65 Reward Ideas for Kids (And brain-science explained)

Parenting isn’t all that hard.

(Sarcasm incoming!)

There’s really nothing to it except:

  • Keeping your child alive
  • Making sure they’re properly fed
  • Getting them enough sleep
  • Helping them do well in school
  • Teaching them to be good, moral people

You know. Just those couple of little things.

And when it comes to getting your child to do, or not do, the things you need them to on their way to becoming fully-functioning and healthy adults, you often need a two-pronged approach.

You can use rewards, and you can use punishments or consequences.

Read more65 Reward Ideas for Kids (And brain-science explained)

I tried Artkive to organize my toddler’s art (Honest Review)

Artkive box review

Any parent of a toddler who goes to school knows this problem well:

The absolutely endless influx of artwork that enters your house on a daily basis.

Yes, it’s cute! It’s adorable! It’s a piece of history!

It’s also incredibly annoying when the pile starts to take over entire rooms in your house.

I’ve written before about some different storage solutions for this particular problem, but there was one, in particular, I really wanted to try first hand:

The Artkive box — It’s a box you fill up with your kid’s art and send off in the mail. A few weeks later, you’ll get a professionally bound book filled with photos of the art. Much easier to store!

Read moreI tried Artkive to organize my toddler’s art (Honest Review)

35 Fun Activities to Do with Your Toddler At Home

Toddler activities for home

You’re not really a parent to a toddler until you’ve thought:

“What the heck am I supposed to do with my kid all day?”

The easiest ways to keep a toddler busy and wear them out usually involve going outside. Going to parks, riding bikes, playing in the yard, etc.

But what if you’re stuck inside with a toddler? What are the best toddler activities you can do at home?

Read more35 Fun Activities to Do with Your Toddler At Home

9+ Ways to Be a Better Dad According to Science

Dads matter.

You probably already knew that, and so did I.

But don’t take it from me. Because the science on the subject is clear as day.

Children with good, loving, actively involved fathers have better outcomes in life.

They:

  • Have healthier relationships
  • Make more money & have more career success
  • Have less psychological problems
  • And often have higher IQs than their peers

That’s not to denigrate single mothers! Or lesbian couples! And it doesn’t doom kids who grow up without a father for one reason or another.

But if you’re alive and well, you owe it to your kids to be the best possible father you can be.

The question is: How exactly can you be a better dad?

Read more9+ Ways to Be a Better Dad According to Science

What’s In A Labor & Delivery Room? Complete Guide with Photos

With the big day about to arrive, it’s natural for you and your partner to have all sorts of questions about what you can expect when you step foot inside the hospital

Flipping through baby books might have given you an idea about what you can expect through pregnancy and new parenthood, but still leave you with questions about what will happen on your due date.

Read moreWhat’s In A Labor & Delivery Room? Complete Guide with Photos

5 Questions, Myths & Facts To Know About Parenting Instincts

We all do it.

The moment you pick up a baby — especially yours, but maybe even someone else’s — you start to sway.

You gently bounce your body and rock back and forth. If baby starts to cry, you shush them. If baby makes a noise, you babble happily back to them.

You don’t even realize that you’re doing it! No one ever taught you, and babies don’t come with instructions.

Is this your parenting instincts in action? Are these behaviors hard-wired into our evolutionary biology, just waiting for the right time to emerge? Do moms have stronger instincts than dads? Do all woman have a powerful urge to become moms?

Read more5 Questions, Myths & Facts To Know About Parenting Instincts

The 50 Best Middle Names for Carter

Boy eating snack in the kitchen

Did you know that people actually develop an impression of others based on their name alone?

In fact, your baby’s name can even influence how he feels about himself.

No wonder picking out the perfect name for your kid is such a big deal!

It’s no surprise that people Google name ideas for hours trying to find the best fit for their new little bundle of joy. The only problem is, if you spend all your time focusing on a great first name, you might not leave yourself a lot of time to find the perfect middle name!

That’s why I’ve been putting together my How To Pick A Middle Name series. So with a quick glance, you can find the perfect middle name to go with any first name.

Without any further ado, here are the best middle names for a boy named Carter.

