All posts by Catherine Donaldson-Evans

About Catherine Donaldson-Evans

Catherine Donaldson-Evans is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in numerous publications.When she isn’t writing and editing, Catherine can be found chasing after a toddler, a baby and a husband – not necessarily in that order.

summer baby august with mom

20 Great Baby Names for Babies Born in August

It’s already August?! How did that happen? Well, for those of you pregnant mamas out there due right about now, you’re probably feeling like it took forever to get here. And you may even be wondering if you can gather some inspiration for baby names for babies born in August.

Guess what? You can. There are plenty of lovely names for boys and girls that are August-themed and would suit a little one born this month perfectly. If you’re not pregnant or due any time soon and just like baby name stories — or if you’ve already given birth to an August baby and are curious to see whether your name is on the list — read on!

Baby Boy Names

1. AugustKind of a no-brainer since the month of August is also a very nice (and trendy-again) boy’s name. It literally means “great, venerable, majestic” so your son will be in good hands with this moniker. Alternate: Augustus or Augustine. Gus for short.

2. Leo. August babies are typically Leos when we’re talking signs of the Zodiac, so this adorable boy’s name meaning “lion” in Latin makes perfect sense. (Here’s more about your Leo baby.)

3. Gus. A shortened version of August, Gus is a cute name in its own right.

4. Chase. A boy’s name growing in popularity that literally means “to hunt,” it conjures up images of playing chase in the backyard on a warm summer evening.

5. Sonny. Literally meaning “son,” this baby boy’s name also sounds like “sunny,” which sums up the month of August perfectly!

6. Trip. August is one of the most popular months of the year for going on vacation and taking a little trip, so why not give your baby boy this super cool name meaning “traveler”?

7. Cain. This name means either “spear,” “possessed,” or “clear water,” depending on who you ask. We’ll stick to the last one if we’re talking about giving this to an August baby!

8. Dayton. Meaning “day town” or “light town,” it just sounds like a good name to give a baby boy born in August, doesn’t it?

9. Leonardo. Another lion-themed baby name that would suit a little guy with a birthday this month very well. Plus greats like Da Vinci and Di Caprio share it!

10. Lionel. You could name your little cutie after singer Richie with this one, but it also means “young lion,” so it really fits your tiny baby leo.

Baby Girl Names

1. Peridot. Since this enchanting green gem is the birthstone of the month, why not give a baby girl born in August this pretty first name?

2. Coco. This is such a cute-yet-stylish-sounding baby girl’s name (just ask Courteney Cox) and very summery since it’s short for “coconut.” Its origin is as a pet name in French and Spanish.

3. Augusta. The girl version of the name of the month, Augusta is another obvious but very sweet choice.

4. Gladys. The August flower is the bright, colorful gladiolus, a perennial that blooms all summer, so this spinoff is a good name for a little girl born this month.

5. Leonie. The baby girl version of “Leo,” this cute name is another one meaning “lion” (or should we say “lioness”?). Roar!

6. Adena. This English name meaning “fire” is the feminine version of the popular boy’s name Aiden and just feels like a good, summery, August girl’s name.

7. Calinda. This Hindi name means “sun” and is a nice choice for an August baby girl.

8. Peach. A very summery fruit that’s ripe for the picking in August, it also makes a charming girl’s name.

9. Lena. This Greek name means “the bright one.” Need we say more?

10. Sienna. The name of the Italian city of orange-red clay (spelled with just one “n”) sparked an unusual and beautiful girl’s name version, which just exudes summery warmth.

Is your baby name on the list? Would you ever name your child after the month when he or she was born?

baby buckled in carseat

5 Ways to Avoid Locking Your Baby in the Car

By now you’ve probably heard what happened to brand new mom Carrie Underwood, right? The country pop singer says her naughty dogs accidentally locked themselves, her 4-month-old baby boy Isaiah and her keys inside her hot car. It’s the perfect recipe for a heart attack when you’re a mom, especially a first-time mom with an infant that young.

