The Best Baby News of 2016

December 30, 2016
We've collected some of the biggest baby news items that have been published in the media this year, in case you missed them. After all, you had a baby -- you've been pretty busy!

Baby Names
Top Names for Boys and Girls. In 2015, according to Social Security Administration, the most popular names for boys were Noah, Liam, and Mason, and Emma, Olivia, and Sophia are at the top of the list for girls. In case you’re wondering, 100 years ago the most popular boy names were John, William, and James, and the most popular girl names were Mary, Helen, and Dorothy.

Saving For College Starts Now. Here’s a great article from The Motley Fool that discusses how you can save more money after you have a baby, even though your expenses will be going up. You may get some tax relief, but your child’s healthcare and supplies alone will cost quite a bit, so the time to start saving is now.

Raising a Child Is Really Expensive. In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that the cost to raise a child born in 2013 (the latest year available) up to 18 years old is $245,340 for middle-income families. Ouch. 

A Virus That’s Feared by Pregnant Women. The biggest health story of the year was Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in fetuses. At this time, Zika is present (passing from a mosquito to a person) in the United States in only a few areas in Miami, Florida, and also in Brownsville, Texas. Pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant should avoid these areas.

“Mom Brain” Is Real. In December, Science published a story about a study that said women’s brains change during their first pregnancies for at least the first two years after they give birth. In fact, gray matter in the brain diminishes while they become responsive to their children’s needs. You can file this one under the “Yeah, no kidding” department.

Car Seats
Coats Are a No-No in Car Seats. In February, media started reporting that putting a heavy winter coat on your child, and then strapping him into his car seat, doesn’t allow parents to know if the seat straps are loose. Instead, take your child’s coat off and use a blanket.

Infant Sleep
Finally, Some Sleep. The journal Pediatrics reported on a study that found that the “cry it out” sleep method might get babies to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Infant Development
They Learn Something New Every Day. A collaborative study shows us, in a greater way than ever before, that the experiences that babies have as they develop skills can positively affect their learning, as babies use those capabilities to nurture other skills – even ones that don't appear to be related to one another.

Increased Breastfeeding Rates. The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 80% of moms breastfeed their babies right after they are born, and that more than 50% of moms continued to breastfeed until their babies were at least six months old.