Future Grandmas Beware: The Times They Are a Changin’

Well of all things!  Pregnancy, childbirth, and baby care have changed.

How dare they!

Of course they dare.

Babies should be placed on their backs for sleeping, and please don’t cover them up with a blanket, no matter how comforting that blanket looks.  And no teddy bears in the bed either. SIDS rates have gone down remarkably thanks to these simple steps (and some others.) Yes!  What wonderful news.

There’s a baby sign language, developed because kids are able to communicate with hands before words, which sounds funky but fun. I hope I can catch on to it.

And there’s a movement (pun somewhat intended) called ” elimination communication.” You help babies use the toilet by holding them there when they give you clues they have to go. I’ll believe that one when I see it, but more power to today’s moms if they can make it work. Nobody ever said changing  a poopy diaper was  on the A List of Motherly Joys.

If you’ve just had a meal, read the next one with caution.

Since human mothers don’t consume their placentas like most (all?) mammals, there’s a trend for them to do so. If it’s too much for a mom to cook it up and eat with a knife and fork, she can have the placenta encapsulated and pop it like a vitamin. Studies have shown this helps with post-partum depression AND perhaps menopause.  I’m going to sneak one of Kath’s. I’ve got a few symptoms left.  Love to see what a little dried placenta will do. Report to come. (You can read an abstract for one study here.)

But guess what hasn’t changed?  The anticipation and wonder and happiness of carrying a child and giving birth.

That’s how Kath feels. And that’s how I feel, even more now than when I was pregnant myself.

Since menopause, I barely cry. I think my regular  this-is a-bad day or I’m mad-at-the-world tears floated away with the estrogen.

But in moments when I think about my grandbaby to be, those good old tears can come springing back.

Photo: Kath, above, reported on Baby Eats Real Food that her uterus is now the size of a a soccer ball. I’ve had a great time reading the blog and hearing what young mothers are talking about it. Hats off to them. Everywhere I go, I see darling kids. Moms of today seem to be doing a very good job, even though they don’t do it EXACTLY like we did.

18 thoughts on “Future Grandmas Beware: The Times They Are a Changin’”

  1. Great post Barbara! We are going to be twin Grandmas since our girls are due the very same day! Have you figured what you want to be called yet? I believe firmly that the maternal Grandma gets 1st dibs 🙂 I’ve been thinking of Nana, that’s what I called my Grandmother.

  2. Oh, Barbara, I am but a few weeks behind you with respect to grandbabies (we call ours BabyBug and BabyGirlBug)…what was in the water with our blogger kids? Seriously, though, Katy has been really welcoming about including us (my husband, son and d-i-l to be are equally excited) in everything…almost better than being pregnant myself!

    Isn’t it funny, though, how one starts noticing babies and baby things once we are “expecting”…

    1. I see babies everywhere and am esp. studying little boys, since that’s what our is. Congrats on your BabyBug or BabyGirlBug!!

  3. Changing, yes and no.
    Our eldest and his wife taught the first child sign language– he particularly knew “more” to tell them when he wanted more to eat. I was amazed but didn’t bother learning.
    Our second son and his wife put their infant on a SCHEDULE from day one– neither one lost a night of sleep, though they opted to bottle feed to do this. He’s been mostly toilet trained for months now- he’s a year– and now is making noises and faces to indicate when he’s ready to go.
    Not for me!
    More on this- might have to borrow the idea and finally post about the grandparent side of cyclingrandma!

    1. Yes, do post! I need to study up.

      I’m hearing that schedules are back in. And to think, we were all about no schedules and being laid back parents. Funny how the tide changes.

  4. Oh, Barbara, this is such a great journey to be on with you! I’m so glad you are sharing it with us. I love that you have taken the opportunity to give the grandma’s point of view alongside Kath’s mommy’s view in her blog. I’m going over to check out her blog right now.

