Imperial College London came up with a formula to predict which babies are at high risk for childhood obesity in the hopes that they can head off problems before they start.

    Plus: Childhood Obesity Health Guide

    Researchers came up with the formula based on risk factors like birth weight, parental BMI, number of people in the household, mother's type of employment and whether she smoked during pregnancy. It was developed using data from a 1986 study that followed 4,000 children in Finland. A study of the test, which gauged its accuracy using actual weights of kids in three counties, was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

    Try the calculator here.

    According to a recent Kaiser Permanente report, 7.3% of boys and 5.5% of girls can be classified as extremely obese. Rates of childhood obesity or excess weight have exploded over the past

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  • Kids Will Get Presents Whether They're Naughty or Nice

    © iStockphoto

    By: Kate at
    Although the threat of Santa knowing if you've been bad or good might come in handy to keep kids in line during the holiday season, it turns out to be an empty one. A new study finds that Santa (read: Mom and Dad) will give children presents whether they've been naughty or nice.

    Plus: Man Arrested for Spilling the Beans on Santa to Kids

    Walmart conducted a national survey of parents and kids, asking various questions about holiday gift giving and getting. Eighty percent of parents said their kids will get the same number of gifts, regardless of their behavior. But Santa's hold still works over kids: 62 percent surveyed said they believed they'd get more presents if they were nice over naughty.

    Plus: The Best Elf on the Shelf Ideas

    Mom Amber Plante told USA Today that she'd rather her two sons have fond memories of Christmas morning, rather than using it to teach a lesson: "I'd rather my boys have fuzzy memories of happy times ripping open

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  • Giving Tuesday Puts Spirit of Giving Back into Holidays

    © Veer

    By: Brian Braiker
    Feeling a little flush after saving so much on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Lucky for all of us, a grassroots movement with a little momentum is here to remind us what the holidays are really about.

    Today is the first annual Giving Tuesday.

    A collaborative effort launched by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation to promote generosity and giving during the holiday season, Giving Tuesday hopes to become as much a fall tradition as the two weekdays that precede it. It's also a wonderful way to teach kids there's more to the season than basement bargains on flatscreen TVs and kitchen appliances.

    Man Arrested for Spoiling Christmas

    If you hang out on Twitter long enough today, you'll notice the #GivingTuesday hashtag. Click through to learn more about 1000-plus corporations and non-profits that signed on to bring a little bit of that spirit of giving back to this time of year. Take some of what you saved

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  • Small Talk: Kids on Thanksgiving asks kids what they're thankful for this Thanksgiving.

  • Thanksgiving Food for Babies

    © Veer

    What is safe and unsafe for your baby to eat at a holiday meal

    By Stephanie Wood Preparing Thanksgiving dinner for your extended family is no simple chore, so you'd rather not add "make dinner for baby" to your already long to-do list. Give thanks: If your child's closing in on his first birthday and transitioning to table foods, you can serve him at least some of the typical Thanksgiving menu, says registered dietitian Cathie Squatrito, director of medical affairs for Gerber. Just be sure all the foods you do offer your baby are diced very small (about 1/4 inch in size) and cooked to the point of being well-done (soft enough to gum).

    Good for gobbling: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, peas, carrots, cranberry sauce, bread or rolls, pumpkin pie, apple pie

    Pass on these: corn and succotash, rich-tasting casseroles (such as string-bean or broccoli-cheese), creamed onions, stuffing (which can contain onions, rich seasoning, choking hazards, or

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  • US Premature Birth Rates Lowest in a Decade

    By: Kate Goodin
    © VeerThe March of Dimes has released its Premature Birth Report Card, and with it comes good news for the US: 11.7 percent of births in 2011 were premature, which is lowest rate in a decade.

    Plus: 7 Common Preemie Problems

    Late preterm birth rates (34 to 36 weeks), which contribute to preemie births, was the factor that most improved the US's premature birth rate. This supports March of Dimes' "Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait" campaign, which recommends against elective C-sections or inductions before 39 weeks. However, the number of preterm babies born to uninsured women increased.

    Plus: How to Bond with Your Premature Baby

    Although all racial and ethnic groups experienced lower preterm birth rates overall, there were notable regional differences. On the heels of the report that Mississippi has the highest infant mortality rate in the US, it also has the highest rate of preterm births: 16.9 percent, which is a grade of F, according to the March of

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  • Time Management Tips for Thanksgiving

    © Veer

    No matter how much you plan ahead, feeding your extended family--bottomless teenage nephews, out-of-town uncles, and wild munchkins included--is going to be a massive undertaking. These clever strategies will help you do it with less stress and more sanity.

    Don't Fret the Table.

    News flash: You don't need to iron the entire tablecloth. If you're low on time (uh, who's not?), just iron the corners and sides. Once the dishes and centerpiece are in place, no one will see the wrinkles. Have the kids help you set the table the night before, too. It's one less thing to do.

    PLUS: Top iPhone Apps for Kids

    Splurge on Pre-Chopped Veggies.

    Scan the produce section and salad bar for prewashed, pre-chopped veggies, like carrots and celery. They might be a little more expensive, but it is totally worth it.

    Fill Your Freezer.

    Check the supermarket freezer section for bagged ingredients that won't sacrifice flavor, like peeled sweet potatoes. Frozen piecrusts have fooled

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  • Facebook Helped Boy Score a New Pet

    By: Elina at

    © FacebookBe careful with your promises, parents! One young boy earned himself a pet cat after winning a bet he made with his father.

    When son Remi kept begging for a feline friend, Dan Urbano offered the boy an impossible wager: If Remi and his one-year-old sister, Evelyn, could get 1,000 likes on a Facebook photo of them pleading their case, the cat would be theirs.

    Plus: Study: Cats & Dogs May Make Your Baby Healthier

    Dan thought that would be the end of it. But of course, that was not so. While the dad had his doubts, mom Marisa uploaded a picture of the siblings holding a sign that read: "Hey Facebook! My sister and I really want a cat. Our papa promises we can get one if we can get 1,000 likes. Please like this picture. Thank you!"

    The likes came flooding in. Just hours after posting the photo, the Urbano family knew they were going to get a cat. The photo currently has close to 111,000 likes and 105,000 shares.

    Plus: Best Pets for Kids

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