To believe this? - Is this just an old wives tale? 50's baby routine. My partner thinks I'm stupid to believe mums used to do this..

(259 Posts)
NinaJade666 Mon 08-Jul-13 11:28:53

So I've heard from lots of people that 'back in the day' (specifically the 50's) that new mums were advised to get baby into a strict routine, which involved parking babies in their pram at the end of the garden and bringing them in every 3 or 4 hours for a feed. Crying or not.

My partner says don't be an idiot and believe that, that's just an old wives tale. QUOTE - "They never would have done that. Put baby as far away as possible from mum? In the garden alone? They weren't stupid back then you know."

Anyone know if their parents or grandparents did this or were advised to?
Any links anyone can provide to 'prove' I'm right? Or wrong?

TIA

NinaJade666 Mon 08-Jul-13 11:41:35

No i'm not that 'type' of parent, no problem with letting baby nap outside at all (in ear/eye shot of course) it was the strict schedule/feeding thing that we were more discussing/bordering on arguing about. I know it's common in Nordic countries to let baby nap outside. No problem with that either.

Rowgtfc72 Mon 08-Jul-13 11:41:35

My mum used to put me out all day in the ealy 70s, just bring me in for feeds. Im still reasonably well adjusted forty years on! I put DD into a routine from day 1 for feeds and sleeps, Im a routine sort of person and so is she so it worked well. Didnt leave her in the garden all day but had plenty of fresh air so maybe the same thing.

Lambsie Mon 08-Jul-13 11:43:57

I was put in the garden to nap and then outside in the playpen when I was a little older. This was in the 70's.

becscertainstar Mon 08-Jul-13 11:44:32

I have a scar on my head where I climbed out of my pram - a passerby came and banged on the door to tell my mum that I'd climbed out and was lying on the concrete driveway. Once DS was born and I had a bit more insight into babies I thought 'What was I doing so far out of earshot from the house?' (It's a long driveway) I asked Mum and she said that if she had me closer to the house she could still hear me crying and it would have upset her. Apparently she put me out of earshot to cry in between bottle feeds. I'm not cross with her about it any more as now I realise that she had undiagnosed PND (it just wasn't recognised enough in those days). She just couldn't stand being too close to me.

Funnily enough, I'm quite an insecure person...

Thank god things have moved on...

insanityscratching Mon 08-Jul-13 11:45:02

I put my babies out in the pram in the garden to sleep although I didn't leave them to cry and I've always had a routine because it suits our family better. They (aged 25 to 10) seem to have grown up happy and well balanced regardless.
I think everyone finds a way that works for them and it worked for me but I wouldn't criticise or assume anyone who did things differently was wrong.

Innacorner Mon 08-Jul-13 11:45:05

My MIL definitely did it to her son in the 60's. Not sure about
my own mother. I do remember there being a real fear of babies being smothered by cats, so people would put nets across the prams to deter them.
Mil when she had GC was very much of the "leave them to cry, they're attention seekers, don't encourage them" school of thought sad

WillowKnicks Mon 08-Jul-13 11:45:54

I was a baby in the 60's & my Mum said I was out in the yard garden in my pram in all weathers except fog!!

It was the done thing then to have babies out in the fresh air as much as possible & if you think of some of the housing conditions after the war, people's attitudes to smoking etc it was probably no bad thing!

TimeofChange Mon 08-Jul-13 11:47:47

It's called fresh air!

Prams were big and comfy in those days, so the baby lay flat and could actually move it's limbs around, unlike being wedged in a car seat.

If it was cold then a well covered hot water bottle (often stone) went in the bottom of the pram.

If it was sunny, they had sun canopies that would keep the sun off but let the air through.

We had covers too, to keep cats off.

It went on in the 80s too, you know.

Hospital wards often had balconies so beds (with patients in) were pushed out for fresh air and sunshine.

Modern travel systems are not really designed for babies to sleep in.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Mon 08-Jul-13 11:48:00

That's really sad for your Mum becs sad . Sad for you too,I'm glad things have improved for those suffering pnd although there's much more yet tho be done.

LRDLearningKnigaBook Mon 08-Jul-13 11:48:08

SIL still does this.

themaltesecat Mon 08-Jul-13 11:49:24

SOME people did this.

