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Whether you're planning on visiting your far-flung relatives or closing the year with a tropical getaway, if baby's coming along, this post is for you. Infants and toddlers can travel well – that is, as long as their travel buddies (we’re looking at you, mom and dad) are well prepared. And even if they have a meltdown on the plane or develop a fever in a far-away country, fear not: chances are, you will make it back safe, and your holiday travels can still be merry for everyone.

To help get you on your way, we’ve reached out to the pros to give you the lowdown on traveling with baby. Bookmark their recommendations, then pack up, and make your time away with baby count!

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On navigating the airport with baby:

Lisa B., former flight attendant at United and mom of 2

"Check your bags. If you want to avoid the check-in line, you can check in with the skycap at the curbside. Carry on only what you need for you and your little one. Stressing about getting your bags through the security screening and finding overhead bin space, while carrying a baby, is overwhelming. This allows you to go through security with limited items. I like to wear clogs that I can slip off and on without needing to untie and retie them. Limit the items you need to take off like belts. If you are carrying a baby in a soft baby carrier, you can usually go through the screening without needing to take the baby out of the carrier."

On making the flight with baby as smooth as possible:

Beth Ann Quinn, flight attendant at United

“Parents need to come on the plane with the same baby gears as they would for any outing: change of clothes, diapers, their favorite doll or stuffed animal, and food. Don’t assume that airlines have diapers or food for your baby. And while we don’t have microwaves on the plane, we can almost always put your bottle in hot water to warm it up. I have doubled up those airplane sick bags and put hot water in them for parents to warm up the milk. I’ve noticed a lot of parents keep their babies entertained with books and toys. More and more, I’m seeing them use iPads and tablets. But you have to remember to turn off the sound or use those cute baby headphones, since no one — adults or babies — can listen to anything without headphones. Overall, I think that if the parents are relaxed and not frazzled, the baby picks up on it and is usually pretty calm too. So relax and don’t forget that, no matter what, the flight will end soon.”

On dealing with a possibly sick baby just before you leave:

Mona Amin, DO, pediatrician at Tribeca Pediatrics

“If your baby is sick prior to embarking on your holiday getaway, there is no need to immediately cancel your trip. If your child has been running fevers, especially for more than three days, it would be good for a doctor to take a look at him or her prior to your trip. If your child is having fevers, it would be nice to let those you are visiting know the situation. If there are a lot of small children and your child is febrile (temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit), it would be best to not have them in close proximity. Most fevers in children are related to viruses, and as long as your infant remains hydrated (making wet diapers) and fevers come down with tylenol or motrin, this is something that can be managed at home.”

On "gearing up" for your destination:

Henley Vasquez, CEO/Co-Founder at Passported

“For small babies, the Doona is a more high-style version of the old snap n' go strollers. It goes from car to street and limits the amount of stuff you'll need to schlep. Note: it doesn't have a big basket underneath for carrying so be certain you've got a good diaper bag. For toddlers or older children in the bigger convertible seats, rent one rather than shipping yours. They're big and unwieldy, and you can have one provided on the other side either by your car rental company or by the hotel if you've used them to book an airport transfer. They'll know the car services that have good car seats. Of course you need one [stroller], but go with an umbrella rather than bringing the Cadillac-sized version from home. We love the lightweight Maclarens, the UppaBaby G-Luxe (more robust and reclines for younger babes) or the Babyzen Yoyo, which folds into the overhead compartment of the airplane. No more waiting for slow gate check attendants.”

On making your hotel stay not suck:

Sam Jagger — general manager at Mr. C Beverly Hills

“Think of all the things that make your baby comfortable at nighttime, since you really want the baby to sleep. If it's a bumper pad and noise maker, either make sure to bring it or call and ask the hotel if they have one. In my case, it's a bulky music maker that attaches to our daughter’s crib but it's a must to have it! Also, don't be scared to ask the hotel for anything and everything that would make your stay easier. My wife and I ask for a fridge, microwave for bottles, diaper pail, baby bathtub, baby proofing the room, even a humidifier. You never know what a hotel has or may even be willing to go buy if you have requested it. Many hotels will even clean and sterilize your bottles for you. Lastly, at check in, it never hurts to ask if there's an upgrade available, because having a suite so that the baby has his/her separate sleep space is a life saver.”

