There are many rulebooks on the market on how to raise a kid and what to do when one has kids. There are even books on how to cope and what to do in a myriad of situations that parents are confronted with in the process of raising their kids. While these books give us insight on what to expect and how to try and cope with the situation, what we come to realize is that parenting follows no clear cut route and what is documented may not work for every kid.
Most millennials' parents went by the name baby boomers, better defined as those people who were born between 1945 and 1964. They are the generation that enjoyed affluence: they could offer the kids all the security that money could buy. On the other hand, millennial moms are those of us born between the early '80s and mid-2000s.
The way baby boomer parents raised their kids is significantly different from how millennials are raising their kids. Not that baby boomers loved their kids any less or pampered them less, and it is not that millennials are better parents than they were, but because ideals and outlook on life have significantly changed. There are things that this generation's mothers did in the past that no millennial mom does.
20 Marry Early
Baby boomers married significantly younger than millennials do. Their early marriages did not, however, signify success as most of them wound up in divorce. This could probably be attributed to the fact that at that early age most of them had not lived their lives to the fullest nor were they quite sure of the path they wanted to take in life.
They may have had all the affluence in life, but this did not translate to happy marriages. Millennials take a lot longer to tie the knot and this too is not a one-way ticket. Most millennials are single parents, something our parents would not have considered.
19 Go Without a Car Seat
Car seats and car safety are something millennial moms do not compromise on. No mother in this day and age will put her child in the car without a well-secured car seat where the baby is properly strapped in. For them, the car seat has to meet every safety standard and it has to be in top condition.
In yesteryears, moms would go into labor and bring the baby home without a car seat. Most households did not boast of a car seat and those with one, leaving it home as mom went grocery shopping with the baby was not unheard of.
18 Let Kids Roam Free
Before crime sprees escalated, it was not uncommon to see a child roaming free either in the park or at the beach. These days, there are laws prohibiting parents from leaving children to their own devices and more so, allowing them to roam free.
Parents of yesteryears had no such hangups and for them, kids could go with other kids to the park without any adult supervision or even sending them on errands in great distances. Millennial moms though are all about watching over their kids or at least hiring someone to watch over their kids and when it comes to errands, the furthest millennial moms send their kids is to pick the TV remote.
17 Give Babies Grown-Up Food
Millennial moms go all out when it comes to their babies. Making baby food from scratch and this not just any food, but organic food is something millennial moms are renowned for. What these moms feed their baby has gone through all the checks on Google and come with reviews from various moms online and even have a mark of assurance from Dr. Google.
Our moms were not bothered by such things and for them, all the baby needed was food. These mothers weaned early and this too using the adult pot. For them, cholesterol or food intolerance was a non-issue.
Co-sleeping is a debate that rages on every mother's forum with some advocating for it while others choose to go with the recommendation by the CDC not to co-sleep with the baby as this may lead to SIDS. Choosing to co-sleep or not then becomes a matter of choice, but most millennial moms are deeply opposed to it, hence the introduction of co-sleepers they consider a lot safer.
This debate was not present in earlier years and babies shared their parent's bed without a care in the world. Since SIDs has no discernible symptom, most of these unexplained deaths took a while before they could be linked to co-sleeping.
15 Have a Ton of Kids
Raising kids takes a lot more than single people think. Once the kid comes, it becomes a game of withdrawal and before one knows it, the bank account is reading negatives. For such tiny creatures, the consumption of babies is a lot more than that of adults.
With the state of the economy, it is no wonder that these parents choose to have one or two children that they are absolutely sure they can care for or that they can at least struggle and comfortably raise. Even with fewer children, millennials will be raising their children under financial strain, unlike most of their parents.
14 Put Blankets in the Crib
Another cause of SIDs is all the clutter we put in our babies beds. The recommendation is to ensure that the baby's crib comes with nothing but a well-fitted bed sheet. Putting blankets in the baby's crib, more so when the baby is under one year old, can have the baby trapped in the bedding leading to death.
Moms used to cover their babies in blankets, especially in the cold seasons, something that was considered normal. After all, we also cover ourselves in them. With the caution not to use blankets, millennial moms are now cautious and have opted to dress the baby in warm breathable clothes as opposed to covering in beddings.
13 Let Kids Ride a Bike Without a Helmet
Looking at a child taking a bike riding lesson these days one would think they are going to participate in a demolition derby. Children are covered with helmets, kneecaps, and gloves not to mention bikers in general.
Safety for babies cannot be overemphasized, but it would appear that millennials are overprotective of their children or it could be that they are more aware of the dangers that come with a bad fall from a bike without a helmet or adult supervision. Our parents were a lot less concerned and kids taught each other how to ride a bike and in this case, helmets were an unnecessary distraction.
12 Let Kids Swim Without a Lifeguard
Swimming in the creek was a normal thing in yesteryears. For young kids, the presence of a river was enough to have them swimming without a care in the world. Mom knew what the kids were up to but that was not enough to stop her going on with life, as long as the kid could swim and hold his own in the river.
These days, swimming is an elaborate affair that requires mom to get swimming gear for her kids and to take her to a clean and hygienic swimming pool that has a lifeguard or two. Allowing them to swim in an unhygienic river is beyond contemplation.
