7 ways parenting has changed in the past 25 years

The rise of multiracial and multiethnic babies in the US In 2015, one in seven infants in the U.S. were multiracial or multiethnic, according to the Pew Research Center. That's nearly triple the share in 1980. Multiracial or multiethnic infants are children under age 1 with parents of two different races, those with one Hispanic and one non-Hispanic parent and those with at least one parent who identifies as multiracial. Of all the multiracial or multiethnic infants with two parents, the largest portion (

This story has been updated.

Parenting has dramatically changed over the course of two decades. Community block parties and mingling with neighbors has become old hat, replaced by alleged "connectedness" through social media.

While stranger danger fears have remained, old school parenting has given way to the kid-glove handling of children's' egos. We've seen a shift in the family paradigm, and a significant sociological shift as well.


Below are the 7 of the biggest differences between parenting in Georgia 25 years ago and today:

1. Fetal ultrasounds revealed a child's gender.

Ultrasound was used for clinical purposes for the first time in 1956, but its use to determine a fetus' sex didn't come into play until more recent years. In 2011, a new study discovered that some prenatal gender tests using the mother's blood also are very accurate at determining a baby's sex.

2. Collapsible strollers in 1991 were designed so that babies rode facing out.

In 2009, researchers out of the University of Dundee, Scotland published "Study: Away-facing strollers stress babies," which stated that forward-facing strollers have a negative effect on babies' language development. The study said that a child's social skills and language acquisition developed best if he or she faced the parent. Parents and stroller manufacturers were persuaded, and the old fashioned stroller in which infants faced the person pushing them made a comeback.

3. Cribs had bumpers and drop-sides back in the day.

Shopping for a crib two decades ago meant choosing one with a drop-down side for easy access to lay the baby down for sleep or diaper changes. Parents also had to choose from a variety of colorful crib bumpers. Today, both drop-side cribs and crib bumpers are deemed too dangerous to be sold in most states.

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4. Car seats were simpler years ago.

Babies were secured in rear-facing infant seats until they turned a year old. Toddlers sat in the same seat, but it was turned to face in the opposite direction so that they could see something other than the seat. Now, children must remain in car seats that face the back of the car for the first two or three years of their life. Once your child is 30 pounds and 38 inches, he can move up to a booster seat. Children secured in a booster seat in the back seat of the car are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a crash than kids using a seat belt alone.

5. Parents have more resources today.

Technology and the internet has given parents easier access to information via Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) online child development charts, Facebook forums and parenting blogs. Parents now get reassurance what their child is experiencing is something normal before making an appointment with the pediatrician.

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6. Same-sex parents were a rarity in Georgia 25 years ago.

Now, more than 20,000 couples have equal status with heterosexual couples under state law, including family benefits and parental rights.

7. Parents now have more flexibility concerning childcare. 

Twenty years ago, stay-at-home fathers were rare. Now, we frequently see dads picking up kids from school or involved in school activities. Careers, such as those in the IT field, now allow parents to work from home, giving them the opportunity to care for their kids instead of relying on day care or after-school programs. Paid family leave was not an option 25 years ago, but today, Washington, D.C., is considering offering 16 weeks of paid leave to parents caring for an infant or sick child. On April 6, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to mandate fully paid six-week leaves for mothers and fathers. In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation April 4 enacting a 12-week paid family leave policy. Minnesota employers are currently battling a proposed 12-week family leave plan.