On dealing with health emergencies while traveling:

Mona Amin, DO — pediatrician at Tribeca Pediatrics

"Whether you are flying or driving for the holidays, the most important thing is: take a deep breath and enjoy the experience. Traveling with infants can be nerve-wracking, especially in terms of protecting your baby's health. Wherever you will be going, it's nice to know a nearby children's hospital or pediatric urgent care for any emergencies. This is something you can look up before or simply ask family members you may be visiting. Always travel with your and your baby's health insurance card, especially if traveling within the United States. These emergencies are rare, but it is great to be prepared. If you are traveling internationally, it is good to let you pediatrician know to see if there are any other special precautions or vaccines that are recommended. The CDC website also provides a nice recommendation based on where you will be traveling."

On traveling with baby AND toddler(s):

Brianne Manz, Mom and Blogger behind Stroller in the City

“Traveling with three small children is no easy task. I remember my first trip alone with all three of my children last year. We decided to go to California for spring break, and because my husband was already there for work, I flew solo from New York to meet him there. It was their longest flight ever, and I was panicked for weeks at just the thought of flying with all three alone, but I have to say it wasn't as bad as I thought. A few tips for a smooth traveling experience would be to pack each child a bag of snacks and toys. Pick up snacks and even toys that they do not necessarily have all the time. A great resource for it, if you are too busy to purchase stuff, is Tropic Of Candycorn. They sell a pre-packed backpack, filled with games and treats for your little ones. What I did while in flight was to reward them after each hour completed with a new toy, that way they were constantly entertained. Another tip would be to load up your iPads with new movies and games, as this definitely helps pass along the time. And finally, a lightweight stroller is always a must while hustling through a crowded airport with tons of bags and three little ones. I make sure to put my little one in the stroller, while I had my two older ones holding onto each end. And my biggest tip would be not to stress, children will sense it, believe me. Happy travels!”

Photo courtesy of Passported.

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As a dentist and a parent, I know getting kids pumped about dental care is not always easy. Especially when quality time with the toothbrush means an inevitable tantrum, as it does for some toddlers.

While the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a visit to the dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than your child's first birthday, establishing a few simple habits before your toddler's first dental appointment could be your best bet for an easier first time in the dentist chair.

Here are five easy ways parents can prepare their toddler prepare for the first dental visit.

Start brushing early

I know how important (but tough) it is to get kids into any sort of routine—let alone a dental one. We began our children's dental routine as infants by cleaning their mouths and gums regularly with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Between 12-18 months, we started a brushing routine with non-fluoridated toothpaste.

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The earlier children fit toothbrushing into their daily routine, the easier their first dental visit will be. Just like adults, children should brush their teeth twice daily for 2-3 minutes, ideally early in the morning and before going to bed.

Schedule your child's nighttime brushing before they get too tired. For example, if your child usually nods off at 8 pm, have them do their nightly brushing and flossing at 7:15 pm. We're all a bit more cooperative before the Sandman comes knocking.

Make it tasty

Finding a gently-flavored children's toothpaste your child likes to brush with can make brushing a lot more enjoyable—and may make that first dental visit go more smoothly, too. While mint flavored is a good go-to for adults, bubble gum or chocolate-flavored toothpaste may be more appealing for the little ones.

Parents can begin brushing their children's teeth with a tiny pea-sized amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste as early as 18 months. Once your child learns how to spit (around 2 years old), switch to fluoride toothpaste to protect against dental decay.

Avoid surprises

Most kids don't particularly enjoy bad surprises—and who can blame them? Showing up to a strange, sterile place like a dentist's office, with loud, scary noises and "a big person" putting their hands in your mouth? No, thank you!

The best way to prepare a child for the dentist is to tell, show and do:

Tell: Start by spending some time telling your child about the dentist and why it's important to visit.

Show: Demonstrate for your child what the dentist does by reading a children's book (and explain why it's not scary!).

Do: Bring your child on a quick field trip to the dentist and let them see, touch and experience the office before their first visit.

Play pretend

Before the first visit, try play-acting "trip to the dentist" with a stuffed animal. Encourage your child to count and brush teeth, floss between their chompers and have fun taking turns in a pretend dentist chair.

Use praise + positive reinforcement

Visiting the dentist is a new and sometimes scary experience for children. While starting and prioritizing a brushing routine helps in the long run, no amount of prep can guarantee a perfect first time dental visit.

