New Baby Names

Choosing a baby name will be one of the most important things you decide for your baby. It will be with them all of their life. Its one of the first challenges you will face in parenthood. W.H. Auden said “proper names are poetry in the raw”.

New Baby Names `Many people think that popular names are the best choice for a child. Some people want a unique name for their baby so that they will feel confident and special. Americans today have some pretty amusing ways of naming their children. They are named for prized possessions. In 2000, birth certificates revealed that there were 298 Armanis, 269 Chanels, 49 Canons, 6 Timberlands, 5 Jaguars and 353 girls named Lexus in the United States! So if the US is naming their children after cars, ever wonder how people in other countries or throughout history have chosen names for their children?

In Elizabethan England they named their children at the baptism, a few days after the birth. Like many other newborns of the time, they were named after one of your godparents. The names that were considered acceptable during this time were considerably smaller than what we are used to today. Elizabeth, Anne, Joan, Margaret, Alice, Mary, and Agnes accounted for approximately sixty-five percent of all girls’ names. John, Thomas, William, Richard, and Robert accounted for approximately sixty percent of male names. Naming baby in old England was fairly simple but pretty boring.

The Chinese wouldn’t dare name a child before it is born. They give the child a fake or “milk” name that is something very unpleasant like “mud face” or “excrement,” this is believed to trick evil spirits and make them stay away from the child. After the child is born, when the baby is about a month old they throw a baby naming party called a red egg and ginger party. The egg represents fertility and is dyed red for good luck, there is a huge feast where the baby’s hair is shaved and gifts are given.

Muslim parents name their child on his or her birthday or at an “Aqeeqah.” Held on the seventh day after baby’s birth, a sacrifice of a goat or sheep is given at the ceremony (two for a boy, one for a girl). The infant’s head is then shaved and covered with saffron. It is important to Muslims to give their child a good name, determined by its meanings, which should be beautiful.

In many regions of Africa, naming ceremonies are extensive and elaborate, with special prayers recited by an appointed religious teacher. Usually, animals are sacrificed during these proceedings. Africans mostly choose names that denote the time (”Abena”-born on Thursday), something that represents the times (”Iniko”-born during troubled times), a physical characteristic (”Hassain”-handsome), or the child’s position within the family (”Delu”-the only girl).

In the state of Maharashtra, India you will walk in on a beautiful image of a baby in the cradle, decorated with flower garlands and surrounded by women singing hymns and gently rocking the cradle. The mother or a grandmother then enters the room with a lit silver lamp and a small gold jewel for the child. Afterwards, the baby is blessed with rice and a small dot of vermilion is placed on her forehead. Blessings are said again, and the ceremony ends with the mother whispering the gods’ names and then whispering the child’s name in her ear. Finally, the name is announced to the guests.

Hopefully, these naming traditions have inspired you to begin your own naming traditions. The closest thing that Americans have today as a naming tradition is the mailing of the birth certificate. Think of a fun way to celebrate the naming of your child and start planning.

Natural vs Medicated Childbirth

Before leaving the subject of birth and going on to the newborn, we should discuss an important choice; the choice between natural childbirth and medicated childbirth. Your preparation and decision-making and the course of your labor will differ depending on what you prefer.

Having read the previous discussion of labor, you now have some sense of the physical and emotional events of normal spontaneous labor. It is concern about a tear or labor pain that influences many women to choose to use pain-relieving medication in labor.

The Use of Pain Medications or Anesthesia in Childbirth

Pain medication in childbirth has been used for centuries. Alcohol. Opium, and other drugs have been used, though how extensively is not known.

When using pain medications, you make a trade-off in return for relief of pain and tension and possible speeding up of labor, you accept the side effects on labor progress, your mental and physical well-being, or on your baby. You should balance the advantages and disadvantages as they apply in your situation before using or not using a particular medication.

What are the kinds of medications available, how do they work, and what are their risks and benefits? This section provides an overview that will assist you in discussing the subject with your doctor and making a decision on your preferences.

First of all, the choice of natural and medicated childbirth only exists as long as the labor remains normal. Some interventions are painful or stressful and increase the need for pain medications. If, however, you or your baby requires intervention [such as induction of labor, use of forceps, or cesarean section] for medical reasons, you will need pain medication.

