All Articles Tagged "babies"

Baby Making Season: 10 Simple Things That Boost His Fertility

November 13th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Remember when we broke your guy’s heart when we told you that some of his favorite things, from eating bacon to watching TV, are harming his fertility? Well, we’re ready to talk more about his sperm—but this time we’re bringing you good news!

Just like his lifestyle can harm his sperm production, simple changes can also increase it. The most recent study even found that drinking a pint of beer a day doubles a man’s odds of becoming a father.

Below, we count down the simple foods and activities that boost his fertility and have been proven to help improve your man’s chance at becoming a dad.

1. Drinking Beer, Daily
In a recent study, researchers from Boston studied 105 men whose wives and girlfriends were undergoing IVF, and there’s great news for beer lovers. The men who drank the most (meaning they knocked back under three units a day on average—a pint of Stella Artois has 2.7 units) had a 57 percent chance that a session of IVF would work. This was 2X the success rate of the men who drank the least. More reasons to get your butt to happy hour, fellas.

2. Eating Nuts
If your guy munches on trailmix, you’re in luck, ladies. Italian doctors  at Azienda Ospedaliera Citta della Salute e della Scienza di Torino believe eating nuts, seven per day to be exact, will help improve his sperm count and quality since polyunsaturated fatty acids have been shown to have a number of effects that help, including reducing inflammation.

3. Eating Greens
Scientists say it’s not just women who need to pay attention to what they eat pre-conception. A new study published in the Nature Communications, suggests that lack of folic acid, which is form of vitamin B that is known to be key in the prevention of brain and spine defects, can make subtle changes to the chemistry of the sperm’s DNA. Researchers advise prospective fathers to cut back on junk food and load up on greens, which are good sources of folic acid. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, asparagus and peas can all improve sperm quality and reduce the risk of birth defects.

4. Eating Carrots
Did he finish all the carrots again? Even if he ate the entire bag just so he could dig into that amazing hummus you always by, the orange veggie makes a much better game day snack for your man than chips or buffalo wings. Aside from their nutritional value, the beta-carotene-rich food improves the swimming ability of sperm. A new study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility discovered that men who ate the most carrots had the best sperm motility.

Need some inspiration to keep him munching on the root veggie? Meet carrot aficionado @RealCarrotFacts, a Twitter user who posts about carrots daily, and someone who we suspect has ideal swimmers.

5. Eating Tomatoes
Throw it on his sandwiches, salads, maybe even with that hummus. There’s plenty reasons to keep those beefsteak, plum and heirlooms coming, but did you know better sperm morphology was one? According to the study, men with diets high in lycopene had lower levels of abnormally shaped sperm. In addition to tomatoes, lycopene can be found in other red fruit and vegetables, such as red bell peppers, watermelon and papayas. Go red or go home.

6. Having Sex Frequently
Rejoice! Here’s one he’ll keep doing even without the science to persuade him. A lot of couples think “saving up” will help chances of conceiving, but researchers say it can actually have adverse effects on sperm count and motility.

For guys with low sperm counts, abstaining from even one day of sex can decrease their production even further, according to researchers at Soroka University Medical Centre in Israel. Abstaining from sex also causes sperm to change in shape, a sign that the sperm is going stale. Stale sperm? No thanks. Keep it going, folks.

7. Eating Fish
Listen, cod is no bacon — we all know that. But when it comes to increasing his chances of becoming a father, cod’s the winner. In a recent study where Harvard University researchers assessed men who ate a range of foods including processed meat, white meat, red meat, white fish and tuna or salmon, they discovered that guys who had white fish at least every other day had far better sperm quality than those who rarely ate it. White fish is rich in zinc, which is believed to boost fertility.

8. Trying A Different Lube
Use lube in the bedroom? With all that sex you’re having after seeing #3 above, the answer is probably yes. If you’re trying to get pregnant, use lubes that don’t have spermicidal agents or water-based lubricants, which can interfere with sperm movement. Instead, Mayo Clinic recommends using canola oil, safflower or peanut oil when you’re getting busy.

