Bathing Baby

November 8, 2006

A little something from back in the day…

Printed in 1953 “The instructions in this booklet are based upon those given to mothers at the famous Maternity Center in New York City. Newly edited and printed, they conform with the most recent medical knowledge and modern methods in child care recommended by doctors and nurses throughout America.”

About the bath…”Ther’s an art to bathing a baby – but it’s one which you can learn with even the first bath. In the early weeks, until the mother has regained her strength, the baby should be bathed on the mother’s lap. Later if more convenient, the mother may stand to bathe her baby whether she uses a tub or a bathinette. Presumably you’ve already picked a time when you will be uninterrupted. Let nothing interrupt you once you’ve started.”

About diapers…”Fold the diaper straight through the center, forming a rectangle – and if the baby is small – fold down one-third, making an extra thickness on the outside – in the back if a girl – in the front if a boy.”

About washing the diapers…”No article of baby’s clothing calls for greater care in washing than do diapers! Never use a strong soap as it may make the baby’s buttocks sore. If boiling is necessary, wring the diapers out of the hot soapy wash water and drop into a diaper pail which contains a light soapy solution. Bring to a boil and boil ten minutes. Rinse diapers thoroughly and dry in the sun…”

Really a wonderful little resource for the mother to be…we’ve come a long way baby!


18 Responses to “Bathing Baby”

  1. graymama Says:

    I am surprised to find that I agree with the quoted instructions from the manual. Buddy and I had 24/7 skin to skin contact for much of the first few months because of our breastfeeding issues. He was bathed while on my chest šŸ™‚

    We have used cloth diapers since week 2 of Buddy’s life. We use prefolds, and we have “boiled” them before use.

    What mama can start bathing a baby without any interruptions?!

  2. John Says:

    In the UK ‘diapers’ are called nappies and I can remember buying a small electric boiler just for them. My wife always reminds me of this whenever a commercial appears on TV for ‘Huggies’ or ‘Pampers’.

  3. her indoors Says:

    i bet most new mothers today jus would not have a clue how to use terry nappies these days its all pampers and huggies!

  4. Tink Says:

    Is that first baby wearing make-up?!

  5. daddy d Says:

    Such pictures are not only good for mothers, but for fathers as well. The picture helps the comfort zone of the parents to expand. See it and then do it. Good stuff.

  6. gawilli Says:

    Graymama, I used cloth diapers with my son, but that was 30 years ago. I did not boil them; although that was about the time paper diapers came around and not many used cloth. I surely didn’t know there was even a need to boil! Finding uninterrupted time would have been an issue for me also, even now!

    John – I did not even know they made boilers. I will have to check that one out!

    Her Indoors – I would bet you are right about that – but there is a lot to be said for ease of use!

    Tink and Daddy D! Make-up or not, pictures are a definite help. I remember how hard it was to find that comfort zone with a new baby.

  7. mjd Says:

    Ah, those were the days. Bathing a newborn is a scary prospect. Although the booklet predates my days of motherhood, I liked having instruction books. In today’s world (and even in 1953), Grandma and Aunt Susan are not always available for useful tips on raising baby. Hooray for instruction manuals, how-to books and Dummies books.

  8. Julie Says:

    Hee hee. The reason I find this funny is because I just had a conversation with someone about cloth diapers. As a baby I had to wear cloth diapers, and so did my sister. Those were the days. We had to check the toilet before we went to the potty to make sure there wasn’t a dirty diaper soaking in there. HA! I am so glad I never had to deal with cloth diapers. EWW! I’ve never heard of boiling the cloth diapers. Interesting.

    I’ve noticed several of your comments on other blogs and decided to check you out. šŸ™‚ I can’t wait to come back and read some more.

  9. Swampwitch Says:

    We’ve come a long way baby…thank goodness…especially since another grandbaby will be here in a few days.

  10. Cazzie!!! Says:

    LOL, my favourite bath was the one I shared whilst breast feeding each of my kids..lovely time indeed šŸ™‚

  11. Keshi Says:

    My mum always say that cloth diapers r the healthiest for babies. She doesnt like the new artificial ones šŸ™‚


  12. Anonymous Says:

    We tried cloth with our boys when they were little. . .They weren’t like the ones when I was a baby and I couldn’t ever get them to fold right. . .We wound up using disposables. . .My neices would freak at the thought of having to wash cloth diapers. . .LOL šŸ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. . .Come back soon!

  13. Susan Says:

    We were given a diaper service as a shower gift…even that was horrible. Nasty, smelly, LEAKY diapers. UGH! We finally put aside our best intentions and went with disposable.

    This was a fun article. It’s amazing how much “the way to do things” change with the passage of time.

  14. gawilli Says:

    Mjd – when I brought my first child home from the hospital my mil, Jane, told me the best mom is a used mom. I didn’t really get it then, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that an experienced mother was the best…although we did not have the internet then…ha!

    Julie and Swampwitch – those were the good’le days, but we have come a long way. I’ll have to admit that I did not miss cloth diapers when my second came along.

    Cazzie – sounds like good bonding time to me!

    Keshi – my mom didn’t like them either – paper what?!!

  15. gawilli Says:

    Shauna – I think your nieces are not alone. Much has changed in many other areas since then…take dishwashers for example…

    Susan – I particularly liked the part where it said to “dry in the sunshine” – clotheslines?

  16. mjd Says:

    I forgot to mention the challenge of trying to pin a diaper on a precocious 6 month-old baby, who is crawling rapidly across the floor. However, if you still want to use cloth diapers, there are modern cloth diapers complete with velcro fasteners and an attached plastic covering

  17. debi Says:

    This post brought back some fond memories. My poor Mom had 3 babies in 4 yrs. I was the oldest and I can still remember how I loved helping her fold mountains of diapers. I was determined to use cloth diapers but I had no washing machine in those days and it was hard to have to wash them in the bath tub. On more than one occasion I have had to use a baby blanket for a diaper in a pinch. Do they even sell plastic pants anymore? Gosh,I am feeling old.

  18. gawilli Says:

    Mjd – I’m betting many moms had pricked fingers because of putting their hands between the pin and the flesh! I had forgotten about that. Those modern cloth diapers are pretty slick – could have used those back in the day.

    Deb! I remember those mountains of diapers also, and they turned into pretty cool dust cloths after potty training. You know, one of the main reasons I used cloth diapers with my first child was that the disposables were so expensive. It was much cheaper to use cloth – although that does not sound quite so noble; it is what it is.

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