Medication for Early Labor

Because the medications that provide the greatest pain relief also tend to interfere with early labor progress, they cannot be used too early, unless you want to stop labor. There are medications available if a very prolonged and exhausting pre-labor or early labor has caused excessive anxiety and worry. Sedatives or barbiturates [sleeping pills or medication] may help you rest. These are given in pill form or by injection, They may temporarily halt your labor while relaxing you or allowing you some sleep. These drugs reach your baby, who cannot easily excrete them, so it is important not to receive large doses. Because babies born with such drugs still in their bodies may have problems breathing or sucking, your doctor will probably only use small doses and will try to be sure that they have worn off before birth.

Tranquilizers are also used in long pre-labors to reduce muscle tension and anxiety. Some also help if you have severe nausea or vomiting. Depending on the drug chosen, you may feel dizzy and confused, your mouth could feel dry, and your blood pressure altered. These drugs also cross the placenta to the baby and may have effects on fetal heart rate, and newborn muscle tone, suckling and attentiveness.

Morphine, a narcotic, may be used in an attempt to stop a long, non-progressing labor. While it may cause you nausea, dizziness, and confusion, it may also do just what you need-put you to sleep and stop your labor temporarily. Narcotics can linger in the baby and can have some effects on behavior and breathing after birth. The greater the amount of the drug given the greater the effect on the baby.

Natural Child Birth or Not

In the last decade, doctors have seen considerable changes in the way childbirth is handled. More and more, mothers are able to choose their position during labor and delivery, and their wishes during the birth are given much higher profile. Hospitals may now offer birthing stools, water pools and other “natural childbirth” props. Birthing rooms in hospitals are more common. Home births may be marginally more common and accepted than they were a decade ago.

However, despite this progress, many women are still concerned that there is too much medical intervention in the process of childbirth. This is especially true for older mothers, who are considered to be at higher risk and are much more likely to receive medical intervention.

Home births are still very rare-planned home deliveries account for less than 1% of the total-and few doctors are happy about a first-time mother over 35 giving birth at home. Of course, the ultimate decision is yours, and you still have the option of a home birth if you want one, perhaps with the help of an independent midwife.

A first-time mother over 40 is likely to be offered an elective Cesarean, and this is especially true if she has had fertility problems. A high proportion of IVF babies are born by Cesarean section; first, because doctors do not want to put the baby at any risk, and second, because the whole pregnancy has become so medicalized that many mothers who could not conceive naturally doubt their ability to give birth naturally too.

This impression is backed up by a study of 195 women having their first baby over 35, compared with another 196 women in the same situation who had a history of infertility. The study showed that the women with no history of infertility were four times more likely to have a preterm delivery (less than 37 weeks), five times more likely to undergo a Cesarean section and significantly increased rates of vaginal-assisted delivery, chronic hypertension and fibroids compared with women having their first baby between the ages of 20 and 25. Those who had suffered from infertility had twice as many elective Cesareans as those in the other group, but otherwise there was no difference in outcome.

Unfortunately, in medical litigation cases, inaction can be seen to be negligent while intervention is not. So even if in a particular labor mother and baby’s chances would be best served by doing nothing, doctors may feel they have to intervene to protect themselves. When a mother is older and her baby is considered a precious baby, intervention is much more likely.

However, mothers who opt for a natural, and in particular, a home birth, do so largely because they believe it is safer:

“I had my third child at home at the age of 35. I believe that home birth is safer if there are no special risk factors, and the labor was far quicker and in every way better than the previous two. I believe that probably more babies die as a result of infections picked up in a hospital and mismanaged, extended and messed around-with labor in the hospital than would die at home in the rare event that something goes wrong. However, I do accept that at 35 with a first baby I would not have had the confidence to have a home birth, and if I had no children or had a history of infertility I would probably feel different too.”

Marianne, pregnant with her first baby at 39 after two years of infertility treatment, disagreed. “This might be my only baby. I’ll do whatever the doctors suggest. I’d like a natural birth, of course, but if things go wrong, if they suggest a Cesarean, I’ll go along with it.”

One childbirth-education teacher says that in her experience, older mothers generally feel positive about their labors. “I think they are more realistic than the younger mothers. They want a baby rather than a wonderful natural-childbirth experience.”

