Blog Posts by BabyCenter

  • Do dirty kids get lice?

    Five-year-old Kaye loves to make mud pies; her best friend Faye prefers to play with dolls. Kaye usually puts on outfits straight off the floor or out of the hamper; Faye chooses only freshly washed and pressed threads. Kaye rarely brushes her hair and has to be bribed to take a bath; Faye bathes daily in strawberry-scented bubbles and owns a different comb for every day of the week.

    Now for the quiz: Which child is more likely to get head lice?

    Answer: Neither. Or rather, either.

    As BabyCenter reports, head lice are "equal-opportunity parasites" who don't give a flying flip how clean your hair is, how nice your clothes are, or even how much your house costs.

    The idea that lice are of the result of poor hygiene or poverty is a myth - one that has been around for generations. "I used to associate lice with 'dirty,' because that's what my grandmother taught my mother, so it's what my mother taught me," says one BabyCenter mom. "It wasn't until my sister got lice that

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  • Reliving 9/11: How to talk to your child about media coverage

    As the 10 th anniversary of 9/11 draws closer, media coverage is kicking into high gear. Even if you do your best to shield your child from the disturbing images of the planes crashing into the twin towers, chances are your child will catch a glimpse of the news footage or hear about the attacks at school or from other adults. So how do you talk to your kids about what they may see or hear?

    Family therapist and BabyCenter expert Alison Ehara-Brown has some tips to help parents reassure their children when they're exposed to frightening news reports.

    Limit access to the news

    It's tough to completely insulate your child from coverage of major news events like the 9-11 retrospectives (or the recent fears over Hurricane Irene). Try your best to limit what your child sees when you're not around, and be available to talk if your family chooses to watch any anniversary coverage. Don't forget about newspapers with disturbing photos that may be lying around the house or what's on

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  • 4 surprising ways moms use their smart phones

    Can you imagine life without your smart phone? Well, you're not alone. Smart phones may be the biggest thing to happen to parenting since the pacifier. They're so brainy they can help you do everything from grocery shop to manage time-outs.

    BabyCenter recently talked to more than 3,000 moms to find out just how their mobile devices are affecting their lives.

    Here are a few savvy ways moms are putting their phones to work for them:

    Picture this

    That camera can do more than just capture special moments on the fly: Moms use their phone cameras as mobile shopping lists, as scrapbooks of decorating ideas, and even as a way to prove to the pediatrician that they're not crazy when their child's symptoms magically disappear at the doctor's office.

    Ready, set, go!

    The alarm and timer aren't just for taking naps and doing laps: You can easily manage time-outs and a game of "clean up your toys" with your smart phone counting down the minutes.

    Clever calendar

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  • Celeb tooth fairy pays 20 times the going rate

    When it comes to losing your baby teeth, it pays to have parents with star power. According to BabyCenter.com's celeb blogging trio, Moms and the City, Molly Ringwald's tooth fairy shells out $5 per tooth. Although Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott haven't had a visit from the tooth fairy yet, it looks like the going rate could be up to $5 at their house, too. That's what Dean left for his son from his first marriage, Jack. Former Real Housewife of New York City Bethenny Frankel plans on giving her beloved Bryn a whopping $10 bucks a tooth.

    A particularly generous tooth fairy paid a visit to Heidi Klum and Seal's daughter Leni and left $20 bucks in her fairy trail. That's 20 times what average moms pay to celebrate their child's memorable molar moments, according to a new survey released by BabyCenter.com on the cost of raising a child. The model mom of four says, "I didn't know because I didn't have a tooth fairy and I wasn't going to call anyone and say, 'How much do you put

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  • Two-thirds of moms say money will affect baby plans

    The crummy economy isn't just making people think twice about buying a big-screen TV or new car. It's also giving them cold feet about having kids.

    A new survey released by BabyCenter.com reveals that 43 percent of the more than 1,000 moms polled waited to start or expand their family until they felt financially stable. Of those, 70 percent held off on babies until they or their partner had a stable job; half waited to have health insurance.

    Family size is also taking a hit from the recession. Two-thirds of moms polled by BabyCenter say that money will affect how many kids they have. On average, these moms of the "recession generation" want to have three babies but plan to stop at just two.

    It's no wonder, with more than 60 percent of moms worried about not having enough money to support their children. And their sentiments are backed up by recent data showing that the U.S. birth rate has plunged. Births fell 4 percent from 2007 to 2009, the biggest drop for any two-year

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  • 3 craftastic ways to celebrate Father's Day

    Father's Day is just around the corner (June 19) and when it comes to showing Dad how much
    you care, there's nothing like a homemade gift from the heart. Whip up one of these clever crafts
    to make Dad feel fantastic on his special day. Check out BabyCenter's complete database of crafts for more DIY gift ideas.


