Ain't Parenting Grand?
Discovering How Things Have Changed continued...
And while many grandparents did use car seats for their
own children, the technology and practice have changed in recent years.
"Grandparents need to know that infants should be in
rear-facing car seats, in the back seat, until they are 1 year old and
20 pounds," says McCoy. Moreover, all children should ride "in the back seat
until they are 12 years old."
Nutrition recommendations have also changed in recent
Many grandparents will recall being urged to "get their babies
on solid food" as soon as possible, says McCoy, but that's stressed less these
days. Since grandparents don't have the option of breast milk, good infant
nutrition means just formula for at least four months, she says. Cereals can be
started thereafter, but the infant should be kept on formula until he or she is
at least a year old, she says.
"Babies should not drink [cow's] milk until they are at least a
year old," says McCoy. When foods are introduced, McCoy says they should be
introduced by giving "the same vegetable or fruit for at least three days. This
helps us identify the foods that may cause an allergic reaction."
And for the first year babies should not be given water, honey,
peanut butter, or chocolate. McCoy says she advises against water because it
just "fills up the baby without giving any nutrition."
There have also been some changes in the types of immunizations
given to children, McCoy says.
"Babies need 20 immunizations during the first two years of
life," she says. Those include older immunizations such as measles, mumps, and
rubella as well as newer vaccines like chickenpox, hepatitis B, and Prevnar,
which prevents infections that cause pneumonia and meningitis.
If grandparents were raising children more than 20 years ago,
they may be unaware of the danger associated with the use of baby aspirin for
fever, says McCoy. Giving a baby aspirin to a child with fever may cause a
serious illness called Reye's syndrome. "Acetaminophen [Tylenol] is now
recommended to treat fever in children," she says.