### Contrasting Sleep Techniques: Millennial Mom vs. Boomer Parents

Having raised three children, JaLeigh Monsen, aged 30, has firsthand experience of the immense pressure parents face and the inundation of new information and advice they encounter constantly.

In a widely circulated video, Monsen aimed to showcase the evolving times by engaging in a conversation with her mother, LeighAnn, a baby boomer aged 63, discussing the contrasting advice they followed while raising their children. Despite noting the “striking similarities” in their parenting styles, Monsen was taken aback by the changes in advice regarding getting babies to sleep over the years.

Monsen discovered that her mother used to place all five of her children on their stomachs for sleeping, a practice now discouraged. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends laying infants on their backs during sleep to minimize the risk of sudden unexpected death.

Reflecting on the differences in baby sleep practices, Monsen shared with Newsweek, “It’s back sleeping now as opposed to belly sleeping back then. The duration of keeping the baby in your room has extended to six to 12 months, compared to merely a month or two in the past. Present guidelines emphasize having no items in the crib, unlike the past inclusion of bumper pads, blankets, and stuffed animals.”

Expressing her surprise, Monsen mentioned, “I was astonished to learn that parents were advised to always place babies on their stomachs to prevent aspiration of spit or vomit. The current strong recommendation is to place babies solely on their backs. Additionally, I was taken aback by the fact that my mother used to check on us frequently without a monitor, whereas I had the impression that parents would simply put their babies to bed without intervening until the morning.”

Among the AAP’s other recommendations for ensuring infant safety during sleep, parents are advised to utilize a firm, flat sleeping surface such as a crib or bassinet and avoid sharing a bed with the baby, keeping loose objects away from the sleep area.

What Drives the Significant Changes in Advice?

Extensive research over the years has contributed to evolving best practices for infants and children. Despite the good intentions behind this research, Monsen believes that the overwhelming influx of information can sometimes be counterproductive.

She elaborated, “The abundance of information and products nowadays, while well-intentioned, may overshadow the instincts of millennial parents on occasion. I also attribute these differences to the influence of peers within my age group. We witness a variety of parenting approaches today, such as gentle parenting, which emphasizes emotional connection and understanding. There are instances where we find it hard to believe the parenting choices of our own parents based on the knowledge we have now. I am certain that our children will view our practices in a similar light in the future.”

Despite her astonishment at past parenting methods, Monsen holds no animosity towards older generations. While she appreciates the wealth of available information, she occasionally relies on her instincts and does what feels right. Amidst the plethora of expert opinions, Monsen humorously remarks that “parents are indeed the ultimate experts.”

Social Media Response and Future Perspectives

Monsen shared the video on her Instagram handle (@thingsiwishihadknown_) as part of a series illustrating the varying parenting advice across different generations. Since its online posting, the video has garnered over 1.4 million views and more than 17,300 likes.

While Monsen did not anticipate the overwhelming response to her video, not all feedback has been positive.

She shared, “The reactions have been quite intriguing. Many viewers perceived me as condescending, judgmental, and patronizing towards my mom and ‘80s moms in general. I can understand how they arrived at that conclusion based on my facial expressions, although they were taken out of context. For every negative comment, there were multiple positive ones.”

Monsen expressed surprise at the level of engagement the video received, clarifying, “My intention was to have a light-hearted, enjoyable conversation with my mom. This video was not meant for dispensing advice or debating who was right during which era.”

Given the substantial shifts in parenting advice, Monsen is confident that the evolution will persist, eagerly anticipating the changes to come.

The video has sparked more than 2,600 comments on Instagram, with numerous parents sharing their insights on the transformations in their parenting approaches.

One comment reads, “This is incredibly fascinating and underscores the continuous evolution in the realm of parenting.”

Another individual remarked, “I don’t view this as a critique of our mothers or older generations in general. It clearly illustrates how our understanding has evolved significantly over the past three decades.”

A different user commented, “Adorable! It will be intriguing to witness how things evolve as your children grow up.”