11 Limit Screen Time
Growing up, our parents would limit screen time with the threat that it would fry our brains. These days though, technology has put the screen right in front of our babies eyes, something we all do, to at least entertain the baby for a minute as we take a breather.
According to Time, “Almost half of the young children now have their own tablet. Those tablets are seeing plenty of use. Kids younger than eight are reportedly spending an average of two hours and 19 minutes per day glued to screens. Roughly 30 percent of that time is spent on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Forty-two percent of youngsters have a personal tablet."
10 Support Adult Children
Millennials have started life on an all-time financial low and for them to afford college and even to get to where they are at the moment, it took a lot of parental help. With the rate of inflation and economic lows in their lifetime, millennial moms are raising their children on meager earnings that can hardly meet their own needs.
It falls to reason that these moms, unlike their moms before them, will be putting a lot of emphasis on having independent children who know the value of a dollar and who go out to work as early as 16 years in order to build their savings.
9 Retire Early
Baby boomers made their money early and most by the time they were getting to their forties. These parents owned a home and had a nest egg sufficient enough to care for their needs as well as those of their children. With these resources, they could comfortably retire and enjoy their “old age.”
Millennials are struggling parents and most of them are still paying on their college loans way into their forties. These parents cannot afford to retire even after their kids leave school. Because they cannot even afford to buy their own homes, millennial moms will still be looking for rent way into their sunset years.
8 Kids Raising Other Kids
Our moms lived a life that appeared a lot more carefree than we do now and for them, as long as the baby was alive he was well taken care of. With families having four or five siblings, it was logical for mom to ask the older siblings to take care of the younger ones as she did the household chores or went to the grocery.
These days, leaving a child in the care of other children is enough to have child welfare knocking on your door. But growing up, we raised our own siblings and we could even change their diapers.
7 Physical discipline
Most of us grew up in the age where children were seen and not heard. Our behinds were spanked so often that going a day without a spanking seemed like Christmas (not that we were not spanked on Christmas). The number of times we were spanked growing up cannot be counted and just that look of moms angry face was a signal that there was a spanking coming up.
Child welfare is in place now and spanking is considered way too much. Millennial moms have adopted a new age way of doing things where they give children time out or have a one on one conversation.
6 Give Kids Cough Syrup
With a drug store on every corner of every block and with relaxed rules on the sale of most drugs, it is no wonder that self-medication is on an all-time high. In yesteryears, kids could chug cough syrup at the slightest sign of a cough.
5 Puff at Dinner
Many of our parents were smokers and they had no qualms about having a smoke at dinner time or even around the house. The dangers of second-hand smoke notwithstanding, mom could still puff a few after a long day working around the house. Millennial moms are health conscious, not only about their own health but also about their children's health.
Even those who smoke ensure that they keep it from their children by smoking in designated areas and ensuring that their babies do not get a whiff of their vice. Millennial moms who smoke give up the vice as soon as they find out they are pregnant and even during breastfeeding.
4 Skipping Sunscreen
For those who were born in earlier years, sunscreen was a luxury reserved for the affluent and was in most cases not considered a necessity. If the family went out to the beach and mom discovered that she had forgotten the sunscreen that was not something to stop the fun. Millennial moms are a lot more cautious about their health and their kid’s health and sunscreen is a staple in their homes.
Skipping sunscreen according to Bustle can lead to some serious consequences. "The scariest thing, of course, is the increased risk of skin cancer! UV rays that cause sun damage and age your skin are out year-round. Working outside, sitting by your office window, and spending time outdoors will expose you to potentially cancer-causing UV radiation."
3 Drop Kids Off at the Mall With No Phone
Phones have become a must-have for every pocket and kids as young as two years have their own phone or tablet. These devices are now used by millennial moms as a way to monitor their children and to ensure that the children can reach them in case of an emergency.
If the kids are going to the mall, they are left in the company of a babysitter and with a charged phone. This is a luxury that moms of yesteryears could not boast of as technology was not as advanced and mobile phones were unheard of. Kids once dropped at the mall were left to their own devices and may have been forced to use a public phone.
2 Put Bumpers in Cribs
Decorating the baby's nursery is and always has been every mother's dream and even dad loves to bond with the child by giving him the best and most beautifully decorated nursery on the block. This includes all the frills and teddys the baby crib can take. Putting crib bumpers was one-way mothers chose to decorate the baby's crib and it was considered a way to keep the baby from hitting his head on the hard wood slats.
According to KID, “Crib bumpers, or bumper pads are not safe for infants. They can pose suffocation, strangulation, and choking hazards. They pose a suffocation risk if a baby’s face is pressed against the bumper or wedged between the bumper and the crib side or mattress.” This is a risk millennial mothers do not take with their kids.
1 Let Baby Sleep on their Stomach
Back sleeping is the anthem that most doctors preach these days and it seems to have reduced the incidences of SIDS, with millennial moms following this dictate religiously. A report published in Babble says, “In previous generations, stomach-down was the preferred sleeping position. Babies seemed to like it. Parents seemed to like them liking it.
“Some of those parents of yesteryear still lobby for tummy-down sleeping as grandparents or caregivers. Since the back to sleep campaign took hold in the 1990s, stomach sleeping has fallen out of favor, by way of a medical mandate. The mainstream accepted and heavily promoted research clearly states that back sleeping reduces SIDS.”