|George Romney, Charlotte Bosanquet and Her Five Elder Children, 1795|
|Harriet's sons' gowns |
opened in front
|8 year-old Isabella of Parma|
In the early part of the century children were dressed as little adults. Portraits of children had them in fashion that rivaled painted adults in terms of fabulousness. By the end of the century the idea of little adults wasn't as appealing. Girls tended to be dressed in simple white gowns and boys would be given skeleton suits, an example of which can be seen on Charlotte Bosanquet's eldest son above.
Baby-proofing to keep the little ones safe was just as much of an issue in the Age of Reason as it is today. Not only did children have leading strings to keep them in safe parameters but also pudding hats. These soft helmets were worn by those crawling and learning to walk so that they wouldn't have pudding heads, that is, bump into something and permanently dent their soft little heads. Our "toddlers" were the 18th century's "puddling heads," named after the hats they sported. Sadly, pudding hats weren't stylish enough to make it into formal portraits!