by Benjamin Spock, M.D.
I well remember, back in the 1930s when I was starting pediatric practice in New York, my excitement in finding Dr. Winnicott first book Disorders of Childhood. Here were words of wisdom from a psychoanalyst in London who had begun as a pediatrician and therefore had special insights into the mother-infant relationship.
At the time, I was groping and frustrated. During my pediatric residency I had picked up the idea somewhere -- certainly not from any of my teachers or colleagues -- that I should have some kind of psychological training in order to practice pediatrics in a way that would satisfy mothers, and also to satisfy myself that my advice was sound. (I was of an overly conscientious and teacherish make-up.) Perhaps this idea grew from the feeling that there must be a pleasanter way to raise children than my tyrannical mother's. Though she loved babies and devoted her life exclusively to her six children, she nevertheless oppressed us all with her stern