Baby Care Item, or Victorian Insane Asylum Device?

Random Thought of the Day:

Ever notice how much present-day baby care paraphernalia resemble the accoutrements of Victorian insane asylums?

Back then, mental patients would be kept in straitjackets so that they couldn’t move their arms or use their hands to hurt themselves. Today, we swaddle babies tightly in blankets so that they can’t move their arms, and some of their outfits even have built-in hand covers so that they can’t scratch themselves.

In Victorian insane asylums, patients were often strapped down tightly to beds and tables. Today, our changing pad has a strap that goes across the baby to hold him down. We also have a “positioner” for our bassinet that keeps him from rolling over, and I won’t even attempt to describe the web of straps that make up our car seat here.

One “treatment” option back then was to strap a person into a chair that spun around. When a baby gets fussy, we can strap him into a swing or a vibrating bouncy seat.

When providing shock therapy, a device is inserted into a patient’s mouth to keep s/he from biting their tongue. Today, when a baby starts crying, we stick a pacifier in the mouth.


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