Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Medieval Baby Bottle

Have you ever wondered how babies were fed in medieval times when Mum or the Wet Nurse was not around. I did - and now I know.

From an archaeological dig at Veliki, Novgorod, courtesy of Russia-ic:
"A group of archeologists carrying out diggings in Veliki Novgorod have found several ancient feeding bottles for babies. The finds were discovered at the digging site in Mikhailova Street. Here the archeologists found wooden feeding devices made of cow horns. The Slavs used to attach leather sacks with milk to the broad ends of hollow horns and their babies would suck the milk through holes in the narrow part of horns. It is interesting to note that not far from the archeological excavation site there is a working municipal kindergarten. "

I would be interested to know if similar items were used in other countries ....

1 comment:

Sandra Dodd said...

Into the 18th century, I understand from a book I don't have anymore (library, years back) a cow's horn with a sow's teat attached would be used sometimes. I like to think they were only used when the mom had died and there was no wetnurse, but I like to think lots of happy thoughts. There was a photo in that book of a crib with a mount to hold such a horn.

The same book had photos of "feeding cans" which were kind of baby bottles for older kids who sucked on a spout. They were metal and they were refilled without being cleaned out, said the author.

I had babies at the time and was reading on the history of breastfeeding and such. Although I never went to see, the book said there was a collection of such things at the medical school library at the University of New Mexico.