in 1980, i slept on my stomach.
according to my mother, when i was a newborn, “back-to-sleep” was not only unheard of, but it was actually thought to be the wrong way to put your baby down for the night. people placed their babies prone to prevent SIDS until 1992, when studies finally led to a complete shift in the recommendations. amazing how things can turn around so quickly, isn’t it?
“sleep? what’s that!?”
just as eggs have gone from healthy to dangerous to healthy again, i’m sure there are a wide array of parenting trends that are now 180 degrees from what they were when i was a babe just a few decades ago.
however, aside from age-old debates
there are some concerns that exist today that our parents never even dreamed of. just to name a few that i’ve been thinking about since even before annabel made her debut . . .
✔ technology. iPads, smart phones, and video games — what do these increasingly intrusive stimuli do to young brains? the truth is that NO ONE KNOWS, really. how could we, when some of these devices and conveniences are just a few years old and constantly evolving?
josh and i have often discussed the role we would like technology to play in annabel’s childhood. while we don’t want to bring her up unaware of pop culture and the latest gadgets, we also aren’t rushing to get one of these, either:
i think it will be all about finding a happy medium, and placing very concrete and firm limits on time spent staring at screens and manipulating devices. honestly, it would probably benefit us as parents, too!
✔ endocrine disrupters. okay, so not only am i a pediatric endocrinology fellow, but i work in a lab that specializes in . . . yep, endocrine disrupters like BPA! so i may be a little bit crazier than most when it comes to worrying about these things, but i do think it’s important to be conscious of what you’re putting in, on, or near your baby.
that said, i’ve chosen my battles. i pored over an environmental working group when choosing a sunscreen, but she drinks from plastic bottles. i had planned on using all glass, but honestly it’s so hard to lug everything i need to bring to work/daycare every day that this was something i just had to give up on! of course the plastic ones that we use are BPA-free, but i’d still rather they not be plastic at all.
✔ childhood health concerns on the rise. asthma. food allergies. autism. obesity. autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes. again, it’s probably my job that makes me hyperaware of these things. but i wish i didn’t even have to think about them! i don’t think my parents did.
if we ever have to become a peanut-free home, it will be a sad, saaaaaad day.
✔ the earth’s resources. perhaps this isn’t entirely new — i’m sure my parents worried about the economy and national security and the growing population, too. but global warming puts a whole new scary spin on things, and as we plan to migrate south i think about rising water levels and uninhabitable temps. i know we’ve placed a lot of challenges in the hands of our next generation, and it is my greatest hope that they will be able to band together to come up with solutions.
all the more reason to make sure they stay healthy and ready to learn!
think i’m over the top? have your own unique worries? i’d love to read your thoughts, as always.