Advanced search

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?


Chopchopbusybusy Mon 08-Jul-13 11:58:19

MIL did this with her DCs in the 50s. They were fed to a strict every 4 hours schedule. She was horrified that I breast fed on demand.
FIL was in the RAF and they lived in married quarters. When the DCs were outside in the pram she claimed they never cried - ever. I suspect they did but the sound of the aircraft almost certainly drowned them out.

gotthemoononastick Mon 08-Jul-13 12:02:40

We did this in the 70's.Children alive and well.In Africa and only danger was snakes,so used cat nets for this if under certain shade trees.

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Mon 08-Jul-13 12:02:41

Grandma put my mum under the apple tree in her pram, got distracted by the new baby (there's less than a year between my mum and uncle) and FORGOT to fetch Mum in until Grandpa came home from work and asked where she was!

stopgap Mon 08-Jul-13 12:02:41

I was born in the late 70s, and was frequently parked in the garden for fresh air. To this day I hate being stuck indoors for prolonged periods of time.

McNewPants2013 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:02:51

Dr sprock changed a lot of attitudes to patenting around that time.

Before that it was defiantly done by most parents.

becscertainstar Mon 08-Jul-13 12:03:29

TimeofChange apparently I was strapped in! My Mum still says this whenever the story is told - quite accusingly - 'But I'd strapped you in! Only you could do that becscertainstar!' My DS was an escapologist baby too - but whenever he fell off something or climbed out of something I was standing right next to him thinking 'Why wasn't I fast enough to stop that happening?!'

Yes BabyMakesEyesGoSleepy as soon as I realised that my Mum had had PND my early childhood clicked into place and I felt so very sorry for her. It must have been awful and because she was given tranquilisers (mother's little helper in those days... completely the wrong treatment) it dragged on for years. The more progress that is made to improve treatment and help women to seek treatment early the better.

everlong Mon 08-Jul-13 12:04:31

My ex sil used to do it. Drove me crazy.
Every four hours her baby would be fed 10 mins each breast, winded, changed then put in pram.

The poor little thing was stsrving and would cry herself silly. But she wouldn't feed her till exactly four hours. Because her mother had done that.

This was 25 years ago. The rows we had over that!

mrsjay Mon 08-Jul-13 12:05:12

my mum and aunts did it in the 60s and 70s and I used to put dd out in the early 90s (would go if she cried and sat with her) I must be an aulf wife grin

mrsjay Mon 08-Jul-13 12:06:03


BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Mon 08-Jul-13 12:06:35

I suppose a lot of families were big in the 50s,my own grandmother had 22 (Ireland,no pill available until the 80s). Only 14 of them survived infancy. If illness came into the house then the babies would be most at risk so putting them outside probably stopped them being so ill. Although I don't agree with leaving them to cry I can kind of see why. No modern appliances,cloth nappies,multiple children,no ease of convience meals,cooking,cleaning,often tending animals and vegetable gardens. I can still remember my grandmothers fingers,bent and knarled from years of scrubbing clothes.

SupermansBigRedPants Mon 08-Jul-13 12:07:31

I was put out in my huge silver cross in the late 80's all day every day even as a toddler - left to my own devices in the garden hmm I had ruddy red cheeks until I was 14 because of it!

I'd not be comfortable leaving dc outside in the pram on their own but ds does wander in and out from the back garden all day most days with a non stop helicopter mum round of water, sun cream, sun hat, crocks on etc grin

Lweji Mon 08-Jul-13 12:08:23

You are right, but I think it's lovely that your partner feels like that. smile

lynniep Mon 08-Jul-13 12:09:56

yes of course they did it. Even in the 70s. My MIL tried to do that with DS1 as a baby. Except she put him out the front of the house. Next to the street. Thats the last time we ever left him alone with her. (he's 6 now)

Longdistance Mon 08-Jul-13 12:11:04

My pil did this with my dh, and sil's. They used to roll them down to the bottom of the garden and leave them there.

