May 5, 2018

11 of the Freakiest Baby Products in History

Sometimes we parents will come across ads or informercials for baby and kid-related products that seem silly or kinda useless. If we look back in time, though, when “men were men and women were women,” and both apparently didn’t seem overly concerned with infant or child safety, we can behold some very weird or outstandingly stupid and dangerous inventions.

All of these were really real things, some of them weren’t mass produced or marketed, but ALL of them will make you shake your head and ask what in all of the unholy hecks were they thinking?

1. “Medicine”, ca. 1800s and Early 1900s


Morphine, cocaine and beer, oh my! Old timey doctors knew that nothing soothes a baby quite like powerful drugs and booze. It didn’t seem like they knew much more than that, though. What in the golly gee wilikers, doc!


2. Portable Radio Pram, 1921


Pram provided with a radio, including antenna and loudspeaker, to keep the baby quiet. What could possibly go wrong? Wowzers.


3. Baby Window Cages, 1922


Intended to give urban-dwelling babies a chance to get some fresh air and sunshine, the baby cage is exactly what it sounds like: a wire mesh container for your newborn.

Despite how dangerous the idea of an infant precariously perched in a cage outside an apartment window, these devices were actually handed out in London to members of the Chelsea Baby Club. Somehow it seems unlikely that the American Academy of Pediatrics here in the United States would make a similar recommendation these days.


4. Breast Washer, 1930


This is a machine for massaging and/or washing breasts. And also possible proof that SkyMall started as a 1930s catalog of erotic housewares.

Imagine being the model for this uncomfortable picture, which came from a French ad from the 1930s. How effective could this ad have possibly been? Because if you bought a boob dome/water massage device you are gullible or maybe you’re just a little freaky.


5. Two-Person Baby Suspender, 1936


Now this is what we call hands-free parenting... Right?

“Buy… WHY???” you might ask, like any sane person who knows that babies are a bit more fragile than a stone one might launch at a castle, and appreciate that the difficult task of synchronizing two people’s movements qualifies as an Olympic event.

Please note that the couple pictured above are on f**king ice skates! The fact that the man who grunted out this brain turd of an idea was a hockey player does little to add any sense to this contraption.


6. Heartbeat Breasts, 1963


I’m no Professor of Electrical Engineering, but it doesn’t seem fantastically advisable to place a source of drool, piss and spit up near a device with a 1960s power cord. Also, a throbbing artificial boob just seems like something from a creepy ’60s science fiction film. A really bad one.


7. Child Birth Centrifuge, 1963


Of course, right? When you’re huffing and puffing and squeezing a mini human out of your vagina for hours and hours, what could be more appealing than being strapped like a rabid mental patient onto a mad scientist’s merry-go-pukey, and then spun around with enough g-force to have physics help suck the baby right out of you.

No brainer, right? Correct. Absolutely no brain, whatsoever. WOW!


8. Gas Attack Pram, 1963


No, this isn’t a portable grill. Nor is it a mother and child doing Darth Vader cosplay. This stroller is as for-real as few things get. Who knows how effective this rolling nightmare box was for protecting a baby from gas and chemical attacks, but it’s just freaky as hell that it even needed to exist.


9. Baby Patting Machine, 1968


Here we have another in-the-crib electrical device, but now… it’s got a MOTOR! Brilliant. Or not so much.

I understand the idea here, automating the soothing pats a parent would normally have to drum out on their baby’s back or bum ALL NIGHT LONG, but that’s about where my understanding ends.


10. Diaper-Change Restraint System, 1978


What to do with the feral baby when the diaper change is done, though? The inventor of this solution seemed to know that a baby straightjacket would be too much, but a play pen, by itself, just wouldn’t cut it for wild infant pacification.


11. Diaper-Changing Aid, 1978


You know those times when your infant overpowers you during a diaper change, giving you the Kung Fu shuffle while giving their muddy junk the ol’ razzle dazzle? Me neither. I mean, they can be really difficult, sure, but not so difficult that Hannibal Lector restrains seem necessary.

(via How to Be a Dad)




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