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Friday, October 31, 2008
Could A Simple Cold Sore Be Potentially Deadly For A Baby?

As an expectant mom, I was shocked and saddened to read ABC News story of Baby Mira.

I hope parents to be pay close attention to this...

For about a week, Charlotte Raveney and Mohamed Eisawy's daughter Mira was a happy, bubbly baby. Her delivery was exhausting, though, and Raveney developed a slight fever and a cold sore on her bottom lip three days later -- the first one she had ever had.

When the sore had cleared up the next day, her parents didn't think about it again and her mom didn't connect her cold sore to her daughter's death a week later.

Doctors determined that Mira died after contracting herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), the same virus that can cause cold sores. Initially, Mira was fussy, would not breast feed for more than a few minutes, and had a pink and sticky left eye.

One night, Mira developed a rash on her stomach and went rigid on a table while her father was changing her. Her parents rushed her to the hospital, but by then the damage was done.

Most babies who contract herpes do so from their infected mothers via the birth canal.

"Herpes virus in a neonate is a dangerous infection," Dr. Jon Abramson, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine said. "And most parents aren't aware."

Mira's Mom was not infected with HSV-1 during her pregnancy because Mira's blood tests showed no antibodies against the virus, antibodies that would have been passed through the placenta.

She believes she contracted HSV-1 in the days following Mira's birth, likely from her husband, who had become infected years earlier, but had not had any outbreaks since the two had been together.

In this mom's case, her healthy pregnancy was a detriment to Mira's fragile immune system. But catching a cold or even the presence of antibodies against another herpes virus, such as chicken pox, which she once had, would not have offered protection because the viruses are too dissimilar to herpes simplex.

About 1,500 to 2,200 babies under 1 month old contract herpes each year in the United States, and untreated, the virus is fatal in up to 85 percent of cases. The majority of neonatal herpes simplex infections are caused by HSV-2, but about 30 percent are caused by HSV-1, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Unfortunately, without active signs of infection, the symptoms of HSV-1 are non-specific and the advice this new mom received from general practitioners led her to believe her daughter was not ill and was simply taking some time to settle into the family routine.

According to Dr. Abramson, there are some things parents who have a herpes simplex virus can do to reduce the chance of passing it on to their infants. This includes washing their hands before and after touching their children and wearing masks to prevent viral transfer from the nose or mouth to the hands and then on to the baby.

Since Mira's death, her mom has learned of three other families who have lost children due to a herpes virus infection.

"That breaks my heart," she said. "It shows that it happens, and people don't know about it and don't talk about it."

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Natalie Morales Makes A Surprise Appearance For Halloween

Natalie Morales and sons Luke and Josh celebrate Halloween on NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

The new mom made a surprise appearance to show off her new baby and that she'd lost her pregnancy weight.

Even though baby 'yoda' looks adorable, he appears to be not impressed with his getup.


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UK Study Finds Attractive Dads Make Ugly Sons, Beautiful Daughters

A new study, conducted by The University of St. Andrews, has found that while attractive dads pass on their good looks to daughters, the sons aren’t quite so lucky.

Professors David Perrett and Elisabeth Cornwell, said a mother’s beauty makes no difference to her adult sons.

For the study, which is published in the journal Animal Behavior, Perrett and Cornwell studied students’ family photo albums and collected more than 100 photos of females and 100 photos of males and their parents over the years.

The photos were judged separately for attractiveness and femininity or masculinity.

Perrett said it has previously been suggested that a woman could increase her reproductive success by choosing a "sexy" mate, but his study contradicts that theory.

"We checked to see if male and female facial traits are inherited,” he said. “For the male line, we find that facial masculinity conforms to the rule 'like father, like son.’ Masculine dads have masculine sons. But we did not find any evidence that facial attractiveness is passed from father to son.”

I am not sure I agree with these findings. Maybe these researchers haven't ever met David Beckham or Ryan Phillippe...



Larry Birkhead To Be A Reality Star

Larry Birkhead's life is about to get a lot more public! The already busy celebrity daddy has announced that his new reality show scheduled is scheduled to air on the E! network next year.

The big question is - Will Dannielynn be part of the show?

Of course!

Larry tells ET that when he was wavering on whether or not to do the show, Tori Spelling, herself a reality show star now, encouraged him to do it, saying, "Dean and I will support you. Why not? Your life is out there anyway."

"My life in the last couple of years has been a reality show," Larry explains to Mark Steines. "There's been so many things out there that are not true, and there are so many things that I've taken a lot of beatings for and I haven't set the record straight; nobody knows the true reality of how I live and what I go through."
The series will follow Larry's day-to-day exploits as a single father running a business of Anna's and home-schooling his 18-year-old nephew, Justin, whose father passed away and lives with them.
"I'm changing diapers one minute, going to a basketball court the next minute, going to a concert -- here, there, you know, stores -- so it's tough," says Larry.

