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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?


LiegeAndLief Mon 08-Jul-13 11:30:04

My grandmother definitely did this to my mum and her brother. It is true. But it's what she was advised to do.

Skintorama Mon 08-Jul-13 11:30:24

Um. Of course they did. Why woudl it be an old wives' tale?

Are you thinking of doing it?


LiegeAndLief Mon 08-Jul-13 11:30:34

Oh and that was in the late 40s / early 50s.

YouTheCat Mon 08-Jul-13 11:31:08

My ex mil used to leave hers outside in the pram everyday. I think she's barking in general though.

heronsfly Mon 08-Jul-13 11:31:18

I had my first dc in the late 70s and we were still being advised to put our babies outside in the pram every day, but not crying or out of sight.

HaroldLloyd Mon 08-Jul-13 11:31:50

True. MIL used to put hers in the garage whilst she cooked dinner.

My neighbour told the health visitor her twins cried a lot at tea time and it was hard to cook, she said put them I the garden then.

annh Mon 08-Jul-13 11:32:41

It was definitely common to get babies into a routine much earlier on "back in the day" and there was much more emphasis on getting them out in the fresh air in their prams so you are definitely right and not your partner.

echt Mon 08-Jul-13 11:33:14

Someone from a Scandinavian country will come along soon to say this is still done. Not sure about the crying, though.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Mon 08-Jul-13 11:33:20

Its common practice in Sweden to leave babies outside to nap. Yes mothers used to do it,there's an old photo of the Dublin tenements and the prams lined up with babies sleeping in them.

JumpingJacks Mon 08-Jul-13 11:34:11

I was put in the garden in the 80's.

Don't know if I was left to cry or not though

echt Mon 08-Jul-13 11:34:32

There you go.

harryhausen Mon 08-Jul-13 11:34:35

Yep. They definitely used to do it. My Mum did it in the early 70's with me and my dsis.

She had a big silver cross pram. She used to leave us in the garden for naps when it was nice. I have very vague memory of trying to look through the muslin that she'd draped over the front and watching the speckled sunlight on the roof of the pram. It's a nice 'memory'. They were told that sleeping in the fresh air and light was of huge health benefit. I think they had a point.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Mon 08-Jul-13 11:34:57

AFAIK it was to strengthen their immune system and help them sleep better.

HandMini Mon 08-Jul-13 11:35:27

Yup, this idea of baby in pram outside all day - in garden / on front step was absolutely the way childcare worked in 40s/50s and prevailed into our mothers' generation to some extent.

Women had a lot to do in the house and big social expectations to be smart / groomed / attend church / host dinners and lunches. You had your baby, recovered in hospital for a week then you brought it home and got back on with everything else, allowing baby to disrupt as little as possible.

The only part of it I'd take away is getting your baby out in fresh air for most of the day.

harryhausen Mon 08-Jul-13 11:35:54

I don't ever remember being left to scream/cry though. Although its possible.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Mon 08-Jul-13 11:36:00

Lol echt but I'm from Ireland.

LindyHemming Mon 08-Jul-13 11:36:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nanny0gg Mon 08-Jul-13 11:36:39

Yes, there was much more routine.
Yes, babies were put into the garden in their (big, comfortable) pram to sleep in the fresh air.

They weren't parked out of earshot and left to cry for hours though.

Apart from a too-strict adherence to the routine, I don't see the problem.

Mckayz Mon 08-Jul-13 11:38:19

My XMIL used to do it a few years ago with her Granddaughters. It is not an old wives tale.

YouTheCat Mon 08-Jul-13 11:38:20

I didn't get left in a pram (1960s) but I did get put into a playpen on the verandah where it was shady (Cyprus). The local cats would come in a nestle in and so a lifelong mad cat lady was born. grin

valiumredhead Mon 08-Jul-13 11:39:36

Yes it's true.

wigglesrock Mon 08-Jul-13 11:40:02

Yup, my grandmothers popped the babies in a big pram and then out the back. They would have been out the back quite a lot anyway - washing, scrubbing, sitting, chasing other kids. My nana only went inside for a smoke smile She also smoked through the labour of her kids.She told me the first thing the midwife did after delivery was light a cigarette for her and put it in her mouth.

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Mon 08-Jul-13 11:41:02

Anyone remember the baby cages picture? Babies in high rises in cages attached to the windows?

Josie1974 Mon 08-Jul-13 11:41:15

My gm had my mum in the 40s and she was "made" to follow a strict 4 hr feeding routine - despite my mum being v sickly and tiny and she cried all the time for what sounds like years.
My nan has died now but used to talk about it a lot and when I was a mum myself it made me feel really sad that she was basically encouraged to starve her baby and ignore her hunger cries:-(
There was no acknowledgment that all babies are different and many will need feeding more frequently.
I'm so glad attitudes have changed so much. I genuinely think it has really damaged my mum.

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