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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Adults in the 17th and early 18th centuries used box-like cradles to keep infants warm in drafty, poorly-heated houses. They also believed that children would walk sooner and develop better posture if they slept lying straight as infants. The long and narrow shape of the cradle was designed to keep babies from rolling onto their sides or bending their legs. Caregivers also swaddled babies tightly to ensure proper posture and to keep them warm and out of harm's way. The rocking motion of the cradle was soothing. Five generations of the Nims family of Deerfield, Massachusetts, used this cradle.


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