As for little Dannielynn, he beams, "The thing I'm most proud of is she doesn't know anything that's going on; she's just happy and worries about her toys and we just have the best time. … This time is really about bouncing back and being happy and taking advantage of the things we have, and not forgetting what we don't have -- but also just going forward."

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'Amazing Baby' Is An Amazing Book

I was recently sent a copy of Desmond Morris' Amazing Baby to review for our readers.

Over the last few months, I have picked up many parenting books and sometimes felt the content fell short of their big titles.

This is not the case with Desmond's new book.

Amazing Baby is hands down the BEST parenting, pregnancy, developmental book I have ever come across.

From the incredibly sharp pictures to the fascinating facts, this book gives parents the information they need to understand all aspects of an infants development.

As I read through the chapters, I was impressed by the detail in which the author goes into about each function and stage.

Desmond Morris takes extra care in explaining the parent/baby bonding process as well as all the of the other factors that play into making your child's development a success.

His descriptions will definitely give all parents a different view on parenthood.

I highly recommend this book as a shower gift or congratulatory gift for a new mom.

Even moms who already have older children will find the information in this book useful.

"Make the most of them while you can and enjoy your babies, when they are babies." Desmond Morris

Brought to you by The Parent Bloggers Network

Available at Amazon.com

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Soleil Moon Frye and Jason Goldberg Renew Wedding Vows

Joined by their daughters Poet, 3, and Jagger, 7 months, Soleil Moon Frye and her husband, producer Jason Goldberg, renewed their vows at their Hollywood Hills home over the weekend.

"Besides the days my children were born – and my first wedding – it was the best night of my life," Frye, who co-owns L.A.'s eco-friendly children's boutique, The Little Seed, told People.

The intimate ceremony, designed by friend Lisa Rowe and held in the couple's garden at sunset, "was magical," adds Frye, who wore a gown from Les Habitudes.

Amid roses, hydrangeas and gardenias, the couple's loved ones also enjoyed a "home-cooked feast" including brisket and pasta along with a white cake with chocolate filling.

In honor of the occasion, Poet and Jagger planted a pomegranate tree. Friends were also sent home with their own tree to plant.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008
Study Suggests That Breastfed Babies Are Better Behaved

A new study was found yet another potential benefit to breastfeeding: Fewer behavioral problems in young children.

Early findings suggest that parents of youngsters who were breastfed as infants were less likely to report that their child had a behavior problem or psychiatric illness during the first five years of life.

And the likelihood of mental health issues decreased in proportion to the duration of breastfeeding, meaning that a child who had been breastfed for a year was less likely to have behavior problems than a child who had been breastfed for just two months.

The study, conducted by the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, reviewed more than 100,000 interviews of parents and guardians of children between the ages of 10 months and 18 years who participated in the National Survey of Children's Health. Parents were asked about breastfeeding and about their child's behavior and mental health.

Examples of questions included:

  • Are you currently concerned a lot, a little or not at all about how your child behaves?
  • How he/she is learning pre-school or school skills?
  • Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that your child has behavioral or conduct problems?


  • Parents of children who were breastfed were 15% less likely to be concerned about their child's behavior, compared to formula-fed infants.
  • And the breastfed children were 37% less likely to have a medically diagnosed behavioral or conduct problem.

Dr. Katherine Hobbs Knutson, a resident in the department of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston said, the effect of breastfeeding appeared to be cumulative, with those who were breastfed for a longer duration even less likely to have behavior problems.

She also said the study found "a correlation between breastfeeding and cognitive development."

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Texas Couple Welcomes Quintuplets

It has been a big week for Mega Multiples! First Digna and Victor Carpio announced the arrival of their sextuplets, now the Phillips family welcomes quints.

Kelly Phillips gave birth to five babies at The Woman's Hospital of Texas on Saturday, October 25.

John, Becca, Ali, David and Kate made their television debut on Thursday and doctors say they're doing amazingly well.Three girls and two boys will join their 18-month-old brother at home as soon as they gain a bit more weight.

Kelly did such a great job growing these babies, they are all big enough at birth to breathe independently. Here are their weights as per the couple's website:

  • John - 3 lbs 4 oz
  • Becca - 3 lbs 12 oz
  • Ali - 4 lbs 4 oz
  • David - 4 lbs
  • Kate - 4 lbs

Doctors were thrilled that Phillips was able to carry the babies for 33 weeks. The average gestation for quints is 27.4 weeks.

"I'm feeling pretty good and I feel blessed to have babies that are healthy and well," Kelly Phillips said. "And we're anxioius to bring them home."

