Objects from the crucial first months and years of a child’s life. This collection includes bottles, swaddling clothes and walkers used to look after babies from the 1700s to today, showing changing attitudes to hygiene, safety and fashion.

Baby's bath, 1935

Baby's bath, 1935

This bath tub and stand were made in England in about 1935. It is made from zinc and is covered with blue and white enamel.

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Baby walker, early 18th century

Baby walker, early 18th century

This is one of the most controversial pieces of childcare equipment. Baby walkers have been around for at least 500 years...

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Chafing dish, 1912-1918

Chafing dish, 1912-1918

This is a chafing dish made by the English manufacturer John Aynsley & Sons Ltd between 1912 and 1918.

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Child's commode chair and chamber pot

Child's commode chair and chamber pot

Until modern ideas about food developed in the 1920s, many children had a very monotonous diet...

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Christening set, 1864

Christening set, 1864

This magnificent christening set is made of silver with a coating of gold, and was intended as a future heirloom.

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Glass feeding bottle, 1911

Glass feeding bottle, 1911

The introduction of clear glass feeding bottles in the 1840s began to make feeding a more hygienic process.

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Layette pincushions

Layette pincushions

Pincushions were once very practical presents to give, because despite their sharpness, pins were often used as fasteners.

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Baby's pram, 1905

Baby's pram, 1905

The first truly mass-produced vehicles for the transport of a child were introduced in 1840. Like our pushchairs and strollers, they were for the older child who could sit upright.

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Child's Thermos flask, 1950

Child's Thermos flask, 1950

Flasks like this are based on an invention of the scientist Sir James Dewar in 1892. It was a revolutionary new idea..

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Ceramic feeding bottle

Ceramic feeding bottle

Until the 1850s, industrially produced feeding vessels for babies in the UK were mostly earthenware like this one, or metal.

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Shop online...

Patrick Rylands Cool Cat

The V&A online shop stocks a distinctive and refreshingly different range for children, big and little, then and now, including toys, games, books and accessories.

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Tel: +44 (0)20 8983 5200 | V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA