Blog Posts by Parents.com

  • You (and Baby!) are What You Eat


    Want to know more on what to eat and what to avoid when you're pregnant?

    You've heard the old phrase "you are what you eat." Well, once you get pregnant, that goes double for your child. And not just in utero. Studies show a mother's diet during pregnancy may affect a child for the rest of their life, according to Dr. Seema Venkatachalam, MD. The physician at Northwestern Specialists for Women and clinical instructor at the Northwestern University School of Medicine says that a high-fat diet, for example, may lead to an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and obesity later on in her child's life.

    Venkatachalam recommends that women talk to their physicians about nutrition before or soon after they become pregnant. "The nutritional status once you are pregnant is really important because it not only may change the health of the mother, but it also does have a determination on how well the fetus grows inside," she says.

    Eating the right foods can have a positive

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  • When Helping Hurts: Why Adopting in Haiti Now Could Endanger Children

    If you've seen news footage of Haitian children scared, lost, and in palpable danger, you may have felt the urge to reach out in the most personal way - to adopt and take a child out of poverty and crisis.

    That urge to help could make the crisis in Haiti even more dangerous for children. A group of U.S. missionaries made headlines for allegedly attempting to traffic children across the Haitian border into the Dominican Republic.


    Organizations that work with developing countries, now actively working to repair the damaged buildings and lives in Haiti following the devastating earthquake last month, say the best thing for the struggling country is to let the government and aid organizations help children, not to rush young Haitians out of the country.

    And that process will likely take months.

    "There is no way at this point in a crisis we can know whether these children are orphaned," says Amy Parodi, disaster communications manager for World Vision, a Christian relief and

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  • Help Haiti: Would You Donate Breastmilk for Babies?

    The calls came from orphanages in Haiti to churches throughout the United States: "Can you send us breast milk?"

    With countless premature, sick, injured and hungry babies they were in need of sustenance, fast. Something akin to the child's game of telephone ensued, and eventually a call made it to the International Breast Milk Project, a non-profit organization that, for years, has been organizing the logistics of sending pasteurized, donated breast milk to South Africa and disaster areas, like the Philippines following a typhoon. (According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in the cases of a natural disaster when a mother's milk is not available, safe donor breast milk is the next best option. Milk donors are screened by the milk bank before the donation is accepted).

    10 Things Every Woman Should Know about Breastfeeding


    Executive Director Amanda Nickerson answered the phone. She wanted to help, and so did other organizations, such as The Human Milk Banking

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  • Will You Be Able to Afford College for Your Child?

    Some parents are so nervous about the future cost of a college education that they never start saving. Their reaction is understandable. Estimates for the price of a college education in 18 years don't so much inspire sticker shock as sticker near heart attack.

    But experts say parents shouldn't worry about putting away enough to fully cover every college expense. Instead, shake off those doubts and just get your savings started. Cutting a few dollars out of your monthly budget, here and there, and investing can add up to an important contribution.

    Losing sleep over college costs? Try our get-real guide to college savings.

    "There's no more important time to start than when a child is young," says Joan Marshall, executive director of Maryland's college savings plan and chair of the College Savings Plan Network (CollegeSavings.org). "The younger a child is, the more time that gives them to save, and that reduces the amount they have to borrow later."

    The top 10 mistakes new

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  • New Recalls Affect 2 Million Baby Strollers and Cribs

    More than 2 million baby cribs and strollers were recalled last week, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced safety hazards with three models of Graco strollers and numerous Dorel Asia drop-side baby cribs. And the dangers don't end with baby gear. A third recall affects McNeil Consumer Healthcare products, including Children's Motrin Chewable Tablets and Children's Tylenol Meltaway Tablets.

    About 1.5 million Graco strollers were labeled dangerous, after the company received reports of several children having their fingertips injured or amputated as the stroller canopy was opened or closed.

    The hinge issue comes just two months after a Maclaren stroller recall with a similar hinge issue, which affected one million strollers.

    Graco is offering a free protective cover repair kit to stroller owners, which covers the hinge.

    Find full details about the Graco recall here.