As you can imagine, the couple was a little stunned when they first learned they would have five more babies.

"We were in shock, but once we went through the first trimester and started picking names, we were ecstatic," Phillips said.

The babies will hopefully be home in the next few weeks, but before that the couple will have to figure out how to squeeze a family of eight into a three-bedroom house. Then they can look forward to a few years of bottles, diapers, sleepless nights and endless joy.

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Niki Taylor Expecting Third Baby!

Niki Taylor and her NASCAR husband Burney Lamar are expecting their first child together, Niki's rep announced today.

"Burney and I are very excited with this stage of our lives," says Taylor, who is due in March. "We're thrilled."

The couple met when they were paired together to sign autographs at a charity event, and were married in December 2006. In lieu of wedding gifts, the couple asked that donations be sent to Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp for chronically ill children where they continue to work raising money and awareness.

Niki, who most recently hosted the Bravo series Make Me a Supermodel, is already mom to 13-year-old twin boys Jake and Hunter.

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RECALL: Casper Halloween Figurines by Coyne’s & Company for Lead Hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Coyne's and Company, has voluntarily announced the recall of about Casper the Friendly Ghost® Halloween Mini-Figurines because of high levels of lead in the paint.

The recalled Casper the Friendly Ghost® mini-figurines are made of resin and paper, and are three inches tall. They were sold in mini bags decorated with a spider and web design. The Casper the Friendly Ghost® figurines are dressed as: Dracula in a red spider bag, Skeleton in a green spider bag, Devil in a purple spider bag, Mummy in an orange spider bag, Casper® in a blue spider bag, and Wendy the Witch® is in a yellow spider bag. The figurines are stamped with TM & ©Harvey Ent. “Coyne’s & Company” and “CP1030” are printed on a white sticker on the bottom of the bags.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled figurines away from children and contact Coyne’s & Company at (800) 336-8666 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.coynes.com to receive a full refund or credit.

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Larry Birkhead Talks About Closing One Chapter and Beginning Another

Since being granted custody of his little girl, Larry Birkhead and Dannielynn, 2, have been living at Anna Nicole Smith’s former home in LA’s Coldwater Canyon.

In an effort to raise his toddler in a more stable environment, Larry has decided to move out and find a new home. Now Larry must go through the bittersweet process of packing up Anna’s belongings and readying Dannielynn for yet another big move.

Larry, 35, spoke to Life & Style about the painful memories of the past — and why he’s eager to make a fresh start for the future.

L&S: After Anna’s death, what made you decide to bring Dannielynn to Anna’s home?

Larry: There were just tons and tons of memories. Anna’s reality show was taped here, and it’s the place she called home. After she passed, I just couldn’t bear to part with it.

L&S: So why are you selling it now?

Larry: You know, I always said I’d never sell, but the longer we’ve been here, the more I’ve realized it’s not built for children. We live over a canyon, and while the view’s great, there’s no backyard. I’ve bought Dannielynn every toy under the sun, but they can’t replace a yard. She doesn’t have a place to have her friends over to play.

L&S: Do you have any ideas about where you’ll be moving to?

Larry:I’ve already seen one house in the Calabasas area that I really liked. It’s a little farther out in LA than we are now, so it’s less crazy. And there are tons of children in the neighborhood. It seems very kid-friendly.
L&S: So you’ll definitely be staying in Southern California for now?
Larry:We’ll travel back and forth between here and Kentucky, where I’m from. I bought a 10,000-square-foot house in Louisville, near my family. I’ve thought about moving there permanently at some point, when it’s time to find a good school for Dannielynn. That will be on the horizon soon.

L&S: You’ve kept an entire closet of Anna’s clothing, accessories and jewelry. Is that another way of preserving her memory for Dannielynn?

Larry:Yes. Every piece in there has a story. Someday, I hope to show them all to Dannielynn and tell her what event her mom wore them to and what they meant to her — from the casual T-shirts to the fancy dresses. I want her to understand how beautiful and glamorous her mom was.

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Nebraska Works To Fix Their Safe Haven Law

Gov. Dave Heineman said Wednesday he will call a special legislative session to fix a safe-haven law that in just a few months has allowed parents to abandon nearly two dozen children as old as 17.

The Governor had planned to wait until the next regular legislative session convened in January, but changed his mind as the number of children dropped off at hospitals grew. Two teenagers were abandoned Tuesday night alone, and three children dropped off previously did not even live in Nebraska.

"We've had five in the last eight days," Heineman said in explaining why he called a special session. "We all hoped this wouldn't happen."

The special session will begin Nov. 14. That's less than two months before the regular legislative session, but the governor and others see a need to act quickly.

Most Nebraska lawmakers have agreed upon revisions that would limit the law to newborns no older than 3 days.

