Experts have warned about “back in the day” techniques.
Experts have warned about “back in the day” techniques.

Sorry parents, gran doesn’t know best

GRANDMA is a great backup and source of information when raising a baby, but experts warn that some "back in the day" techniques could prove dangerous, even deadly.

Evidence-based research over the generations has found that old-fashioned practices, such as babies sleeping on their tummies, cots filled with quilts and pillows and even feeding a baby boiled water, can be risky.

Accredited baby sleep consultant Amanda Bude told The Courier-Mail that parents were often worried when their tots slept at their grandparents' house in case modern recommendations were not adhered to.

"SIDS is always a concern for parents and a common complaint I hear is that the older generations are so concerned that the child is warm enough they overheat the room or add excess clothing. Portacots are also a bone of contention. Mums and dads want to know they are being used safely," Ms Bude said.

"Unless the bub is rolling they must sleep on their back, with no additional blankets for 'warmth'. Even though bub looks lonely in the portacot don't add soft toys," she said.

Breastfeeding and parenting expert Pinky McKay said the feeding routines in past generations were often regimented with strictly timed feeds.

"We now know that a breastfeeding mother needs to feed often to maintain a healthy milk supply," Ms McKay said.

Sometimes bottles of boiled water were given to babies, only weeks old, in a bid to night wean.

"Research suggests this can dilute the sodium in the bloodstream and could be life threatening," she said.

Brisbane's Aira Van Der Walt said she relied on her mum Catharina's help with her first baby, Remi.

"My mum is aware that health recommendations have changed and she stays educated. We communicate well about Remi and she listens to all my concerns. I honestly couldn't do without her and respect her knowledge," Ms van der Walt said.



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