A pediatrician (who’s also a grandma) has an important message for other grandparents: Safety recommendations have changed since they were parents
When parents become grandparents, it’s pretty easy for them to say, “My kids survived—in fact, they turned out fine—so I should be able to care for my grandchildren exactly the same way.” This can be a huge source of conflict between grandparents and their adult kids—which is why one grandma (who’s also a pediatrician) is here with an important TikTok video that needs to be shared far and wide.
She goes by Ask Bubbie on TikTok, and in her now-viral video, she’s sharing some incredibly important safety standards that have changed since today’s grandparents were raising their kids—plus explaining the evidence behind the changes to help them understand why “the way things used to be” isn’t the best anymore.
First up is safe sleep.
“The recommendations now are for all babies to sleep on their backs,” Bubbie explains. “The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with that recommendation in 1994, and in the first year alone, there was a reduction of 60% in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), or crib death, as some of you know it. That was the largest decrease of any intervention we’ve ever done.”
She adds that not only should babies sleep on their backs, they should be in an empty crib with no bumpers. And pacifiers are encouraged—they also reduce the risk of SIDS!
The next big change has to do with feeding.
“We used to introduce one new food at a time, and we were very concerned about allergenic foods and started those much later,” Bubbie says. “The recommendations have done a complete 180. It’s been found that if you introduce all of the allergenic foods early, you lower the risk of allergies.”
And last but not least, there’s car seat safety. While parents used to turn their car seats around so their kids were front-facing once they met just one of the criteria for it, they now wait much longer.
“The recommendation now is that you don’t turn them around until they meet all the criteria,” Bubbie says. “That means a lot of them look really uncomfortable. You’ve got babies sitting there with their legs squished up against the back seat of the car… but the studies have shown that their chance of surviving, unhurt, in an accident is far greater if they’re kept rear-facing until they meet all the requirements.”
Bubbie ends her video with a message to the other grandparents out there—that when their kids fight them on these things, it’s not because they think they did things wrong when they were growing up, it’s just because they want their babies to be as safe as possible. And that’s something we can all agree on.