It is believed that the parents aren't aware of services for older kids.

Todd Landry, director of the state's Children and Family Services division urged parents having trouble with their children to seek help from family, friends, neighbors and churches and, if need be, social services.

Tim Jaccard, president of the National Safe Haven Alliance, said age limits in safe-haven laws vary greatly. Aside from Nebraska's law, North Dakota's is the broadest, allowing children up to 1 year old to be abandoned.

"It's kind of a strange thing," said Jaccard, a police officer in New York's Nassau County. "If you were born in New York, you have five days. If you walk across the street (to Connecticut), you've got 30 days."

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Kate Gosselin Talks About Her Plans For The Holidays

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, People Magazine spoke Kate Gosselin about the holidays and her plans. For many of us, having such a big family would cause stress during the busy season, but not Kate.

"I just love Thanksgiving and Christmas. I feel like Thanksgiving is all about looking at our blessings, being together as a family," the mom of 8 tells the mag as she signs copies of her new book.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, she can be found in her kitchen preparing for at least 15 additional guests.

"The day before I prepare everything to just throw it in the oven. The pies, all the desserts I bake the day before," she says. "Jon requires the same meal every year. I have to bake a pumpkin pie. I'm not real crazy about it but you just have to have one on Thanksgiving."

The Gosselins wants to develop their own holiday family traditions to pass on to her eight kids, which is why you won't just find pumpkin pie on the table. Kate likes to include an egg custard pie and apple pie.

"I want our kids to be able to look back on the holidays and remember very concrete things," she says. "I love to pull it off and I always get carried away. It's just the holiday spirit; it's awesome. I love it."

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale Officially Introduce Us To Zuma!

In response to the recent media frenzy hoping to get the first good photo of Zuma, Gwen Stefani has posted this picture on her website introducing him to us properly.

The following was written by the star:

We wanted to share with you the first photo of Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale. Gwen, Gavin, Kingston and Zuma are all doing well and enjoying being a party of four.

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Two Day Power Outage = Baby Boom In Dutch Community

A small Dutch community has recorded a 44 percent rise in baby births nine months after a power cut plunged its 23,000 residents into darkness for two days.

In December last year, the blades of an Apache helicopter accidentally severed the high voltage cables providing electricity to the nine villages that make up the municipality of Maasdriel in the east of the country.

During the ensuing 50 hours of darkness, many inhabitants sought mid-winter hospitality in other towns, "but some found heat among themselves," town spokeswoman Annelies van Eijkeren told AFP.

There were 26 babies born in Maasdriel in September -- a 44 percent rise on last year's 18, she added.

While authorities may want to boost the population, "we are not envisaging doing so by cutting the power", said Van Eijkeren.


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CPSC Offers Safety Tips for a Safe "Trick or Treat"

The spookiest night of the year is around the corner. Kids everywhere are choosing their favorite costume and looking forward to their favorite treats. As parents and caregivers prepare for this celebration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds them to keep safety in mind, so that no child is haunted by Halloween-related injuries. Hidden dangers associated with costumes, treats, and decorations can be easily prevented.

CPSC reports that the most serious Halloween-related injuries involve burns from flammable costumes and decorations, including ignition from open flames, such as candles and Jack O’Lanterns. Other incidents have involved lacerations from carving pumpkins and trips/falls while walking, particularly after dark.

“Our major concern is still the use of home-made costumes that are not flame resistant,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “Parents making their children’s costumes should use inherently flame-resistant fabrics, such as nylon and polyester. Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls.”
CPSC helps keep children safe by enforcing the Flammable Fabrics Act and by recalling products at Halloween and throughout the year that can cause injury.

Follow these safety tips to ensure this year’s holiday is a safe one:


  • When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
  • Purchase or make costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible to motorists.
  • For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be light-colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.
  • Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.
  • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.
  • Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing vision.
  • If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision.
  • Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible materials.
  • Supervise pumpkin carvings to avoid lacerations.


  • Warn children not to eat any treats until an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.
  • Carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by trick-or-treaters under three years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use and present a choking hazard.


  • Keep candles and Jack O' Lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
  • Indoors, keep candles and Jack O' Lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire. Do not leave burning candles unattended.
  • Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or-treaters.
  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets.
  • Don't overload extension cords.

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Gwen Shows Off Zuma!

Gwen Stefani shows off newest son Zuma Nesta.

The two visited a library in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.

New daddy Gavin Rossdale recently spoke to UsMagazine.com about the new edition and how this family is doing.

"He's amazing, he's very sweet."

"He hangs out," he added. "He's got his neck together. He's gone through with the floppy stage."

How is Kingston as an older brother?

"He does a bit. Every day starts with a cuddle for his brother or a slap and then he moves on," Rossdale continued

A slap?

