Grandparents Aren't Up-to-Date on Baby Safety Rules But They Managed to Keep Us Alive

Say What!? 16

grandparentsIf you're like pretty much every other parent out there, then you probably rely on the help of your baby's grandparents for most, if not all of the times you need a sitter. Let's face it -- nine times out of ten, most of us feel much safer leaving our babies with our own parents or in-laws than with someone we don't know nearly as well. Not only are they a heck of a lot cheaper, they're also more qualified to give our kids the best care possible, right?

WRONG. Believe it or not, a new survey shows that many grandparents aren't exactly up-to-date with today's baby safety standards. Yep -- when it comes to things like safe sleeping, proper car seat positioning, feeding, using walkers, and all the other stuff parents worry about doing correctly to keep their babies safe -- grandparents generally don't know what they're doing. When given quizzes on baby safety, they tend to fail miserably.

But honestly, who cares?

I mean, of course we all want to do everything possible to make sure our babies receive the best and safest care -- but are our parents really unfit to care for our infants simply because they did things differently back when we were babies?

Here's a news flash -- we all turned out ok, and our parents didn't even have car seats. And you know what else? They used play-pens instead of pack-and-plays, let us roam the house in walkers without any fear of us falling down the stairs, and they also put us down to sleep any way they could simply to get us to SLEEP. And again -- none of us are any worse for wear because of their care giving methods -- which are a far cry from today's rigid safety standards.

Actually, the "rules" as to what is and what isn't safe for babies these days seem to change constantly -- and I can't help but wonder how many of us would pass those same baby safety quizzes the grandparents were given. Do you really know every recommended guideline for every recommended aspect of child care? (Don't lie.) And aren't there a few things you do that go against the grain of what is considered ideal simply because it works well for you and your baby?

Grandparents love our babies just as much as we do, and while it's important for them to care for our kids as best in line with our wishes as possible, we shouldn't expect everything they do to be totally perfect. Anytime you're remotely concerned about whether or not that advice your parents are giving you is the best thing for your baby, just remember how much you love your child, and know that they feel the same way about you, and about their grandbaby as well. There's no way they'd put your baby in harm's way -- so you might as well thank them for their support and being willing to help instead of getting all paranoid and forcing them to take a safety quiz.

Have you ever worried about your baby while in a grandparent's care?


Image via theodens/Flickr

safety, childcare


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nonmember avatar Myturn

Sure my parents raised me with second hand cribs and no cat sears but you know, they're not stupid. As the regulators changed, so did they. They can read and they're not "stuck in their old ways". If us young people can find out the latest safety regulations, so can they. I don't think we give them enough credit. My parents provide wonderfull, safe care for my children. I just wish they lived closer so I could use them in a regular basis.

Mocha... MochaCocoaBean

Yes, I had to instruct my mother in law a couple times that is was "Back to Sleep" not on the tummy. She had no problem with that. And I also had to instruct our 16 year old baby sitter of the same thing, and she is a recently trained Girl Scout! So it doesn't matter how old you are, the regulations change and every needs to be made aware.

nonmember avatar Jomayra

Idk it this is true for all grandparents....cuz my mom and my father-in-law both take very good care of our idk

SuzyB... SuzyBarno

I totally had to fill in my MIL on today's recommendations and what I was comfortable with as well. She's really great and loves my kids as if they were her own. I must say that our parents are not going to do everything exactly the way we would do it and that's ok. I know my child is not put in danger and I trust my MIL(who raised 5 kids), she can do things her way(bathe, feed, sleep). She just had to be brought up on the education of today and she was totally fine with that. Who cares if my kids have 2 desserts at her house, it's grandma's!

nonmember avatar zizzler

dead men (or babies) tell no tales, right? "we" all survived our parents fails to account for all the kids killed or injured. That being so, it's not like most of our parents were dumb or lazy, most safety stuff now days is for "what ifs" and rare, worse-case situations. If you were lucky enough to survive (most were), then don't trivialize those who were lost by writing off modern safety standards. Move forwards, not backwards.

nonmember avatar Abby

When you know better, you do better. I think that's the thing to keep in mind about this. Some grandparents take the new "rules" as an indictment against their own parenting practices. They're not. We just know more about certain things - particularly safety and nutrition - than we used to.

Claudia Castello

i totally trust my parents and in-laws to care for our daughter.  they're not "old" people, they're in their early to mid 50's.  they each raised three children of their own and are totally up to date on what is considered "safe."  i have no problem leaving her with them.

Teresa Kennedy

Who cares about proper car seat positioning? Eileen Jensen does now. She's a Post Falls woman who was charged with vehicular homicide in the death of her infant daughter, who was severely injured by a car's air bag while riding in a rear-facing car seat in 2006.

Robin Hathorn does now too, I'll bet. She was holding her 5-week-old son in her lap (something that used to be the norm) just last week in Longview, Texas when the car they were in was rear-ended. He was killed, she was injured.

Watching hours of Barney at grandma's house won't kill my kids, but improper car seat use (or non-use) could. My parents and in-laws love my kids enomously and would never forgive themselves if something bad happened on their watch- that's why they learn and follow the safety rules.


surfg... surfgrl60

I am a rare case where I dont rely on anybody but myself and my husband to help raise or babysit my kids. Its not their job.

Numom... Numom61507

My parents? Yes. My inlaws? No. Since my inlaws only eat vitamins and a protein bar all day, they have in the past forgotten to feed my daughter. Even if I give them snacks, they forget. If she gets hungry, they give her water and fill her with grapes, but nothing substantial. I thank all that's holy she's old enough to speak up and tell them what to give her now. Ugh!

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