25 YEARS AGO ON AMBERGRIS CAYE BY ANGEL NUÑEZ
Now that there is a baby at home, I cannot help but notice some big differences in raising babies today and 25 years ago. The baby today is equipped with several bottles and a variety of nipples like soft, medium, one hole and two holes for different beverages. Then there is the electric bottle sterilizer, the rocker, three or four different types of powdered milk formula and even a special mini bath tub. Also there are special shampoos for the hair, for the body, powder in cream form, etc. The list of special goodies goes on, and that is the difference for there was no such list twenty five years ago.
In the past there was not even a baby bottle purchased at the store. A simple soft drink bottle properly sterilized in boiling water was as good as any bottle with special gauges and curves. A plain nipple was stretched over the mouth of the pop pint bottle making it airtight and spill free. Were there different types of nipples? Certainly not! One nipple served for all feedings. As the baby got bigger and needed a faster flow of milk, mother took a small nail and punctured a larger hole on the nipple.
For a sterilizer, a regular cooking pot was washed and used for boiling water to sterilize bottle and nipple for fifteen minutes. In the 1950's it was not rain water nor purified bottled water that was boiled. It was well water. What about milk formula? There was no special iron fortified milk or lactose free formulas etc. There was condensed milk mixed with some water and tell me about fat and healthy babies. In terms of powdered milk, there was Klim and that was used for newborn infants up until fifteen years of age. Condensed milk was preferred over Klim for it was cheaper. No other variety, no other choice.
To bathe the baby there was the green Palmolive soap or the red medicated Lifebouy soup. The baby was bathed in the same round galvanized pan used for the laundry. For a sweet smelling baby, there was this "Flor de Naranja" (Orange Blossom), still in the stores today. No rocker, but simply the hammock. No special baby basket, only a milk cartoon box where they baby was comfortably cuddled. Baby prams? Forget that, how could you push a pram in six inches of white sand on the streets.
So who was better off? The baby 25 years ago or now? They were the same. It is the amount of love that you give a baby that will result in a loving positive child. Throw away the love and you can dress your child like a king and he will still be a spoiled brat. So bring up great children not with phony things but with a lot of love and tender care. Good advice from Mr. Twenty Five Years Ago.