Luckily, quick-thinking Underwood, 32, and her brother-in-law broke the window and got the baby and pets out quickly before anyone got hurt.

Locking the car door with a little one and the keys inside could happen to any of us. So how can we prevent it? Here are are five ways to avoid locking your baby in the car.

1. Keep an extra set of car keys tucked into your purse and another under your front door mat, in an outdoor potted plant, in the garage or anywhere else that makes sense. That way, you won’t have a panic attack if one set gets locked in the car.

2. By a clip-on keychain, like a rock climber’s carabiner, to ensure you’ll always have your keys on you — literally.

3. Child-proof your car locks (and windows) from the inside. Make sure the locks on at least the backseat doors can be disabled. It’s the only way to really ensure that kids, dogs and other pets won’t be able to get stuck inside.

4. Do a methodical check that you have your keys before locking the door … every.single.time. I’ve programmed myself to do this, and it really works. Carrying your keys in the same place consistently — like a handbag or front pants pocket — helps too.

5. When you’re driving somewhere, try to load kids and animals into the car last. This will hopefully prevent them from getting into trouble like Underwood’s mischievous pooches did.

Have you ever locked your baby or child into the car? What did you do and how have you tried to stop it from happening again?

baby on the beach

40 Summer Themed Baby Names

Summer is almost here, and if you’re expecting — or just love the warmest season the best — you might want to name your baby something, well, summery. We’ve done the work for you! Here are 40 beautiful sumer themed baby names.

Baby Girl Names

1. Daisy

2. Dahlia

3. June

4. Kyra

5. Lily

6. Pearl

7. Plum

8. Rose

9. Ruby

10. Selena

11. Summer

12. Sunny

13. Marigold

14. Shell

15. Willow

16. Meadow

17. Julia

18. Skye

19. Coral

20. Soleil

Baby Boy Names

1. August

2. Dune

3. Julian

4. River

5. Tanner

6. Leaf

7. Beckett

8. Birch

9. Aiden

10. Blaise

11. Leo

12. Lucas

13. Sampson

14. Ray

15. Bay

16. Lake

17. Beach

18. Storm

19. Sailor

20. Blue

Is your baby name on the list?

baby in stroller

5 Times You Should Consider Renting a Stroller

If you’re the parent of a baby or a toddler, your stroller is one of those staples it’s hard to imagine living without. You get so much use out of it, not buying one is almost unthinkable.

But believe it or not, there are occasions when renting a stroller might be a better option than bringing your own — for convenience sake alone, in some cases. Here are the top five times you should consider renting a stroller.

1. At Disney. Stroller rental at Disney theme parks is actually pretty affordable — $15 a day or just $13 a day if you rent it for multiple days. (For a double stroller, it’s a bit pricier at $31 a day or $27 for a multi-day rental). Considering everything else you’ll need to pack for a trip to Disney — which involves a flight for most people — it might well be worth leaving your stroller at home and lightening your load in favor of renting one once you get there.

2. In New York City. A family trip to New York City is another one that typically requires a lot of luggage — and a ton of walking around. There’s no way you can do it with a baby or toddler without a stroller (unless you opt for a baby sling, but that will start feeling very heavy very quickly while you’re running around the streets of New York). There are plenty of baby gear rental companies that serve New York, including Baby’s Away, which charges $8-$12 a day to rent a single stroller, or $48-$72 for the week ($10-$18 a day for a double; $60-$105 for the week).

3. At the zoo. The zoo is another place you should definitely consider renting a stroller rather than bringing your own. Some zoo exhibits do not allow you in with a stroller, so leaving yours outside puts it at risk of being stolen. The fees are fairly affordable; stroller rentals at the San Diego Zoo, for example, cost $12 a day for a single and $16 for a side-by-side double. At the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., renting a single stroller costs $9 a day and a double $12 a day.

