Sugar tit

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This article is about the baby accessory. For the communities in the United States, see Sugartit, Kentucky and Sugar Tit, South Carolina.

Sugar tit is a folk name for a baby pacifier, or dummy, that was once commonly made and used in North America and Britain. It was made by placing a spoonful of sugar, or honey, in a small patch of clean cloth, then gathering the cloth around the sugar and twisting it to form a bulb. The bulb was then secured by twine or a rubber band. The baby's saliva would slowly dissolve the sugar in the bulb.

In use the exposed outfolded fabric could give the appearance of a flower in the baby's mouth. David Ransel quotes a Russian study by Dr. N. E. Kushev while discussing a similar home-made cloth-and-food pacifier called a soska; there, the term "flower" as used colloquially by mothers, refers to a bloom of mold in the child's mouth caused by decay of the contents. [1]

As early as 1802 a German physician, Christian Struve, described the sugar tit as "one of the most revolting customs".[2]

Due to widespread availability of inexpensive commercial baby pacifiers and the unpopularity of feeding babies "empty calories", as well as the damage caused to emerging teeth, sugar tits are a rarity today, at least in the United States and UK.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Ransel "Village Mothers: three generations of change in Russia and Tataria", 28-29
  2. ^ Gale and Martyn, Dummies and the Health of Hertfordshire Infants, 1911–1930, Soc Hist Med.1995; 8: 231-255, accessed February 21, 2007 (subscription only)

External links[edit]