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Family

Awkward home videos from the 80s and 90s show just how far parenting has come

"It's a miracle any of us survived."

80s parenting, 90s parenting, 80s, 90s
@nostalgicallyrachel/TikTok, @mrvaughntrainor/TikTok

It was a simpler, more life-threatening time.

Parenting has changed. A lot. So many things our parents did that were considered normal in our childhood—that is, for all us millennials and Gen Xers—would simply never fly today.

This is thanks in large part to the digital age, and the countless ways to access information. Radio, magazines, television, books, online blogs, Facebook parent groups, informational podcasts, public studies…thousands of voices helping shape family dynamics and warn of potential dangers.

If there’s ever any doubt into how far we’ve come, let technology once again remind you. A trip down memory lane via TikTok might be, as the kids say, a bit cringe, but boy can it help instill a little gratitude.

On a mission to share her childhood “one home video at a time,” a woman named Rachel has an entire TikTok account dedicated to short glimpses of her younger years.

Her content is an instant nostalgic hit for those of us who grew up in the 80s or 90s. We’re talking Rainbow Brite, roller skates, Sesame Street, backpack purses when they were cool for the first time. All the feel good stuff.

And also—maybe some of the not-so-feel-good stuff. Recently, Rachel shared a video of herself as a newborn with her mom…when viewers noticed something strange in her bottle.

@nostalgicallyrachel Replying to @B Indeed, it is. 💦 #wildtimes #wesurvived #taboo #homemovie #homevideo #nostalgia #nostalgic #80s #90s #1990s #1980s #memories #family #throwback #80sbaby #90sbaby #childhood #childhoodmemories #wholesome #oklahoma #takemeback #vlog #mylife #history #vintage #retro #90skid #80skid #80saesthetic #90saesthetic #vhs #smalltown #aesthetic #growingupinthe90s #millennial #millennialtok #1986 #response #react #water #indeed #newborn #baby #mom #breastfed ♬ Roslyn - Bon Iver & St. Vincent

“I’m sorry — IS THAT WATER,” one concerned viewer asked.

Rachel followed up with , “Indeed, it is”, writing “Sugar Water for Newborns circa 1986” in the video caption.

Once upon a time, sugar water was used as a bit of a cure-all for infants, helping fight off common colds, ease bellyaches, and everything in between.

And while some studies do show that sugar water can help ease pain, and certain hospitals do use it during painful procedures, professionals still suggest against administering it at home.

For one thing, babies don’t need water until they’re six months old. They get all the hydration they need from breastmilk or formula, according to WebMd.

Second, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says that any foods or beverages with added sugar should be avoided “during the first two years of life,” as it is likely to replace more nourishing foods and cause nutrient deficiency, and is “linked with increased risk of overweight or obesity.”

But for many parents today, this is not new news. Which made Rachel’s video so horrifying.

“As a new mom this genuinely is making me want to cry 😭 There was so much misinformation back then. Those poor babies,” one person wrote.

Of course, it could be worse. As one person shared, “My mom gave me Mountain Dew in my bottle 😳.” Yikes.

In another video, this one captioned “parenting before the internet” and shared by dad and TikTokker Vaughn Trainor, we see another bane of modern parenting—rice cereal.

Specifically, rice cereal being fed to newborns. Experts say that solid foods should not be introduced into a baby’s diet until at least four months old, when they can hold their head and sit upright on their own, start grabbing at things and show interest in food when the parents begin eating.

In this video, however, Trainor is one month old, laid back (also a big no no!) and being spoon fed by his mom, who is heard quoting the parenting magazine that suggested heavier things be eaten this way.

@mrvaughntrainor Parenting before the internet 🤣 i turned out alright 🤣🤣 #parenting #parentinghumor #90sparenting #babiesoftiktok #viral #funnyvideos ♬ original sound - Mrvaughntrainor

Over 5,000 people commented on this one, many of whom noted how this type of diet might influence common digestive issues many adults face.

And while there could be several factors contributing to this that go beyond what we were fed as babies, it is true that millennials seem to suffer the worst when it comes to gut health.

But it’s not just problematic food choices. Rachel shared yet another home video, this one titled “Nursery Tour circa 1986,” that showed her baby self lying in a crib surrounded by pillows, stuffed animals, and, for some reason, a mirror.

@nostalgicallyrachel Nursery Tour circa 1986 👶🏻 #nursery #baby #babytok #nurserytour #home #hometour #homemovie #homevideo #nostalgia #nostalgic #80s #90s #1990s #1980s #memories #family #throwback #80sbaby #90sbaby #childhood #childhoodmemories #wholesome #oklahoma #takemeback #vlog #mylife #history #vintage #retro #90skid #80skid #80saesthetic #90saesthetic #vhs #smalltown #aesthetic #growingupinthe90s #millennial #crib #cribsafety ♬ A Gentle Sunlight - James Quinn

But it’s not just problematic food choices. Rachel shared yet another home video, this one titled “Nursery Tour circa 1986,” that showed her baby self lying in a crib surrounded by pillows, stuffed animals, and, for some reason, a mirror.

…All of which can be life threatening and lead to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), if you ask the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Which is why this comment pretty much sums up everyone’s collective feeling:

“It’s a miracle any of us survived.”

And while we can obviously make the case for “I’m still here, so it couldn't’ have been that bad,” when you look at infant mortality statistics, which is the lowest it’s ever been worldwide, it’s hard to deny that maybe, just maybe, being more savvy about childcare could have something to do with that.

So, yes, many parents today might lean towards being more anxious by comparison. But it’s only because death is literally lurking at every corner! Yay vindication!

And as mortifying as some of these parenting behaviors might seem to us now, what doesn’t seem to change is parents wanting to raise a healthy kid, to the very best of their ability. We might have gentler, more science-backed ways to go about it, but the love remains the same.


This article originally appeared on 9.27.23

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


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Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?


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