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About Paul Banas

Paul Banas is happy married dad of two great kids living in San Francisco. He writes now about kids, new technology and how the two interact for GreatDad.com and for Pregnancy Magazine (pregnancymagazine.com) where he is also the publisher.

Here are my most recent posts

Your Baby is Announcing His Presence

Your wife is fifteen weeks pregnant. Your baby may now begin to announce his presence through fluttering movements as he kicks and turns inside his mom’s womb. He can grasp, grimace, maybe even suck his thumb. Click here to view a picture of what your baby will look like at this stage.

Morning Sickness: What Your Spouse Can Do to Cope with it

During her pregnancy, your spouse may suffer from morning sickness. This is quite normal. Half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness symptoms to at least some degree. The most commonly observed symptoms are vomiting and nausea. Usually harmless, morning sickness is rarely severe enough to warrant medical attention.

Here are some things you can do to help your partner cope better with morning sickness:

  • Remind her to drink plenty of fluids.
  • Encourage her to choose foods containing high carbohydrate and rich protein content.
  • Keep a box of pretzels or crackers near her bedside. Eating these before getting out of bed in the morning will make her feel better.
  • Motivate her to change her eating patterns. Eating smaller meals at regular intervals will reduce symptoms of nausea. Help her identify foods that trigger nausea in her, such as fatty or spicy items. Encourage her to eliminate these from her diet.
  • Buy her loose-fitting clothes to wear, which will keep her comfortable and allow her to relax.
  • Recognize her need for rest. Make sure she gets an adequate amount of it. This may involve you pitching in with some of the housework, like doing the dishes or the laundry, or maybe even fixing breakfast.
  • Above all, offer your moral support and make her feel cheerful.

Also read Is Morning Sickness a good thing?

Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please consult your doctor.

Pickles and Ice Cream

Pickles and Ice Cream: A Father’s Guide to Pregnancy is a comprehensive guide to pregnancy by a highly respected obstetrician and gynecologist, which offers practical advice for dads-to-be, with loads of humor packed in.


Learn about the Changes in Your Spouse During Her Pregnancy

This is an in-between stage in your spouse’s pregnancy, when she might not even look like she is pregnant. However, there are various things happening simultaneously inside her body.

These are some of the physical changes that her body will go through during the next couple of weeks:

  • Expanding belly: Sometime between 15 to 20 weeks, your spouse’s pregnancy will begin to ‘show.’ The exact period when this happens varies between women. If this is her first pregnancy, this may happen a little later for her than for women who are in their subsequent pregnancies.

  • Abdominal pain: The enlarging of the uterus can lead to discomfort and pain in her abdomen. Remember also that organs within your spouse’s stomach and abdomen are literally moving to make room for the baby. These shifts and changes often happen while she is sleeping. Any sudden movements on her part may also trigger the pain. Encourage her to rise out of bed slowly. The application of heat on her belly may also help to ease the pain.

  • Leaking nipples: Around this time, your spouse may notice that her nipples are leaking a yellowish liquid. This is actually Colostrum, a substance that is full of antibodies, and that will help your baby fight diseases. Colostrum is in fact far superior to the milk she will have after childbirth. It is richer in protein and lower in fats and sugar.

  • Bleeding from the nose: Your spouse experiences nose bleeds due to the increased blood flow that she experiences during her pregnancy. A humidifier may help by increasing the moisture levels in the air around her.

  • Changes in hair growth: Hormonal changes in your spouse’s body will affect her rate of hair growth. She may notice increased growth, or changes in its texture, etc.

  • Skin discoloration: Pregnancy may cause red marks to appear on your spouse’s face and chest. Called spider angiomas, these are caused by the hormonal disturbances occurring inside her body. You may also notice some patches of discolored skin around her face, which are known as chloasma.

How much allowance for kids?


An allowance for kids is an important part of growing up and plays a significant role in developing the ability to manage money. Seen this way, your management and communication about it may be different than if you think of it as just a tactic to control the inflow of toys into the house.

When to begin your kids’ allowance? Age six would be the right time to start, after kids can count and begin to understand the price of different things they want to buy.

And, how much to give? A good rule of thumb is $1 for every year of age, or so says The Allowance: It’s Not Just About Money in the New York Times. Or, as the article counters, “half of that,” noting that most people decide kids’ allowance based on a very unscientific survey or friends and family.

The New York Times article cites a Yankelovich study, breaking down kids’ allowances to $5 to $9 for six to eleven-year-olds, and $10-$19 for 12 to 17-year-olds (which conveniently fits the rule of thumb). Like so many things in the financial area you’ll have to figure out the most appropriate rate for your own area and child, and expect continuous negotiations, as your children get older.

A few other things to keep in mind:

  1. Keep the accounting for your kids’ allowance simple and clear. If you hold the money in your wallet for your child, keep written accounts that the child can monitor easily. You don’t want to be in a “he said, she said” situation due to a few bucks.
  2. Experts disagree on whether allowance for kids is an “entitlement” or a quid pro quo for doing chores. Some think it’s important that the child see the value of work to earn money, while others think kids need to understand that chores are a thing you do as part of the family, and are separate from the allowance. Like a lot of things about parenting, it’s hard to say which is right or wrong, or best for the child as a life lesson, and much will depend on your own philosophy or worldview. You might consider a blend of the two where certain chores (ex. taking out the garbage, emptying the dishwasher, and shoveling the snow) are part of the family responsibility, while other work is compensated by or outside the allowance.
  3. Given that an allowance is a key aid in teaching money management, pay out the allowance to kids at a regular time each week without fail. Keeping a tight schedule, like a paycheck, allows your child to plan and budget, which are the skills you are trying to develop.
  4. Consider putting away an extra sum for charity or long-term savings so that the child can monitor this over the long haul. Avoid making this an accounting issue by keeping the math simple (ex. $1 week = $52 year into a charity fund to allocate at the end of the year) and only reporting on it at longer intervals, say quarterly.

Amazon has several books on raising smart money kids, and the New York Times article recommends Raising Smart Money Kids by Janet Bodnar of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (I have not read this book). Much of kids’ allowance rules and amounts will be subject to change over time as kids develop their own tastes and needs that fall far from the opinions and view of mommy and daddy. Making a six-year-old pay for their own movie with mommy and daddy is not the same thing as watching your 17-year old roll out the driveway on her way to make her own movie choices. Good luck with the evolution in your thought process, while trying to keep a modicum of consistency in your communications.

Paul Banas


Note: GreatDad is partnering with Active Allowance.com to provide free chore charts for GreatDad readers.