Mother & Baby Magazine (turns 60)

As Mother & Baby Magazine celebrates its 60th anniversary, Sally Saunders looks at the tips and opinions given to new mothers in the past six decades 

Mother & Baby Magazine, Britain’s FIRST baby magazine is set to turn 60 years old this month. Take a look at their advice from yesteryear:

  • When breastfeeding, drink beer daily. Err…how do you think the young lass got pregnant in the first place? Sheesh. This advice comes from an issue in 1957. If you don’t have an issue with this…well then, we can’t be friends.


  • Strip furniture to beat ‘baby blues.’ This advice was given in 1958-‘should you have a bad attack of blues or feel madly frustrated by the climate, the cat next door or just life, try  furniture stripping. ‘ Um..ok.


  • Sit toddlers on the ironing board. From 1957: ‘High chair, potty chair, car seat all in one! One of the most versatile, and therefore economical pieces of nursery equipment, the Derek Folding High Chair can be used as a highchair with a removable feeding tray, a car seat and, when the pot is slipped into position, it makes a perfect baby potty-trainer.’


  • Dangle baby from the luggage rack. Hmm. Air travellers of 1956 were told of a marvellous invention-‘The BOAC (British Overseas Airways Convention) has specially designed cots or sky cots, so that children can be clamped to the luggage rack.’ Yikes.


  • Agonising Labour? It’s YOUR fault. What the what? ‘Every Mother does not have an easy time during birth, but this can be her own fault.’ Is that so?


  • Should Dad be present at the birth? Well in the 1950’s they said: ‘It is our own view that the business of childbirth often brings vicarious suffering and anxiety to the expectant father. Is his presence really necessary?’ Yes. Yes it is.


The 60th anniversary edition will go on sale on Wednesday for £3.99. No doubt you will find some pearls of wisdom in the current issue. But in the words of Butterfly McQueen from Gone With the Wind: ‘I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ babies!’






  1. Laura (PA Pict) · January 26, 2016

    Oh my! I am so glad I was not a mother of yesteryear with advice that rubbish. My Dad was not present at the births of his children as he is excessively squeamish and kept fainting. My Mum decided she did not need the hassle of his attention grabbing antics. By the time I was whelping the pups out, however, it was absolutely assumed that the father would be present and would have to suck it up. Quite right too. My husband was great, I must say, but even if he had not been I would have made him stay regardless.

    Incidentally, sky cots were still a thing in 2008 when I last flew with an infant. My son (ten months old at the time) was placed in what looked like a bouncer chair and that chair was strapped to what looked like a slightly oversized tray in the bulkhead. Rather worrying that it is the same “technology” from 1956.

    • samdfb1 · January 27, 2016

      That advice WAS rubbish-wasn’t it? But I guess things were different back in the 1950’s-I mean, no internet. smh. Funny to think that in the past Dads opted not to be in the delivery room. That is just a crazy concept in my opinion. I wonder if sky cots are still a thing…I feel another blog post coming on! 😉

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