Oops! American Baby's Worst Tips Ever

The times have certainly changed since American Baby's inaugural issue 75 years ago. Check out the blunders we've made along the way.

mother holding baby
Photo: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Here at American Baby, we usually get it right -- but we can't stop laughing at our biggest bloopers from the past 75 years. Yikes.

THEN There is no necessity for trying to entertain a baby. You will only tire him out and spoil his day. June 1946NOW Smile and laugh with your peanut. He'll light up from your attention.

THEN You can rent good ultraviolet ray lamps at low cost. When the baby arrives, you two can bask in the indoor sunshine on dark days and in the winter. February 1957NOW Sun lamps, seriously? Outside, be sure to seek shade and use sunscreen.

THEN Depending on the state of his nervous system, your husband can give you reassurance during labor. But he should not be present for the actual delivery. January 1965NOW Come on in, Dad! Your partner can make the best doula.

THEN Eight months is a good time for Baby to take chewing lessons. Give him crusts of stale bread or a clean, fairly large bone. April 1958NOW Egad -- teething toys only, please!

THEN Only spank when you are angry. April 1977NOW Never hit. Try using time-outs to encourage good behavior from your toddler.

THEN During labor, give the mother a mild sedative or alcoholic drink, to reduce her appreciation of pain. February 1971NOW Save the champagne for post-delivery! Talk with your ob/gyn in advance about whether you want an epidural.

THEN Play peekaboo with an object like a barrette. Put it in your cigarette case and then pull it out. August 1982NOW No smoking, ever, for your sake and your baby's. To play peekaboo, use large toys that aren't choking hazards.

THEN No one needs to feed a baby between meals. September 1975NOW Babies tend to be fans of mini-meals, so expect to feed her throughout the day.

THEN Do not pick up a baby while he is vomiting. Leave him lying face down. December 1968NOW Never rest an infant on his stomach (back only), and if he's vomiting, pick him up immediately to soothe him.

THEN Women over age 35 should be cautioned against becoming pregnant. January 1983NOW It's safe and common for women to deliver after age 35, but do talk to your doc about extra screenings you may need.

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of American Baby magazine.

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