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MINDINGthe GRANDKIDS? A lot has changed since grandparents raised their own little ones. A local pediatrician explains seven new rules every grandparent should know.


ell me if this ever happens to you: You’re trying to engage your grandchild in conversation — How are you? How’s school? Is that a real tattoo? — but you

can’t make eye contact because that precious face is glued to the laptop monitor or cell phone screen. When that happens, and it happens a lot, it’s hard not to think about how much things have changed since today’s grandparents raised their own kids. And that goes for babies and toddlers, too. The changing rules on raising the young ones may not be as hard to keep up with as, say, new apps for your cell phone, but they do continue to evolve at a rate that can even catch parents off-guard from the birth of one child to the next. So imagine how they can confuse grandparents,



OLD RULE: If you want babies to sleep longer and not feed so frequently, you can add some rice cereal or oatmeal to their milk during bottle feeds. It may help fill them up and also help calm their fussiness. NEW RULE: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not adding foods other than breastmilk or formula to the diet until babies are at least 4 to 6 months old. Introducing solids before 4 months is associated with increased weight gain and obesity, both in infancy and early childhood. When solids are introduced, a variety of flavors and textures is recommended. Children also generally need to be exposed to foods multiple times before they accept them. So, start a particular food for three to four days in a row before trying something different.

who may be set in their ways yet are more and more called on to babysit or, in many families, help with rearing their grandchildren. Even if the call to duty is only temporary — for example, giving an exhausted new mom an extended break to catch up on her sleep — it’s important that grandparents are familiar with not only the parents’ ideas about safety but also the recommendations of pediatric experts. To help set the record straight, we consulted one — Dr. Tamika Maxwell, the lead physician in Pediatric Associates’ Lauderdale Lakes office. She examines seven old and new ideas about caring for children — and why the rules have changed. 36





OLD RULE: Binkies interfere with breastfeeding. NEW RULE: Put babies to sleep with a pacifier, even if they’re being nursed exclusively. There are not sufficient studies showing pacifiers cause interference with breastfeeding. If a baby wants to suck beyond what nursing or bottle-feeding provides, a pacifier will satisfy that need. Plus, the routine sucking action of a pacifier while sleeping also appears to protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The use of pacifiers is supported up to 1 year. In an exclusively breastfed baby, the AAP recommends waiting to introduce the pacifier until after breastfeeding is established, usually by 4 weeks and before the peak age for SIDS. A pacifier should not be used to replace or delay meals, nor coated with sweeteners — and to prevent strangulation, it should never be tied to the crib or the child.


March 2018 issue of Broward Family Life Magazine featuring local events, businesses, and content pertaining to Broward County. Find local Sp...