Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Evonne Lack about grandparents caring for their grandkids.
The number of grandparents as caregivers continues to rise, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics many grandparents, are unaware of the newer safety guidelines for young children.
Among the findings of research presented at last month's AAP National Conference:
- only 44 percent of surveyed grandparents knew that babies should be put to sleep on their backs
- 25 percent thought that a 22-pound, 9-month-old baby should ride forward-facing in the car seat
- 49 percent thought that it was OK to have blankets, stuffed animals, or bumpers in the crib
- 74 percent thought walkers were perfectly safe
It's not always easy to stand up to Grandma, but there are instances when it must be done — not only by parents, but by health care providers. As primary study author Amanda Soong of the University of Alabama puts it, "Discussion of health and safety recommendations is an essential part of routine well-child care, and pediatricians must recognize knowledge deficits that may exist in grandparent caregivers and be comfortable addressing these deficits."
I think that many grandparents just want what's best for their children's children, and will be open to hearing about — and following — the new guidelines.
Of course, there are always the exceptions — the grandparents who fall back on the "in my day" argument and who insist on doing things their way no matter what. If there's one thing that gets under my skin, it's hearing a grandparent say something like, "Well, I raised [insert number] kids, and we always put them down on their tummies / gave them solids at two weeks / used crib bumpers / let them use walkers / etc., etc., etc. / and they turned out just fine!”
As if the fact that they were lucky enough to have their children survive into adulthood disproves the validity of sound safety research.
But again, I would think these grandparents would be the exception, rather than the rule. I would hope so, anyway.
Are you lucky enough to have an open-minded grandparent in your life? Or do you have a stickler for the old rules? And when it comes to safety issues, do you have trouble standing your ground?
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