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Methodist Babies Home, South Yarra, 1929-1970

Sterilising Rack with Babies' Bottles

Image: Sterilising Rack with Babies' Bottles

Source: Museum Victoria

The Methodist Babies Home was opened in 1929 at Copelen Street, South Yarra. Babies, especially from the inner-city slums, were referred to the home through the Children's Court. From 1929 until the early 1970s the Home's role was to care for babies awaiting adoption. From 1974, the direct care of neglected babies was phased out in favour of family unit-based support services.

According to former nurses who worked at the Babies Home during World War II, tomato sauce bottles were used to feed the babies because babies' bottles were almost unobtainable. The babies were placed on their sides in their cots, and the filled bottle with a rubber teat covered with flannel was propped up on a chaff-filled cushion so that the baby could reach the milk. The nurse then moved onto the next baby.

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