However, older mothers may have to stand their ground if they are under pressure to allow intervention in the childbirth process. And, like all mothers, they will have to make a choice. This means finding out what the options are and understanding what labor, both normal and with complications, involves.

Daybed Sleeping Porches

Screened in porches were popular prior to the invention of air conditioning. Their traditional charm can still create a summery sleeping space, where you can enjoy the evening breezes while you snooze, or a cool and shady spot while you read or nap during the day. Converting a patio or sun-room into a sleeping porch is simple; just add a daybed! When it’s not being used for a nap, the daybed will provide additional seating space.

With almost 100 daybed styles to choose from, it is easy to create a sleeping porch that works with your home and garden decór. Here are a few of our best daybed design ideas for updating your home with an old-fashioned sleeping porch:

Daybed Design Idea #1: Whimsical Garden Cottage

White Wicker Daybed Create a welcoming sleeping porch with the feel of a flower-covered garden cottage. To create this look we suggest that you begin with a white wicker daybed. White wicker will give your room an airy, whimsical feel. Play up the garden cottage decor with pastel or flower-print linens.

To finish the sleeping porch you may want to pair the white wicker daybed with occasional glass-top tables. Adding a conversation table and some additional wicker seating will turn an ordinary porch into a welcoming spot for mid-afternoon relaxing in the shade.

Daybed Design Idea #2: An Exotic Escape

Exotic Wicker Daybed Turn your sun room into a breezy oasis. Add a natural wicker daybed, like the Saigon or Laguna daybeds from Fashion Bed Group, and your porch will be instantly converted into an elegant, exotic dream-land.

Neutral colored linens are a good match for this daybed decór. Try using throw pillows with stripes or paisley to add points of color and interest.

Daybed Design Idea #3: Naptime on Nantucket

Nantucket Daybed Some of our new daybed styles resemble the whitewashed walls of a Nantucket beach house. This style is perfect for furnishing a summer home or screened-in porch. Wood daybeds look wonderful with nautical themed linens or patchwork quilts.

Classic Americana furniture pieces like an Adirondack seating group or an Adirondack porch swing will accent and complete your sleeping porch’s style.

Daybed Design Idea #4: Rococo Romance

Romantic French Daybeds The daybed, cousin to the chaise, has long been popular in French homes. To capture the romance of a French-style iron daybed, look for one of the beautiful, ornately wrought iron daybeds we carry.

White distressed finishes best simulate the antique look. Pair a white daybed with simple, white linens for a fresh-looking room. Add color with toile throw pillows or texture with a quilted duvet.

Black finished iron yields a more rustic feel, but with intricate ironwork, the look can be just as charming. With an ornate daybed frame it is important to keep the linen look simple; do not overwhelm the detail with rich fabrics. Solid colors, including brights, will intensify the daybed’s Mediterranean appeal.

Daddy’s Home

All of the moms I know, work-at-office or work-at-home, suffer from the same lack of status. At the end of the day, no matter how present or absent Mom has been, it’s Daddy’s homecoming that gets the fireworks.

Daddys Home I figure it’s a timeless dilemma, dating back way past the ‘Father Knows Best’ era, when Kitten and Bud would jump for joy as Mother, freshly coiffed and smiling, handed Father his martini. Maybe back to cave days, when Girl and Boy would grunt for joy as Woman stoked the fire and Man dragged home the mastodon. So it’s a little ingrained, by now.

That doesn’t make it right, though. The cost to replace a full-time, home-bound mom is hovering around $140K now. And to replace an office-working mom would cost over $100K, plus her salary. The bottom line is, moms aren’t exactly cheap. So why do we still get treated like what’s scraped off the bottom of a shoe?

I love that my kids love their dad. I love him, too. I love watching them run up to him, jumping and antic with hugs. I love the easy way he scoops them up and they swing, the way my son’s eyes close in satisfaction and my daughter’s little body folds against him, tight. It’s a beautiful thing to watch, when Daddy comes home.

In our house, all of this homecoming drama is compounded by Daddy’s travel. Our Daddy can be gone for a week or more each month, off to far away places with weird names, funny money, and strange foods. We get phone calls and emails and computer calls, but none of that can satisfy the true Daddy jones of his most adoring fans. Every morning and every night we have the same discussion: how many more weeks, days, hours, minutes?