When dd2 was about 7 weeks old, dh wheeled her to the bottom of our garden at night, so I can sleep. I didn't know he did this, as left him with her in the kitchen. When I woke up, I panicked as couldn't find her. Needless to say I had a massive go at him, as we had foxes in the neighbours garden <idiot emoticon>

Longtallsally Mon 08-Jul-13 12:11:14

Yup, I was parked outside in the early 60s too. However, my mum says that it was usual to stay in hospital for up to 3 weeks after the birth and then parking outside was not advised until later. You weren't supposed to leave the house for the first 6 weeks with baby, unless it was essential, and then only in handknitted woollies/hats/blankets! So I guess it started about 10 weeks old.

My neighbour put her very young dd outside and didn't notice that it had started to snow! She was out there for 3 - 4 hours in her silvercross pram, however, with the hood up and cover on, so only a light dusting got onto the baby, and apparently she was no worse for wear shock

Val007 Mon 08-Jul-13 12:11:26

Leaving the baby outside is so that they would get some fresh air (not so fresh nowadays). Do not confuse it with leaving baby out of sight crying. The two are not connected!

AmberLeaf Mon 08-Jul-13 12:11:28

My Mum has told me about outside in their prams so yes its true.

Once bottle fed, all three of mine were fed 4 hourly. My Mum said thats what you should do, they were fed at 6,10 and 2 around the clock with the 2am feed dropped from around a month old [they didnt wake for that feed] they all seemed fine and happy, as was I.

Actually that applied only to my first two, my third never really slept through, still doesn't to this day, but hes autistic and lack of sleep is related to that.

I certainly didn't ignore them between feeds though! lots of cuddles throughout the day.

mrsjay Mon 08-Jul-13 12:11:59

my neighbour used to put her grandbaby out in the garden in the pram , no harm done really and if it is nice then fresh air really does them good -- i am sounding like an old wife--

Justfornowitwilldo Mon 08-Jul-13 12:12:27

If you look around the boards you'll see people being told by their mother/MIL that the baby can't be hungry because it hasn't been 3 hours yet.

RandomFriend Mon 08-Jul-13 12:12:48

I was borne in the 60s. My mum used to "put me out for the morning" in a pram in the front garden.

They believed that babies needed the fresh air.

The front door of the house was less than ten feet from the pavement. I think they used to peep out of the window occasionally to check that the pram was still there. hmm

Pagwatch Mon 08-Jul-13 12:14:15

My silings were born in the 50s, me in the 60s. My mum was told to do all of this - the tight feeding schedule included.
They were also given enemas when they went into labour and had to give birth lying down. She was slapped for making a fuss. Older children were not allowed to visit new babies - my dad used to bring us to the garden of the hospital so mum could wave out of the window.
My dad was not allowed near the birth even though he had delivered their first child.
Women who miscarried or who lost their babies at or soon after birth had to stay in the main ward.
My mum still talks about the woman who kept holding me after she lost her DD. my mum offered as, after my lost her first son she said her arms hurt. So sad

They had to stay in hospital for five days. My mum wept everytime they finally let her go home.

Jubelteen Mon 08-Jul-13 12:15:49

becscertainstar I was strapped into my pram and managed to jiggle about and topple it onto its side, my Mum found me on the ground still strapped in, she loves telling this story! We were hardy babies back in the 60s!

CoolStoryBro Mon 08-Jul-13 12:16:29

When I had dc1, my Grandma watched me holding them and said she wished that had been the advice when she had my mum and she had spent more time just holding her as a baby. It didn't affect their bond though as my mum and Grandma were incredibly close.

All my children napped outside though. I'm a big believer in fresh air.

surroundedbyblondes Mon 08-Jul-13 12:17:27

I'm sure it's true.

My DC were always visible and/or in earshot but they were outside most days too (now 2 and 4). What's so shocking about having your baby outdoors every day?

juule Mon 08-Jul-13 12:20:18

Are there people who don't put their babies/toddlers outside to sleep?
Of course, I know there are. I didn't put mine outside to sleep if the toddlers were playing out in the garden and would wake the baby up. But until mumsnet I did think it was more common to put them out rather than keep them inside. They were regularly checked on though.
All mine have been asleep outside in all weathers apart from fog, as TimetoChange said. That's what the midwives advised in the 1980s and it worked so I carried on doing that with subsequent babies.
As for the feeding routine, my first was born in 1987 and I kept to the 3-4hr feeding with no problems once my milk came in (supplemented with bottles while in hospital) - again as advised. For my others I sort of used the 3-4hour timing as a rough guide (very rough at times).grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now