4. At the beach. A family beach vacation is super fun, but the supplies you have to pack — especially if you’re traveling with a baby or toddler — can be over the top. If you’re trying to streamline all that stuff and don’t want your stroller to come back full of sand, you might consider leaving it at home and renting one instead. Various baby gear companies like Baby’s Away and others offer stroller rentals at all sorts of seaside towns; costs vary by location.

5. On a cruise. If you’re bringing baby on a cruise, the stroller you have at home could easily take up most of your cabin. Ditch it in favor of renting one onboard — but check with your cruise line first to make sure they offer stroller rentals, as not all do. Carnival does rent strollers, for instance — for a total of $30 for a five-day cruise or $8 a day for three- or four-day cruises.

Would you ever consider renting a stroller instead of bringing your own? When?

newborn baby in towel

10 Must-Have Newborn Clothes

If you’re pregnant or have recently had a baby, you may be wondering what you really need for your newborn in the way of clothes. We’re here to help you narrow it down. Since newborns spend so much of their time eating and sleeping, you don’t have to buy much. If it’s your first, you’ll probably get most of the essentials at your baby shower. But for those new moms or moms-to-be who need some guidance, here are 10 must-have newborn clothes worth buying.

1. Onesies. Babies can live in onesies right from the start at least until they’re 18 months-2 years old. They cover the belly and prevent curious hands from picking apart diapers. So stock up. Make sure you have a good selection of sizes and both long- and short-sleeved ones.

2. Footie pajamas. Another thing you won’t be able to do without. They keep newborns nice and insulated and are easy to get on and off.

3. Socks. Their little tootsies get cold, especially in the first few months after they’re born when their circulation system is still developing. Make sure you have plenty of socks to keep those adorable baby feet warm.

4. Bibs. Newborns are notorious for spitting up — a lot. And when they’re not spitting up, they’re drooling. Protect all those cute clothes you bought and got as gifts (or hand-me-downs) by buying plenty of soft, cloth bibs for daytime use and those soft plastic bibs with a bucket for when baby starts eating solids.

5. Easy-to-pull-on pants. Your newborn will need something to wear with all those onesies, so make sure you have plenty of those teeny, tiny pull-on pants. Made of soft, cotton they’re like leggings, but less tight than mama’s. They’re versatile and comfy and you’ll get a lot of use out of them.

6. Little dresses for girls and pants suits for boys. You’ll want to have at least a few “dressier” outfits for your little bundle of joy for any special occasions or mid-day iPhone photo shoots. With such cute baby dresses and pants suits out there, you won’t have any problem finding ones you like.

7. Little cardigans or button-down long-sleeve tops. These are incredibly handy when you need something to put over the umpteenth short-sleeved onesie. Make sure you get a lot in different colors to go with the pants you have.

8. A hat. Whether your baby is born in the warm weather or cold, you’ll need a hat — a sun hat if it’s spring or summer and a soft, knit winter hat if it’s fall or winter. You don’t need to go crazy, but get at least one for each season that your newborn can wear.

9. A jacket or coat. No matter what season you give birth in, you’ll need a jacket or coat for your baby eventually. Just one really good, versatile one will do (until he grows out of it, of course).

10. Mittens. This may not seem like something you’ll need, but believe me, you will — either for when it gets chilly outside or for preventing your newborn from scratching herself with those sharp nails of hers. Get a couple of pairs at least — they’re easy to lose.

What must-have newborn clothes would you add to the list?

Eva Mendes Mother's Day plans

Celebrity Moms Reveal Their Mother’s Day Plans

So you may have heard about a little thing called Mother’s Day happening this weekend, and you know what that means! Time to stalk some celebrity moms and see what they’re doing for the holiday. Maybe those of us who don’t have our own plans set yet will get some ideas. And, come on. What better Mother’s Day gift to yourself than a little juicy gossip about your favorite stars? You can thank us later.

We’ve rounded up some favorite celeb moms’ Mother’s Day plans. Others have yet to spill the beans, but we’re keeping an eye out — you know who you are, secretive star moms!

