Monday, October 24, 2016

Wait, now they recommend car seats?

When David was a newborn, we carefully followed the AAP recommendations about how to avoid SIDS: no crib bumpers, put down on his back for sleeping, nothing else in the crib for the first year. I heard plenty from prior parents of newborns about how different the recommendations were, and I heard the doubt in their voices (whether it was intended or imagined on my part) about whether these recommendations were really necessary. How could they doubt, I wondered. Human knowledge advances, and of course we should follow the latest advice.

Now AAP recommends that newborns sleep in the same room as the parents for the first year. And here I am doubting the new recommendation, or possibly just feeling the gut-level punch of being told we hadn’t done the best we could as parents. We put David in his own room across the hall after about a month, and we know we all got more sleep that way. But if this recommendation had been in place five years ago, we would have taken it as the current gospel, and we would never have known any differently. I know that, just like I’ve always known that recommendations would continue to change. Maybe I just figured it would take longer than 5 years to start feeling like I belong to a previous and outdated generation of parents.

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