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17 Completely WTF Things People Used To Do To Babies

Um, goats used to nurse babies.

Unless otherwise noted, all facts came from Nicholas Day's Baby Meets World: Suck, Smile, Touch, Toddle: A Journey Through Infancy.

1. Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup was a 19th-century medicine for crying and teething babies...that had alcohol, cannabis, morphine, and chloroform in it.

2. Paris was once called "the city without babies" because most newborns were sent out to the countryside to be wet-nursed.

3. Oh, and until the 20th century, babies were often nursed by LIVESTOCK like goats and donkeys.

4. People also thought tickling could severely damage a baby.

5. And in 1928, a psychologist recommended shaking hands with your baby as a morning greeting instead of, you know, a hug or a kiss.

6. In the early 1900s, people thought babies who sucked their thumbs would become chronic masturbators.

7. People used to regularly dip pacifiers in honey or sugar water because sucrose can be a sedative for newborns.

8. Some Victorian-era bottles were called "baby killers."

9. Before modern baby bottles were invented, little ones would drink milk out of cow horns.

10. Ancient Greeks fed newborns diets that included lots of wine.

11. In ancient times, newborns were salted like meat to "harden" their soft skin.

12. And the swaddling they got was really, really restrictive.

13. Instead of wearing diapers, many infants went bare-bottomed in the Middle Ages.

14. When swaddling fell out of favor centuries later, people recommended putting babies in ice-cold water.

15. The first incubator for premature babies was designed by a zoo director based on a version that was used for baby chicks.

16. In hospitals, doctors and nurses were so wary of touching babies too much that they fed them like gerbils in cages.

17. And baby cages, aka metal cages hanging out of windows that babies could play in, were all the rage in the 1930s.