What is stunning, in reading the dictat of Truby King on baby care, is that so many were persuaded by him. While he has a few good ideas this is a treatise on infant neglect delivered with appalling confidence to a middle class readership. Those who followed his vicious advice were abusing their infants and ensuring that they grew into emotionally stunted adults. King, in attempting to enforce his methods, threatened readers that if they did not follow his abusive system of baby neglect they would harm their babies. On the contrary so many must have been left as immature and unbalanced adults as a result of King's views.
So cruel were his methods that mothers had to steel themselves to inflict this system on neglectful nonsense on their babies. You might think that today the only reaction of the modern reader would be anger at hearing about these barbaric methods. Sadly, only a few years ago they were being recommended by an unqualified nursery nurse and being followed by her clients.
The book and its advice is surely now an anachronism to be read as an oddity. I bought the book as part of a research project. With all the academic detachment I could muster King's abominable advice, when I realised that it had been followed, set my teeth on edge.