5 Horrifying Vintage Pieces Of Parenting Advice Was Widely Accepted As Truth

There isn’t one right way to bring up a child, and parents (and non-parents) will argue and debate any imaginable aspect of raising a child without ever truly agreeing. To swaddle, not to swaddle; pacifiers vs. no pacifiers; even proper burping technique – as every child is different, so is every piece of advice…and these commonly given pieces of advice are shockingly recent! Do you remember these?

Your thoughts affect the baby”

First published in 1920 in, Searchlights on Health: The Science of Eugenics and passed on for decades, it was commonly thought that a fright, an ill thought, thinking about disabilities, or even looking at an “ugly face” could cause the baby to be born deformed or diseased – or worst of all, ugly! Thankfully, science has since put an end to this way of thinking.

It’s fine to smoke a half pack of cigarettes each day”

In a 1966 medical textbook, Smoking & Pregnancy, advised smoking to ease nerves and avoid fatigue. But once studies proved that smoking caused a wide array of complications, this practice was thankfully ended!11-14a8

Giving a baby ‘something to help deep sleep’ most definitely contained opiates”

To help colic, a fussy baby, or even just for sleeping, ‘infant cordials’ included sedatives…and were considered healthy!

Be sure to pick up a pregnancy corset!”

Yes, actual corsets were designed specifically for pregnancy. While a support band might be recommended by a physician, a full-on corset would not! Women often had weak abdominal muscles from wearing corsets daily, and a pregnancy corset was the only way to support the new weight of a baby. Yikes!11-14a7

Cold water is dangerous…drink a lot of wine instead!”

Oblivious to things like fetal alcohol syndrome, women were often discouraged from drinking water and were advised to drink large quantities of wine in its place…many continued this practice after pregnancy as a result.

Have you heard any of this advice?


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