1. Eva Mendes. It might be her first one, but Eva Mendes has no Mother’s Day plans at all. “There is no plan,” the 41-year-old actress told Access Hollywood Live. “I kind of feel like I haven’t quite earned my stripes yet in a way.” Her daughter with actor Ryan Gosling, Esmeralda, turns 8 months old this month. Instead, she wants to focus on her own mom “who’s had a really hard year” because of Mendes’ brother’s battle with cancer. So the star will spend the holiday with her extended family. “This Mother’s Day is definitely all about my mom. We’re all going to go over to her house and bombard her with love,” she said.

2. Melissa Joan Hart. The 39-year-old actress–mom to three boys, Mason, 9, Brady, 7, and Tucker, 2 –plans to have a stress-free holiday this weekend. “We will stay home as a family with our neighbors–the husbands will BBQ while the kids run around and play,” the Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Melissa & Joey star told Celebrity Baby Scoop. “It’s the perfect hassle-free, fun family day.”

3. Beverley Mitchell. The 7th Heaven star, mom to a 2-year-old girl Kenzie and a 3-month-old boy Hutton, is spending Sunday with her own mother, her two kids and her husband Michael Cameron. “I will be spending Mother’s day with my beautiful family and my mom,” Mitchell, 34, told Celebrity Baby Scoop. “It will be a wonderful mellow day just spending time with the ones I love. Nothing crazy, it is just about getting time with the people who matter most.”

4. DeAnna Pappas Stagliano. The former star of The Bachelorette revealed she’s going to have a low-key Mother’s Day to “celebrate the love” she has for 1-year-old daughter Addison. “We plan to celebrate Mother’s Day as a family,” the 33-year-old new mom said. “We will spend it with my mother-in-law as well. She loves a day where she doesn’t have to do anything.”

5. Courtney Lopez. The wife of Extra host and former Saved by the Bell actor Mario Lopez said she, too, will hang out with her MIL on Mother’s Day. “My amazing husband plans it and we celebrate with our kids, my mom and my mother-in-law,” said the 32-year-old mom of Gia, 4, and Nico, 1. “I would never spend Mother’s Day without my kids.”

6. Ashton Kutcher. Aha! Got your attention there, didn’t we? Yes, we know he’s a new celeb dad, not a mom. And it’s not his plans with fiancee Mila Kunis for her first Mother’s Day since having their baby girl Wyatt that we’ve dug up. It’s 37-year-old Kutcher’s Mother’s Day gift for his own mom we’re so enthralled with: remodel her house in secret with the help of home design site Houzz, which the Two and a Half Men star is an investor in. “It’s my way of saying thank you to my mom,” the star said. “My mom has been the greatest influence in my life. My parents gave me everything.”

Hear any other gossip about what celeb moms are doing for Mother’s Day? Do tell!

mom with kids on Mother's Day

10 Mom Quotes Perfect for Mother’s Day

Since Mother’s Day is fast approaching, we realize you’re itching for a post full of quotes about moms that will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. We’ve got you covered. Here are 10 mom quotes that poignantly capture the essence of motherhood.

1. “I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me ‘Mommy.'”
— Heather A. Stillufsen

2. “Your child will follow your example, not your advice.”
— Unknown

3. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”
— Diana, Princess of Wales

4. “I want to be a stay-at-home mom but without the kids.”
— Unknown

5. “Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”
— Linda Wooten

6. “The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed.”
— Unknown

7. “Cleaning the house while the children are home is like shoveling while it’s still snowing.”
— Erma Bombeck

8. “Motherhood is an experiment in how long your body can function without adequate sleep or nourishment and fueled only on adrenaline, caffeine and baby smiles.”
— Unknown

9. “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.”
— Margaret Culkin Banning

10. “The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe. You relinquish that position to your children.”
— Jessica Lange

Want more? Read: 14 Inspiring Quotes About Having a Baby

What’s your favorite quote about motherhood?

couple's photo booth pregnancy announcement

5 Best Viral Pregnancy Announcements

Telling your husband and family you’re having a baby is one of the most memorable, emotional moments of your life. So why not do something really spectacular — something that will make your pregnancy announcement go viral? Everyone else is doing it!

