from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Modern bassinet based on an old model

The bassinet is a basket wagon intended for the inside of the house , which is used as a sleeping and resting place for babies and toddlers inside the apartment and which is provided with wheels or castors and is therefore easy to move. Since the bassinet is much smaller than a cot , it is also suitable as a cradle for babies in the first few weeks of life.

In the 19th century, the bassinet became the pram in Great Britain .


Transport of goods and children in various types of wheelbarrows
Traditional wicker cradle as the forerunner of the bassinet

The bassinet is a western and urban phenomenon that emerged in the 19th century. Until then, babies and toddlers were rarely transported outside the home. If it was necessary, they were worn or wrapped around the body. In medieval Europe , carts and wheelbarrows , which appeared between 1170 and 1250, were mainly used by the peasant population to transport children. Between 1600 and 1800 small carts, wagons and equipages (carriage-like teams) for the transport of children appeared in the aristocracy and wealthy families.

To sleep, the children lay in the cradles customary at the time , which were often wicker baskets or made of wood or metal based on the model of bed frames for adults.

At the beginning of the 19th century, movable bassinets appeared in Great Britain, from which the stroller quickly evolved in parallel, as it became common to regularly take small children for walks in the fresh air. In the German-speaking countries, Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, in particular , advocated this new development, which was initially also known as roller cart or basket cart . The bassinet consisted of a wooden frame with a basket and castors or wheels; The stroller differed from this in that it was more robust, reinforced and larger tires and soon also had suspension.

A richly decorated bassinet found in the estate of the Third Duke of Devonshire in 1733 is believed to have been made by the English architect William Kent .

In 1840 the first factory for prams was founded in England, which also produced bassinets. The first models were very tall and had three wheels; they were constructed in such a way that the children could only sit in them. In 1880 the first models were designed in which the baby could lie. The attachment consisted of a wicker basket, the frame now had four wheels.

In addition to the further development of the stroller, the bassinet has remained largely unchanged to this day.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Friedrich von Zglinicki: The cradle. Pustet, 1979. ISBN 3-7917-0622-5 . Pp. 27, 89, 128.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society. Gale 2003. ISBN 0-02-865714-4
  3. Béatrice Fontanel / Claire d'Harcourt: Baby, Infant, Diaper. A cultural history of Hildesheim 1998, p. 184 ff.