Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This Victorian-era studio portrait of a bottle-fed baby was taken by Charles Van Schaick and posted by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
I'm a breastfeeding advocate, but I'm nonetheless fully aware that we're not by far the first culture to seek alternative means to feed our young. Check out this bottle in the picture that allows for the minimum of parental contact — the baby can be propped up and suck his drink through a long flexible straw attached to an artificial nipple. It reminded me of many of the items on display in the Baby Bottle Museum, which aptly titles this type of bottle "The Killer," since it was so hard to keep clean. Makes you appreciate a little more today's bottle-feeding culture that encourages parents to cradle their young, to use expressed breastmilk or an approximation thereof rather than pap, and all the tedious but recommended sterilization involved in modern bottle usage.
So, have things changed, or stayed the same? Or both?