Raising Kids Isn't What IT Used To Be: Tips for New Grandparents
Dec 30, 2011
If you're a new grandparent, you may be surprised by how much has changed since your kids were young. Many aspects of parenting today may seem confusing, excessive or just downright silly. But these changes have important logic behind them, and your kids may expect you to learn them. Here are five tips to help you grandparent like a pro.
1. The Birth Plan
Don't get caught off guard before your grandchild is even born. Today's parents have several new options for their child's birth that are growing in popularity. For example, more and more children are born at home in the presence of a midwife, instead of at a hospital with a team of doctors. Parent often choose this plan in order to be in a comfortable environment. A logical evolution of natural childbirth, in which mothers forego medication while in labor, home births are intended to limit the medical interventions that are common in hospitals.
2. The New Diapers
While changing diapers isn't the most glamorous part of helping out with the grandkids, it is an area where new parents are either going high tech or low tech. The former includes disposable diapers that sense moisture, which usually makes a decoration on the outside appear or disappear. While these diapers are better than ever at absorbing moisture and keeping it away from the baby's delicate skin, they also provide a useful signal that makes checking for wetness incredibly simple.
Other parents are going for a more natural approach and using traditional cloth diapers. These diapers are nearly identical to those with which you may be familiar. However, parents who use cloth diapers have modern diaper covers that take advantage of similar technology that's found in disposable diapers in order to prevent leaks.
3. Back to Sleep
Even sleeping isn't what it used to be. Since the mid-1990s, parents have been instructed to always place babies on their backs when sleeping. Your children will expect you to always ensure that your grandchild is lying on his or her back, never face down.
This change is known as Back to Sleep. Its goal is to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It's worth noting that this change isn't merely a fad. As Back to Sleep has become common, SIDS cases have decreased over 50%, according to the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development.
4. Car Safety
When it's time to take the grandkids for a ride in your car, you may feel like you need to earn a degree in car safety. There are many new laws designed to keep kids of all ages safe. While precise regulations vary by state, there are a few commonalities. For example, until around age two, children should be in rear-facing car seats. Even school-aged children are typically required to be in booster seats until a certain age or height threshold is met.
5. Home Safety
Car safety with your new grandchild may seem complicated. Home safety is usually more about gadgets and tools. There are childproof gates, outlet plug covers, doorknob covers, cabinet locks, window guards, toilet lid locks, furniture brackets and much, much more.
You may get frustrated when you can't open the door at your child's home or overwhelmed while shopping in the home safety section of your local store. Keep in mind that each of these items is designed to help your grandchild avoid a hazard that has led to injuries or even death with other children. There is no such thing as a 100% safe home, but these items do improve safety. Furthermore, if nothing else, they may put your child's mind at ease, allowing you to more freely enjoy your time as a new grandparent.
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