Babies and Personal Hygiene before Soap

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
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rp76226
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Babies and Personal Hygiene before Soap

Post by rp76226 »

When there were no bathrooms, no running water, no throw away diapers, no washing machines, how in the world did families cope with the uncontrolled urine and poop from babies?
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Edward Keeports
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Re: Babies and Personal Hygiene before Soap

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Most people from before the 20th century had bad hygiene by modern standards. I think King Louis of France only bathed 3 times in his entire life.
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Re: Babies and Personal Hygiene before Soap

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Well, it wasn't ideal and it certainly wasn't hygenic by today's standards.

But people would dig outhouses. Bed pans were used regularly. People did wash, but it was normally sponge bath style things. They didn't get in tubs. While people didn't have a lot of clothes, most of the clothes were wool and linen. Wool is naturally very good at not getting smelly and people normally had enough shifts/under clothes to change them every day until wash day.

While people back then didn't have washing machines or running water, they dealt with cloth diapers similar to how we do today! Throw them in a wet bag, take them home and rinse them off! Then into the wash tub they go! And that's also partially why all children regardless of gender wore dresses until a few years past the point that they were toilet trained. It was just much easier and cleaner to have children wear that than pants! There was also a communal aspect where people would share house hold tasks much more, so maybe one mama in a group of families washed the cloth diapers every day and another made sure that the kids were watched, and then they'd trade.

Soap has also been around for a VERY long time, it just used to be more harsh. Which, is another reason many didn't like bathing with actual soap. There are plants with saponification chemicals in them, which creates a gentle soap like effect and can be used to much more gently clean skin and hair, but aren't "soap" so people go "eeeewwww, they didn't use soap back then!"
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rp76226
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Re: Babies and Personal Hygiene before Soap

Post by rp76226 »

Thank you.
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Re: Babies and Personal Hygiene before Soap

Post by kitcatlvr »

rp76226 wrote: 24 Sep 2020, 13:39Thank you.
No problem! I'm a historical recreator and people definitely ask questions like that all the time!
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