Blog Posts by Parents.com

  • Dealing with Baby Gender Disappointment

    Pregnant Woman with SonogramYou may be secretly sad after finding out your baby's sex. But the feeling is more common than you might think.

    By Danielle Braff

    Around your 20-week appointment, people keep asking: "Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?" You tell them that you simply want a healthy baby, even though you're secretly wishing for a particular sex. When the ultrasound tech reveals the results you pretend to be thrilled, even though you're heartbroken. It's a feeling that Katherine Asbery, author of Altered Dreams: Living With Gender Disappointment, knows well. She had hoped that her second-born child would be a girl but instead she had another boy. Before she got pregnant for the third and final time, she tried tactics that she found on the Internet to help her conceive a girl. She ate yogurt to try to change her pH balance, and she made her husband take hot baths to alter his sperm. When she discovered that she'd be birthing another boy, she "cried and cried and cried," she says. "Then I felt guilty."

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  • A Parents Guide to Kids and Cardiac Problems

    Smiling Little GirlAfter reading the latest findings on sudden cardiac death, we asked our advisor Darshak Sanghavi, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric cardiology and associate professor of pediatrics at University of Massachusetts Medical School, to put this frightening problem into perspective and help parents understand the prevention steps they can take. Here's what he had to say:

    By Darshak Sanghavi, M.D.

    Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics pointed out that several thousand young people die each year of unexplained sudden cardiac death. These cases are deeply tragic, and though rare, the sudden loss of a previously healthy child often leads to a great deal of concern among all parents.

    It turns out that children's heart problems are very different than those in adults. Typically, adult problems result from long-standing damage to arteries, buildup of cholesterol, and other long-term problems that can lead to sudden blockages. Doctors refer to these as "myocardial

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  • Table for Three: Tips for Dining Out with Toddlers

    ToddlerYes, you can eat out with your child. This advice will help you handle whatever drama she dishes out.

    By Brett Hill

    Recently, my extended family shared a meal at a boisterous Italian restaurant. Before our appetizers had arrived, my then 18-month-old nephew had spilled soda, played 12 games of "guess which hand the sugar packet's in," gone on a walking tour of the dining room, dropped two forks, and tried to take off his shirt while in his high chair. As we were leaving, I overheard a couple remark, "He's adorable, but I'm glad we're past that stage." As anyone with a 1- or 2-year-old knows, taking a toddler to a restaurant is no day at the beach (which, by the way, is no day at the beach either). It requires patience, planning, and a glass of pinot noir.

    When you take a toddler out to eat, you're including a guest who finds it difficult to sit still, is prone to tantrums, and probably has a limited interest in new cuisine, says Parents advisor Jenn Berman, Psy.D., author of

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  • Most Luxurious Birthing Suites in America

    UCLA Medical Center Hospital RoomForget hospital food and roommates. When celebrities give birth, their 5-star accommodations include spa-style pampering, 24-hour concierge service, and more.

    By Hannah Werthan

    Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center: A Natural Oasis
    VIP delivery suites are designed to look like the outdoors. Medical supplies are stored away in wood-paneled cabinets and lighting drops down from the ceiling. A special menu caters to moms with dietary restrictions, and food is delivered by a tuxedo-wearing "food ambassador." Rooms come with a flat-screen TV, XM satellite radio, a private bathroom, a refrigerator, and a warming bed for baby.

    Rose Medical Center in Denver: High-Tech Delivery
    Physicians who attend this hospital are able to monitor patients' labor progress from their smart phones, even if they're away from the hospital. Birthing rooms have private bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs, birth balls, rocking chairs, squat bars, and flat-screen TVs. After giving birth, VIPs can enter one of Rose's six luxury

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  • Choosing the Best Life Jackets for Kids

    Boy Wearing Life JacketKeep your kids safe and secure in all types of water situations, such as boating and swimming, with our tips for choosing U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

    By Kate Bayless

    Life jackets can be bulky, uncomfortable, and less than fashionable. But there's one crucial fact to remember: Life jackets save lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the second leading cause of death for kids age 1 to 14. In 2009, 3,358 people were injured and 736 died in boating incidents. Of those who drowned, 9 out of 10 were not wearing life jackets. Research indicates that life jackets (often used interchangeably with the term "personal flotation devices") are the safest and best devices approved by the U.S. Coast Guard to prevent drowning. We've gathered the age-appropriate guidelines you need to select the best life jackets -- based on type, style, and fit -- to keep your kids safe this summer.

