Blog Posts by BabyCenter

  • HPV Shot Not Just for Girls

    The question of if and when to get your child immunized against the human papillomavirus (HPV) is no longer reserved for mothers of girls.

    According to the new 2012 vaccine guidelines, just released today, 11 and 12-year-old boys should be vaccinated against HPV. For boys over 12, catch-up vaccines are recommended until the age of 21.

    HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted virus. Most notoriously, it's the main cause of cervical cancer. About 12,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer every year, almost all because of HPV. But HPV affects both men and women, causing anal, mouth and throat, penile, vaginal, and other cancers. It's also the culprit in genital warts, found in about 1 in 100 sexually active adults in the United States. New HPV shot guidelines for boys released todayNew HPV shot guidelines for boys released today

    The HPV vaccine Gardasil, while always available to boys, was initially only recommended to girls in 2006. Recommending the HPV vaccine to boys is hoped to further reduce the risk of transmission through sex. The

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  • Sex or the Super Bowl?

    According to a recent survey of moms by, 80 percent of moms would rather have sex than watch the Super Bowl. Moms want to get it on this Sunday!Moms want to get it on this Sunday!

    Has somebody clued the dads into this news? If 4 out of 5 moms would rather bowl over their husbands than watch the biggest of the Bowls, there might just be a Super Bowl baby boom in time for Halloween. Anyone want to place bets on how many football-sized newborns will be dressed up as Eli Manning or Tom Brady?

    How often do parents have a shot at a Sunday afternoon romp, anyway? The Super Bowl could be just what they need. Park the kids in front of the Pats and Giants and get a couple of delicious hours to themselves…

    Okay, maybe the game won't hold the kids' attention that long, but the roar of the crowd in Indianapolis's Lucas Oil Stadium ought to keep them occupied for a few downs at least, while Mommy and Daddy get a chance to get down…

    Then again, with kickoff at 6:30 pm Eastern time, odds are good that the kids will be asleep by

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  • Celebs Reveal Their Holiday Shopping Secrets

    When it comes to holiday shopping, it looks like Law and Order alum Elizabeth Rohm and I have something in common. We're both last-minute Lucys. Wonder how other celebs manage the holiday rush? BabyCenter's trio of celeb bloggers, Moms and the City, hit the red carpet to ask celebrities how they do their holiday shopping.


    Elisabeth Rohm

    "Sadly, last minute! I wish I was more organized. And of course, in NYC! It's so fun to shop there."

    Related on BabyCenter

    Learn how other stars do their holiday shopping

    How will your family spend the holidays?


    Khloe Kardashian

    "I do my holiday shopping little by little. Whenever I see something I like for someone, I get it, though I sometimes forget some people at the end. Kim has everyone done already! I did Bruce all at once. It was his birthday the other day, so I figured I'd bang it all out."

    Related on BabyCenter

    How much do you spend per child on holiday gifts?
    8 tips forRead More »from Celebs Reveal Their Holiday Shopping Secrets
  • Hottest Baby Names of 2011

    Sophia and Aiden lead the pack!Sophia and Aiden lead the pack!What do Anderson Cooper, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Kardashians have in common? They're all influencing our baby naming choices, according to BabyCenter. The leading online pregnancy and parenting resource released its annual list of top 100 baby names and hottest naming trends today.

    CNN's silver-haired fox Anderson saw his name jump 101 spots, and British royals Kate and William also gained momentum on the list. But the big winner was pint-sized reality star Mason from Keeping Up With the Kardashians, who toddled up eight spots into third place on the boys' list. He's in great company at the top among names that stand the test of time like Sophia and Aiden, who held onto their number 1 spots from last year.

    Top 10 girls' names of 2011

    1. Sophia
    2. Emma
    3. Isabella
    4. Olivia
    5. Ava
    6. Lily
    7. Chloe
    8. Madison
    9. Emily
    10. Abigail

    >>> See the top 100 girls' names

    Top 10 boys' names of 2011

    1. Aiden
    2. Jackson
    3. Mason
    4. Liam
    5. Jacob
    Read More »from Hottest Baby Names of 2011
  • 4 Sure-fire Boredom Busters

    The best defense for when your kids start hurling, "Mom, I'm bored" bombs your way, is to come heavily armed with crafty ammunition. BabyCenter has an impressive database filled with craftastic activities to help save the day!

    Water bottle bowling
    Regina Clarkinia

    What you need

    10 recycled water bottles of similar size, colored electrical tape, small ball


    Wash bottles and remove labels as best you can. Use tape to decorate bottles with stripes to resemble bowling pins. Set up bottles on smooth floor, hallways are best, in V-formation. Use ball to bowl over bottles.

    Additional tips

    Find someone who knows how to keep bowling score. Watch out for the cat!

