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Mother knows best

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 22 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1616
  1. Tony Smith

    This year is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Dr Benjamin Spock's Baby and Child Care, which in successive revised editions has sold over 43 million copies. Single handed, Spock transformed the way that parents brought up their babies, giving them confidence to make their own decisions about feeding, soothing, loving, and training their children.

    In the first half of this century advice on the care of babies was dominated by psychologists who asserted—with the confident arrogance of evangelists—that mothers should use the discoveries of behavioural science to condition their babies. They …

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