"Not often, every now and again," he said. "It's normal, it's natural."


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Product Review: Peg Perego Duette SW Stroller

In anticipation of Baby#2 we have started looking for a tandem stroller. The Peg Perego Duette SW recently caught my eye because of it's ability to accommodate an infant and toddler.

When it arrived I was pleasantly surprised by it's strong, robust build. This stroller is a tank with all of the features that a parent with 2 children will need.

To get familiarized with all of the features and handling, we have been cruising around the neighborhood testing this tandem out.

Here is what I found:


When the stroller arrives you will need to put together a few things before getting started. Like any stroller, you will have to pop the wheels on. *Be sure to make sure that you use the front wheels on the front, and the back wheels on the back - get them mixed up and they won't go on properly.*

The next step is to open the stroller, velcro on the storage basket, and then pop the seats and canopies into place.

Getting Started:

Opening and getting this stroller out on the road is very easy. The harnesses come installed and the seats arrive are ready to go.

Familiarizing myself with the Duette was very easy. While this stroller has a lot to it - everything is at your fingertips.

Comfort and Features:

The Duette SW was probably originally designed for parents with twins (or triplets Triplette SW ), but I have found it to be a great infant/toddler stroller as well. The interchangeability of the seats allows parents to position each child any way they would like. If you have 2 children that love each other - they can both face each other and share toys if they would like. If they are having a bad day and don't seem to be getting along - the seats are able to be placed back to back for some piece of mind while you are finishing your shopping.

The same goes with for a newborn. Remove one of the seats and the Primo Viaggio SIP car seat or Peg's optional Navetta bassinet unit pops right in, facing you or facing out.

After 3 years of pushing a single stroller, I am just starting to adjust to the size and weight of this stroller. Peg Perego has incorporated a steering wheel above the handle bar of this stroller to help with moveablility.

The steering wheel makes maneuvering this stroller a dream because it is connected to the two front tires that pivot as you turn it. A release button is provided so that you can adjust the height of the steering wheel to your liking.

Mom or dad can also lock the 'wheel' from the hand set when it isn't needed. Additionally, the Duette is equipped with all-wheel suspension and rear-wheel brakes.

The well padded seats are very reminiscent of Classic Peg Perego. Not only are they spacious, but they both feature generous canopies, complete with a zipper hood that can be used as a sun canopy and cover. Both children are able to sleep in the stroller when the seats are reclined if positioned face to face.

Each pampered child has it's choice of a backrest that reclines to 4-positions and a footrest that has 2-positions.

Peg Perego also allows both children to retain their individuality with dual 5 Point freedom of movement harnesses. I wish that they would use a conventional harness that stays attached to the seat because the freedom is too much for my squirmy son, who is able to break free if I'm not paying attention.

This feature was designed to make it easy for your child to enjoy a snack without feeling refined.

Because the stroller weighs a healthy 33lbs, Peg Perego has incorporated two handles into the middle of the chassis. While I found these handles to be helpful when I was moving the stroller around, where they are located makes it hard for me to load it into my vehicle.

Storage - The Duette's storage basket is probably the biggest storage space I have ever seen on a stroller. It stretches almost the whole length of the stroller and sits about a foot high. A busy mom could easily spend the day out running errands and not worry about where she was going to put her shopping bags.

This sturdy and practical stroller was designed to accommodate parents in almost any situation. Whether you are taking you kids to the mall or to the amusement park for the day, the Duette was definitely created with 'kid comfort' in mind.

While I love this stroller for local day trip, I would not recommend traveling by airplane with it because of it's weight and it's size. Parents who are looking to take a double stroller on vacation would find more success with Peg Perego's Aria 60/40.

The Duette has been a Classic in Peg Perego's collection for many years now and it has evolved substantially over the years. Their ability to change the stroller as new moms needs change has been the key to it's success.

My wish for future models would be the possible addition of some storage tools for mom. A cupholder and a parent tray close to the handle would be a welcomed addition.

Facts and Stats:

Other features

  • sanitized lacquered aluminum frame
  • two snap-on boots for cold weather
  • wheel diameter 30 cm
  • Stroller weight capacity is 45 lbs. per seat
  • net weight of chassis 11,3 kg (without the seats)
  • book folding system
Dimension and Weight
Duette SW Height Length Width
Dimensions When Open 109 cm 140 cm 60 cm
Dimensions When Closed 43 cm 105,5 cm
Weight 19,8 Kg

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24 Week Baby Kept Alive With Bubble Wrap

I am always amazed at the lengths that doctors will go to to keep a micro-preemie alive.

When Gregor Craig arrived at just 24 weeks weighing a tiny 1lb 14oz, he was so small that his father's wedding ring fitted over his arm.