Praise and positive reinforcement helps kids become excited to care for their teeth. Rewarding healthy habits and your first dental visit with a trip to the park, smiley stickers and big hugs makes the process less frightening for kids—and less troublesome for parents.
Learn + Play

The grey days of winter are coming to an end and spring is in the air! ? The sidewalks will no longer be icy and soon flowers will start poking up. This month is a wonderful time to become a mother, and a pretty great month to be born, too.

Here's what science tells us about babies born in March:

1. They're likely to climb the corporate ladder

Babies born this month are the most likely to get that corner office when they grow up. Research indicates a higher percentage of CEOs are born in March than any other month.

One study of 375 CEOs found 12.5% of those holding the position were born in March. The link is thought to be related to school enrollment cutoffs which often see March babies on the older end of their class spectrum.

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2. They're less prone to myopia than their summer cousins

While those expecting in June or July might want to up their optometry coverage, March babies are more likely than their summer-born peers to pass an eye exam. A study of nearly 300,000 military applicants found summer babies have the highest rates of severe short-sightedness, while spring kids are less likely to have myopic eyes (winter-born kids have the best rates, though).

3. They're naturally optimistic

A 2014 study found March-born babies (and their April and May peers) are basically born optimists. They have high ratings on the hyperthymic scale as adults, which means they've got a positive outlook on life.

4. They're at lower risk for asthma

Dust mites are abundant at this time of year, and while it can be annoying for those with allergies, it's great for babies with March due dates. According to a 2015 study, kids born in the have lower rates of asthma because exposure to all those dust mites in infancy strengthens the immune response.

5. They'll probably be a night owl

One sleep study suggests children born in the spring and summer generally go to bed later than those born in the fall and winter, so your March baby is likely to want to stay up past their bedtime in a few short years.

6. They'll be a Pisces or an Aries

These two astrological signs are known for their determination and passion, respectively. Babies born between March 1 and March 20 are known as optimistic Pisces, while those born after March 20 are officially spring babies members of the Aries sign. Aries are known for being fiery and passionate, so you might want to start practicing for bedtime arguments with your future night owl right away.

[This post was originally published March 1, 2018]

News

Irish baby names have been longtime favorites in the U.S., but historically, the ones that have been the most popular—such as Bridget and Caitlin, Connor and Kevin—are those that are intuitive in spelling and pronunciation.

Cut to 2020 where actress Saoirse Ronan is one of the biggest movie stars, Billie Eilish tops the music charts, and celebrity babies are getting previously unheard-of Irish names.

Milla Jovovich recently named her daughter Osian, a Welsh boy name that derived from the Irish Oisin. She and husband Paul W.S. Anderson are big fans of names with Gaelic roots—their older girls are named Ever Gabo and Dashiel Edan, but Osian is the most distinctive and complicated name of the bunch. (For those of you wondering, it's pronounced oh-SHAN).

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These days parents are more willing to embrace a name that may pose a pronunciation challenge, and society, in turn, is more willing to learn how to pronounce them. We've got Saoirse and Eilish down pat, so what's next?

20 unique Irish baby names for boys and girls

Irish baby girl names

Ailbhe: A Top 100 name in Ireland, Ailbhe could easily make a name for itself in the U.S. It's pronounced like Alva, a rising biblical pick for boys.

Aoibhe: The Irish variation of Eva, with a very similar pronunciation. Parents looking to distinguish their daughter from the Eva/Evelyn/Everly crowd might opt for this Irish spelling.

Aoife: One of the more familiar names from Irish legend, Aoife appears in many tales as a warrior woman. It hasn't reached the U.S. Top 1000 yet, but Aoife has nearly doubled in use in the past five years.

Eilis: Perhaps best known as the name of the heroine from the book and movie Brooklyn, in which she announces her name "rhymes with Irish." Music sensation Billie Eilish may give the alternate spelling a boost as well.

Fiadh: Homophonous with Fia, an up-and-coming successor for Mia. Fiadh is the fastest rising name in Ireland.

Niamh: Niamh of the Golden Hair was an ancient Irish goddess, making Niamh an apt choice for a blonde baby girl. Neve is the phonetic spelling.

Oona: Oona is delightfully quirky—and comparably easy to pronounce—with its double O's. It's gentle meaning, "lamb," is a draw for a spring baby.

