Moms have been raising children for Centuries, with each generation transforming the child-rearing norms. Moms and Grandmas give advice from the past on the most common, yet often the most challenging, parenting topics around.
Great-Grandma: Grace Smiley, 83, Northville
Grandma: Vicki Migrin, 60, Coldwater
Mom: Julie Sturza, 31, Ann Arbor
Great-Grandma: I would rub the gums with Dr. Hand’s Teething Lotion.
Grandma: I would stick my finger in the baby’s mouth to chew on. Also, I would use baby Oragel.
Mom: Tylenol and frozen edamame to chew on.
Great-Grandma: I just waited until they were old enough and stuck to it. I didn’t start when they were tiny little things. It seemed to come naturally this way.
Grandma: Personally, I just let that happen because when they are ready to do it they’ll just do it.
Mom: Haven’t gotten there yet, thankfully!
Great-Grandma: Grab them by the hand and take them outside. My kids didn’t seem to have too many tantrums. They were pretty good kids.
Grandma: My kids didn’t have many tantrums] mostly because we kept a very tight schedule and avoided being out during nap time or bedtime. But if there was a tantrum we would quickly leave the situation.
Mom: Walk away and ignore. If he keeps going, pick him up, hold him tightly and talk softly.
Biting or Hitting
Great-Grandma: I absolutely did not allow it. I immediately removed them from whatever problem was stressing them out.
Grandma: If it was one of my kids hitting another, I would make them sit and hold hands for five minutes.
Mom: Stern “No” and then show him how to nicely interact.
Separation from Favorite Toy
Great-Grandma: I said that the item wasn’t for “the big girl room” when the child moved to a new room.
Grandma: I didn’t really take things away. I just figured they would grow out of it. To get one child to stop thumb-sucking, I got him a little radio to listen to at night, when he would usually be thumb-sucking.
Mom: Distraction is the name of the game!
Great-Grandma: I only breastfed in the hospital and then I did formula after that. They didn’t encourage breastfeeding back then, and I wish I would have insisted on breastfeeding longer because it is healthier for the baby.
Grandma: Just relax and think, “This is my most important job right now.”
Mom: Start as soon as possible after birth. Use lanolin after every feeding in the beginning.
Great-Grandma: Cloth diapers went in the laundry – no big deal. Ointment for diaper rash.
Grandma: I always used disposable. Desitin for rash. And let them go without a diaper for a bit to air them out.
Mom: Desitin or A&D for rash. Kissaluvs Diaper Lotion Potion preventively. Ruffles out to prevent leaks.
Great-Grandma: Put them in a quiet place and cover them nicely with a blanket… Lay the baby on his side.
Grandma: My babies just seemed to sleep through the night when they were ready… Lay the baby on his stomach.
Mom: When you put baby to sleep, lay him on his back.
Great-Grandma: Start solid food at six months. Applesauce for their first food.
Grandma: Start solid food at six months. Rice cereal is the best first food.
Mom: Start solid food at six months. Good first food is steamed carrots and squash.
Great-Grandma: It was excruciating!
Grandma: The most intense experience of my life.
Mom: Crazy, but pretty darn awesome.
Hospital Stay after Childbirth
Great-Grandma: Ten days.
Grandma: Two days.
Mom: 24 hours.
Most Helpful Book for Moms
Great-Grandma: “Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care”
Grandma: “The First 12 Months,” (Caplin and Caplin).
Mom: “Happiest Baby on the Block,” (Karp).