10 Vintage Ads No Baby Would Be Featured in Today

Judy Dutton | Mar 17, 2015 Being a Mom
10 Vintage Ads No Baby Would Be Featured in Today

vintage ad baby shaving

Babies are cute -- which explains why their fresh little faces have graced countless ads selling everything from cars to candy bars. But leave it to advertisers to take things too far. In the past, babies were used to sell far stranger items (cigarettes? guns?) that would (or should!) most certainly not be allowed today!

To give you a glimpse of just how low advertisers have sunk in the past, behold these vintage ads starring babies. Take them as an encouraging sign that we've come a long way, but be warned: some of these are truly offensive. 

Can you imagine giving a baby number four today?


Image via boredpanda

  • Got a Light?


    Back in the 1950s, Malboro started targeting moms with these guilt-trippy ads where babies all but beg their mothers to light up and chill out. Scary to think of all that secondhand smoke babies of that era must have breathed in...

  • Wrap Baby Up In ... Cellophane?


    Image via Daily Mail

    Starting in the 1930s, DuPont started marketing their cellophane wrap to women in a variety of ways -- by wrapping food to ward off flies, by wrapping cigarettes to maintain their freshness ... and, of course, by wrapping babies!

  • Babies Need To Eat Meat ... At 3 Weeks?


    Image via Kelly Hogaboom

    Not much is known about this vintage ad, except that the message is painfully clear: your baby should eat meat at three weeks! Um, seriously? Last we heard, moms should hold off on any solids for 6 months -- and even then, some form of canned SPAM isn't high on the list of things to try.

  • Who Needs Milk When You Can Drink 7-Up?


    What self-respecting parent today gives their baby soda? This ad even has the gall to call this sugary beverage "pure" and "wholesome" and that the label "lists all of the ingredients" (which isn't required of soft drinks). Um, great! Plus the ad suggests mixing 7-Up to milk in equal parts. Yup, we'll bet baby would LOVE that.

    More from The Stir: 16 Bizarre Facts About Baby Food Through the Years

  • Sexist As All Get-out


    Image via attic PAPER

    This ad for Bell Telephone long distance appeared in 1961, but even for those times this screams sexism -- of a day when women had nothing better to do than strap on their bonnets, grab their purse, and go gossip with the neighbors.

  • Give Baby a Tan!


    Image via CRACKED

    Given how zealously moms shield their babies from the sun today, it's hard to believe that back in 1960, babies with a deep tan were in vogue. That's the only way to explain this ad of a mom frying up her baby under a DuPont sun lamp; the ad even says babies can continue tanning in their sleep.

  • So That's Why Baby's Skin is So Smooth!


    Image via boredpanda

    This 1905 ad from Gillette makes so much sense, because babies' faces are just so stubbly, aren't they? And the only way to ward off that five-o'clock shadow is by handing them a nice, thin, razor blade and pray they don't nick themselves to death.

    More from The Stir: 20 Bizarre Stock Images of Pregnant Women

  • Beer: Baby's Ultimate Pick-Me-Up!


    Image via Orlando Weekly

    According to this ad for Blatz beer, babies benefit greatly from a brewski. The malt is "nourishing," the hops "stimulating." And, of course, mom benefits, too. Nothing lke a little mother/baby bonding over an alcoholic beverage.

  • White Like What?!


    Whoa. This ad for Chlorinol Beach is about as racist as it gets. You've not only got the N-word in there, but the ad implies you can scrub the black off babies. Who exactly does this ad appeal to, members of the KKK?

    More from The Stir: 29 Weird & Creepy Baby Shower Cakes for Boys

  • A Baby ... Pig?


    We're not sure what this "tonic" is, but the fact that it makes children as "fat as pigs" -- and that this appears to be a good thing -- would give Michelle Obama a heart attack.

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