Skip To Content

    13 Times Parenting Advice From The Past Was Hilariously Wrong

    "At nine weeks you can serve him eggs and bacon, just like dad!"

    1. In the 19th century, British moms were cautioned not to worry when breastfeeding because it would ruin the milk.

    2. The book also said not to let your kids "play the flute, blow the bugle, or play any other wind instrument" because it could injure their lungs and windpipe.

    3. To get 1930s-era babies more fresh air and sunshine — which I guess people thought was REALLY important back then — a borough council in London proposed parents hang baby cages out their tenement windows.

    4. American parents in the 19th century were often advised to give Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup to their babies to help them with crying and teething. It worked too! Because it was made with...morphine.

    5. Also in the late 19th century, a book called Advice to Mother took pains to warn mothers NOT to give gin to their babies to cure flatulence.

    6. In order to have beautiful children, pregnant women in the 1920s were told to avoid thinking about ugly people, and instead to "cultivate an interest for admiring beautiful pictures or engravings."

    7. Also in the 1920s, nurses and mothers were told to wash babies at birth with...lard.

    8. Parents of the time were also warned that holding their baby for anything other than feeding and cleaning would lead to the child becoming a "spoiled little tyrant."

    9. Advise didn't get any better in the '30s, when mothers were told to start potty training almost immediately after birth and to keep at it until the child was trained at the ripe old age of six to eight months.

    10. Speaking of starting things early, in the '60s pediatrician Walter Sackett wrote a book that endorsed feeding your baby cereal at — wait for it — 2-3 days! And bacon and eggs at 9 weeks!

    11. Around that same time new mothers suffering from depression were told to "try furniture stripping. Many people find this solves their emotional problems and saves them hours on the analyst’s couch."

    12. In 1966, leading medical textbooks decided pregnant women could safely smoke half a pack of cigarettes per day!

    13. And parents in the first half of the 20th century were told that they should retrain their left-handed kids to be right-handed.

    Want more weird parenting advice from the past? Watch parents from today react to parenting advice from the 1930s:

    View this video on YouTube