Orla: Uncommon in the U.S. yet very straightforward—Orla is easily recognizable as an Irish name. Orlaith is another common spelling in Ireland.

Roisin: The Irish variation of Rose, pronounced ro-SHEEN. It's an unexpected floral option, as well as musical—Róisín Dubh, meaning "dark little rose," is a 16th century Irish poem-turned-song.

Saoirse: Actress Saoirse Ronan made herself a household name, and now almost every household knows how to pronounce her name—she's known to tell people it rhymes with "inertia."

Siobhan: Siobhan, the Irish variation of Joan, is frequently used as a character name for books and television—J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyers have named characters Siobhan, and it's the name of Logan Roy's daughter on Succession. It briefly ranked in the U.S. Top 1000 in the 1980s.

Irish baby boy names

Cashel: Cashel seems destined for success in the U.S. thanks to its fashionable Cash element, shared by such trendy names as Cassius, Cassian and Cash itself.

Cian: Kian ranks in the US Top 500, but Cian, the more authentic spelling, doesn't make the list. As Kian continues to rise, we expect Cian will as well.

Cillian: The first syllable being "kill" gives Cillian a strong, very masculine edge. It fits in with other tough-guy international names, such as Gunnar and Bruno.

Eamon: Soft but masculine names have never been more stylish (think Liam, Owen, Asher) so might we suggest Eamon? It's technically the Irish variation of Edmund, but we like to think of it as an Aidan alternative.

Fionn: This Finn spelling alternative has seen a slight uptick in use in America and ranks higher than the four-letter spelling in Ireland. It's the name of Irish mythological hero Fionn MacCumhaill, anglicized as Finn McCool.

Keir: Short, punchy, and authentically Irish—what's not to love about Keir? For those searching for a short middle name for a son, Keir is a unique and worthy option.

Niall: Americans of a certain age will undoubtedly associate Niall with Niall Horan, former member of the boyband One Direction, but is that really such a bad thing? Zayn, Harry, Louis, and Liam have all risen in popularity since the band's debut—now we think it's Niall's time to shine.

Oisin: O names for boys are having a moment—Otto, Otis, Odin, and Oliver are all in vogue—so we'd like to add Oisin to the mix. It's pronounced o-SHEEN and is a Top 15 name in Ireland. With the Milla Jovovich birth announcement drawing more attention to the name, might we see more baby Oisins in the future?

Tadhg: Tadhg has the least intuitive pronunciation on our boys' list, but comes with the easiest mnemonic device—it's said like "tiger" without the R. It's often anglicized as Teague and could easily be co-opted as a girl name—a la Milla Jovovich—to use in place of the fast-rising Teagan.

Which Irish names do you want to immigrate to America?

This post by Sophie Kihm was originally published on Nameberry.

Learn + Play

Is there anything cuter than adorable hairstyles on kids? We love when little ones look put together and a chic hairstyle is the icing on a cake.Mamas have upped their game and are delivering trendy, inspo-worthy looks beyond basic ponytails.

We get that creating no-fuss hairstyles (preferably ones that don't require toddlers sitting more than 10 minutes) isn't exactly stress-free and shelling out cash for a stylist isn't something we'll spring for. But we're all about easy styles that we can practically create with our eyes closed. Say hello to getting out the door faster! To be fair, there are a few here that are a tad complicated, so you'll want to screenshot them and share with your mama friend who is a master stylist.

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To help you nail the best kid hairstyles, we've compiled a list of 41 cool hairstyles for little ones from Instagram:

Pigtail buns

This classic style never gets old. If you're concerned about it being too light, loosen it up a bit by adding volume at the roots.






Criss-cross braids

Add a touch of style to a traditional braid.






Top knot

When rushing and don't have time, just throw up their hair in a top bun.



Side braided ponytail

After a few hours on the playground, braids tend to end up on the side of their heads, so why not create it into a style?



Cornrows

We're not going to front—cornrows are tough to create. But if you can get it, it's a style that will last weeks. Need help? Check out these YouTube videos.






Waterfall braids

To add a little more pizazz to a regular braid, braid hair on the side and loosen it a bit at the root.




Triple buns

A bun is probably the easier hairstyle a mama can create, but throw in a dash of style by adding two more bun. Create the look by securing buns from the top of the head to the nape of the neck.








Bun + bows

Add a bow for instant fun.









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