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Top 14 Parenting Trends That are In (and Out!)

When my daughter, now 14, was born, it might as well have been the dinosaur age. I used a basic stroller (the $1000 Bugaboo didn’t exist). I fed her formula from plastic baby bottles. Baby food came from a jar at the supermarket (gasp!).

Somehow, we all survived.

Between then and now, virtually everything I did and said as a mom has become extinct. Apparently, I was parenting “cave mom” style.

These days, moms of babies and toddlers are using vocabulary that I barely recognize. Recently, I agonized over selecting the right baby gift for a friend. There are strict new rules for this time-honored tradition. Thinking of giving a soft, cuddly stuffed animal or blanket? It will be donated, unused, unless it is eco-friendly, made under fair labor laws and comes in a gender-neutral color. Forget about wrapping. That’s a waste of paper. All this is especially true if you hang with bohemian moms in places like Venice, Calif., or Brooklyn, N.Y.

Chatting with some moms of babies and toddlers recently, I got the scoop on the new baby-isms. But, I have to wonder, isn’t baby wearing what the “cave mom” did?

1. Old: Carry your baby

New: Wear your baby

2. Old: Sippy cups

New: Mason jars with straws

3. Old: TV

New: Screen Time

4. Old: Baby Mozart

New: iPhone apps for toddlers

5. Old: Paper lunch bags

New: Litter-free Bento boxes

6. Old: Cheerios

New: Gluten-free, organic puff cereal

7. Old: Store-bought baby food

New: From scratch baby food made with locally or home-grown, non-GMO, organic, heirloom carrots and peas

8. Old: Toys

New: Organic stuffed animals made from up-cycled water bottles and acquired at used toy exchanges

RELATED: Could Playing with Dolls Predict Your Parenting Style

9. Old: Sleep-training using the "cry it out" method taught by Dr. Ferber

New: Co-sleeping with your baby so you awake during the night to interpret the language of your baby’s cries as advocated by Dr. Sears

10. Old: Potty Training

New: Elimination Communication (closely monitoring your baby’s facial and body signals like grunting and turning red to tell you when he/she needs to go to the bathroom). Helps cut down on the use of diapers that clog landfills.

11. Old: Saying, “Good Job!”

New: Using specific praise. “Good Job” can be damaging to a child’s self-esteem.

12. Old: Plastic Tupperware

New: Non-plastic, BPA/PVC-free lunchboxes and bamboo utensils

13. Old: Homeschooling

New: Unschooling

RELATED: The ABCs of Homeschooling

14. Old: Multi-tasking (half-listening to your kid ask the same question for the millionth time)

New: Mindful parenting (being fully present for your kid at every single moment)

Explore More: potty training, parenting styles
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