His chances of survival were slim, but doctors wanted to give him every chance.

So they wrapped him in the bubble wrap to keep him warm. Hospitals often use plastic wrap to help premature babies retain their body heat, but this was the first time the doctors in Kintyre, western Scotland, had used the bubble variety.

At just 24 weeks gestation Gregor's mom began suffering severe stomach pain. Doctors found that her she was suffering from a urinary tract infection that triggered labor and they couldn't stop the baby from arriving.

After he arrived, doctors only gave Gregor a 10 per cent chance of survival.

After spending 17 weeks in the special care nursery, this little fighter has persevered through many set backs including laser eye surgery at ten weeks to stop him going blind as the blood vessels in his eyes hadn't developed properly.

When Gregor reached 7lb, he was allowed home, even though he needs to still have daily oxygen, and his parents have had to learn how to resuscitate him if necessary.

Mrs Craig said: 'He is now a happy six-month-old and incredibly all he seems to have is some slight hearing problems. It's a small price to pay for having him here with us.'

While it is common to wrap babies this small in plastic wrap second after birth to maintain their body temperature, I am not sure what benefit the bubbles adds...

Every baby that arrives and survives at this gestation is a miracle. We wish this little fighter the best for the future.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Surgeons Remove 8lb Tumour From East Timorese Baby

In a life-saving operation, volunteer surgeons at New Zealand's Wellington Hospital East have removed a tumour from a Timorese baby that weighed a third of his body weight.

The 8lb tumour was removed by in the capital at the weekend.

The large mass would have eventually killed the 14-month-old boy had the surgical team not stepped in, said Bill Day, chairman of the Wellington Hospital and Health Foundation and local Rotary Club president - which organised the trip to New Zealand.

Little Alex Gonzaga and his mother Elisa Da Conceicao flew to Wellington from Dili about two weeks ago for the operation involving a 10-strong surgical team.

Everything went according to plan and the benign tumour was removed from around his crucial organs in record time - about two hours - on Sunday.

"It has just been stunning, everyone pitching in to save his life," Mr Day said.

Alex, who weighed about 24lbs before the surgery, is expected to make a full recovery and will be ready to go home in a few days.

Alex's tumour was spotted by a doctor in East Timor, a country in Southeast Asia. He was examined further on a visiting medical ship and referred to the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children program (Romac).

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Study: Pregnant Women Consuming Flaxseed Oil Quadruple Premature Birth Risk

Researchers from The University Of Montreal have found that pregnant women who consume flaxseed oil are four times more likely to deliver their babies prematurely.

The study has found that the risks of a premature birth quadruple if flaxseed oil is consumed in the last two trimesters of pregnancy.

A majority of pregnant women prefer to use natural health products during the pregnancy.

The most consumed natural health products by pregnant women are chamomile, green tea, peppered mint and flaxseed oil.

Many moms-to-be believe these products to be safe because they are natural. But in reality, they are chemical products and we don't know many of the risks and benefits of these products contrarily to medication, said Professor Anick Berard of the Universite de Montreal's Faculty of Pharmacy.

In the study involving 3354 Quebec women the only one product had a very strong correlation with preterm births was flaxseed oil.

In the general population, the average rate of premature births is 2 to 3 percent. But for women consuming flaxseed oil in their last two trimesters that number jumps up to 12 percent, said Berard.

This is scary to me because I take flaxseed oil to get my Omega 3's. I guess you can't win - you eat fish for Omega 3's and run the risk of mercury or take flaxseed and have your baby early...

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10 Great Play Kitchens For Christmas

Every child loves a good play kitchen.

What better way is there to keep your little ones occupied while your making baked goods this holiday season than to give them their own place to cook!

As we head into the Holiday season, here are our picks for the best kitchens :

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Giveaway: The Planet Pixies Protect Endangered Regions Of The World!

I Love My Planet Toys is an eco-conscious company that creates toys that carry an environmental message.

Their goal is to offer planet friendly toys that educate children, encourage them to use their imaginations and provide knowledge to help eco-conscious decisions.

The Planet Pixie's are organic dolls that each protect a different endangered zone of the globe.

  1. Kayla The Marsh Pixie hails from the Florida Everglades. The Everglades are tropical marshland located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida. She teaches young girls about this rare and beautiful place that is home to panther, manatee, bobcat, alligators and of course Pixies!
  2. Maia The Tree Pixie wears a red dress with red hair accessories. Maia spends her days and nights fluttering around the Amazon Rain Forest. Her job is to teach us about the Amazon,the world's largest and most famous Rain Forest.
  3. Anyu The Ice Pixie lives in the North Pole. She comes dressed warmly with gloves, shoes and a belted brown and icy blue dress. Her job is to educate us about the North Pole, and the area around it.