In the newest gem, Jesse and Melissa Meek of Oregon reveal they’re expecting with a rap to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song. You just have to watch it to see why it’s blown up so fast, with almost 5 million views since it was posted Easter Sunday. It’s one of our five picks for the best viral pregnancy announcements that have made the rounds recently.

1. Fresh Prince, Baby. The Meeks’ priceless Fresh Prince of Bel Air pregnancy announcement was shot driving in their car, baseball caps on, as they rapped. You HAVE to watch for the big reveal at the end — there’s a twist! And how did she keep a straight face that whole time?

2.  Pregnant in a Photo Booth. Jessica Devins (pictured above) surprised husband Michael with her baby news in a photo booth on Christmas Eve, and it’s so sweet and touching, we dare you not to cry. She holds up a hat with “Baby” written on it right before the camera snaps the picture, and his tearful, happy reaction is worth a thousand words. It now has almost 14.5 million views.

3. Screaming Sisters. After these parents found out they were having a baby, they had their two older daughters open “Big Sister” and “Big Sister … Again” cakes together. Their squeals of delight are completely adorbs, especially when the older one says, “You’re going to be a big sister!” to the younger and gives her the best hug ever. Melting! No wonder it’s been watched almost 4 million times!

4. The Pictures of a Lifetime. Mom-to-be Camille Averett and photographer Kendra Swalls conspired to announce Averett’s pregnancy to husband Kyle  as they were shooting pictures for their “Christmas card.” How sly! Wait til you see how Camille shares the news. It’s brilliant, and so poignant. With more than 235,000 likes and 16,000 plus shares on Swalls’ Facebook page, it’s obviously captured many, many hearts.

5. Hating on Girls. How could we forget this “baby reveal gone wrong” to the couple’s two little girls and son Gunner? They give the kids the gender reveal cake and when Gunner sees it’s pink, he has the meltdown to end all meltdowns. “I hate girls!” he screeches. “Girls, girls, girls, girls!” He even refused to eat the cake! If you missed it, check it out to see why it’s been watched more than 5 million times since it was posted a year ago. Later our boy said he was happy about a third sister. Hmm …

What’s your favorite recent viral pregnancy announcement? Or are you tired of them?

baby boy and baby girl

20 Baby Boy Names That Are Trendy for Girls

Celebrities have been giving their baby girls traditionally boy names lately. Most recently, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds named their daughter James, and Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis welcomed baby girl Wyatt.

And don’t forget Jessica Simpson’s little girl Maxwell Drew, Kristen Bell’s daughter Lincoln, and Kim and Kanye’s cutie North.

It’s not a brand new baby name trend, mind you … among celebs or the rest of us in the masses. But it’s having a resurgence, and what happens in Hollywood tends to catch on in the real world soon afterwards. Here are 20 boy baby names set to become trendy girl names.

1. JamesNow that one of the most beautiful power couples on Earth in the form of Lively and Reynolds have named their baby girl James, mark our words — plenty of girls called James will start popping up.

2. WyattMila and Ashton are cute, aren’t they? We have no doubt their daughter is too (from the looks of that one mysterious photo they released). So expect a lot of people to copy their baby name Wyatt for their little girls.

3. Maxwell. Maxwell has already gotten more popular as a girl’s name after Jess dared to “go there” with her first baby. We predict it will only become trendier.

4. Aidan. This has been at the top of baby boy names lists for years, so it’s only natural that it will turn into a girl’s name next.

5. August. Garth Brooks gave his daughter this stylish boy’s name. Other parents have followed suit, and we think it will only become hotter for baby girls.

6. Claude. Bye-bye, Claudia. The new girl version of the boy’s name Claude is … Claude. Trés chic.

7. Jude. Martha Stewart’s daughter Alexis gave her daughter this traditionally male name, and it’s been picking up steam as a girl’s name ever since.