    The Dorel Asia drop-side crib recall involves 635,000 cribs. On these cribs, the

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  • 20 Ways to Fight Winter Boredom

    Winter weekends. No matter how much you love the time away from work, spending two straight days with cabin fever-addled kids in the middle of January can break the most patient of parents. We talked with experts around the country to find some tried-and-true suggestions on how to keep your kids from proclaiming, "I'm bored!" during these long, cold winter weekends.

    Put Their Imaginations to Work

    -Place a stack of blankets in the family room, playroom, or their bedroom so they can build a fort.

    -A box of old clothes and accessories becomes fodder for fashion shows and all sorts of pretend games.

    -Take a big cardboard box from a dishwasher, refrigerator or other appliance, a box of markers, Legos (or other building blocks) and some little cars. The kids can draw a whole roadway system, then build the town and then drive the cars around.

    (Suggested by Laurie Zerga, Founder and Chief Culinary Officer, Chef-K-culinary health education for kids)


    Go outside!

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  • Get Your Kids to Listen the First Time

    "I have no control over what my child does." This realization ranks as one of the scarier discoveries in parenthood. And sooner or later, no matter how good your child is, you still come face to face with this truth.


    While you can't control them, you can work on building a relationship in which they respect you and listen to what you have to say.

    Need a better discipline strategy? Get some new ideas.

    Dave Herz knows this firsthand. In addition to being a psychotherapist and founder and director of therapeutic services at Vive, a Boulder, Colorado-based organization that counsels families and coaches parents to create more meaningful relationships, he's also a father.


    Regardless of your child's age-toddler, tween, or teen-there are a few things to keep in mind when speaking with them, Herz says. "There's a lot of overlap when we're talking about how to get kids to listen and how to communicate, because in a lot of ways 2-year-olds and teenagers have a lot in

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  • What's the Right Circumcision Decision?

    To snip or not to snip? It's a question that every son's parents must ask themselves. In recent years more and more parents are opting against circumcision. In 2006, 56 percent of boys in the United States were circumcised, and those numbers varied dramatically by region, with 34 percent in the western states and 78 percent in the north central states.


    Should your son be circumcised? Questions to ask before you make the call.


    Whether it's a religious, cultural or medical decision, parents should consider and discuss the choice with their physician first, says Dr. Douglas Diekema, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics task force on circumcision.


    "I'm not someone who would push parents strongly in one direction or another on this issue," Diekema says, "but what I would say is that in addition to weighing the pros and cons, parents should also consider that this is a decision, given what

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  • Eggplant? Acupuncture? Unusual Ways to Induce Labor

    Can this veggie convince a baby to arrive faster?Can this veggie convince a baby to arrive faster?The photographic "baby wall" comes as a bit of a surprise if you've never been to Scalini's Restaurant in Cobb County, Georgia. All 300-plus babies were born after their mothers ate the same dish at the Italian restaurant: Eggplant Parmigiana.

    The legend has been alive nearly since the restaurant opened 25 years ago, and draws masses of pregnant women through the doors ever since. Knowing that not everyone can make the trek to Georgia, the restaurant owners even posted the recipe on their website.

    Not sure when to start eating Eggplant Parmigiana? Try Parents.com's Due Date Predictor.

    Whether or not you're a believer in the legend, eggplant is one of many foods rumored to help start labor in a natural way. According to Sherri Ruerup, director of the Nurse Midwifery Group at Swedish Covenant Hospital, there are a number of much more precise (and tried-and-true) ways to naturally get labor going.

    "I tell patients that nothing's going to throw you into labor unless

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  • The Best Sex for Getting Pregnant

    Sometimes it feels like the more you want it, the longer it takes. Dr. Hal Danzer, fertility specialist and partner and co-founder of Southern California Reproductive Center, shared the following tips about the best sex position for getting pregnant and more.

    Want to get pregnant faster? Read Parents.com's 7-step quick guide!

    1. Position: Missionary.

    There's no real scientific evidence that one position is much more effective than any other. But the goal of baby-making sex is to get the sperm as close as possible to the cervix. That means deep thrusting is the way to go, which in turn means the man-on-top-woman-on-bottom gives you the best angle for close access. (For more baby-making sex tips, read on!) Doggy style, on the other hand, tends to be the least effective in getting pregnant.

    2. Tilt those hips.

    Following sex, a woman should put her hips on a pillow and lie there for about 20 minutes. That helps the seminal fluid pool in the back of the vagina,

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