Feeding Your Baby Through the Ages

Since way back when (about 2000BC) new and innovative products have been created to help mothers feed their infants. Contraptions like the ‘feeding cup’ marked the first forms of the baby bottle. A few thousand years later, baby products like nipple shields were made with hose attachments so mothers could nurse their babies without taking them out of the stroller. Having your baby suck on milk soaked rags, and nursing your baby off the local goat were not turned away either. I think it’s safe to say that we’ve come a long way from the surprising baby feeding products of the past.

Find out how things have changed by checking out Feeding Your Baby Through the Ages here…

  • Feeding Your Baby Through the Ages 1 of 26
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    Click through to learn more...

  • Upright Bottle 2 of 26
    0313

    The upright bottle started popping up in the US around the early 20th century. This design has definitely been repeated for many of the bottles we now know today.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • 1840s Ceramic Baby Bottle 3 of 26
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    Here is an example of what a baby bottle would have looked like in the UK around this time. This trend did not stay for long, because bacteria would build up inside, which in many cases was fatal to the baby.
    Find out more at Museum of Childhood.

  • Clear Baby Bottles 4 of 26
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    Clear bottles such as this were made instead of ceramic ones so parents could spot the milk build-up inside.
    Find out more at Museum of Childhood.

  • The Pap Boat 5 of 26
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    This little contraption was created around the 18th century and was used to serve babies a 'pap' mixture of bread, flour, and water.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • The Killer 6 of 26
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    This seemingly innocent bottles from the 1800s were eventually called the 'killer.' Why? Infant mortality rates were sky rocketing and a good part of that was these bottles that were nearly impossible to clean thoroughly. These bottles also made it very easy for parents to leave their babies while they fed.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • The Banana Bottle 7 of 26
    0610

    Hygiene was a big part of making these banana bottles popular. They were very easy to clean and their shape made it easy for mother's to feed their babies. The final design of this bottle was created in 1910 and was used for about 50 years after that.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • Plastic Bottle Holder 8 of 26
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    Who needs mama when you can strap the plastic bottle holder onto your baby?
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • Nursing Attachment 9 of 26
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    No need to worry about looking indecent when you can have this incredibly uncomfortable attachment under your clothes with a hose that leads out to Baby.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • Cow Teat Nipples 10 of 26
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    In the early 19th century, parents would make a bottle nipple by soaking a cow teat in spirit to preserve it and then tying it onto a glass nipple.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • Changing the Nipple 11 of 26
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    Here are a look at baby bottle nipples that were made for children with a hare lip or cleft palate.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • Cow Horn Bottles 12 of 26
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    In the Middle Ages it was not uncommon for a cow horn to be used as a bottle with a piece of leather acting as the teat.
    Find out more atBaby Bottle Museum.
    Photo via Histoire De Biberon.

  • Feeding Cup 13 of 26
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    Feeding cups such as this, can date back to 2,000 BC. They often resemble tea kettles and were frequently discovered in children's graves.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • Wet Nursing 14 of 26
    1314

    There is record of wet nursing as far back as 2000 BC and as recent as the 20th century. It started as a means of necessity for women that could not nurse and then even turned into a legitimate profession. Since the bottle hit, wet nursing is almost extinct.
    Find out more atNCBI .
    Photo via Melting Pot International.

  • Breast Pump from the 1880s 15 of 26
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    Here is an image of an antique breast pump moms would have used in the 1880s.
    Find out more at Curious Science.

  • Breast Pump from the 30s 16 of 26
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    Breast pumps developed into these contraptions from about the 1930s to the 1960s.
    Find out more at Web Childhood Museum.

  • Nipple Shield 17 of 26
    1610

    This nipple shield was made for two reasons, to protect the mother's nipple and for her to be able to nurse her child without having to take him or her out of the stroller.
    Find out more at Web Childhood Museum.

  • Baby Food Mixers 18 of 26
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    This selection of baby food mixers throughout the ages also included a Mouli-Baby food grinder.
    Find out more at Childhood Museum.

  • Perfect Infant Food 19 of 26
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    One of the first recipes for infant formula, considered to be the "perfect infant food" was a mixture of cow's milk, malt flour, and wheat in 1867.
    Find out more at Healthy Children.

  • Human-Animal Breastfeeding 20 of 26
    1813

    Throughout history records have shown that animals have become the substitute for human milk when it is not prevalent. This image depicts a child nursing off a goat.
    Find out more at Wikipedia.

  • Kant Kollapse Nipple 21 of 26
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    The Kant Kollapse Nipple was a unique creation that was inserted inside baby bottles.
    Find out more at Baby Bottle Museum.

  • Asbestos Bottle Warmer 22 of 26
    2110

    Women jumped at the chance to get this instant bottle warmer, however it did not take long before they realized it was lined with asbestos. Eek!
    Find out more at Wisconsin History.

  • Soaking a Rag in Milk 23 of 26
    2210

    In the Middle Ages, if the mother had died and there was no access to human milk, families would soak a rag in cow's milk for the baby to suck on.
    Find out more at History Medieval Renaissance.
    Photo via Barefeet in the Kitchen.

  • Bottle Holder 24 of 26
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    Want to bring the bottle holder back? This online shop has them for sale.
    Buy them for $29.99 at Great Baby Products.

  • Nobility and the Wet Nurse 25 of 26
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    If you were of a higher class during the MIddle Ages, there was a very high chance you would have a wet nurse feet your children for you.
    Find out more at History Medieval Renaissance
    Photo via Medievalist.

  • Nursing Harness 26 of 26
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    If you can't nurse, strap on this nursing harness.
    Find out more at Parenting.

Jacinda Boneau is a fabric designer and founding co-editor at Pretty Prudent, the premier design and lifestyle blog providing inspiration and instruction to help anyone create beautiful things, food, and experiences for their friends and family.

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