My parents moved houses this past summer and with it came an incredible purge of all the things they have been hanging on to over the years.

They’ve known they were going to be downsizing for a few years and had started dropping random care packages in the mail to my sister, brother, and I. The summer move came upon them a little quicker than they’d like, so some attic items were moved wholesale to their new house, only to be opened once they started unpacking.

Now that the unpacking has started furiously, the packages are arriving again. I’ve gotten elementary school notebooks, report cards, crafts, and more. In a series I call “my parents hoarded my childhood,” I go through some of the things they saved over the years and share how parenting, schoolwork, toys, and philosophies have changed (or not) over the past forty plus years.

One of the care packages my brother received was notes from my mom’s pediatrician offering a daily schedule suggestion for her newborn son.

My brother was born November 15, 1972. When my mom took him in for a 6 week checkup in between Christmas and New Year’s, Dr Pender offered the following schedule for infant care:

[infobox title=’Infant Daily Schedule’]

6am (or when baby wakes) Breast or bottle

845am OSTO ADC 5 drops(note: ADC drops are a pediatric vitamin)

9am Bath

10am Cereal (complete with instructions on brands and styles and when to increase feeding amounts) and breast or bottle

1030am Out of doors until feeding time

2pm Fruits (again with instructions and suggestions) and breast or bottle

230pm Out of doors

515pm Bathe and change to night clothes

6pm Cereal and breast or bottle

630pm To bed (do not waken after 6pm feeding)

10pm Breast or bottle (if necessary)

2am Breast of bottle[/infobox]

When my brother shared the doctor’s note on his Facebook page, he was quick to make note of the suggestion that a new mother should spend some 6 hours a day outdoors with her newborn – even in the midst of a Canadian winter.

I found interesting there was no nap time scheduled into the day (I’m guessing that happens when you’re pushing the stroller outside for 6 hours a day).

When my mother took my brother for his 1 yr check up, Dr Pender gave her a new list of instructions. A set of instructions that included bacon.

The interesting part of this old school diet is how it sticks to the three meals a day – complete with a “do not feed between meals” warning from the doc.

[infobox title=’One Year Old Feeding Tips’]

  1. May have raw fruits in season
  2. Do not feed between meals unless child is hungry and taking other meals well. Then give fruit, fruit juices or 1 Sunwheat biscuit.
  3. Do not give – greasy or highly seasoned or very salty foods, fried foods, fresh bread, pies, cakes, or fancy cookies, ice cream, tea, coffee, or soft drinks, candy or sugar n cereal or on fresh fruits. Nuts are not to be given. Peanuts must not be given until 5 years.
  4. Select different foods from the list from day to day to avoid developing likes and dislikes.
  5. Give at least 4 eggs each week, but not more than one each day.[/infobox]

And then there’s the peanuts warning. “Peanuts must not be given until 5 years.” Now I don’t recall a lot of kids with nut allergies when I was growing up, but the advice given to parents now is to introduce nuts as soon as they start solids. Could that advice to hold off on nuts have resulted in kids of the 70s having kids in the 90s and 00s with higher rates of allergy?

The advice to give your kids a varied diet with specific goal of avoiding likes and dislikes is interesting advice too. We have one picky eater, and one varied eater. I think I gave them both a lot of choices, but really making it a focus early on sounds like great advice.

So how do you think parenting advice from 1973 compares to what parents in 2018 are getting? I’d love to hear from new parents who are seeing pediatricians and are getting schedules like (or not like) these.

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