Saturday, February 16, 2013

Domecon Babies part 2

There really is no info available for how those poor babies fared after their year in the Domestic Economics labs.

Quoted from the website (bolded emphasis mine):

"Cornell essentially leased babies through local child welfare associations and orphanages, and the “Domecon babies” lived in the practice apartments for a year. Multiple students cared for the children, rotating strict feeding and sleeping schedules. Down to diaper pinning, the home ec students raised the Domecon babies according to the leading childcare principles at the time."

I don't know how many are old enough to have learned what the childcare principles were at that time.  I just re-watched an old black and white movie called "I Remember Mama" wherein the youngest child (about 4-years old) was in the hospital for an operation, and the mother was not allowed to see her own kid for 24 hours.  NOT ALLOWED.  She snuck in anyway.  I'd have scratched that doctor's eyes out.  "Children should be seen and not heard"  "Spare the rod and spoil the child" - the practice of wet-nurses and nannys.  Mothers were encouraged to not hold their children too much in fear of 'coddling' them.  Fathers were not allowed anywhere near nurseries or children until they were potty trained.  At least as far as I can tell.

Orphans, who were far too often the result of out-of-wedlock birth, were tossed to orphanages as a way to save the mother and her family from shame.  It wasn't thought that babies would remember anything anyway.

The only article I could find was this one:

Which references a book written about a fictional Domecon Baby, "The Irresistable Henry House". 

Here's an article written about that book - the book sorta shook everything up:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for looking into this Gladys.

    It seems so crazy to my mind, but I also wonder what the conditions were in the orphanage at the time. Probably not any better. Poor kids were screwed no matter what.

    It's amazing to me how much motherhood has changed over the years. I hope that we are moving back to a more "natural" state of motherhood.