Benjamin Spock was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care (1946) is one of the best-sellers of all time. The book’s premise to mothers is that “you know more than you think you do”.
Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand children’s needs and family dynamics. His ideas about childcare influenced several generations of parents to be more flexible and affectionate with their children, and to treat them as individuals. However, they were also widely criticized by colleagues for relying too heavily on anecdotal evidence rather than serious academic research.