How to rock a baby to sleep, as demonstrated by an experienced dad

Jordan Watson, the New Zealand-based father-of-three behind "How to Dad," demonstrates how to rock a baby to sleep in his latest video. It's cute.

In my personal experience, the "Invisible Trampoline" is the most effective for knocking newborns out but then again I've never tried waltzing.

(This one goes out to my brother and his family who just welcomed my nephew Benjamin to the world!)

(Likecool) Read the rest

A registry for covering maternity leave costs

Oh sure, you could buy something cute from their regular ol' baby registry but what do most new moms really want? Time. Real quality time with their new baby. Time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth.

And that time is money.

Few U.S. employers offer a full 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, simply because it isn't mandated in this country. That too-often forces working moms to become separated from their newborns and shuffled back into the office prematurely.

That's where the Take 12 maternity leave registry service comes in. It provides a way for expecting women to crowdsource their maternity leave. Friends and family can sign up to cover the costs of quality time.

Margi Scott, a mom of four, founded Take 12 as a way to address the problem. She writes:

This is not an entitlement issue. Mothers need time with their babies after birth to bond and recover from labor and pregnancy...

THE POINT is that as a nation we put undue emotional, mental, physical, and financial stress on 50% of our work force who are also the mothers to the future of our country in their most vulnerable stage of life.

This stress also directly effects maternal and infant mortality rates in this country.

This is a direct cost that men in the workforce do not endure in the same way. Our experiences in this regard are not equal, yet we expect equal response.

So, it's essentially a clever method for growing families to hit up folks for cash instead of gifts, while simultaneously shining a light on a real issue. Read the rest

Parents explain to their kids why they smoke weed

Oh gosh, parenthood is so hard sometimes. I'm a mom to a nearly-teen daughter and I teach her that she should do the right thing as much as humanly possible. This often mean explaining why I can do certain things as an adult that she shouldn't do as a child.

I'm pro-cannabis all the way. I've worked in the industry, have a current medical card, and am publicly vocal about it. I don't, however, want my kid using it until she's older and her brain is finished developing. So, I don't use in front of her. That's my line. We've definitely had some interesting conversations about the subject though.

That's why this video by the Cut caught my eye. It features several parents telling their children that they use cannabis. The kid's reactions range from curious to downright judgmental.

The world certainly is changing, isn't it? A video like this couldn't have existed even just a few years ago. Read the rest

Watch these parents get tattoos that their kids just drew

No one ever said parenthood was easy and this video proves that point, in a really bizarre way. It feels a little bit like an episode of Jackass but with small children calling the shots.

Here's the premise: Three brave parents agreed to let their kids design tattoos for them. They also agreed to have that design, no matter what it was, immediately inked on their body.

And they agreed to have the whole thing captured on camera, of course.

It's a good watch.

(Seriously tho, "Mr. Hot Dog" is pretty rad. He's got a Mr. Peanut vibe with that top hat and cane.)

Previously: Some brutally honest kids share their family secrets with this illustrator Read the rest

Man must pay child support, even though DNA shows he's not the father

Chris Atkin's says he doesn't mind that a court is forcing him to pay $730 a month in child support for a daughter that isn't his, but he would also like to be able to see her because he feels like a father to her.

From Fox31 Denver:

"I just want my daughter, but I can't even see her, but yet I'm still paying child support. And the biological father has been found and he gets to spend time with her. I don't get nothing,” Atkins said.

He accused his ex-wife Lori Lonnquist of ignoring court custody orders that grant him visitation while still collecting child support.

When asked if she was being greedy, Lonnquist said, “Maybe, but I don’t feel bad about it, I really don’t.”

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Justice League baby socks

The Justice League Infant Socks 6-Pack ($15) is a pretty sweet new-baby gift, likely to be put to grateful use, and a delight when mix-and-matched (baby-socks being the sort of thing that disappear in the wash because they crumple to the size of a spitball). I still harbor free-floating guilt about some of the awesome baby-clothes we got when Poesy was born, because in the hurly-burly of consta-pooping and grosteque sleeplessness, a ton of them ended up being outgrown before they were worn. The exceptions: socks and onesies.

Justice League Infant Socks 6-Pack Read the rest

Moms, booze, and why social science is so damn hard

In the past year, I've had multiple social scientists tell me that people are the hardest thing to study. Sure, you don't need a Large Hadron Collider. And the chances of suddenly requiring a HAZMAT suit are pretty slim. But people almost never give you the kind of solidly reliable data you can get out of subatomic particles or viruses. The hard part isn't doing the research. The hard part is getting trustworthy, universal answers for anything. If you want to see a good example of those problems in action, check out this great piece on drinking during pregnancy, written by Melinda Moyer. Read the rest