So I can’t really begrudge our Daddy his moments of glory. I have to admit he earns them. Even if he earns them in exotic locales and pricey hotel rooms, he earns them alone. And that’s what I don’t have to be.

Sure, I’d like, every once in a while, to be the celebrated one. I’d love to have some jumping and spinning upon my arrival now and then. I could scoop them up, too, and I’m pretty cushy in a hug-probably softer than him by far. I go out now and then and do some cool stuff… well, okay, maybe I don’t do any cool stuff, but I go out. I mean, I’m actually gone sometimes, just like him. I deserve a little fanfare.

I deserve it, but don’t expect it. My kids take me for granted, just like the kids of every other mom. Dad is the different one, the one left out, the one alone. But moms and kids are so connected, they’re more like one entity; after all, they were one entity for a while. So in a way, celebrating mom is too much like patting themselves on the back-which, of course, we wouldn’t want them to do. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself the next time I hear, “Daddy’s home!” right after I hear, “Mom! What took you so long?”

Choosing a Daybed

A daybed (or day bed, both spellings are correct) is probably one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can purchase. In a century where both space and utility are at a premium, furniture that converts from a sofa to a bed fills a unique niche in the industry.

Though now viewed in a more accessory light, historically the daybed has been an integral part of many cultures’ domestic routines. The ancient Greeks reposed on klines during their post-banquet gatherings; in India, the god Vishnu is traditionally represented resting on a daybed formed by the great serpent Shesha. Daybeds became a popular fixture in European households through the Victorian era because of their fusion of form and function.

Odessa Daybed by Wesley Allen The versatility of a daybed comes from the fact that it can be used as either a sofa or a bed. Most daybeds are comprised of a frame that includes two arms and a back, mimicking the structural frame of a sofa. Canopy daybeds and sleigh daybeds, like the Saigon Daybed pictured above, are two other popular structural options. Frame materials run the gamut from wood to wrought iron to wicker, each material imparting a different style to your room.

The difference between a daybed and a sofa lies in the seating area. Instead of pillows, a daybed is cushioned by a mattress, which allows the daybed to transform to a bed as need dictates, making it the perfect piece for a guest room. Unless advertised as a full-size daybed, a daybed generally takes a standard twin-size mattress.

Casey Daybed by Fashion Bed Group: daybed with pull-out trundle option Daybed mattresses are often supported by a link spring, a sturdy metal frame that bolts to the daybed frame. A link spring allows for additional space under a daybed so that a trundle unit may be accommodated. There are two main types of trundle units: pull-out trundles and pop-up trundles. A pull-out trundle accommodates a mattress and rolls out from underneath the daybed but does not elevate. The Casey Daybed, pictured at right, is a perfect example of a daybed with a pull-out trundle option.
Pop-up Trundle Unit A pop-up trundle is a metal mattress frame that can be rolled out and elevated to the height of the daybed. In general, if the same kind of mattress is used on both the pop-up trundle unit and the daybed itself, the daybed converts to a king-size bed. When the trundle unit is no longer needed, it can be compressed and stored underneath the daybed. This feature makes daybeds that can accommodate a pop-up trundle unit ideal for guest rooms: when guests visit you can provide them with a king-sized bed; when they leave, the daybed transforms to a space-efficient sofa.
Just Daybeds At Just Daybeds, we strive to provide a trouble-free shopping experience. Pictured below is the actual order grid for the Bristol Daybed. Every daybed that accommodates a link spring is sold with a link spring. If a daybed does not come with a link spring, the link spring will not be pictured in the ‘Standard in this Set’ box. If a daybed comes with enough space to accommodate a pop-up trundle unit, we have added the option of purchasing one at a discounted price in the ‘Save on Additional Pieces’ box. In addition, to make shopping for your complete daybed set as simple as possible, we have added the option of purchasing your daybed mattress on the same page as your daybed. All mattresses sold in the ‘Save on Additional Pieces’ box are manufactured by Otis Bed and come in soft, medium or firm pressures.
Plantation Daybed by Fashion Bed Group We are proud to offer a wide selection of daybeds to fulfill your every design need. From popular daybeds like the Plantation Daybed pictured at right to lesser-known pieces, Just Daybeds can furnish the perfect daybed for your home. We are certified dealers of top brands like Fashion Bed Group, Wesley Allen, Hillsdale House Furniture and more. In addition to daybeds, we offer daybed bedding, daybed mattresses and various accessories to round out your daybed purchase. We want to make selecting and purchasing a daybed that will compliment your living space as easy and fun as possible. After all, decorating your home should be a joy, not a chore!