9. Exercising
We all know it’s important to exercise, but for your guy, a more balanced, moderate lifestyle is best for his sperm. This may be good or bad news, depending on how much of a gym rat your dude is and what type of exercise he prefers. More active males have more sperm and more active ones, but according to Mayo Clinic, ultra-athletes, like runners, cyclists and swimmers, who put strain on their body on a regular basis can interfere with sperm production.

10. Taking Ginseng
Who needs Viagra when you have this magical herb? Not only does it enhance sexual desire, relax muscles and treat erectile dysfunction, but according to the National Institutes of Health, men who take Panax ginseng supplements have higher sperm counts and increased sperm motility.

Do you know any other tips for boosting fertility?

Reprinted with permission from

Safe Sleep Month: Books And Tools To Help Little Ones Sleep Better

October 29th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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There’s no doubt about it – helping little ones sleep better, safer and for longer is the goal for most new parents. October is Infant Safe Sleep Month as well as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month, but it should be recognized every day. Here are a few items that help little ones sleep better.


The Bitta Kidda LovieSack™ makes sleep time easier. Made with super soft, snugly materials, the LovieSack safely provides comfort in the crib, enabling babies to soothe themselves back to sleep. Bitta Kidda also offers a portable Daytime Lovie that baby can bring with him wherever he goes.

moon cocoon baby

nini & pumpkin has also created the moon cocoon, the first-of-its-kind, versatile sleep sack that grows with children from infant to toddler and beyond. The wearable duvet features a clever snap system has three size adjustments allowing the sleep sack to fit children from six months through three years.

thank you and good night by patrick mcdonnell book

Enjoy the simple pleasures of the last sleepy moments before bed with Thank You and Good Night. In this homage to classic bedtime stories, Patrick McDonnell (the author of Me… Jane, a Caldecott Honor Book) takes three animal pals—Clement, Jean and Alan Alexander—to a sweet sleepover where they dance, play and take a moment to say thank you for the day, the night and good friends. Children will love every precious detail in each illustration. And they’ll look forward to a new bedtime ritual of saying “thank you and good night.”


rabbit who wants to fall asleep book

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep – The groundbreaking #1 bestseller is sure to turn nightly bedtime battles into a loving and special end-of-day ritual. This child-tested, parent-approved story uses an innovative technique that brings a calm end to any child’s day. Do you struggle with getting your child to fall asleep? Join parents all over the world who have embraced The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep as their new nightly routine. When Roger can’t fall asleep, Mommy Rabbit takes him to see Uncle Yawn, who knows just what to do. Children will join Roger on his journey and be lulled to sleep alongside their new friend. Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin’s simple story uses a unique and distinct language pattern that will help your child relax and fall asleep—at bedtime or nap time. Reclaim bedtime today! Buy it here.

Who Is That Adorable Baby?: Johnson’s Baby Wash Commerical Star Monterey

July 9th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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images and video: Johnson’s

Marla Brock is used to people doting over her baby, Monterey, because she’s the new face of Johnson’s Baby Wash.

Have you seen this delicious commercial? If not, click on it now, and you’ll see what we mean.

The first time Brock saw the commercial, she became emotional.

“I saw it late at night and everyone had gone to bed and there I was, you know, 10 o’clock at night and I just started crying,” she said.

Taped when she was just three months old (Monterey is now nine months old), it’s no surprise some of baby Monterey’s cutest moments were unscripted, but Brock said she still did her best to get her to move in certain ways.

“There was an infant massage coach actually stand offset adjacent to me telling me how to rub her feet,” she said. “There was moment in the commercial where the foot spreads and there’s a certain pressure point that I touched to make that happen.”

Kelly Gottfried helped lead the creative team for Johnson’s “So Much More” campaign and called Monterey “captivating” and “mesmerizing.”

“She draws you into the camera, and she looks up and everyone can relate to her and immediately connects,” Gottfried said.

She said they’ve heard parents say it brought tears to their eyes.

“To me, it’s definitely resonating to parents,” she said.

Johnson’s auditioned nearly 200 babies and selected 14.

“It was like no other audition I’d ever seen before,” Brock said. “There were mothers everywhere. And they all had their tubs. We were instructed to bring our own plastic bathtub because we’d be washing the baby on camera.”

Gottfried said Monterey was “absolutely” a unanimous choice.

“One look and we knew immediately we loved her,” she said.

