How to Be a Dad

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History’s Freakiest Baby Products

Posted by , under NOTEBOOK, SNAPSHOTS


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?

Diaper-Changing Aid 1978

original patent

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.


Diaper-Change Restraint System 1978

original patent

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.


“Medicine” 1800s & 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!


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.


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.


Baby Patting Machine 1968

original patent

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.


Portable Radio Pram 1920-ish


I’m starting to get the notion that electricity was pretty poorly understood back in ye old day. Wiring up a radio and antenna on your baby’s pram (typically made of metal)? What could possibly go wrong? Wowzers.


Baby Window Cages 1922

original patent

This one makes my heart crap in its pants every time I look at it. ARG!

First off, seeing a baby in any kind of cage is a bit unsettling, but to then suspend that cage outside of a window? Several stories up??? WOW.

The purpose of this train wreck of ingenuity was to provide a baby with fresh air and open space in crowded cities, and to stow the baby out of the way while Mommy McMommyface dutifully cleaned the house. Thankfully, no one thunked up the thought that you could strap a baby to a kite for even fresher air and the better scenic views.


Breast Washer 1930


Hmmmm. We DO have bottle nipple washers these days, soooooo… it feels like this should sort of make sense, but it really seems to be lacking in the Department of Sense Making. I don’t have boobs, but I think it’s safe to assume that even women thought this was all kids of not great.


Two-Person Baby Suspender 1936


This invention was never mass produced (PHEW!), so I’m dubbing it the Infant Emergency Room Slingshot.

“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.


Child Birth Centrifuge 1963

original patent

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!

There we have it! Or don’t have it, thanks to safety laws and an improvement in common sense.

Fake Bad Product Ideas
Diaper thongs, baby dentures, holster-style baby carriers, wearable tents for breastfeeding… so many bad ideas.

Humorous Instructional Diagrams
Use the power of dumbness to become smarter. Or just laugh, that’s all there’re good for, really.


11 Responses to “History’s Freakiest Baby Products”

  1. Phill says:

    Is that a baby catching net?

  2. Krysta says:

    I imagine that last one was for during the “twighlight sleep” days where the mothered were drugged up and PSYCOTIC but unable to create memories of the event… so why not strap them to a spinning table? The husbands were locked away in the waiting room and she wasn’t going to remember anything anyway.
    Some “Dr” trying to speed up the process…

  3. Alice says:

    Actually the boob washer isn’t one at all, reading the advert it’s a boob massage thingy, to make them more beautiful, and it’s not just aimed at mothers, just all women… I’m still not tempted though

  4. Barb says:

    The “Apparatus for facilitating the birth of a child by centrifugal force” US Patent # US3216423 A to George and Charlotte Blonsky, received a posthumous Ig Noble prize from the folks at Improbable Research ( in 1999.

    The device was intended to: “assist the under-equipped woman by creating a gentle, evenly distributed, properly directed, precision-controlled force, that acts in unison with and supplements her own efforts”

    At the 2013 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard University, a four act opera about the Blonskys and their invention had it’s world premier. (

    I googled this just to get the Patent #; I actually remember the 1999 Ig Noble Awards announcement.

  5. Zooey says:

    OMG these ideas are so cruel and funny at the same time 😀 Two-person Baby Suspender is like a human swing! I can imagine my kiddos enjoying it LOL

  6. Henry N says:

    O…M…G…Sooo creepy and weird. Wondering if the Baby Window Cage could cause deep mental problems for those poor guys.

  7. Lindsey says:

    Diaper-Change Restraint System.. well, I sometimes wish I had one 🙂

  8. Oh my god! I thought these inventions were jokes…As a mother, I am a little shocked. Recently, I saw a new product : the swipe and feed bottle “The latest baby bottle accessory that finally gives parents the chance to feed their baby while using their smartphone.” I also thought this was a joke… but no !
    Have you heard about it ?

  9. Maya says:

    I never imagined this things even exists LOL can you imagine a baby taking cocaine and morphine! and Diaper-Change Restraint System is LOL

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