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'Let me scream and do not accustom to hands': 13 hopelessly outdated advice of Dr. Spock


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His child care book was written in 1943, and for many decades helped young parents raise babies. But, as the pediatrician himself said, the views on the upbringing and development of children change, although not very quickly. Compare?

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At one time, Benjamin Spock made a lot of noise with his medical guide "The Child and His Care". Noise in a good way, writes Firstly, in those days, awareness was bad, and for many young parents, the book was a real salvation. And secondly, before Spock, pedagogy was of the opinion that children should be brought up literally from the cradle in an almost Spartan spirit: discipline (feed 5 times and exactly on schedule, don't take unnecessarily into your arms), strictness (no tenderness and affection), exactingness (must be able to, know, do, etc.). And Dr. Spock suddenly delved into child psychoanalysis and advised parents to simply love their children and follow the dictates of their hearts.

Then, almost 80 years ago, society adopted a new educational policy with a bang, and it quickly spread throughout the world. But if in general you can’t argue with an American pediatrician (who, if not mom and dad, know better than their child!), Spock has zealous opponents on medical care. Some of his advice is really outdated. But there are many that are still relevant today. We have collected both.

Baby need somewhere to sleep

“Convenience is more important to a newborn baby than beauty. In the first weeks, a cradle, a basket, even a box or chest of drawers will suit him. "

If in a wicker basket-cradle the baby looks cute in the first weeks of life, then with a box or box, to put it mildly, Dr. Spock got excited. Doubtful convenience will turn out for a newborn. In the modern world, there are cradles and cribs for every wallet and taste, and no one would dream of putting their long-awaited baby in a chest of drawers. Although not so long ago, pediatricians said that for the first time the best crib for a child is indeed a box. In Finland, for example, maternity hospitals give out a box with a dowry and advise to put the baby in it.

Mechanical assistants

“When you are expecting a baby, consider buying a washing machine. This way you save time and effort. Not bad to get other mechanical assistants in the household. "

It is now difficult to find housing without washing machines. In the almost 80 years since the book was published, the entire household has become so advanced that Dr. Spock, looking into the future, would be happy for all mothers: not only washing machines and vacuum cleaners, but also bottle sterilizers, yogurt makers, milk warmers, and even breast pumps.

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Other things you need

“It is recommended to have: three thermometers (for measuring the temperature of the child’s body, the temperature of the water during bathing and the temperature of the room), cotton wool, from which you will twist the flagella, and a stainless steel bucket with a lid for diapers.”

For many years, doctors have recommended measuring water temperature with your elbow - this is a more reliable and faster way. We also stopped twisting cotton wool by hand, because the industry does it much better. Moreover, it is strictly forbidden to climb into the baby's delicate ears with cotton flagella or sticks. Buckets with a lid were successfully replaced with automatic washing machines. And once our grandmothers and mothers really used enameled buckets, boiled diapers in them for many hours, sprinkling them with grated baby soap.


“Shirts should be long. Buy immediately the size by age in the 1 year. ”

Now everything is much simpler: whoever wants to, and dresses his baby. Once upon a time, Soviet pediatrics recommended swaddling a baby tightly so that he would not be afraid of his own reflex movements. Modern mothers already in the maternity hospital put on the baby suits and socks, do not swaddle at all. But the advice even for the last century seems dubious - after all, in the first year, the baby grows by an average of 25 centimeters, and a large undershirt is hardly convenient and comfortable.

“Those children who didn’t get away with all the first 3 of the month will probably be a little spoiled. When it’s time for a child to sleep, you can tell him with a smile, but firmly that it’s time for him to sleep. Having said that, go away, even if he shouts for a few minutes. ”

Surely many parents did this after accustoming the child to the crib. But most are guided by common sense and do not let the newborn scream: they rock in their arms, hug, take the baby to their bed. And the advice about “let the child scream” is considered one of the most cruel.

“It is advisable to teach the child from birth to sleep on his stomach, if he does not mind. Subsequently, when he learns to roll over, he will be able to change the pose himself. "

The doctor was sure that most children feel more comfortable sleeping on their stomachs. And lying on your back is life threatening (if the child is vomited, he may choke). Years later, medical studies of such a dangerous phenomenon as the syndrome of sudden infant mortality appeared, and it turned out that Spock was very much mistaken. Just the position of the baby on the stomach is fraught with irreversible consequences.

About feeding

"The first time a child is applied to the breast approximately 18 hours after birth."

On this score, the opinions of Russian pediatricians differ. Each birth is different and there are many factors that influence the timing of first breastfeeding. Usually they try to give the baby to the mother immediately after it is born, because this helps the baby reduce the effects of birth stress, and the mother - to establish milk production. It is believed that the first colostrum helps to build immunity and protect against allergies. But in many Russian maternity hospitals it is recommended to start feeding a newborn only after 6-12 hours.

“The nursing mother’s menu should include any of the following foods: oranges, tomatoes, fresh cabbage, or berries.”