Two babies were chosen to represent each of the “So Much More” campaign’s seven global markets. Monterey appears in nearly each one — a broader appeal for America’s changing face.

Brock-Zembik family

Brock said her husband is from Canada, and white.

“And he has blonde hair, blue eyes, so she certainly picked up some of his features,” Brock said.

Monterey’s ethnicity is not immediately apparent and Brock said perhaps when people look at her, they see themselves.

“I think there’s something inherently beautiful about her because people can connect with her,” she said.

Read the full story here.

When Is Your Baby’s Hair Going To Change?

June 26th, 2015 - By Rich
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When I was pregnant with both of my daughters, I had heartburn most hours of the day — straight-up torture. With my first, I could eat a piece of dry toast, turn to the side and feel a wave of acid rising from the pits of my stomach. It wasn’t normal. I was convinced. Family members insisted, “Ooh wee! That baby’s gonna have a headful of hair!” I groaned, living in the moment, as I was the one suffering with each morsel consumed. When she was born, I saw that maybe that was some truth to the myth, my little girl emerged from the womb plump and rosy-cheeked with thick, curly, dark brown hair.

“That baby looks Spanish,” her father quipped a few days after. I rolled my eyes at him, “Ma says I had hair like that as a newborn too.” In the following days, houseguests came through to poke and prod at our first daughter in amazement. She was born light-skinned, with little slits for eyes and all that hair sitting atop her head like a winter hat. She hated when I washed and combed through it. She still does nine years later, which I find hilarious.

I was still relaxing my hair then but I’d decided years before having kids that chemical straightening would be their choice once they got to high school. As for me, I read up on natural hair care and vowed to keep mineral oil and other no-no’s out of my baby’s scalp. Her hair kept that texture until she was closer to one-year-old, which is the norm I believe.

She’d browned up, closer to her natural skin tone, which pleased her dad most of all because he liked to half-joke that when they were out together alone, running errands, people tended to stare “like I kidnapped her or something.” Her hair had begun to kink-up which pleased me most of all because I could start with my haircare regimen for her and stick to it since it was unlikely that my baby’s hair texture was going to change again anytime soon.

My own mother was all about adding waxy hair grease to my baby’s head and pulling her hair up from the roots to make her more “presentable.” To who though? It was the Blue Ivy Treatment, from my own family. By the time our little girl was two-years-old, it seemed everyone in the world had a tip or a suggestion about what I should be doing to and using on her hair. It was like I had an entire comment section in my face at family gatherings. I was Bey and she was Blue. And all I wanted to do was holler, “Don’t y’all have your own damn kids?”

It didn’t happen the same way with our second daughter. She was a chunky one too out of the womb, darker, with a headful of hair but her’s was bone straight. It was amazing. They looked alike but the details were so different. Down to the difference in hair textures, even as newborns.

She’s four-years-old now and while her hair has curled up a little, it’s been years of her dad asking innocently, “When is her hair gonna change?” The little one takes her hair from her grandfather who has a soft, loose curl. Who can ever tell with Black kids? We’re all so mixed up in our heritage but I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that she’s so dark-skinned that makes most people doing her hair, raise an eyebrow. Others, without a filter, will ask if I relax her hair. “Why your first baby — the brown-skinned one — got kinkier hair?” I usually act like I don’t hear the question. I just take care of my little girls and the hair that grows out of their respective heads, accordingly.

#BabyRappers: Twitter Goes Crazy Over Babies… and Rap

January 14th, 2015 - By Rich
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Comedy Central’s @Midnight does a Hashtag war every Tuesday night and well this one, #BabyRappers, has taken over Twitter and we  must say it has to be one of our favorites trending. Not only is everyone talking about babies,  but they are remixing them with some of the best in hip hop. We mean really, babies and rap could possibly be the best of two worlds when it comes to having a little creative fun on Twitter.  It isn’t Throwback Thursday just yet, but some of the names the Twitter-verse has come up with are sure to send you back down memory lane.

If you are looking for a cute (hilarious) nickname for your little one (say… Ol’ Dirty Pampers) then you’ll want to check out this list of our favorites so far. Moms and dads across the country unite and share one thing they all have in common, babies! Oh, and apparently wit!

