Three Generations of Mom’s Knowledge

. August 29, 2014.

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


Fussy Baby/Teething

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.


Potty Training

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.


Diapering Tips

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).