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Crib notes: Dudelas help dads in the delivery room

To the uninformed, “dudela” might sound like what a hip, Yiddish-speaking grandmother calls her favorite grandson. You know, like “dudela, do what your mamaleh says.” But the uninformed would be wrong. “Think of a dudela as being a doula for the mother’s partner,” the guy who came up with the idea writes on UrbanBaby.com. He promises to tweet and text an announcement within an hour o

To the uninformed, “dudela” might sound like what a hip, Yiddish-speaking grandmother calls her favorite grandson. You know, like “dudela, do what your mamaleh says.” But the uninformed would be wrong. “Think of a dudela as being a doula for the mother’s partner,” the guy who came up with the idea writes on UrbanBaby.com. He promises to tweet and text an announcement within an hour of the birth. He’ll check you in at the hospital on Four Square and update your Facebook status with the baby’s first photo. Perhaps the most startling item on the dudela’s to-do list: “FANTASY SPORTS ASSISTANCE. The world of sports will not stop for the birth of your baby.” Seriously? Well, no, at least not at first, says John, the 33-year-old New Yorker who crafted the dudela ad, which also ran on Craig’s List. John, who, because of his day job, preferred that we not use his last name, and his wife are expecting their first child, a daughter, in February, and they’re interviewing doulas. “I was amazed by all the things that doulas do and how helpful they are,” John says. “Wouldn’t it be kind of funny to have someone like a dudela specifically for dad-like things.” He meant the ad as a joke but says, “if someone seriously approached me, I would try to help them.”

So… you’re as big as a house and about to deliver any day. Given that New Year’s is approaching as quickly as your due date, you’ve got some important choices to make. First up, do you go for the 2011 tax deduction or hold out hope for delivering the first baby of the New Year? If your accountant recommends going for the 2012 deduction, here are some tips to make sure you and your little bundle of joy are strong contenders for the New Year’s baby prize. A delivery room nurse calls the time of birth –they don’t synchronize their watches, so make sure you’re comfortable with the accuracy of her watch. Does your birth plan include signed media consent forms? If not, update it, pronto. The first baby cooing on camera is not always the first one born – but his parents were the first ones to agree to go on camera. Members of the media start calling hospital spokespeople right after midnight to get the scoop, so make sure you (and your hospital’s media team) are ready. Many towns and suburbs will award accolades to the “first baby” in their jurisdiction – to up your chances, you might want to consider delivering outside of a large city, and opt for a less populated ‘hood instead. Not pregnant this year? Don’t worry, there’s always next year. But, remember to plan ahead. Don’t get caught up with your New Year’s celebrations and wind up with a September or October baby, plan your conception for April, so the 2013 awards and glory will be all yours.

Get your waddle on, pregnant gals. An expectant mom, who's due on Friday, was hurrying back to her car as fast as her nine-months-pregnant belly would allow, when she saw a cop getting ready to give her a parking ticket. She begged him not to give her a ticket, saying "You could see me waddling over as fast as I could.” His reply? "You should have waddled faster." Officer Not-So-Friendly, then laughed and drove off, leaving the poor mom in tears. She was just four minutes late returning to her car -- because she'd just been at a doctor's appointment, which had taken longer because of complications in her pregnancy.

It's that time of the year -- the end of it. Which means it's time to start thinking about resolutions. Lose weight, exercise more, and get organized are some of the traditional ones. But what about your momsolutions? Whether you want to unplug from your gadgets, find new mom friends, or do more crafts with your kids, there are tons of ideas for resolving to become a better mom. Don't worry, not all of them are about doing more and being better, the really good ones are about letting go and worrying less.

It seems that, more often than not, toys break on their first play out of the box. Aah, the look of delight on a child's face as they start to play with their new treasure, quickly followed by dismay and heartbreak as that toy promptly falls apart. It's enough to make a kid cry -- or a parent sue... One mom is suing Toys 'R' Us because the wheel fell off her daughter's toy wagon the first time it was used. The litigious mom spent $99 on the wagon, plus $15 to have a store employee assemble it (incorrectly, according to the mom's lawyer). No one was hurt, not even a little bit, yet the lawsuit goes on.

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.