Caring for your baby is different now
than it was 20 years ago. Here, the three most significant changes.
White food is out: Once upon a time, the recommended first food for all babies was
bland white-rice cereal, which has little nutrient value. Now pediatricians
push whole grains, fruits, veggies and even puréed meats for baby’s first bite.
Changing early feeding habits allows infants to develop a lifelong taste for
the healthy stuff, which is crucial to reversing our nation’s childhood obesity
upon a time, the recommended first food for all babies was bland white-rice
cereal, which has little nutrient value.
Colicky babies (and their parents) find
relief: Created by pediatrician Harvey Karp, M.D.,
the five S’s-swaddling, side/stomach positioning (in your arms), shushing,
swinging and sucking-can activate a crying baby’s calming reflex during the
first three to four months by mimicking experiences in the womb. "Parents
often think that a baby needs a quiet, motionless environment, but this isn’t
the case," says Bridget Boyd, M.D., director of the newborn nursery at
Loyola University Health System and an assistant professor of pediatrics at
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Shushing reminds them of
the noise in the womb, experts say. And because your baby was floating in
amniotic fluid, she’ll find the swaying motion soothing as well.
babies (and their parents) find relief
Sleep training is in: Sleep- deprived parents, rejoice: A new Pediatrics study has found
that there are no long-term emotional harms to sleep training your baby. Gentle
techniques, such as controlled com- forting (in which the caregiver spends a
short time soothing and then leaves the baby to settle alone), will not hurt a
child’s emotional development or mental health. "You also need a
consistent routine that includes changing into pajamas, reading a book and then
singing a short bedtime song," advises Boyd. Bottom line: Allowing your
baby to cry for short periods of time during sleep training won’t do any
also need a consistent routine that includes changing into pajamas, reading a
book and then singing a short bedtime song," advises Boyd.