Read moreThe 50 Best Middle Names for Carter

The 50 Best Middle Names for Gabriel

Boy in green and blue jacket walking down road

Did you know that a person’s name actually affects the way other people see them?

That it can influence first impressions and beyond?

And that’s not just the first name — the middle name is just as important!

However, once you’ve chosen a first name it can be tricky to find a middle name that sounds right (and doesn’t create embarrassing initials).

That’s why I’m putting together how to pick a middle name guides that match whatever first name you’ve picked with dozens and middle name choices.

Without any further ado, here are the best middle names for a boy named Gabriel.

Read moreThe 50 Best Middle Names for Gabriel

The 49 Best Middle Names for Madison

Little girl playing with hat outside

Spent hours and hours Googling baby names only to realize …

… you totally forgot about the middle name?!

Yep. Been there.

Madison is an absolutely gorgeous name, but now it’s time to (quickly) figure out what her middle name will be.

That’s why I’ve built my middle name matcher guides — lists of dozens of middle names that sound great with whatever first name you’ve already chosen.

Without any further ado, here are the best middle names for a girl named Madison.

Read moreThe 49 Best Middle Names for Madison

The 49 Best Middle Names for Grayson

Boy playing with microscope and smiling

When you’re expecting a baby, your world can get turned upside down (in a good way)!

There are so many things to think about, and it’s all so exciting — if not a bit overwhelming. One of the biggest choices that you face as a parent-to-be is what to name your child.

Your baby’s name is super important. After all, he’s likely going to have his name for a very long time, and his name says a lot about him!

But have you given much thought to the middle name? Choosing a middle name can be tough because it needs to sound good with the first name you’ve chosen and not lead to any embarrassing initials!

That’s why I’ve been putting together handy guides matching middle names to any first name you might have settled on.

Without any further ado, here are the best middle names for a boy named Grayson.

Read moreThe 49 Best Middle Names for Grayson

10 Modern Alternatives to Cigars to Celebrate a New Baby

Man smoking cigar outdoors

Handing out and lighting up cigars at the birth of a baby has been a long-standing tradition in the United States.

But, as smoking has become less popular, and certainly isn’t allowed at hospitals anymore, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to hand out cigars that will never be smoked.

If you’d like to celebrate the birth of your baby in style, but aren’t interested in lighting up yourself, here are some of the best cigar alternatives for a new baby:

Read more10 Modern Alternatives to Cigars to Celebrate a New Baby

The Different Types of Swaddles for Babies Explained

Knowing that your baby will sleep long and sound can give you great peace of mind.

For that to happen, you’ll usually need to have baby wrapped up tight in a good swaddle.

The thought of wrapping your baby tightly so that they can’t move their arms might sound like a crazy idea! However, many parents vouch for the comforting effect swaddling has on their newborns. Plus, it’s dangerous to put a baby to sleep with a loose blanket as they can easily suffocate.

Read moreThe Different Types of Swaddles for Babies Explained

The Different Types of Sippy Cups for Your Baby & How to Choose

Jenny Lee Silver/Flickr

Imagine this: Your baby transitions from using a bottle to an open cup effortlessly overnight.

Wouldn’t that be perfect?

Sadly, this isn’t a perfect world, and making the switch from bottle or breast to a proper cup can be challenging for a lot of new parents and their babies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends giving up a bottle somewhere between your baby turning 12 and 24 months old. But there is a learning curve involved in using an open cup, and understandably so.

So until your baby has perfected drinking from a cup, you could expect ample spills and messes to clean up!

This is exactly where sippy cups come in.

Read moreThe Different Types of Sippy Cups for Your Baby & How to Choose

The 49 Best Middle Names for Alexander or Alex

Young dark haired boy thinking

Getting ready to welcome a son into the world?

Congratulations!

Alex is a classic and masculine boys name. (It can be a girls name, too, though it’s used that way less often.)

You must have considered a ton of different options before settling on Alexander, but now that you’re here you’re wondering:

“What are the best middle names for Alex?”

This is exactly why I created my middle name matcher guides. In these lists, I give dozens of middle name options that sound good with whatever first name you’ve chosen.

Without any further ado, here are the best middle names for a boy named Alexander or Alex.

Read moreThe 49 Best Middle Names for Alexander or Alex