The photos above are two of my favorite photos ever taken. That’s me, my mom and my sister on the left. And me, Mazzy and Harlow on the right. Kind of crazy how similar they are, right?
Except nothing is similar when it comes to raising kids in the 70s and 80s and raising kids today. They didn’t even have laws regarding car seats then— it was an optional thing and my own mother can’t even remember if she used one!
“Mom, did I have a carseat when I was a baby?”
“I have no idea. Do you remember if you used a carseat?”
“No, I don’t remember! I was a baby!”
A few weeks prior I had pitched an idea to Munchkin about doing a “Throwback Thursday” series talking about all the innovations in baby products since we were kids ourselves. You know, since Munchkin is largely responsible for many of the newfangled baby products today’s parents can’t imagine living without.
“What baby products do you wish were around when you were a parent?” I asked my mom.
“The suction bowls! I don’t know what we did without those. And the bibs with the food catchers on the bottom. There was a whole lot more that ended up on the floor.”
That is hard to imagine.
My mom also talked about how everything she did with my sister and me is now considered unsafe.
“I put you in a crib with a rail that came down on the side. With a bumper! And laid you down on your stomach!”
It’s a wonder I am still alive.
“I also used a walker which I don’t think they even make anymore, because kids were walking right toward the stairs. Those were a lifesaver. And a play pen. I always put you in the play pen when I needed to take a shower.”
I guess new moms in the 70s used a containment strategy, whereas we use an iPad. I’m betting the iPads probably involve a whole let less crying.
“You let me watch TV though, right?”
“You watched Sesame Street and Mister Rogers every morning while I got ready, but that was it. It’s not like you had your pick of programming any time you wanted to turn on the TV.”
We talked about the newborn phase too. My mom said she decorated the sides of my bassinet with greeting cards so I would have something interesting to look at when I turned my head. How old school is that???
And apparently, the diaper pail stank to high heaven.
“It was just a regular pail with a deodorizer hanging inside. It wasn’t like it sealed shut. Every time you pooped, I would take your dirty diaper directly to the trash can outside.”
Feeding was different too. My mom tried to breastfeed but got mastitis and was put on antibiotics. She thought it was unsafe to breastfeed while she was on medication so she started formula.
“It was liquid that came in a can. I would pour it in a bottle and heat it up in a pot of boiling water.”
“Did you ever feel guilty about not being able to breastfeed?”
“No. It wasn’t guilt. I didn’t think I was doing anything unhealthy. I was just sad that I missed out on that opportunity for closeness.”
When I started rejecting milk, my mom fed me a mixture of milk and juice, which sounds downright INSANE.
“We thought juice was good for kids back then!”
I also had bars connecting my feet from the time I was three to six months, prescribed by my pediatrician because my feet were turning in. Now, they say there is no evidence that those bars do anything and feet almost always correct themselves.
(Doesn’t my sister look like Harlow in the photo above?)
It’s easy to see how my mom wouldn’t think twice about throwing me in the backseat with nothing but a seatbelt or feeding me a steady diet of juice and Chicken McNuggets, she would have no idea what new parenting inventions, theories and regulations were to come.
I mean, in just five years since I had my first baby, it seems innovative companies like Munchkin have come up with countless baby products I wish I had when I was a new mom.
Plates with white strips that indicate if the food is too hot, 360 cups that create a perfect transition from bottle to cup, pacifiers with built-in speakers that produce the familiar sound of mom’s heartbeat, on-the-go bottle warmers… the list goes on.
For the next few weeks, I will be randomly awarding six parents who post “Throwback Thursday” photos with $100 gift cards from Munchkin.
To enter, just post a photo of yourself as a kid with the hashtag #whenweweremunchkins on Instagram, tagging both @mommyshorts and @munchkininc. Or post your photo on the Mommy Shorts facebook page. If you want to mention something your parents did when you were little that you can’t imagine doing with your kids now, that would be awesome. You can read the full rules here.
Below is a slideshow of just a few of the ingenious products from Munchkin that make being a parent today so much easier, safer and cleaner than ever before.
16 Innovative products from Munchkin
Can’t wait to see your throwback photos! I’ll be posting some of my favorites on Thursday, March 19th, along with the first three winners.
This post was sponsored by Munchkin but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Munchkin rids the world of the mundane by developing clever, innovative solutions that make family life safer, easier, and more fun. You can find Munchkin products at Munchkin.com, Target, Babies’R’Us, Walmart, and Amazon. It’s the little things!