All of my great-grandmothers and both my grandmothers ardently believed that crying is a baby's only way of talking and you MUST pick them up straight away.

happyyonisleepyyoni Mon 08-Jul-13 11:49:58

I used to put my DD in her pram in the garden under a tree to sleep. She would nod off watching the leaves move in the breeze, and sleep for 2-3 hours while I got on with the gardening. I am sure the ambient noise outdoors helped her sleep.

This was in 2011 btw.

TimeofChange Mon 08-Jul-13 11:50:37

Re falling out the pram: we used harnesses and every pram had harness points, so babies were always secure - except becscertainstar!

OrangeLily Mon 08-Jul-13 11:50:49

My DM did this with us in the 80s Nd yes the pram was at the bottom of the garden hut then it wasn't a huge garden but big enough.

Clearlymisunderstood Mon 08-Jul-13 11:51:32

My partners grandma told me how her eldest son was left in the garden so much he was really dark skinned by the time he was 7/8 months old and people used to ask her if he was foreign! She had 7 children and did it with each and every one of them, even if it was raining she'd put them under a sheltered part of the garden but she was told it was good for their constitution!

IvanaCake Mon 08-Jul-13 11:52:46

My grandma did this with my mum and her siblings in the early 50s. She was also advised to leave mum in the pram in the kitchen overnight and shut the door so she couldn't hear her cry.

Lilymaid Mon 08-Jul-13 11:53:20

My mother was told to do this with me back in the early 50s (I'm an old crone). Fortunately Granny came to stay and told her that if a baby cried it wanted a cuddle/feed and that all the stuff she had been told was rubbish. DM then followed her natural instincts and both I and DM were much happier for it!

Eyesunderarock Mon 08-Jul-13 11:53:30

Yes, it was true and hundreds thousands of women did it.
Just like now, when hundreds of thousands of mothers doubt their own feelings and instincts and follow the myriad teachings of every passing guru, then get shouted down by mothers who follow a different parenting expert.
In another 50 years people will read what was common practice now and say 'FFS, that can't be true can it?'

loopyluna Mon 08-Jul-13 11:53:40

I was told my gran-in-law to put DS in the kitchen and leave him to cry all night to stop him being so clingy. He was a week old shock

I didn't take her up on that one, though I did always put my youngest in her (lovely, comfy, cosy) pram, on the patio outside the kitchen to nap every afternoon. We have french windows and I could see and hear her from kitchen and living room.
My German friend moved her DC from pram to gorgeous sheepskin lined hammocks as they got older. They are the hardiest, healthiest children I've ever met, which might well be due to all the fresh air?!

IvanaCake Mon 08-Jul-13 11:53:51

Meant to add, my grandma had 3 children and none of them were ever fed at night...they had to wait til grandad got up for work at 7.30.

IncogKNEEto Mon 08-Jul-13 11:56:00

I have put all mine outside to nap, never out of sight or earshot though!

If one of them fell asleep in pram on way home from school run/trip to shop etc I used to park them up in back garden and leave them to sleep, they always seemed to sleep well, and appear to be happy and well-adjusted...so far.

They all enjoyed lying in pram under the trees, watching the sunlight and shadows in the leaves too, when they were awake.

Yup.my gran did it with me and MIL did it with DH.

Quite often mine would be sleeping in the pram upon returning from a walk and I would leave them under the big tree for shade. Could always hear them though.

But the 40's-70's idea of feed them, change them and wheel them outside isnt something I'd be comfortable with, but who knows, in 2075 maybe they'll be saying similar things about us using slings or co-sleeping?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 08-Jul-13 11:57:11

This was the 60's and 70's too.
In fact my midwife and hv told me to put ds1 in the garden, what's wrong with that? Fresh air is good for them, in the winter of 63 when it was really cold my mum was advised to wrap up my older sister and put her out in pram. It was the december and coldest winter on records.

Mycatistoosexy Mon 08-Jul-13 11:57:24

My grandmother did this. It was the official advice. You weren't meant to pick the baby up between feeds really for fear of spoiling them..

BigW Mon 08-Jul-13 11:57:55

My grandmother definitely did this with my mum. But we are also talking about a woman who had to be told by a neighbour that my mum (two at the time) was sitting with her legs dangling over the balcony of their third floor flat! Paying close attention to her children was never het strong point!

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