Baby Baby Milestones

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    Busy Philipps has an adorable way of describing how her 8-month-old baby moves. "Cricket is doing something that we're calling -- it's not crawling -- on-land swimming," Philipps told Us magazine. "Because she's moving, she's not crawling. Like she's swimming on land, and you cannot leave her alone. She'll get to where she wants to go by swimming on land. She's really fast and she's on the move." Aww, most of you with kids know exactly what she means. It's that floppy form of travel babies do. "Swimming on land" is a clever way to put it.

    Babies have all sorts of crazy movements that require their own terminology -- here's 10 more.

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    The minute your baby enters the world, time suddenly speeds up. That first year may seem to crawl by when it's 2:00 in the morning and you're trying to get your little one to sleep already. But believe me, next thing you know, you'll be celebrating the first birthday and wondering what just happened. So here are 30 things you should do with your baby in that first year -- your baby bucket list!

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    It happens. People who don't really want kids end up becoming parents anyway. Photographer Phillip Toledano is one of those people. "I liked [kids] in an abstract sense," he writes, "in the same way that exercise seems appealing, but in practice, utterly tedious." When his wife Carla became pregnant he says he was "neither ready nor vastly enthused." (Oh Carla, I'm so sorry...) He documented his daughter Loulou's first two years -- and his experience as a father -- in his blog, The Reluctant Father, now a beautiful book by the same name. And guess what? What started out as "misery" -- yes, he uses that word, misery -- eventually turned into joy. 

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    No matter how many people warn you, there's just no way to prepare for the shock and awe that come with the newborn phase. You think you can handle it -- and you can. You think you know what's coming -- and you kind of do. But still. For just about every rookie parent, it's kind of like labor: Harder in ways you never imagined. But then you wake up one day and realize that you're finally past it. You survived the newborn phase! How do you know? Well, prop your eyelids open with some toothpicks and read on. We'll tell you the signs.

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    Psst, got a moment to squee over how wonderful the royal baby's first Christmas is going to be? Of course you do! Here's what we're hearing so far. Kate Middleton's plans for Prince George's first Christmas sound tooth-achingly adorable, and we only wish we could be there with them. If what this palace insider says is true, it sounds like Kate just has such a knack for creating family-time magic around the holidays. Here's what she's got planned.

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    What if you could get a hint that your child might have autism from the very beginning, when they're still a baby? A new study suggests that a baby's gaze could signal autism. It's all about eye contact. Using eye-tracking technology, researchers found that babies who looked less at people's eyes were more likely to be diagnosed with autism by age 3. What's more, there may be a window of time when doctors can intervene. This difference in eye contact didn't show in newborns -- only after the babies were a few months old.

    The team says that babies whose eye contact with others declined the most turned out to have the most severe autism. That's information that could help a lot of parents and kids. "Our ultimate goal," says researcher Dr. Warren R. Jones, "is to translate this discovery into a tool for early identification" of children with autism. But don't start obsessively watching your baby's gaze yet.

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    The big day is finally here! Prince George of Cambridge was christened today at Chapel Royal in Saint James Palace in London. Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their little prince arrived from Kensington Palace at 2:32 this afternoon (London time) and met with clergy in the courtyard before the ceremony. As you can see here, the little Royal family looked gorgeous. Here's everything we know about the christening.

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    Who knows what's really going on inside babies' heads? Parents and scientists alike are obsessed with cracking the bambino code. It's hard to tell, of course, because babies can't talk. But the more clever ways we find to peek into the minds of babies, the more astonished we are at how much they seem to know and how much they can do. For example, did you know babies can tell when you're fake smiling? Here are five surprising things babies know.

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    Just when you thought Kate Middleton and Prince William couldn't do anything else to seem more like us, there they go again keeping their connections to the outside, non-royal world firmly intact. This time, they've done something completely unconventional by bypassing Prince Harry, Pippa Middleton, and quite a few other usual royal suspects to stand in as Prince George's godparents

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    I'm not quite sure if a baby's first birthday is a bigger milestone for the baby or for the parents. When my twins turned 1, I remember feeling like I crossed the finish line of a marathon. There was a lot of champagne and multiple cakes -- although my girls didn't quite know what to do with them.

    Looking back on it, I wish I'd been aware of the trend that so many parents have caught on to: Set the birthday kid up with their very own smash cake, a separate, aptly proportioned confection presented without utensils for the honoree to enjoy in whatever manner they see fit.

    They can feel free to squeeze it, drool on it, crumble it, face plant in it. You name it. No one else is going to eat it but them!

    Here are a few reasons why this is an absolutely genius idea:

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