Child Care

Finding adequate child care is also an important part of making the choice. “At first the idea of leaving her with anyone terrified me,” recalls Georgianne. “Getting adequate child care was a nightmare. I got a list of the places licensed in my area, but when I went to visit the very first one I was discouraged. The woman had three other children and the home was in a depressing, stark apartment building. I just thought, no. In the end I paid a fortune for a series of nannies. They were all OK, but none of them stuck around much longer than six months.”

Very few companies provide day care or nurseries. Local social-services departments have few day-care facilities, and these are mostly filled by single or special-needs mothers. Some churches and temples have day-care facilities, however. Private day-care services tend to be expensive, but they are becoming more common. Baby-sitters can be a good, inexpensive option if you find one you like. Nannies can live in if you have the space, or can come in for the day. Also, if you have one child and work part-time, you may be able to share a nanny with another mother to cut costs. If you work part time, au pairs can work out if you have the room. However, they aren’t expected to work more than five hours a day. Also, they may be very young and inexperienced with small children.

Finding suitable child-care arrangements is often an ongoing worry for the working mother. What works when you have one baby will not be perfect when you have two preschool children. Often child-care problems get even more complicated when children start school: It’s harder to find someone who wants to work for only two or three hours after school or during school vacations. And what do you do when your child is ill? Having both children and a job usually means:

You have a reasonably understanding relationship with your employer.
You are prepared to sacrifice some paid vacation days at those times when your child or baby-sitter is ill.
Your partner is prepared to make some of these sacrifices, too.
Otherwise, the situation may become unworkable.

Boy Girl – Neutral Toy

I don’t usually get time to wander in the store, but yesterday was the exception to the rule. As a writer, I normally get sucked into the stationery/home office aisles (I can’t help it, I love the smell of paper), but as a woman with a very loud uterus (I refer to her affectionately as Thorina), I inevitably end up in the toy aisles sooner or later.

Boy Girl It wasn’t long before I noticed again the phenomenon that happens in the toy aisles of just about every department store. Dark blues and greens turned pink and shiny, and remote control cars gave way to plastic tiaras. Legos were replaced with soft, cushy baby dolls, and military action figures became plastic tea and dish sets.

Gender roles are taught to kids through all kinds of things-toys are just one of them. When a little girl takes care of her “baby” (doll), she’s not just playing; she’s actually learning her gender expectation. When a little boy receives toys that mostly have motors and require batteries, he’s learning his gender expectation, too.

Does anyone else find it ironic that we as parents spend all this effort and money trying to mold our kids only to watch much of it disintegrate over time? Men are staying home with the kids. Women are joining the army and making big bucks in lucrative full time careers. Unisex items are more popular than they’ve ever been.

So why do we do it? Why do we continue to doll up our little girls and make workers out of our little boys? I’m not saying that we as parents should send our sons to school in dresses or shave off our little girls’ luxurious bright blonde curls. What I am saying is that if we want to teach our children to really be themselves, we can only determine who they will be so much. What’s so wrong with letting our little boy join in his sister’s game of taking care of “baby”? (Aren’t we always yelling about deadbeat dads?) What’s so wrong with letting our little girl play with a GI Joe? (Don’t we say that we want to have strong women who can look out for themselves?) Besides, anyone with more than one kid knows that toys get stolen and broken by siblings almost before they’re out of the box, and if you buy unisex, your kids have more toys with which they all can play. Kids don’t care what it is unless we teach them they should care-they just want to play.

Changing social constructs isn’t easy. I know that, and there are honestly some things for which women are better suited and some for which men are better suited. Even so, I think that as parents, we seem to be feeding a sort of double standard to our children when it comes to gender roles-we tell them when they’re little what it means to be a “boy” or “girl”, and then when they get older, we encourage them to defy that. What gives? Do we want them to be boys and girls or not? It’s something to keep in mind next time you have to face the toy aisles again.