    Father's Day bannerWhat you need:
    Patterned scrapbook paper, clothespins, ribbon, scissors

    Instructions:
    Using colorful patterned paper, cut out free-form letters to spell "I" and "Dad." Cut out a heart shape for the word love. (Younger children will need adult supervision.) Cut a long piece of ribbon and tape it across a doorway or entryway. Attach the letters and the heart to the ribbon with clothespins to spell out "I 'Heart' Dad." Surprise Dad with this loving message.


    Number 1 Dad badge
    What you need:

    Crepe paper, felt, rickrack, scissors, glue, wooden clothespin

    Instructions:
    Out of felt, cut a circle about 2 1/2" in diameter. Gather crepe paper and glue it around the

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  • No crown for Kate and William baby names

    Prince William and Kate Middleton may be the most popular people on the planet right now, but their names don't seem to be popular with new parents.

    BabyCenter, which puts together an annual list of the top baby names, is already predicting that the names William and Kate will not reach royal stature in 2011.

    The name William, often considered old-fashioned, peaked in 2008 but has fallen ever since, and it's off to a slow start this year. The princely moniker is down 66 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the first quarter of 2010.

    The name Kate reached the height of its popularity before William, in 2005, and it hasn't maintained the level of admiration worthy of a princess. Kate is down 60 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared with the first quarter of 2010.

    None of this is surprising to BabyCenter Editor in Chief Linda Murray. While 36 percent of BabyCenter moms say they find name inspiration in famous people and characters, Murray says

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  • Top 10 U.S. Hispanic baby names

    Most people don't want their kid to have the same name as three other playground pals. Well, they better start checking the list of top baby names among U.S. Hispanics. Por qué? One of every four American kids under age 5 is Hispanic, and it's the fastest growing ethnic group in the country.

    Hispanic parents aren't just choosing traditional names, either. "Even when these parents don't speak English, they're increasingly likely to choose English names," says Isidra Mencos, editor-in-chief of our popular Spanish-language website, BabyCenter en Español. "This year, Valentina dropped off the most-popular list and was replaced with the American-sounding Nicole."

    Here are the most popular boys' and girls' names among U.S. Hispanics. The data come from tens of thousands of parents registered on BabyCenter en Español.


    Top Hispanic boys' names
    1. Alexander
    2. Sebastián
    3. Daniel
    4. Ángel
    5. Santiago

    See the top 10 Hispanic boys' names >


    Top Hispanic girls' names
    1. Sophia
    2. Camila
    3.

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  • Talking to your kids about the devastating earthquake in Japan


    Parents should talk to their kids about the earthquake in Japan but they shouldn't worry them.Parents should talk to their kids about the earthquake in Japan but they shouldn't worry them.

    My kids will return home from school today with lots of questions about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My son will want to know if the tsunami was taller than our house. My daughter will want to know if anyone died. What do I tell them? What do I tell them when they ask whether an earthquake of equal strength could happen where we live in San Francisco, California?

    Last night, a massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake shook Japan, unleashing huge waves that swept over the country's eastern coast. The Japanese are now coping with the devastating aftermath of the worst recorded earthquake in their history. The photographs and video footage coming from Japan are heart-wrenching and depict scenes you'd only expect to see on the Hollywood screen.

    This morning, the surge headed across the Pacific, spurring tsunami warnings along the California coast. My family lives in San Francisco, and Ocean Beach, where I bring my kids to build sand castles, has been closed all day.

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  • Bye-bye, Tiger Mom. Hello, Eagle Mom!

    As spring tries to get started around the country, BabyCenter decided to look more seriously at the major mommy brouhaha of the dark days of January: Tiger Mom.

    Specifically, we wanted to know whether or not we should feel guilty for not raising our kids like Amy Chua's. Are we missing the boat? Turns out the answer is no. "Tiger Mom" Chua isn't at the fore of some grand, sweeping discipline-mommy revolution.

    The masses - and we reached out to a portion of the BabyCenter global audience to survey 1,400-plus moms in China and 1,200-plus mothers in America about their parenting dreams and realities - associate themselves with a different creature: the Eagle.

    Roughly 75 percent of U.S. and 63 percent of Chinese mothers said they aspire to be Eagle Moms because they want to "teach [their] children how to fly and then let her/him fly freely."

    Tiger Mom ("stern and restrictive") was way down the list, finishing behind Kangaroo ("super protecting, do everything for your child") and Lion

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