News: German Ruling Puts Stop to Circumcising Baby Boys

A discussion has been brewing over the last few days about a German court which ruled circumcising baby boys to be unlawful. There are several articles out covering the topic, NY Times and Babble both have their take. While the ruling won’t make circumcising illegal in all of Germany, it made me wonder what you all think about this topic.

I know this is a sensitive subject, so please share your own thoughts and opinions. Here’s my opinion.

Before I had kids or met my husband I always just assumed we’d circumcise our children. It wasn’t even a real decision, it was just the way it was. Then one day I was visiting with a friend who had a few day old baby boy and while changing his diaper I saw what a newly circumcised penis looks like — that right there changed my mind. I would not circumcise my son.

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Article: Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

Now that summer is here many of us will spend our weekends splashing in a pool. Whether it be with our babies or older children like nieces and nephews, it’s important to practice water safety. If we don’t, the unthinkable could happen.

Recently a friend of mine shared an article called “Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning” and I thought it was an important article to share. The article tells a story of a nine year old girl that almost drowned just feet from her parents. Her parents had no idea she was drowning. It then goes into how to recognize swimmers in need. The basic rule: if kids are quiet in the pool then go make sure they’re ok. Kids in a pool aren’t quiet and drowning is actually very quiet, not full of yelling and thrashing around.

While not the happiest of topics, it’s important to be educated so you can recognize the signs and help or get help if needed.

You can read the article here. Please share with family members and friends so everyone is educated!

Books: Your Baby and Child

The other general reference guide that was recommended to us was Penelope Leach’s Your Baby & Child, from Birth to Age 5. This book covers the more traditional ways of parenting and has nice color pictures to help illustrate things. I use this book less often than Dr. Sear’s Baby Book, but I do reference it to see what advice Penelope gives for certain situations. Depending on the type of parent you want to be will probably sway which book you get, you can’t go wrong with getting either or both! Your Baby and Child (9780375712036): Penelope Leach: Books.

Books: The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two

Dr. Sears is a well know expert in the field of baby rearing. His approach however is different than the norm — he believes in attachment parenting. That means no crying it out, no forced separation, no pacis, etc… It’s all about being there for your baby, bonding with them, teaching them love and compassion while letting them develop on their own time. Of course that doesn’t mean if you don’t follow his methods your baby won’t be taught love and compassion, but his methods are a bit more homeopathic and old school if you will.

I loved this book and reference it often whenever I have questions. It’s a great resource to have on hand. It’s huge so you don’t need to read the whole thing cover to cover, I just referenced sections I was interested in. The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two (Revised and Updated Edition) (9780316778008): William Sears, Martha Sears, Robert Sears, James Sears: Books.

DVD: The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD

This is a must watch in my opinion for any new parent. It equips you with 5 soothing techniques that help calm the fussiest of newborns. They’re called the 5 S’s:

  1. Swaddle (see my post on swaddling)
  2. Shush (mimic the white noise in the womb)
  3. Side (baby on their side)
  4. Shake (no really shake, more wobble so their head wobbles a bit)
  5. Suck (every babies sooth all, either on boob, finger or paci)

There is also a book you can buy, but what I love about the DVD is you can watch all the soothing techniques which leads to better understanding and I also had my husband watch with me — better than trying to get him to read a book about baby soothing! The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD: Dr. Harvey Karp: Movies & TV.

Sites: Amazon Mom

I don’t mean a freakishly tall and strong woman when I say Amazon Mom, I’m talking about’s program for moms (and any caregiver really). It’s an awesome program that is FREE to join. You can buy all your diapers and wipes easily online and if you sign up for the reoccurring auto-delivery you get 20% off your diapers and wipes. That’s a huge savings when you go through these baby products so quickly.

You also get 3 months of FREE Prime 2 day shipping which is a God send during the first few months. You won’t be leaving the house much and this is the perfect easy way to get what you need quickly. If you spend enough money through Amazon on baby products, including toys, furniture, etc…, you will get a whole year of FREE Prime 2 day shipping. It’s amazing… I bought our baby furniture through Amazon so we quickly qualified. I suggest you do the same!

Books: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

I think every pregnant woman hears that this is the book to get. It definitely has lots of information and can keep you busy reading for hours. There is information on every sort of issue and a weekly summary of what is going on in your belly. I was excited to read each week what was going on, but the summary was only a short paragraph and I didn’t really have any of the other issues listed in the book so it wasn’t as useful to me. I would have been fine just downloading a pregnancy tracker app for my iPhone. That said, if you are one of those people who wants to know what is going on and all that could go on this is the book for you. What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th Edition (9780761148579): Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel: Books.

Books: The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby

If you are having issues coming up with a name for your little bundle on the way, this is the book for you! We looked at more than a handful of baby name books and this was our favorite by far. What we loved is that each name comes with meaning, history, popularity, matching siblings names and variants (nick names). They also have over 30 sections on certain name styles, like biblical names, classical names, mythological names, etc…

My husband and I had trouble picking a name so we each went through all the boys names and wrote on a list any name we liked. Then we compared lists to see if we had any matches. We did this 3 times before we chose the name Archer… and it wasn’t even on the first 2 lists we created!

It’s such a fun journey, enjoy! The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby (9780767917520): Laura Wattenberg: Books.

Books: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth

Whether you are interested in having natural childbirth or not, this is a must read in my opinion for every pregnant woman. The book is full of stories of women’s experiences in labor — each has a different and equally interesting birth. It’s important to read so that you mentally are not afraid but excited and empowered for labor and realize no matter how each labor went in the book all turned out ok, healthy mom and healthy baby. It really helped me understand that if all these woman can do it, so can I. More importantly, if you mentally can get yourself in the right place before labor you are closer to having the birth experience you want than if you walk in anxious or uncertain. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (9780553381153): Ina May Gaskin: Books.

Books: The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy

This book was gifted to me by my sister when I was just a few months pregnant. It’s a fast read and a great starting book for what to expect over the 10 months of pregnancy. The book’s claim to fame is that it tells you everything no one else wants to tell you… all the nitty gritty details, both the good stuff and not so good stuff. Highly recommend it! The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy (9781416524724): Vicki Iovine: Books.