Best Baby Shower

I can’t thank my family enough for throwing me a beautiful baby shower. They went all out – the pink and blue cake, homemade food, plates and napkins with baby buggies on them, the favors, the diaper cake, the surprise – the whole nine yards. My little girl has all pink dresses and rompers, purple bedding, fleece blankets in every sweet pastel color and enough plush toys to carry her through toddler hood.

Baby Shower But, it was my office friends, the ones who threw me the “clean-up” baby shower, that I really need to thank. You know what a “clean-up” shower is – it’s the second baby shower, the one your “work” friends throw. They are never sure what to buy because your registry has been purchased, and you keep assuring them you have everything you could possibly need. Well, that’s what you think!

My friends at the office decided to throw a theme shower. The theme was entitled “Books and Butts.” Invitations were simply sent out via email with the poetic request that all gifts fit the theme. All of my presents were geared at keeping baby’s butt clean and dry and keeping Mommy sane with books for Daddy and baby to share!

Granted, opening presents didn’t have the same “WOW” factor, and I would later find writing thank you notes to be a bit monotonous, but each gift presentation came with advice from seasoned professionals. Each mom in the room offered her opinion as to the best diaper brand, the most economical baby wash or which story to read when my not-yet-born turns three and asks how babies are made!

My beautiful little girl is now 7 weeks old, and I have yet to buy a pack of diapers. Thanks to my friends, I know what brand works best for my little one’s bottom, after trying out every brand offered. Thanks to my friends, my husband has yet to make a midnight run for baby wipes. Thanks to my friends, I fear no diaper rash, and thanks to my friends, my little one has a library that rivals her Mommy’s.

My friend, the one who threw me the baby shower, is now pregnant for the first time with her own little one, and I can’t wait to return the favor. Now, a seasoned mom myself, I will send an email around the office, gather my advice, buy her my idea of the best brand of diapers on the market and be ready to tell her exactly why they are so. I will give her the best titles in baby books and smile knowing that whether she realizes it or not, this is the best baby shower anyone could ever have!

Baby Traits

Remember Christmas when you were a kid? My mother puts the presents out about a month early so I would have to see the gifts everyday and wait in impatient anticipation for the day when I could find out what was inside. To me being pregnant is like having to see that packaged gift everyday for nine months and have to wait to see what was inside. As with the Christmas gifts the waiting made them that much more fun but still you want to know what your baby will look like. Will he have daddy’s curly black hair or mommy’s straight blonde hair? Will have aunt May’s musical talent or will she have Uncle Jon’s athletic abilities? It’s all in the genes. Here are a few ways that your genes effect what your gift will look and act like.
Baby Traits

Hair & Eye Color

Since lighter colored eyes like blue, green or gray are recessive genes your baby is more likely to have lighter eyes if both parents have light colored eyes. However it is possible for two brown eyed parents to have a child with blue eyes if at least two of the grandparents have blue eyes. Hair is similar, the lighter shades of hair are recessive genes so darker hair is dominant and if both parents have dark hair their baby will most likely have dark hair as well.


Your child’s height is not only influenced by genes (about 70%) but also by health, nutrition and other outside factors.(about 30%). Also whether the child is male or female plays a part since boys usually grow taller than girls. A fun way to try and determine the height that your child will grow to be add the parents’ heights together, divide by two, then add three inches for a boy or subtract three inches for a girl. Keep in mind that even though this is a pretty effective way to estimate how tall your baby will be, the height of your child can be up to five inches above or below your calculations.

Personality and Talents

Scientists have not yet been able to prove that there are specific genes that determine whether your child will be musically inclined or a mathematical, however they agree that there is a link between these things and hereditary. In one study scientists found that a person with perfect musical pitch was four times more likely to report a family member with perfect pitch and many research studies have shown that the more closely related two people are the similar their IQ’s are. Scientists consider geniuses to have a rare combination of superior genes which may require little formal schooling, like Leonardo de Vinci and William Shakespeare.

Dominant Traits

Big eyes
Prominent noses
Cleft chins
Thick lips
Long lashes
Curly hair is dominant over straight unless one of the parents is of Asian descent. (Asians have a unique straight hair gene that tends to dominate all the others.)
Even the most impatient mother knows that half the fun in raising children is the exciting twists and turns your child will make. Finding out at age 4 that your daughter has an amazing singing talent or blonde hair turning darker as your child ages are changes that make parenting a fun and unpredictable journey.