    Related: Find more fun crafts and activities!

    Sock toss
    Regina Clarkinia

    What you need

    Clean socks, ribbon, number tags, dried beans, white construction paper, rubber bands, bucket


    Fill socks with beans, leaving room at the top to secure with tightly-tied ribbon. (Tie ribbon in knot.) Make number tags

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  • Judge Rules Out Breastfeeding in His Courtroom

    After waiting for over two hours in a Paw Paw, Michigan courthouse on Tuesday, Natalie Hegedus noticed that her 5-month-old son, Landon, was hungry. So she nursed him.

    As Murphy's Law dictates, Hegedus was feeding her baby when she was finally called to the stand to contest a boating ticket before Judge Robert T. Hentchel. According to Hegedus, when she asked for a moment to collect herself, the judge questioned her about the appropriateness of feeding a baby in the courtroom. wikimedia commonswikimedia commons

    Hegedus replied that, under the circumstances - her baby was hungry and sick with an ear infection, and public breastfeeding is not illegal - she didn't think it was inappropriate.

    At that, Hegedus says the judge informed her that in "his court" and under "his law," feeding her baby was not appropriate. When she got to the stand, Hegedus says she saw a note, written by a court aide, that said, "A woman is breastfeeding in court. My God!"

    After waiting to hear the judge's ruling on the boating

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  • When moms go to war

    On September 11, 2001, as I listened to minute- by- minute coverage of the terrorist attacks on the radio, I was six months pregnant. I remember rubbing my swollen belly and wondering what made me think bringing new life into this world was such a great idea.

    Since that time, we've been a country at war. And in those ten years, 250,000 women have been deployed. Half of those soldiers are mothers.

    Yet we hear little about these active-duty mothers, many of them single, who have to leave their children behind for months at a time to fulfill their military commitments. What is it like for them to hand their children over to someone else? What if they can't find a caregiver when they get deployed? And how do they make the transition from nurturer to soldier?

    Related: Dramatic photos of military family reunions on BabyCenter

    Double Standard?
    It's much easier to wrap our minds around the reality of a man shifting from father to warrior. But is this because we see and hear so much Read More »from When moms go to war
  • 5 ways to raise a happy child

    Providing our children with short bursts of ecstasy is easy - simply hand over a chocolate bar or the latest must-have toy. But eventually, that joy bubble pops. The chocolate is eaten, the toy becomes not so cool, boredom ensues. And then we realize that true happiness - the ability to maintain a love of life, to weather challenges with grace, to feel good about one's own essential being - can seem as elusive as a 3-year-old's mid-afternoon nap.

    How can we help our children achieve genuine happiness? According to BabyCenter, the answer lies in helping them build up their inner resources. Here, five ways to do just that.

    Make time for free play

    You've heard it before: Free play - that is, unstructured time for a child to use his imagination without a coach or teacher breathing down his neck - is integral to development. But what you might not know is that it also helps children lay a foundation for future happiness.

    Through free play, your child can discover what brings

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  • Can you potty train your child in three days?

    For the last month, you and your 2-year-old have been in potty training hell. Your days are filled with poop, wet pants, and Lysol; his days are filled with ambivalence toward his "big boy underwear."

    Then your sister calls. Her voice is jubilant as she tells you that her 20-month-old just accomplished potty training - in three days. Lickety-split, the diapers are quit.

    Is she mistaken? Deluded? Simply lying?

    Nope. It can be done, according to this BabyCenter article featuring Julie Fellom's Diaper Free Toddlers program.

    The program includes some fairly radical components, but Fellom claims they're pretty much guaranteed to work, particularly in children 28 months or younger. Some of the more interesting parts of the approach:

    Three months of bare bottoms

    For the first three months after your "potty training weekend," the child should be naked from the waist down whenever she's at home. That's right - no diaper, no pull-up, no underwear, no pants, no skirt,

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  • 4 signs of a bad pediatrician

    There are few things worse than seeing your child ill and in pain - and there are few things better than getting some sound advice from your child's doctor.

    But how do you know the advice is sound? Unfortunately, the initials "MD" don't necessarily stand for magnificent doctor. Here are four red flags to look for:

    Apathetic or patronizing attitude

    "Caring and curing cannot be separated," says George LeMaitre, a surgeon and author of How to Choose a Good Doctor. In other words, your child's pediatrician may be the president of her local MENSA, but if she can't inspire trust in her patients, she'll face all kinds of roadblocks when she tries to provide good assessment and treatment. The doctor should be patient with your child's fears, give you the opportunity to ask questions, and provide clear, informative answers. If she's brusque, hurried, dismissive, or impatient, it's probably time to switch to someone else.

    Poor listener

    Listening is a huge part of assessment. If

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