by Linda Baumgarten
Toddlers sometimes wore padded pudding caps much like modern crash helmets to protect their heads if they fell. Most small girls and many young boys wore stays, especially with dress clothing, since it was believed that stays supported the back and encouraged proper posture. As late as 1771, Williamsburg milliner Catherine Rathell advertised "thin Bone and Packthread Stays for Children of three Months old and upwards." Not all children, particularly those of the laboring classes, were put in stays, however.
|Child's Stays. Green worsted wool stain, boned and lined with linen, with eyelet's for lacing up the back, England or America (New York), 1740-1760. The waist measures 17 inches; the center front length measures 7 1/2 inches,1964-405.||Child's "Pudding" Cap. Quilted cotton velvet bound with silk ribbon, horsehair stuffing, leather lining , Probably England, 1770-1785, 1952-55.|