Brandy Bath

Cosmetics, Everyday Life, Medicine

As we already know, Victorians loved adding alcohol to their meds, even the ones advertised for kids. As it turns out, various spirits could also be added to a baby’s bath.

In Henry Allbutt’s “Every Mother’s Handbook” (1897), the author stands against this practice: “Again, some nurses add brandy or other spirits to the water in which a baby is first washed. Or if they don’t do this, they wash the baby’s head with the brandy, for the purpose they say, of strengthening it. Now, this is decidedly improper and must never be done, because the spirit evaporates very rapidly, and quickly produces a sensation of cold, which is both unpleasant and injurious to a newly-born child, by depriving it of some of its natural heat.”

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