8. ElliotGeorge Stephanopoulos and wife Ali Wentworth named their older daughter Elliot years ago, and others have been taking a page out of their book. It’s on track to become a lot trendier for girls than boys.

9. Noah. Yes, this is still usually a boy’s name for now, but if Miley Cyrus’ dad Billy Ray Cyrus can name his daughter Noah, who’s to say the rest of us can’t too?

10. Curtis. Another one that’s been quietly catching on over the years as a baby girl name that will just continue to get more fashionable.

11. BarryThis one is dropping fast in popularity as a boy’s name and gaining ground just as quickly as one for girls instead.

12. Sawyer. Already trendy as a boy’s name, Sawyer is now a popular one for little girls too. Stars like Sara Gilbert from Roseanne are at the forefront of the trend.

13. Mason. Kelsey Grammer has a daughter named Mason, and plenty of people have copied him. Definitely one to watch in the “crossing over from boy’s to girl’s names” category.

14. Owen. Singer Michelle Branch named her daughter this some years ago, and though it’s still an ultra popular boy’s name, it could be one of the next to hit the top of the girls’ lists.

15. Ira. This boy’s name is now equally popular for girls and boys. Expect baby girl Iras to become more and more common.

16. Harley. This baby boy name is really taking off as a girl’s name instead, with twice as many girl Harleys now as boy ones, according to Nameberry.

17. Murray. An old-fashioned boy’s name that’s now “in” for baby girls these days. Cute, right?

18. Spencer. Another Kelsey Grammer daughter name that we could see taking off even more now than when he and his then-wife settled on it in the ’80s.

19. Quincy. Quinn already made the switch from blue to pink, so why not Quincy too?

20. Austin. Already an uber-popular boy’s name, it’s slowly being used for baby girls now too. Watch for it to become one of the hot girl’s names next.

What other baby boy names do you think will become trendy for girls? 

P.S. And..while you have names on the brain, check out our amazing collection of baby names to find the ones you love!

hand-held video baby monitor

Are You a ‘Drone Parent’? 5 Ways to Tell

Helicopter parenting is so passé. The new generation of moms and dads is practicing a kind that’s much more stealth. Dubbed “drone parenting,” it’s less about hovering over your children in person and more about doing it remotely — observing your kids from afar, often with the help of creepy Big Brother-style technology. Drone parents will periodically swoop in to intervene when they think it’s necessary, frequently making a big, dramatic scene in the process.

So are you a drone parent? Here are five ways to tell.

1. You have a wireless baby monitor you can check on your smartphone. If the old-fashioned baby monitors that resemble 1960s-era TVs or worse, walkie talkies, just don’t do enough for you, you’re likely to invest in a digital, wireless monitor instead — one you can check on your phone wherever you are. Sound like you? Then you’re probably a drone.

2. You observe your children from a distance but rely on various high-tech devices to track their every move. If you rely on cutting-edge technology to help you obsessively watch your kids from afar, you are probably a drone parent. These can be anything from wireless baby monitors and baby wearables connected to your smartphone to technology used for older kids, like cellphone trackers and smart home cameras that let parents watch live video of their children so they know they’re safe, doing their homework, behaving well and so on. Scary!

3. You have “baby wearables” you use for your infant that tell you things like heart rate, sleep position, when the child is about to wake up and even his mood. Some you just attach to the baby; others are onesies or socks the child wears. All are so you can be hyper-vigilant with your little one, especially while she’s sleeping. Overprotective? Nah.

4. When you do intervene, you like to swoop in suddenly and dramatically. Drone parents are selective about when they intervene in person, and when they do, they frequently like to make a scene. Whether it’s having a big reaction to something your child is doing wrong or unleashing a tirade on his teacher for a real or perceived infraction, you like to make your presence felt since you stay back so much of the time.

5. Helicopter parents are your nemesis. Helicopter parents are way too overt about their hovering and meddling for you. They’re too obvious in their Mother Hen over-involvement. You much prefer to give the impression that you’re letting your kids figure things out for themselves and just watch them like a hawk under the radar.

Do you practice drone parenting?