Menu

Baby Safety: Generational Changes

Combat Grandma’s “When I had a Baby….” with the latest guidelines in child safety.

Baby Safety: Generational Changes

As a New Yorker, my mission was to find the warmest yet coolest snowsuit for my 4-month-old son. My mother told me how cozy Cal would be bundled up in the car when the temperature was below freezing. This seemed logical, until a girlfriend shared how car seat baby safety regulations have changed. My mother hasn’t taken care of a baby in nearly 35 years. And while she did one helluva job raising me, according to recent studies on baby safety, she could have easily (and innocently) killed me.

Now that Grandma is caring for my son while I work, I am working to empower myself in order to advise her in caring for Cal, as opposed to the other way around. And let’s just say, when it comes to baby safety regulations, times, they have-a changed!

Sleep Safety

It seems that every few years the recommended sleeping position for a baby changes. Today, babies sleep on their backs. Additional SIDS prevention guidelines include:

• Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats, swings, etc. are not recommended for routine sleep

• Baby should sleep in the same room as parents, but not co-sleep

• Keep soft objects (pillows, blankets, bumper pads, toys) or loose bedding out of the crib

• Do not use wedges or positioners

• Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime

• Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating

• Do not use devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS

Get additional information here.

Playtime

Swings

In May 2013 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously to approve mandatory safety standards to improve the safety of infant swings in newer products. Products manufactured in prior years may not possess these safety standards.

Jumpers

The number of recent recalls involving the breakage of clamps has raised serious safety concerns among experts. Additional concerns arise with potential physical developmental effects that can possibly lead to delayed motor skills.

Mobile Walkers

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the U.S. government place a ban on the manufacture and sale of baby walkers with wheels, deeming them unsafe. Additionally, according to the AAP, walkers can delay motor and mental development.

Babysaucer

The stationary “walker” tends to hold baby’s hips in an extended position and prevents the visual of seeing feet, which is needed when learning how to move.

Tummy Time

As a new parent the first item to learn is “back to sleep, tummy to play”. Tummy time helps strengthen muscles, improve motor skills, as well as helps prevent the development of flat head.

Teething

A few recommendations in managing teething pain include:

• Massaging with a (clean) finger or simply let baby gnaw

• A cold washcloth, spoon or teething ring. Refrigerate only, freezing may cause harm

• A frozen bagel, banana, or carrot (for babies who are eating solids)

And the don’ts:

• Liquid-filled plastic teething rings. Aside from the potential phthalates/BPA presence, there is possible bacterium and concerns about ring leakage

Numbing gels are no longer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in babies as the ingredient lidocaine may be harmful

Hygiene

Reports advocate for not bathing baby every day, especially a newborn, as daily bathing can dry baby’s delicate skin.

Travel

Rear Facing Car Seats

The AAP advises parents keep children in rear facing car seats until the age of 2 as research has shown that children under age 2 are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear facing.

Winter Coats

Experts warn that the usage of “fluff” in order to keep baby warm in a car seat is not safe due to compression making the straps too loose for baby’s body to be held safely in the event of a crash.

Car Seat Toys

Giving baby something to play with while in the car has the potential of becoming a dangerous projectile in a crash so it is recommended to avoid placing toys, mirrors, etc. in or around a car seat.

Eating

The AAP advises that if baby is old enough to eat cereal (around 4-6 months) then they are old enough to eat from a spoon as incidents of gagging or inhaling the mixture are increased if baby is not developmentally ready. Exposure to solid foods before baby is ready may put them at risk for developing food allergies, and some believe it increases the chances of “overfeeding”.

I am by no means a medical professional. I believe we, as parents, have a responsibility to be informed on all subject matters relating to our children; however, we hold the rights to make what we feel are best decisions. For me, making those decisions are based on understanding the risks, weighing the benefits, and doing a thorough check in with that motherly instinct that resides within. Be empowered!

Rarely is a woman more concerned with what her body needs than when she's pregnant. We start to question and research everything, right? From swearing off turkey sandwiches to diving down the rabbit hole of prenatal supplements that make up what we lack, the stress of overthinking is real, mama.

One of the main reasons we launched the Motherly Shop is to help take some of that stress away. We've tracked down the best brands and products developed by people (and in many cases, women!) that truly work to serve the needs of real mamas, especially throughout the overwhelming transition into motherhood.

That's why we knew we had to introduce mamas-to-be to the science-backed and expertly-formulated protein collagen for pregnancy from Needed. And as one of our bestsellers, it's clear you've been looking for it, too.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Life

10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

Keep reading Show less
Life