So, how did our parents do it then?!(161 Posts)
I'm intrigued really.
We often get 'advice' from people, especially our own parents/grandparents, in relation to bringing up our children.
For example, the most recent thing from my father, is that I'll have to 'wean the baby off that soon' in relation to the baby (6 weeks) wanting to be constantly held and be in the sling. I also have a 22 month old so it mostly works for us all (although in fairness I would like to be able to put her down occasionally!)
I know for a FACT there is no way my parents did or would've carried me round constantly, so how did they do it?!
This is also in relation to things like getting us to sleep through the night etc.
The advice is given out as though it was so easy/obvious... So how did they do it?!
I'd be very interested to hear from those of my parent's generation (late 50s early 60s) as to how children were raised.
Mil cheerfully tells me they got sick of bil crying in the night so they put the cot in the kitchen, which as it was an extension, meant they couldn't hear him cry.
In the day time, both of her dcs were put in prams outside the house all day, except for designated feeding times. Apparently my parents did the same.
Children were picked up when it suited parents and just left to cry when it didn't.
People had big prams they made good use of also bigger families and the kids were expected to help. I imagine they had a higher tolerance for crying than the average mum does these days.
Oh and my mum thought it was shocking I wasn't buying a cat net for the pram when I had dc1, because surely I know that cats like to jump in prams and snuggle up on warm babies during winter months... That I wasn't planning on putting my baby outside in the snow on their own for hours seemed crazy to her - how else would I get anything done?
dummy dipped in jam and letting other young children take the baby out for walks, or leaving it out on the street/garden for fresh air for hours
Oh god! I did wonder if it was that! I can't tolerate any sort of crying (by this I mean it drives me insane!), hence the sling/carrying!
Why have attitudes changed so dramatically then?
I think if my neighbours (most of whom are old, so probably did this), saw the baby outside screaming, they'd be outraged!!
Bottle feeding. And living with the MIL and whoever else was around. They got a lot of help. Anyone who was around stuck a bottle in the kids mouth.
Also spending seemingly 100% of the time in a big warm communal kitchen cooking endless meals and drinking endless cups of tea and washing endless nappies. I know I was in a playpen in the corner on cool days and outside the open back door in the pram on warm days. I suspect I was stimulated so much I just watched in virtual silence.
A lot of mothers these days suffer badly from isolation and doing it all alone. My mother didn't have that problem.
Also people had much more kids then, women were all at home, and so several of your neighbours had babies too. My MIL lived in a village where she knew nobody, but she said all the other young mothers would go walking with the pram at the same time every day, and they'd all sit on a wall and smoke fags and share tips.
She said those women saved her sanity, and shes still pals with them all to this day.
Drugs. My mum told me the doctor prescribed something for me and my brother to take so we would sleep. Nice.
This is fascinating! Although I can understand the village mentality. I lived in a small village when I had DS, it was awfully isolating, to the point that we moved!
But drugs?!?! Seriously?! That is absolutely bonkers!!
I had my two in the early seventies. Definitely tried to stick to a routine, though not as much as my Mother / MiL wanted me to. Gradually moved them into a four hour feeding routine, didn't leave them to cry for ages, but probably for 10 minutes or so. Lots of time out, pushing the pram. OH was very hands-on and later on did night feeds. I didn't have any family within a hundred miles, but spent a lot of time with friends. I went to work full-time when they were 2 and 4 and they went to full-time nursery.
It was hard work, especially as we only had a washing machine and central heating when the second one was born.
I think we always ran the house to a very tight routine, sharing childcare, cooking, gardening and housework.
They seem to have turned out fine.
Emily so you were probably born early 50s? And your DM/DMil suggested even stricter routines? That's very interesting. Although having watched that programme 'back in time for dinner', I can see that they were constantly cleaning/cooking, children were almost another chore!
I wonder when that change happened.
Mine put me in a room on a different floor where she couldn't hear me, no baby monitors!
I just can't believe the amount of being left to cry.
I really would love to know why this suddenly changed?
The rise of isolated, independent parenting and books, rather than taking advice from the older generation?
My mum said to me the other day that when she had me and my brother the midwives told her to only feed every four hours and leave to cry if necessary in between. My mum said she ignored the advice and fed on demand because she couldn't listen to the crying and it would make her leak milk which was just annoying! I said she must have been one step ahead then because feeding on demand is now the done thing.
I really would love to know why this suddenly changed
Probably with the introduction of modern kitchen gadgets so you have more time.
I think leaving to cry and less thought of child's mental health back then.
My grandmother says her children would never have been allowed to sleep in her bed as children if they woke overnight. But she would put them into bedrooms at 7pm with a potty and a large gate on door, and they werent allowed out until 7am.
She also states they wouldn't be fed more than every 4 hours, but that was just a case of leaving in pram to cry hours if they did want feeding beforehand
Nothing I would want to repeat
But drugs?!?! Seriously?! That is absolutely bonkers!!
Clearly a lot older than you, but I do remember Gripe Water liberally being used, it contained quite a lot of alcohol! Leaving a baby to cry once all obvious things had been checked was quite common too, along with 4 hourly feeds, if a baby wouldn't take it she'd have to wait till the next one. A pram at the end of the garden with a screaming baby was common and tolerated by neighbours.
My parents have always boasted that I slept through from 2 weeks old, when I came out of hospital.
They have just admitted we had a small carbon monoxide leak that wasn't discovered until I was 8 months old. That might explain the sleeping...
I was born just before the fifties. My mum and MiL were the Truby King generation and that was a very strict routine (worth Googling).
No, I don't think we thought leaving them to cry for ten minutes would damage their mental health.
I think my friends and I were on the cusp of a change. We got the Truby King stuff from parents, but we were mostly graduates, had been in university in the late sixties and became feminists in the seventies. We read Dr Spock and others, were hugely irritated by Bowlby, but didn't spend ages discussing things or agonising over them. Some of my friends were much more laissez-faire in their parenting, others stricter.
We all worked full time, though some of my friends stayed at home until the children were five.
I think we did some things well as parents, there are other things that I think my children have done better with my grandchildren, but everyone seems to have turned out fine so far.
My mother is adamant that babies shouldn't be picked up unless they are being fed or changed I.e they shouldn't be pandered to - they need to learn to be independent (we're talking newborns here). She believes that babies are manipulative. She doesn't believe in breast feeding. She believes in baby rice and weaning at 3-4 months. She believes in 'common sense' and that 'people make everything too complicated these days'. She's a big believer in smacking and threatening kids with a good hiding. I can't work out if this is typical 80's parenting or if she's just a bit of a twat.
My Granny - working class Lancashire -said "you carry a baby for the first year" lots of women wore shawls.
1950s saw the middle/upper class ideas of 'let them cry' become more prevelant.
You're just in touch with your working class heritage. Say that to your parents.
I think times change dont they in most cases well adjusted adults had a routine based up bringing mums were busy we wore terry nappies that needed boiling/ washing dinners cooked etc etc I think we can be to childcentric these days its ok for babies to cry sometimes or for them to just lie if they are awake occasionallly. But i had my first baby 20odd years ago and things were different not worse but different.
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