#BabyRappers: Our Top Baby Hip Hop Remixes

#Babyologie: She’s Here! 41 Weeks Later…

October 15th, 2014 - By Rich
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A funny thing happens to you when you’re pregnant with you’re first child and you only have a few weeks left in your third trimester–all patience goes out the window.

You think anything that happens to your body means you’re in labor. If you sneeze, that might mean you’ll go to the hospital that night. If you have gas, that means you’re having a contraction. If you fart, you look down to see if you have a baby.

The truth is – with the exception of a planned C-section – you never know when it may happen. Your grandmother will tell you that you’ll be early because all six of her kids were early, while your mom swears up and down you’ll be late like she was with you. No one knows. If they did, they’d be millionaires who’d travel the world to tell pregnant women exactly when they would have their babies.

Take me for instance: I was due September 19. Which was really special for us. Not only was it my father’s birthday, but it was also our fifth wedding anniversary. So we were really rooting for #Babyologie to get here ON TIME. You know how they say, “We make plans and God laughs”? Babies laugh at our plans, too. At least mine did. She laughed six days later when she decided to finally get here.

Oh, another thing: you know how in the movies when the pregnant lady goes into labor her water breaks and gushes everywhere and she + her posse frantically make their way to the hospital and she has her baby what seems like immediately? Totally doesn’t happen like that in real life.

My contractions lasted all day but finally became five minutes apart around 11:00 at night. When I arrived to the hospital, I didn’t see the doctor until an hour later because my contractions hadn’t gotten closer together. Finally when I did see her, my ultrasound revealed that my child was transverse. TRANSVERSE?! Yep. Instead of head down, she was laying sideways. Then my water finally broke. Only to find out that there was meconium leaking out with it, too. Long story short, my delivery had now become an emergency C-section.

Like any first mother who hopes for the best, I had skimmed over all the C-section parts in all the pregnancy books and blogs I read. Because I wasn’t gonna need a C-section. Nope. Not me. But actually, yes me. And I was terrified. I had never had any type of surgery or even broken a bone for that matter. So as I was in the most excruciating pain in my life, I was also scared like never before having to get prepped and pep talked by the doctor about what was going to occur during this C-section. But once I wiped away the tears and put my fears aside (thank goodness for morphine!) I had to put on my game face because I was leaving this hospital with my baby.

Twenty-two minutes into surgery, my baby girl was born. Her daddy saw her first because I was laying down and couldn’t see past the surgery curtain. But once I heard her cry, I cried, because my fear of having a C-section wilted in comparison to the love I have for her. Just hearing her paralyzed me with overwhelming emotion. And just like that, 41 weeks of pregnancy became more than worth it.

Because I had thee rather large fibroids, putting me “back together” took about 90 minutes. But I must say: I didn’t feel a thing – not even pressure – and my incision was non invasive and beautiful. (Thumbs up for Dermabond!)

As a first time mom, your delivery will never be what you expect. There’s no amount of reading or listening you can do to prepare you. Expect the unexpected and remember that the overall goal of your delivery – be it 37 weeks or 41 weeks – is that you’re healthy and more importantly, you get a healthy baby to take home with you.

Peter Gunz Makes Unborn Daughter His #WCW

April 9th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Peter Gunz #WCW


Last season of Love And Hip Hop New York, left us with tons of drama we were glad we didn’t have in our personal lives. The main story line and love triangle of LHHNY’s season 4 revolved around  Peter Gunz,  Amina Buddafly and Tara Wallace and during the reunion show, Amina Buddafly announced she was pregnant with Gunz’ child after he told viewers his relationship with Buddafly was a mistake. Despite these circumstances and Gunz continuously denying their relationship the two have remained together and it actually looks like Gunz might have the potential to be a decent father based on his Instagram posts.

Today he posted a sonogram picture of his and Amina’s new bundle of joy, allowing fans to pour in their love and support. In the caption for the photo he simply wrote: “My wcw… its a girl!” which is breaking news for fans who were curious about the gender of the couple’s first child together. Though we still don’t have a due date, we can’t help but wonder if their might be a premiere date in the works for some sort of Peter + Amina + baby reality show. You know Mona and VH1 love a spin-off…Either way, congrats to the happy family!

I Don’t Want My Stepmother To Watch My Baby, Am I Wrong?

