Do you have a new grandchild, godchild, niece or nephew? If it’s been awhile since you took care of an infant, it may be a good idea to brush up on baby care practices. For instance, most baby-boomers slept on their tummies in the crib. By the time they had kids in the 1970s, medical wisdom had changed, and family doctors said babies should sleep on their sides.
Now studies have found that the risk of SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – is lower if babies sleep on their backs.
The latest research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual meeting found that many grandparents haven’t caught up on the new recommendations. A small survey of grandparent-caregivers’ knowledge found that 55 percent thought infants should sleep on their stomach or side; 49 percent did not realize that soft toys, crib bumpers and blankets are no longer considered OK for infants’ cribs; and almost three-quarters did not know walkers –which are banned in Canada – are no longer considered safe. Pediatricians now say empty cribs are the safest.
These recommendations may have changed but many other things haven’t. Which means grandparents and other elder relatives are still invaluable resources for advice on raising a child.