New to Bounty?
It's difficult to know what's right for your baby when you're being bombarded with 'wisdom' from all sides. But was it really any different in the past?
Look back through the ages, and you'll find that mums have always been inundated with advice some of it more helpful than others!
These 12 approaches to motherhood are rather hard to believe!
1. 200 years ago, a new mum was expected to stay in bed for up to six weeks after giving birth (lucky them!). As recently as the 1940s, new mothers were expected to stay in bed for a fortnight.
2. When a woman was in labour in the 17th century, all the windows and doors of the house were left open – it was thought to ease the baby's passage into the world.
3. Women in labour in the 18th century had a sheet hung over them, which was then tied to the doctor's neck, to cover them up for decency's sake.
4. Over 300 years ago, mothers were advised to swaddle their newborns tightly to a board to stop them kicking too much. Why? It was thought that babies had fragile bones, and that kicking might distort their growth.
5. Before nappies were invented, babies would remain wrapped in their swaddling all day, and were only changed first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Imagine the smell!
6. Victorian babies who cried a lot were offered Mother Bailey's Quieting Syrup or Batly's Sedative Solution. Both contained opium, a drug related to heroin no doubt they slept very soundly!
7. 19th century mums were told to apply leeches to their teething babies' swollen gums.
8. In the 1920s, childcare guru Dr Truby King said that a baby who was kissed and cuddled would become a weak, dependant character. 'If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when you say goodnight,' he advised. 'Shake hands with them in the morning.'
9. Hiring a wet nurse to breastfeed your baby was fashionable among well-off families for hundreds of years. Wet nurses had to be good-natured and attractive, as it was thought that babies took on the characteristics of the woman who nursed them.
10. 200 years ago, breastfeeding mothers were advised not to have sex it was believed semen turned breastmilk sour!
11. 300 years ago, mums were told not to feed their babies and toddlers fruit and vegetables. It was believed to be too acidic for young stomachs, and that it would give them worms.
12. In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was scarily common for babies to be fed by animals. A newborn would be put to the udder of a goat or a donkey if his mother couldn't or wouldn't breastfeed. Lovely.