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Adults in the 17th and early 18th centuries used box-like cradles to keep babies warm in drafty, poorly heated houses. They also thought that children would walk sooner and have better posture if they slept lying straight as babies. The long and narrow shape of the cradle was to keep babies from rolling onto their sides or bending their legs. Babies were also wrapped tightly in cloth for better posture and to keep them warm and out of harm's way. The rocking motion of the cradle was calming. Five generations of the Nims family of Deerfield, Massachusetts, used this cradle.

 

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Cradle

date   1720
length   42.0"
width   23.0"
height   21.0"
process/materials   wood
item type   Household Goods/Furniture
accession #   #1880.036.02


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Cradle with painted decoration


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