    For me, I thought I had died and gone to heaven when my baby grandson was put in my arms for the first time. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Then, my baby granddaughter came along and I just melted when I saw her little face.

    I did NOT have that reaction when my own daughter was born. Is that weird? Maybe not. I’d be interested to know if that’s typical with most grandmothers – having a more emotional reaction to the birth of their grandchildren than the arrival of their own children. Maybe when our own baby is born, the chore of it, and the responsibility is so overwhelming that the sheer emotion gets put on the back-burner, perhaps to finally surface with the birth of their grandchildren. ?? Just a funny thought.

    Sign language! That is one new-age change that I definitely get behind 100%. Here’s why…

    My grandkids both learned sign language before they could talk. The sheer fact that they could communicate a thought – no, a sentence – before they could form the words was an amazing eye-opener in the whole cognitive reasoning thing. Until kids talk, we tend to think of them as cute little bundles of love, but not a whole lot of reasoning going on in the noggin. Sure, they’re little sponges, soaking up everything, but it doesn’t amount to much in the way of reason. Or does it?

    Because, then this happened. One of the funniest sights I saw my granddaughter do was sign the sentence “More milk, please. Now!” She had that whole sentence down and would sign it WITH EMPHASIS, faster, and faster, until somebody would bring her more milk. HILARIOUS! She was sitting in her highchair, so she had to be about 7 or 8 months old… well before she could actually form that sentence in words. But, again, the amazing thing to me was that she formed that sentence in her brain! AND she expressed it using “words” she formed with her hands. The idea that a baby that young possesses the cognitive ability to form a sentence was an eye opener to me. (My daughter actually used the American sign language with the kids, and not the specialized versions available for babies.)

    My grandchildren still amaze me. They are now 15 and 10, but that moment I saw them for the first time is etched in my brain, not just a vague memory… etched!

    Yes, I have to shake my head at a lot of the changes. But the results of these new-age baby care styles often prove them superior to the old ways. Case in point, as you mentioned, the whole sleep safely routine bringing the incidence of SIDS. And being able to actually communicate with your baby, priceless.

    Okay, I didn’t mean this to be a novelette. Sorry, Barbara and readers. I just wanted to say Being A Grandparent Is The Best Thing Ever! 😀 Congrats and have fun!

  5. Hmmmm, you lost me at “eating the placenta!” How many years has that been around? Would it not have to have been studied for around thirty years, in order to determine if it is truly effective? Trendy, maybe. . . But, not for long!

    Great post! I dealt with some of those things when my daughter was born, we did finally opt for letting her sleep on her tummy, just no blankets, pillows or toys in the crib. She always slept better that way. The choices we have to make as parents, some are easy and some not so much!

    1. Some people Kath says, actually cook it up and eat it!

      I had so many blankets and toys in our crib, it almost scares me now!

    1. Note to self – pack plenty of tissues! Now about sign language and the placenta….really? I love the sign language idea though it would be interesting to see if this delays or enhances early language acquisition. Think of the baby in the family who is very late in talking since every grunt gets interpreted by an older sibling. And the placenta – no thanks. But if my daughter wants to do this, I’d have to bite my tongue and get out the cuisinart to make the smoothie!

  6. Congratulations on the imminent arrival of your grandbaby. I am an older mom and I’ve done the sign language, baby led solids (no mush no jars), and elimination communication. The thing is that those aren’t new agey. They are lost wisdom that used to be passed down fron grandmothers to daughters and grandaughters! I just posted a movie clip from 1935 that shows the use of a chamber pot for an in arms infant that was so normal it wasn’t even explained in the video 🙂

    mountainmornings : It does’t delay language aquisition to sign to babies. Just like they learn to wave hello and goodbye before they learn the words. Once they have the verbal words they begin to naturally drop the signs. It does, help with tantrums caused by communication issues in pre verbal babies. Babies communicate, naturally, with their whole bodies. We are the onces who lost fluency when you think about it 😉

    Happy grandparenting!

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