I am preparing an entry for an Arts & Sciences competition on the swaddling of babies, and I
am hoping that someone here may know something about the history of swaddling or
techniques or about swaddling bands. Basically any tidbit or lead would be appreciated. One
thing I am particularly looking for is a reference to actually hanging a swaddled baby on a
door or on a wall, etc. Though I have seen this in a movie or two, I am wondering if this was
actually done or not. Any period references to such would be great.
Thanks very much,
S. Giles College
> I am preparing an entry for an Arts & Sciences competition on the swaddling of babies, and ILady Mathilde Bourette has done some research on swaddling - she's got
> am hoping that someone here may know something about the history of swaddling or
> techniques or about swaddling bands. Basically any tidbit or lead would be appreciated. One
> thing I am particularly looking for is a reference to actually hanging a swaddled baby on a
> door or on a wall, etc. Though I have seen this in a movie or two, I am wondering if this was
> actually done or not. Any period references to such would be great.
a link to her info up at http://www.mathildegirlgenius.com, including
pictures of her eldest in the swaddle and bands. It's part of a paper
on infant's clothing.
Alianor de R.
- There's not much documentation on the everyday details of women's work, that's for sure.
I've never heard of hanging babies up, nor seen those movies, but I'll give you an educated
guess based on linguistics, anthropology and being over 50 years old and interested in the
Middle Ages and children both as long as I can remember. Some native Americans hung
babies or carried them on boards. That was remarkable to the Europeans who came here.
They wrote home about it. Had it been something they had reason to believe their own
ancestors did, they might have lauded the locals as being advanced in that one way or
something. But we have no word for it, and there are no paintings of Jesus hung on the
wall of the manger, so I'm guessing no way.
I wrote the following in an off topic thread and I hope it won't commandeer the swaddling
question too much for me to leave it here. It was suggestions for someone expecting.
One VERY simple thing to do is to tie cotton cloth over a disposable diaper or plastic
pants, if you use those. Some moms are starting not to use that stuff, which is pretty nice,
so they'd be able to use real cotton (though not swaddling).
One of my daughter's best baby dresses only tied in the back. She was little enough to be
held all the time and couldn't walk, so the big skirt cloth would be tucked around her.
If you go to a fabric store and look at christening costumes there will be some bonnets
and some long baby gowns that you could use as basic costumes. Maybe you can find
period family portraits showing babies and between the two of them get some wearable
and documentable stuff.
Ceremonial clothing for holidays is the last stuff to change, and christening gowns are
often handed down, so seriously--they will be based on historical things that were based
AElflaed of Duckford
- I remember that there is a woodcut from Olaus Magnus' " Historia de Gentibus
Septentrionalibus" which shows a Sami woman skiing to church with a baby in
a basket on her back.
I think the picture I'm thinking of, is the one here:
(or http://snipurl.com/ysda )
I'm not sure if the baskets in Historia were what Magnus really saw, or if
it is how an illustrator interpreted his text to be. But I can see the
similarities between the woodcut of a woman carrying children on her back,
and the photograph from this exhibit on Native American cradle baskets.
Hope this helps,