Each Doll arrives in a recycled materials box with environmental information about each region. They even offer simple tips to fight the erosion of each area.

GIVEAWAY: We are offering one of our readers the chance to win Anyu The Ice Pixie (pictured right).

To enter our giveaway please e-mail us at giveaways@growingyourbaby.com , with the subject ‘Planet Pixie’.

Giveaway closes today at Midnight

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Monday, October 27, 2008
USA Today Rejects Teen Pregnancy Prevention Public Service Announcement

The Candie's Foundation's "America, Wake Up" (pictured right) PSA campaign to prevent teenage pregnancy was due to run as a full-page advertisement in USA Today until the publication rejected the ad because they didn't want to offend their readers.

USA Today began by explaining that it did not want to offend its readers and subsequently changed and re-changed its position until ultimately rejecting the PSA late Friday afternoon claiming they downsized the paper and "could not accommodate the ad."

The Candie's Foundation debuted the new campaign in honor of October being "Let's Talk" month, that encourages parents to speak with kids about sex and teen pregnancy.

Neil Cole, Founder, The Candie's Foundation, stated,

"This is very disappointing. We are trying to get across an important message about the devastating consequences of teen pregnancy and one of the key publications to reach parents and families is USA Today. The fact that they deem this PSA as offensive further drives home the key problem that the media is not addressing this issue."

The Foundation will still run their PSA television spot tonight at 8pm on The CW during the hit show, "Gossip Girl." The goal of the campaign is to act as a conversation starter for parents to talk to their children about teen pregnancy prevention.



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Kim Raver And Son Leo Stroll in NYC

Lipstick Jungle star Kim Raver was seen out for a stroll with son Leo in NYC yesterday.

Leo rides in a trendy mom fave - The Bugaboo Chameleon.


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NY Couple Welcomes Sextuplets

Life will never be the same for Victor and Digna Carpio.

On Oct. 6, the Queens couple welcomed New York's second-ever set of sextuplets.

The four boys and two girls arrival has been secret while doctors worked feverishly to make sure the infants all lived.

"I've watched each of my babies fight so hard to survive," said Digna Carpio, 31, her eyes welling up with tears. "Life is beautiful, and we're so thankful."

Each baby weighed 1-1/2 to 2 pounds after arriving in the 25th week of Digna's pregnancy.

They remain identified only as babies A, B, C, D, E and F because the parents have yet to give them names. They plan to choose names by the end of next week, when they turn 1 month old.

"The doctors couldn't believe how much they weighed," said Victor Carpio, 36, a maintenance worker at the New York City Housing Authority. "The two girls [known as E and F] were the heaviest ones," he added, smiling.

Doctors initially gave girl F only a 25% chance of survival because of problems with her heart. It now looks as if she will beat the odds and survive.

"They had to perform surgery last week to repair a heart valve," Digna Carpio said. "But she's doing much better now, and they tell me her chances are better than 75%."

Even though they'd been preparing for the big delivery day for months, the birth caught them and their only other child, 7-year-old Jhancarlos, by surprise.

"I'd just dropped my son off at school when I get a call from my wife at the hospital," Victor Carpio recalled.

By the time Victor Carpio arrived at Mount Sinai Medical Center around 10 a.m., accompanied by his sister Eulalia Carpio, the doctors were preparing for the Caesarean section delivery.

  • Baby A, a boy, was born at 10:36 a.m.
  • Three more boys - B, C and D - arrived at 10:38.
  • Last came the girls - baby E 10:39 and F at 10:40.

"It was incredible seeing all six of them in the arms of those smiling nurses," Victor Carpio said. "We couldn't ask for better treatment from any hospital."
Tony Avella, the couple's local City Council member, who has launched a collection drive for baby bottles, diapers, strollers and other supplies they will need. He is asking donors to bring such goods to his office at 38-50 Bell Blvd., suite C in Bayside, or call (718) 747-2137 for pickup. The City Councillor is not accepting any monetary donations.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008
Monday Giveaway: Support Breast Cancer With Pink Ribbon Babylegs

As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Babylegs has created a pair of Pink Ribbon legs ($12) to commemorate this important cause.

These light pink BabyLegs layered with bright pink breast cancer awareness ribbons were created to support finding a cure for breast cancer. Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of this design will go to the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Babylegs are a favorite at our house. My son wears them under his jammies at night and during the day when he doesn't want to wear pants.

Moms will love that these adorable 'legs' will fit under a cute skirt or onesie and they can show their support for a cause that is making a difference.

GIVEAWAY: We are offering 5 of our readers the chance to win a pair of Pink Ribbon Baby legs.

To enter our giveaway please e-mail us at giveaways@growingyourbaby.com , with the subject ‘Babylegs’.

