A History of Cribs and Other Brilliant and Bizarre Inventions for Getting Babies to Sleep

After an item becomes common, we don’t really stop and think about the history of it or how we started using it in the first place. One of these items is a baby crib. This piece from Smithsonian touches on the history of cribs and other inventions to help babies sleep.

Transferring my sleeping newborn from my arms to his crib required the gentleness and precision of an explosive ordnance disposal technician. If I failed, he would wake up, wouldn’t go right back to sleep, and often protested, loudly. Like many parents before me, I was eager for a place where he could nap and I could have my hands free. Throughout history parents have invented places for their babies to rest—rockers, hammocks, swings, carriers, cribs and more. While some of the contraptions are brilliant, others are completely bizarre.

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