Becoming a new parent: then vs now

Becoming a new parent: then vs now

Parenting has probably changed a bit since you did it last. See what's new- and what's stayed exactly the same as it's always been. Let us know what you think of our 'Then vs Now' article.


Before you rush to give advice to a new mum or dad, stop and think about how much parenthood has changed over the years – you’d be amazed.

How long is it since you were a new mum? Even if it feels like only yesterday, if you’re about to become a grandparent, chances are it was quite a while ago now!

Sharing your knowledge and experience can be really useful, but some of your tips might well be met with looks of utter surprise. So have things really changed that much?


Forget gleaming newborn faces – these days parents are advised not to wash their baby for at least an hour after the birth, and told that babies don’t really need a bath for the first few days. Instead it’s a good idea to ‘top and tail’ babies by washing their face, neck, hands and bottom gently with warm water.


When your baby was small, did you ever have them sleeping in bed with you? For many parents, this was really popular. Not any more. Parents are advised to avoid sleeping with their baby on a bed, sofa or chair.

Instead, the latest NHS guidance suggests babies should be laid on their backs to sleep, in a crib or cot, with only enough bedding to ensure they don’t get too hot or cold.

There is lots of reassuring information available about safe sleeping today, and parents should buy new bedding rather than bringing something old and dusty down from the attic. It’s certainly a far cry from when we were babies and cots were old painted metal hand-me-downs and teething tots would chew on the cot’s rails!


While your mother had to use those thick old cloths that had to be boiled clean in buckets (yuck!), you were probably lucky enough to use Pampers. But disposable nappies have still changed in the last 20 years.

Specifically, Pampers now have nappy pants, which make it a lot easier when the baby’s at the wriggle-around-the-changing-mat stage (usually around the six-month mark).

The nappies, which pull up and down like pants, have only been around for a few years so, when the time comes, be sure to buy a pack for the new parents, as they could be a time and energy saver they weren’t aware of.


Did you ever rub whisky or brandy on your baby’s gums when he or she was teething? Even if you didn’t, chances are a lot of your friends or your own mum did. It was regarded as a way of numbing the gums and sending the baby off to sleep happy. Now breastfeeding or a chilled, clean teething ring offer far more age-appropriate relief!

Car seats

A generation ago, you might have just rested the cot across the back seat or put the back seat down and let toddlers sleep under a blanket on a long drive. In these much more safety-conscious days, there are so many different models of carrier and seat on the market, you practically need a GCSE in ‘car seat science’ to choose one.

The standard advice is to position babies and toddlers in rear-facing car seats until the age of two, and the law states they must use an age-appropriate car seat until they are 12 years old or at least 135cm.


Today babies don’t start eating solids until at least six months. And then, of course ‘solid’ actually means mushed to a total pulp.

Babies shouldn’t be given cow’s milk until they’re one – and no nuts either. This in some cases might be as a precaution due to allergies in the family, but mainly it’s because nuts can be a choking hazard. So keep that bag of peanuts to yourself.

Find out more about Pampers nappies, pants and wipes at

What do you remember that is completely different now to then? We’d love to hear! Share your memories, or something you’re amazed is common practice now, below.

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I’m mum to four ages 28 27 15 n 6 and a nanny to three 5 3 1,my 6yr old is my miracle bubba As I had gone thru menopause early he’s severely autistic and non verbal still in pampers nappies and the wipes changing him he loves the feel of the wipes on his face,the difference between being a mum from my 28 to 6 yrs all them years I’ve now got wrinkles n started going grey 😂 I know it’s about tips I just hope I made someone smile coz my teeth fall out when I smile 😀 I’m joking x



Although I love to read stories to my baby, I also have an app of my phone which plays soothing sleep stories to set him off to sleep good instead of being distracted by his mamma!

Be Prepared with Pampers

scrumpyjack 31/01/2019

My nice has a toddler & expecting a new baby soon, I was explaining to her how we used to fold "terry" nappies & boiled them to stay white! She says she never wants to run out of Pampers!

Many changes

Joanne2008 22/12/2018

There’s been lots of changes some make me chuckle some are quite useful but I think the best change for me is I can hand these little ones back to the parents after a hard night of teething 😂

Same really

Danielle 20/12/2018

When I had my first everything was new and was good to learn things from other mums and parents. With my second who's 19months younger it was easier I was more confident with him and my 3rd well it was like second nature. Alot was the same but I noticed that with health visitors gave different advice each time. I definitely new my dos and don't and all 3 I used the same sort of routines for. Lots of good advice but always stuck to what I new was right for me and my babies

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