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Carnation milk and 1960s babies!

(41 Posts)
muminlondon Thu 05-Aug-04 14:36:14

I was horrified when I found out I was given Carnation milk as a baby (about one part Carnation to 4 parts water). My mum told me it was recommended by the paediatrician at the hospital for low weight/premature babies so she was just following the advice of the time. I realise I am not alone as I found other threads on the topic (e.g. on formula milks ). Who else had this?

Slinky Thu 05-Aug-04 14:43:00


I was born in 1971 and certainly not low weight or premature! I was 8 days late weighing in at 8lb 14oz!

Funnily enough, mum and I were chatting about this the other week. I have an incredibly sweet tooth and was "blaming" her for giving me Carnation milk.

She said she was following advice given to her by the midwives at the hospital and that everyone on the ward with her gave their babies the same!

Interestingly, I cannot stand Carnation milk now - just the smell makes me heave and I don't drink any other milk either (have a tiny tiny bit in tea/coffee).

Still I survived to tell the tale

tinytoes Thu 05-Aug-04 14:48:13

hi i was fed diluted carnation milk too.this was because i had bad reflux due to my stomach being too immature-though i can see how it helped but apparently i kept it down better than formula.
i was born in '71 too slinky! in august
i blame my wobbly bum and thigh fat on too much carnation lol(that and a severe biscuit addiction)

tinytoes Thu 05-Aug-04 14:50:19

sorry meant cant see
suppossed to have a slight cows milk intolerance too but it has never bothered me much
should give it up really but teas not the same without it

luckymum Thu 05-Aug-04 14:52:02

And me (1963) and National Dried Milk, my dad still has old tins in the shed with his nails and screws in.

muminlondon Thu 05-Aug-04 14:57:12

I'm more of an oldie so it must have been a mid to late 60s trend (ahem). Apparently I had a cast-iron stomach as a baby (which enable me to survive this outrage!) and I'm fairly healthy now, although my twin brother coped less well and as an adult has several allergies. I love banoffee pie - wonder if that's nostalgia?

muminlondon Thu 05-Aug-04 14:59:19

Interesting, luckymum (I was born 1965). So that's 1963-1971 at least?

Garfield Thu 05-Aug-04 15:03:19

And me - born 1972, and I think my sister born 1975 had it too. Then switched to formula. HV horrified when it was brought up again with number three, born 1980!!! I too blame it for wobbly bits, along with being weaned too early!!!!

muminlondon Thu 05-Aug-04 15:10:36

I'm eating a mars bar now. Oh dear - more nostalgia.

lonelymumof3 Thu 05-Aug-04 15:46:25

mum used to give it to me as well........1981!!

lonelymumof3 Thu 05-Aug-04 15:47:51

if you simmer it in the can, in a pan of hot water for a while, it comes out as some kind of fudge/toffee type stuff that is yummy!!! nan used to do this for me!!

essbee Thu 05-Aug-04 16:08:03

Message withdrawn

muminlondon Thu 05-Aug-04 16:10:13

that's how you make banoffee pie! So as late as 1981 you were given it in a bottle as a newborn? My mum said the paediatrician was quite strict about it, saying she should give it to us consistently to 6 months and not swap to another baby milk.

Metrobaby Thu 05-Aug-04 16:12:12

One of DH's brothers was given it too. This was around 1963

muminlondon Thu 05-Aug-04 16:12:59

essbee, yes I do get the impression it was particularly recommended for low weight babies at the time. I was 5.5 lb and my brother was 3.5 lb.

CountessDracula Thu 05-Aug-04 16:13:36

I was given it in 1966. I still adore it to this day!

KeepingMum Thu 05-Aug-04 16:14:41

I was reading mil's Dr Spock or Hugh Jolly and it gave the recipe for making your own formula with evaporated milk and something else. We were bf'ed but my mum said that she had huge pressure from the midwifes not to and only managed to persevere with bf because of one mw to whom she is eternally grateful. I love evaporated milk and condensed milk in a tube is the perfect thing for making camping coffee

muminlondon Thu 05-Aug-04 17:10:58

I'd love to look at some of the 'official' advice from different decades. My mum was breastfed exclusively without solids to 8 months in the 1930s and that was the advice of the day. I am guessing that bottle feeding took off in the 1950s and Nestle was behind a lot of the promotion. What I'd be interested to know is how far the medical establishment supported it too.

sunchowder Thu 05-Aug-04 17:29:48

I was born in 1957 (ahem...) probably the oldest Mommie here! I still have all the original pediatrician's notes and adverts at the time and I also was fed diluted carnation milk her in the USA! I had no idea I could blame this on any of my ailments today, how fantastic!

gingernut Thu 05-Aug-04 17:46:20

I had it (1968) as did my sister (1966).

mumbojumbo Thu 05-Aug-04 18:07:02

I used to have evaporated milk when I was a child under the premise that it was "cream"! One of my favourite comfort foods is a sliced banana and evaporated milk.

mumbojumbo (born 1964!)

aloha Thu 05-Aug-04 18:34:47

On holiday I bought a fascinating cookery/home management book from the 1930s with extensive chapters on 'nursery food'. In it, there is stuff saying that people nowadays give the first solid foods earlier at 8months as opposed to the more usual nine months. I don't know if I got Carnation - probably as was born in 1963. I remember it was a treat at home.

hana Thu 05-Aug-04 18:41:40

Mum gave the 4 of us carnation milk in bottles, it was the 'done' thing at the time. I think she breastfed for a month or so, then right on to the evaporated milk. This was '68 - '75, in Canada. I was outraged when I learned this a few years ago!! NOne of us were underweight though.

tarotgate Mon 27-Sep-10 17:13:08

Hi, I'm new to Mumsnet. Probably one of the oldest ones here.
On the topic of Carnation Milk, here's what I know.

I was born in 1954 and breast fed for a short while then weaned onto Carnation Milk. Apparently very common at the time.

I had my first child in 1973. She was prem and kept in the SCBU for 3 weeks. They fed her Carnation Milk!. When I brought her home I was given a free tin of Carnation by the hospital and told that I should continue to feed her on it. In those days, Carnation Milk had a "baby feeding guide" on the back of the label, with dilution ratios and total quantity to feed depending on the baby's age and weight. Ideal Milk (another evaporated brand) carried a warning on the label "not suitable for feeding babies - use Carnation Milk".

Certainly in the 60s and 70s it was recommended for prem or small babies. But I understand it was commonly used from the early 20th century as a baby milk substitute.

Both me and my daughter love Carnation milk (still) and I don't think it did us any real harm. But who can tell hmm

Morloth Mon 27-Sep-10 17:22:45

Human beings are astonishingly resilient creatures. Probably why there are 6 billion of us.

My breastmilk with DS1 tasted exactly like Carnation Milk. This time it tastes of coconuts. Weird.

I love the stuff but am glad people know better now.

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