SOME THINGS THAT MAY HAVE CHANGED SINCE TODAY'S GRANDPARENTS WERE PARENTS
BACK TO SLEEP
To reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies under a year old be placed on their backs to sleep. To further reduce the risk of SIDS, loose bedding and soft objects such as crib bumpers should be kept out of the crib.
To lessen the risk of babies developing flat spots on their heads, "tummy time" should be provided when they are awake. Placing a baby on his or her tummy also helps strengthen head, neck and shoulder muscles.
A favorite memory for many grandparents was slathering their babies with baby powder-scented lotion after a bath, but the pediatrics academy recommends against it. Powder can cause breathing problems and serious lung damage when inhaled, and it's not always easy to keep the powder out of the air where your baby might breathe it. Cornstarch-based powders are safer than talc-based powders.
Breast-feeding has gone in and out of fashion over the years, but today breast milk is the gold standard for feeding a baby. More than 80 percent of Minnesota mothers are breast-feeding when they leave the hospital. Federal laws protect mothers who choose to return to work and manually pump their milk in the workplace.
Whether they're here to stay or not, infant massage and baby sign language are of interest to many new parents.
Mothers today typically labor and give birth in the same hospital room. They often use aromatherapy, birthing balls, massage, baths and the support of relatives, midwives and doulas to cope with pain. Many of today's women opt for epidurals over natural childbirth.