March 21st, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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From Essence 

Dear Dr. Sherry,

My father is very excited because I’m eight months pregnant with his first grandchild, a baby girl. He’s already making plans to babysit and spend time with her. While I appreciate his enthusiasm, my issue is that I don’t have a relationship with my stepmother—it doesn’t go beyond pleasantries whenever were see each other. My dad cheated on my mom with her and subsequently married her years later when I was a teenager. My mom passed away last year. I know of many paternal relatives who would expect me to see my stepmother as my child’s grandmother, but I just don’t feel it’s right. After all, they always told me to accept her as my own mother even when my own was alive. I don’t trust her because she and my dad caused my family so much pain. My dad will always be my dad so I must strive to maintain a relationship with him. I’d prefer my dad to interact with my child in my territory because I don’t want a bond to form between my child and his wife. If anyone will be called “grandma” on my side, it will be my maternal aunts. I don’t know how to explain this to my dad, and my husband thinks I’m being too strict. If we happen to visit my dad, his wife may interact with the child some, but I’d never want to leave my daughter with both of them because knowing their dynamic, she would provide most of the care and have influence over her. If it’s just my dad, it’s a different case.

Am I overreacting?


Protective Mother, Cautious Daughter

Read Dr.Sherry’s response at 

15 Of The Cutest Kids On The Internet

March 19th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Everybody loves a cute kid and there’s no shortage of those on the Internet. Check out a roundup of our favorites!

“Oh That’s Vine!”

Like this little girl who is super excited to be on social media.

Child’s Play Is Serious Business

October 8th, 2013 - By Rich
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Raising children isn’t child’s play but being one is. Children experience their world through play. Play is the basis of learning in the primary years of life. Play stimulates healthy brain development, language skills, emotional expression, physical and cognitive ability.  Cognitive development is the brain’s ability to process new information, think reasonably, problem solve, remember and relate what you learned to what you know about the world.

Letting our children go wild with playing can mean a messier home, spills, more dirty clothes to clean and sometimes even cut knees and scraped chins we need to tend to.  All of that sounds like more work for moms and it is. But it is essential to allow our children to play and to join them in their play sometimes. If your child is not naturally motivated to play or you find yourself constantly discouraging playtime, you have a problem. When parents understand what play means to children and what it looks like, they become more inclined to support the playing process.  So, here is a guide to help you help them.

Newborns and Infants: The youngest of babies experience everything as play. Changing diapers, smiling at family, being fed and carried, holding a small toy, being sung to, watching mom move around the room–it’s all play to them. When you see your baby staring at you or grabbing or throwing an object, that’s play too! Join in the fun, follow their lead and copy their actions. Be sure to offer sound, space (to lay, roll, kick and throw), diverse environments (home, park, bus, store, sunshine) and varied texture (carpet vs. wood floors, hard vs. plush toys, bath water vs. raindrops).

Crawling and Cruising Toddlers: These almost-walking children are mastering physical control as they learn balance, coordination and muscle control. It is a very exciting time because they are becoming confident explorers! They are now interested in toys that have many possibilities like big chunky stacking toys, wooden blocks, nesting cups, shape sorters and toys for water and sand play. These are all toys that will keep your toddler engaged in creative imaginative play for hours a day.

Walking and Talking Toddlers: Items that promote imagination and imitation like cellphones, TV remotes, keys and your high-heeled shoes become their toys of choice.  Now is the time to put all important items in the house away and turn your home into one big child’s playroom. Let them play themselves into exhaustion. This is the perfect time to add things Play-Doh, scooters, crayons, finger paints, mini basketball hoops, dress up clothes and little tents to their toy chest. It is good to allow your children to play with toys across genders and generations. Rotary telephones, astronaut suits and feather boas are good for the imagination of both boys and girls, so try not to restrict them.

All of this play can feel like work to moms but it is worth it to try and be creative about how you make time to get involved in your child’s play. You and your child can play clean-up games while you are actually cleaning or let them help you cook and have a picnic in their room at dinnertime.

There will come a time when schoolwork, practicing a craft and writing a top-notch essay for college take precedence over play but early childhood is now is not that time.  The first few years of life are essential to who your child will become and how they will get there. Supporting and encouraging play is the single most important gift you can give your child.