Giveaway closes Friday October 31, 2008

Giveaway Rules

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Tori and Dean Take The Kids To The Park

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott spend the afternoon at the park in Malibu with kids Liam and Stella.

The kids ride in a Peg Perego Aria Twin 60 / 40 Stroller, Stella is sitting in Peg Perego's New Primo Viaggio TRI-FIX Car Seat.

I believe that baby Stella's adorable hat is a Raspberry Daisy Sun Hat by Jamie Rae.


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Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Welcome Baby Boy

Congratulations to Amy Poehler and husband Will Arnett on the safe arrival of their first baby.

Archie Arnett arrived on Saturday weighing a healthy 8 lbs., 1 oz., the couple's rep Lewis Kay said in a statement.

"Amy, Will and Archie are all healthy and resting comfortably," Kay said.

During the "Weekend Update" segment of Saturday Night Live, Poehler's co-anchor Seth Meyers announced to a cheering crowd: "Amy Poehler is not here tonight because she is having a baby."


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Giveaway Winners!

I apologize for not posting our recent giveaway winners lately.

Here are the winners from our last 4 giveaways!

Pediped Fall 08 Collection Giveaway:

In celebration all of the great new shoe Styles launched at Pediped this fall, the trendy shoe company offered us the chance for 2 of our readers to each win a pair from their Originals or Flex lines.

Congratulations to winners, Nancy and Janae!

MD Moms:

MD Moms, a pair of pediatricians, developed a personal care line for babies with ingredients that are gentle, pure and effective. We offered one of our readers th chance to win a Baby Silk Gift pack containing a package of Gentle All-Over Clean Towelettes and MD Moms Babysafe Sunscreen Towelettes.

Congratulations to Carla!


Teutonia, a German company, just launched their fully customizable stroller into the North American market. They sent us their coolest accessory, a Handmuff, to give away to one of our readers.

Congratulations to Amy!

Earthwise Kid:

Earthwise Kid is a company that was created by a mom who is passionate about preserving our Earth. One reader had the opportunity to win the Save The Wildlife Gift Set that included: organic t-shirt and eco-friendly book gift sets and reusable jute bag.

Congratulations Carla!

Please visit our site tomorrow morning for a chance to win our latest giveaway!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008
Diddy And His Girls On The Cover Of L'Uomo Vogue

Diddy poses in L'Uomo Vogue Magazine with daughters Jessie James and D'ila Star.

The girls are cute, but do they need to be naked?

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56-year-old gives birth to triplet grandchildren

Not only has a 56-year-old Ohio woman given birth to triplets, but they're her own granddaughters.

Jaci Dalenberg, of Wooster, Ohio, carried the babies as a surrogate for her daughter, Kim Coseno.

The set of identical twins and their sister were born by Caesarean section Oct. 11 at the Cleveland Clinic's Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights and are still in the hospital's care. They were more than two months premature and each weighed less than three pounds.

A Cleveland Clinic news release says infants and grandmother are all doing well.

According to a Clinic spokesman, Jaci offered herself as a surrogate when Kim Coseno and her husband, Joe, were waiting to adopt. The couple used in vitro fertilization, and embryos were implanted in Dalenberg's uterus.

It seems to be a growing trend for Grandmothers to carry their daughter's babies. We have seen this situation (with less babies) a few times over the last few years.

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Pregnant Bridesmaid Has To Leave Her Sister at The Altar

Babies will arrive whenever they want - even if your sister is getting married!

On her sister Nikki's wedding day, Gina Weeks was determined that nothing would stop her being a bridesmaid.

But her unborn son had different ideas.

Hours before the ceremony, 22-year-old Gina went into labour. By the time pre-service pictures were being taken, she was having contractions every two minutes and clinging to the bride for support.

Finally, with only five minutes to go before the ceremony at a country house hotel, Nikki scooped up her train in her arms and helped her panting sister down the stairs from the bridal suite, carefully avoiding being seen by her fiance Tim Hewston.

Gina's partner Russell Cox drove her to the maternity hospital 20 minutes away and their son, Harley, was born four hours later - in time for his arrival to be announced by the DJ at the wedding reception.

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Amillia Taylor Turns 2!

The world's most premature baby ever is celebrating a very special birthday.

Amillia Taylor, born at just 21 weeks and weighing only 10 ounces, turned 2 years old yesterday.

Her proud parents told Local 10's Laurie Jennings that Baby Amillia now weighs a healthy 26 pounds and is 26 ½ inches tall.

Amillia is also taking steps in their Homestead home and sounding out her few words and developmentally progressing very well.

And some more great news -- Amillia's mom is pregnant. A sister for the miracle baby is due Christmas Day!

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