Now, in matters of feeding and caring for a baby, mothers have a lot of freedom. But in Russia, in official health care institutions, the named products are excluded from the menu of women in labor. Citrus fruits and berries are strong allergens, fresh vegetables and fruits contribute to the fermentation processes in the body not only of the mother, but also of the baby through the mother's milk (provided that the baby is breastfed). By the way, Dr. Spock advised to introduce complementary foods to infants starting with "aggressive" products. For example, orange juice. And from 2-6 months, the child, according to Benjamin Spock, should try meat and liver. Russian nutritionists think differently: not earlier than 8 months, because the immature intestines of a baby will not be able to digest meat dishes, therefore, in order not to do harm, it is better not to rush with meat complementary foods. And it is advised to wait up to a year with juices - they are of little use.

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“Milk is straight from the cow. It should be boiled for 5 minutes. ”

Now, probably, not a single pediatrician in the world will advise feeding a baby with cow's milk, and even with sugar. And Spock advised. Perhaps there were fewer allergic reactions in his time and there was certainly less scientific research on the dangers of whole cow's milk for babies. Currently, only breast milk or formula is allowed. It must be said that nowadays the most criticism is Spock's advice regarding feeding.

“Common sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, a mixture of dextrin and soda sugar, lactose. The doctor will recommend the type of sugar that he thinks is best for your child. ”

Modern nutritionists from this thesis in horror. No sugar! Natural glucose is found in breast milk, adapted milk mixture, fruit puree. And this is enough for the baby. We will manage somehow without corn syrup and dextrin mixture.

"A child weighing about 4,5 kg and eating normally during the day does not need night feeding."

Today pediatricians have the opposite opinion. It is night feedings that stimulate the production of the hormone prolactin, thanks to which breastfeeding is possible. According to the WHO recommendations, you need to feed the baby at his request - as often as he requires it.

About education

“I do not advocate physical punishment, but I believe that it is less harmful than prolonged deaf irritation. Slapping a child, you will lead the soul, and everything will fall into place. ”

For a long time, corporal punishment of offspring for offense in society was not condemned. Moreover, a couple of centuries ago in Russia even a teacher could punish his students with rods. Now it is believed that children can not be beat. Never. Although the controversy surrounding this issue is still a lot.

“Do comics, TV shows and movies contribute to the growth of juvenile delinquency?” I wouldn't worry about a balanced six-year-old kid watching a cowboy movie on TV. ”

The fears of parents who lived in the middle of the last century seem ridiculous and naive to us, but in fact this problem is relevant. The flow of information harmful to the child's psyche, to which modern schoolchildren have access, is huge. And how this will affect the generation is not yet known. Dr. Spock had this opinion: “If a child does his homework well, spends enough time outdoors, with friends, eats and sleeps on time, and scary programs do not scare him, I would allow him to watch television and listen to the radio as much as he wants. I wouldn't blame him for that or scold him. This will not make him fall out of love with television and radio programs, but quite the opposite. And in some ways he is still right: the forbidden fruit is sweet.

It is still relevant

“Do not be afraid to love it and enjoy it. It is vital for every child to be caressed, smile at him, talk and play with him, love him and be gentle with him. A child who lacks love and affection grows up cold and unresponsive. ”

In modern society, this seems so natural that it is even difficult to imagine what could have been otherwise. But times were different, there were many all kinds of methods for raising children, including in severity.

“Love your child as he is and forget about qualities he doesn’t have. A child who is loved and respected as he is grows up to be a person who is confident in his abilities and loves life. ”

It would seem a perfectly obvious thesis. But at the same time, few of the parents remember him and send their children to all kinds of schools of development, while demanding results and imposing their ideas about education and lifestyle. This is a real vanity fair for adults and a challenge for children. But Spock, who himself received an excellent education and won the rowing Olympiad, at one time wanted to say something else: take a closer look at the true needs and abilities of your child and help him in this direction. All children, growing up, will not be able to become diplomats with a brilliant career or scientists who discover new laws of physics, but it is quite possible for them to become self-confident and harmonious.

“If you prefer strict upbringing, be consistent in the sense of demanding good manners, unquestioning obedience and accuracy. But severity is harmful if parents are rude with their children and constantly dissatisfied with them. ”

Modern psychologists often speak about this: the main thing in upbringing is consistency, consistency and a personal example.

Truth without comment

"When you have to make remarks about the child's behavior, do not do them with strangers, so as not to embarrass the child."

“Some people try to“ raise ”independence in a child by holding him alone for a long time in a room, even when he cries from fear. I think violent methods never bring good results. ”

“If parents are fully engaged only in their child, they become uninteresting for those around them and even for each other. They complain that they are enclosed in four walls because of a child, although they themselves are to blame for this. ”

“It is not surprising that at times the father will have mixed feelings towards his wife and child. But the husband must remind himself that his wife is much harder than him. ”

“The result of education depends not on the degree of severity or gentleness, but on your feelings for the child and on the life principles you instill in him.”

“A child is not born a liar. If he often lies, it means that something is putting too much pressure on him. The lie says that it is his very concern. ”

"It is necessary to educate not only children, but also their parents."

“People become parents not because they want to be martyrs, but because they love children and see their flesh of their flesh. They also love children because, in childhood, their parents loved them too. ”

“Many men are convinced that childcare is not a male job. But what prevents being a gentle father and a real man at the same time? ”

“Pity is like a drug. Even if at first she does not give a man pleasure, having become accustomed to her, he cannot do without it. ”

“It’s better to play 15 for a minute with your child, and then say," And now I read the newspaper, "than to spend the whole day in the zoo, cursing everything.

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