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6 Hot-Topic Parenting Issues

Breast milk or formula? Calm the baby down or let them cry? We weigh the pros and cons of today’s controversial parenting topics to help you decide for yourself.

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1. Pacifying


Thumb

PRO: Natural and intuitive.  

CON: Risk of crooked teeth.

Soother

PRO: May reduce the risk of sudden 
infant death syndrome.  

CON: May interfere with breast-feeding and backtrack infections to baby’s ears. 

 

(Photo: HannamariaH/iStockphoto)

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2. Feeding

Breast Milk

PRO: Free and easy to digest. Boosts immunity and protects against ear infections, meningitis, obesity

CON: Mom may not produce enough milk, it’s a major time commitment, stretch marks and weaning.

Formula

PRO: Convenience, feeding duties can be shared between parents, plus it’s nutrient-enriched.

CON: The cost (formula, bottles, nipples, sterilizer). 

 

(Photo: DoxaDigital/istockphoto)

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3. Diapers

Disposable

PRO: Reduces the hard labour and ick factor of mothering.  

CON: Creates lots of waste-six diapers a day, 2,200 a year.

Cloth

PRO: No waste, cost saver, has snaps, fitted leg gussets and waterproof covers.

CON: Between the hot-water laundry and high-heat dryer, who can say cloth is the greener option?

 

(Photo: Istockphoto)

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4. Sleeping

   
Co-Sleeping

PRO: Instills lifelong sense of security and self-esteem.  

CON: Habit inducing and 
risky-child can be 
smothered or crushed.

Cry 
it Out  

PRO: Teaches self-soothing skills.  

CON: Risk of negative 
emotional and psychological impact.

 

(Photo: Fertnig/iStockphoto)

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5. Covers


Swaddling

PRO: Calming, mimics womb, 
and infants kept from 
startling themselves 
awake.   

CON: Risk of hip abnormalities, overheating and loss of circulation.  

Sleep Sacks

PRO: Less tight than swaddling, prevents infants from uncovering themselves and catching cold.

CON: Too large a size will lead to 
loose material around face 
and risk of suffocation. 

 

(Photo: ArtisticCaptures/iStockphoto)

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6. Transit


Wrap

PRO: Affordable, creates additional bonding and allows hands-free manoeuvring.  

CON: Awkward in rain, heat; 
cumbersome when shopping.

Stroller

PRO: A safer and more secure environment for baby.

CON: Expensive and difficult to manoeuvre through crowds and busy streets.


Canada’s top 10 cities to raise a family, how pregnancy rewires your brain, and the professional dangers of extended parental leave for mothers – check out the September issue of Reader’s Digest Canada, on sale August 13, for our in-depth looks at modern parenthood.