This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Friday, September 25, 2009

19th Century Baby Accessories

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

With all the neat accessories and toys we have for babies and small children today, it's hard to imagine what people were limited to back in the 19th century. When writing an historical novel our characters have to make do with what was available, and an author needs to know the difference.

The photo on the left is a white cotton bib with padding made around 1875. It has embroidery and a quilting-like design on the front. Many of these bibs were handmade by a loving mother, grandmother or aunt. Unlike today's snaps, it has a button with a loop on the edges to fasten it around the baby's neck.

The second photo to the l
eft is a baby's cap. It is dated around 1824. This particular bonnet has an embroidered design on sheer muslin with a net insert and was worn on a baby girl. Babies typically wore these caps all the time, even at night and under heavier bonnets. Some of these caps had a button on the front with a loop to fasten them around the front of the neck.

While some clothes were starting to be manufactured during the last half of the 1800's, many families still made the family's clothing, especially in the rural areas in both Europe and the US.

This last photo i
s of a young boy's jumper or romper dated around 1825. It is made of cotton with green double stripes. These outfits were used as a transition from a dress to a trousered suit. The sides and back of the pants button to the bodice to form a drop seat. There is also a slit opening in the front seam. The design is ideal for potty training.

Now, clothing for this age group has easy snaps all the way up the legs. We've got comfortable changing beds wherever we go. Can you imagine running a child to an outhouse each time he had to go, regardless of the weather? I can imagine snakes and spiders in the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter.


Very nice antique baby clothing. I love learing history lessons...thank you! The bonnet is my favorite!

Wow, how interesting! Times sure have changed, huh? This is really neat stuff. Thanks for sharing!

Hello Jennifer, I followed you over from Nancy Wade's blog Voiceover. I loved your testamonial and truly feel that you are blessed and annointed. I also love history and my husband & I own a farm that has been in our family since 1893.
Please visit me as I will visit you & add you to my blog roll.
http// Congrats on the new book and continued success.

It is interesting to think of how things have changed.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!