    Know the Rules and Requirements
    Boating laws concerning the

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  • 9 Ways to Maximize Family Time

    Dad reading to daughterCan't find enough time to spend together? These simple and effective tips will help decrease busy schedules and increase quality family time.

    By Ansley Roan

    Cooking meals, doing laundry, and going to work are all essential, but they often mean less time for parents to spend with those they love most. A recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that women spend only slightly more time on household chores than men do, which shows that all parents are pulled in many directions. "Certainly work, marriage, kids, and feeding the family are all high priorities, but there are healthy approaches to all of these that don't require moms to feel so out of control," says Hollee Temple, co-author of Good Enough Is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood. Follow these practical tips to save time on everyday responsibilities and spend more time with your family.

    Make Over Your To-Do List
    Divide your to-do list into three categories: Don't, Delegate, and Do.

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  • 15 Hysterical Mommy-to-Be Meltdowns

    Pregnant WomanPregnancy hormones can do a number on your emotions, and the highs and lows you experience can be downright dramatic -- you may cry for an hour because your hubby ate all the Ben & Jerry's. Here, real moms share their funniest flip-outs.

    By Jessie Wohlgemuth

    Fast Food and Furious
    When I was 6 months pregnant, I cried because McDonald's forgot to give me my McFlurry.
    Courtney Barnett; Arlington, Texas

    Mixing Mishap
    I was preparing a recipe for puppy chow, a snack made of peanut butter, chocolate chips, cereal, and powdered sugar. When I went to shake the cereal and sugar together in a bag, the bag broke and the contents went everywhere. I sank down in the middle of the floor, covered in powdered sugar. It's funny now, but it was not at the time.
    Katy Charlotte Hening; Salem, Virginia

    Puppy Love
    We went out to eat and I cried when we sat down because I missed my dog -- who I had just seen five minutes before.
    Bobbie Lipe; Ottumwa, Iowa

    In a Pickle
    I cried because my mother-in-law

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  • What Should I Do If My Child Doesn't Want to Play Sports?

    Boy with ballMy son has no interest in playing baseball. He is 8 years old. My husband insists that if he doesn't play he won't develop and join in other activities. I am torn and I don't know what to do.

    Dr. Heather Wittenberg: You're both right. Your son's preferences should be respected -- he shouldn't be forced to do something he really doesn't want to do, outside of the basics -- homework, chores, treating others nicely, and following safety rules. Some kids love sports, some kids love baseball, and other kids don't.

    But your husband is right when he points out the importance of encouraging your son to join in activities and learn to contribute to a team effort. There are huge benefits associated with team activities.

    Also, some kids just "hang back" more -- their personality is a bit shy, or they're overwhelmed with a lot of noise and activity. That's OK. You can help him select something that matches HIS personality.

    So, how to balance both sides of the issue? Start with your son. Explain

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  • Naming Your Baby: Solutions to Common Conundrums

    Pregnant Woman with HusbandChoosing your baby's name could turn into a big battle. Here, the pros tell you how to handle sticky situations gracefully.

    By Lisa Milbrand

    Sticky situation: You want to use the same name your friend used.
    Solution: Tread carefully in these waters -- your friends may not be super keen to have another Emmaline or Henry in their inner circle. "We're all pushing to be distinctive, and today's parents choose names specifically to stand out," says Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard and founder of NameCandy.com. "So people get very proprietary about their creative choices."

    Your best bet? Broach the subject of sharing the name with the other parents, before you put it on your child's birth certificate. "If you phrase it right, the question can be flattering," Wattenberg says. "Try something like, 'Wow, you have great taste -- I love that name so much that I can't get it out of my head. Would you mind if we named our baby that, too?" If they blanch at the idea, you may need to

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  • Tech Savvy Ideas to Fill Easter Baskets

    Easter BasketsIn our house we have our favorite Easter chocolates and treats, but I always try to go light on the candy and heavy on extra goodies that I know our kids will love and use. While these items may be a little bit more than your average spend on sweet treats to fill a basket, their longevity will outlast any sugar rush, making them well worth every penny.

    By Leticia Barr

    Crayola Color Studio HD App & Crayola iMarker ($29.99)
    Turn your iPad into an interactive digital coloring book with the Crayola iMarker that features vivid colors from the 64 count crayon box. The iMarker can mimic the look of different materials including crayons, markers, paints, and colored pencils as young artists free draw, play games, and create their own coloring pages.

    Belkin RockStar Multi-Headphone Splitter ($19.95)
    Always plugged in tweens and teens who still delight in the treats left by the Easter Bunny will love this headphone splitter that allows up to 5 friends to plug in their own headphones to listen

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