Sometimes the Past Offers Wisdom, and Sometimes It Suggests Rubbing Kerosene On a Baby’s Head: Studies in Crap Presents Our Babies


ourbabiecover.jpgYour Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. He does this for one reason: Knowledge is power.

Our Babies: Their Feeding, Care, and Training
Dr. Herman N. Bundesen
Date: 1941
Discovered at: Estate sale

Representative Quotes:

page 47: “Clothing is put on the baby to protect him from cold, dampness and injury, and to keep him comfortable.”

page 51: “The bowel movement in a soiled diaper should be removed at once by shaking it into the toilet. The diaper, whether soiled with stool or urine, should then be rinsed in the toilet (if it flushes) by dipping it up and down several times.”

To today’s reader, much of the advice Our Babies author Herman N. Bundesen offers greatest-generation mothers about rearing their not-quite-boomer kids might seem hopelessly antiquated.

He proposes breast feeding, cloth diapers, natural foods, little-to-no-sugar diets and all sorts of last-century madness — folkloric “wisdom” from an age when a lack of cribs pretty much invited bears to make off with our newborns.

By 1941, Bundesen had been revising and reprinting this guide for 16 years. That means if you’ve got questions, he’s got answers!

What About Baby’s Big Ears?
“If the baby’s ears stick out a great deal, little can be done until he is much older…. Taping the baby’s ears, or pressing them against his head with a special cap, does not seem to do any good.”

Why Do Some Babies Have Swollen Breasts?
“This is due to milk which is in the baby’s breasts. This milk is called ‘Witches’ Milk.’ The milk dries up and the swelling usually goes away in a couple weeks. If the baby’s breasts are swollen, they should not be massaged, rubbed or squeezed.”
When Can Baby Begin Enjoying Pork?
“Lean bacon may be given to the baby at about his tenth month, or when he has four teeth. The bacon should be boiled until is possible to see through, or fried until it is almost crisp. The baby may be allowed to chew on one strip daily.”

How Do I Clean Baby’s Nose?

What If Baby Has Yellow Skin?
“The skin and eyeballs of many babies have a yellowish color during the first week after birth. This yellowness is called jaundice (jawn’-diss). In most cases, the jaundice clears up by itself in a week or so.”

You’re Awfully Casual About This! What If Baby’s Jaundice DOESN’T Magically Vanish?
“Because jaundice in the baby might be due to something serious, the baby should be examined by the doctor who may want to examine the baby’s blood in order to find the cause.”

Can Rickets Be Prevented?
(Please Express your Answer In the Form of a Creepy Pin-up!)


What If Baby Stops Breathing Out Of Spite?
“Sometimes, when a baby is spoiled, frightened, or angry, he may cry and hold his breath. The parents may get needlessly alarmed when the baby does this, because he may become a little bluish around the lips, and may get limp. But, the baby soon comes out of the spell, even if nothing is done, and the spells usually stop coming on if no attention is paid to them.”

You Know, I’m Almost Ashamed to Ask, But . . .
Do the Buttocks Go Inside Or Outside the Chamberpot?


Shocking Detail:
Posting Bundesen’s most shocking photos — the dual moon shots illustrating how-to-take-a-temperature and how-to-administer-a-suppository — would either result in this site getting shut down or in an incredible spike in our readership among perverts. Your Crap Archivst prefers neither.

Instead, I offer you this:
If you ever go back in time to 1941, always be sure you see someone else taste the soup before you do.

If head lice is a problem, Bundesen suggests you empty your lamps and start scrubbing.

Isn’t this how we got Ghost Rider?


The Crap Archivist lives in Kansas City, where he originates his on-line Studies.

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