10 top parenting stories of 2014

The news that made it big in 2014.
The news that made it big in 2014. 

It was a busy year in the world of pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood but one thing remains the same: the huge interest mums mums and dads have in choosing their own children's names while also keeping up to date with what other people are calling their babies. 

This is why the most popular story on Essential Baby this year was the annual wrap up of the nation's top baby names for the previous 12 months. A run down of baby naming trends for this year secured number two on the most read story list.

A selection of parenting news from around the world completes our top 10 story list for 2014. Sadly, stories of loss and tragedy are included in the mix, but there are also pieces that are humorous, hopeful and uplifting.

1. Australia's top baby names of 2013 

It is the one big decision all mums and dads have to make when their baby is born - what to name their newly arrived bundle of joy. For that reason a list of the nation's top 100 baby names is essential reading for new parents everywhere, with some keen to avoid using a name on the list and others delighted to see their little one's moniker featured.

2. Hot baby name trends for 2014 

For those not content to name their baby something that sounds so “last year”, it’s essential to keep up to date with developing baby name trends. This year was the year of hipster names, boys names for girls, and old fashioned names. Who knows what next year will bring.

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3. When your unborn twin is your child's mother 

DNA testing showed Lydia Fairchild was not the mother of her three children, even though she conceived, carried and given birth them all. The US woman risked losing custody of her children until it was shown she was one of only 30 people in the world to have chimerism - a condition where person has two distinct strands of DNA due to losing their own twin sibling while in utero.

4. Pregnant woman dies after doctor removes ovary instead of appendix 

Maria De Jesus was 21 weeks pregnant when she was scheduled to undergo surgery to remove her appendix. In a shocking mix-up the doctors instead removed a healthy ovary, resulting in the tragic death of the both the UK woman and her unborn baby.

5. Mum's open letter to businessman who entertained autistic daughter on flight 

Facing a two hour flight with her three-year-old daughter Kate, who has autism, Shanell Mouland feared the worst. Instead she was surprised by the kindness of a businessman seated next to her who chatted and played with the little girl throughout the flight. A thank you letter the mum penned to the friendly stranger went viral.

6. Mum sentenced in 20 years for breastfeeding death 

In a tragic case a US woman was sentenced to 20 years jail after her newborn baby girl died from an overdose of morphine consumed in her mother’s breastmilk. The court heard Stephanie Greene had been addicted to painkillers since a car accident left her with chronic pain more than a decade ago. Six-week-old baby Alexis was found to have a level of morphine in her system which could have been fatal for an adult.

7. The baby shower guest of honour who went too far 

The letter this ungrateful mum-to-be sent to friends following her baby shower has to be read to be believed. Not only did she demand gifts from those who could not make the celebrations, she also requested those who bought gifts she did not approve of to rethink their purchase.

8. A mother's shock as a stranger smacks her child 

Queensland mum Debbie Green told of her shock when an elderly lady smacked four-year-old daughter Sophia, who has Down syndrome, on the hand during a local shopping trip.

9. The question this dad wished he had asked his wife 

Thankfully, awareness of depression and how debilitating it can be for sufferers continues to grow. In this heartfelt piece a dad and husband reflects on how he wishes he noticed earlier just how much his wife was struggling.

10. Tired mum dies of undiagnosed diabetes 

New mum Nicky Rigby thought the demands of caring for baby Lily were leaving her exhausted. The 26-year-old UK woman was actually suffering from Type 1 diabetes, which sadly led to her death when left undiagnosed.

Read more:

21 celebrity baby names that got us talking in 2014

10 cutest baby and toddler videos of 2014