Holding the Baby

Holding the Baby is an oral history of childcare and parenting, a podcast series and a travelling, sound-based exhibition. In 2018 – 2019 the exhibition is on tour. Discover more on the website.

We asked people from London’s East End to reflect upon the care they received as children and gave as parents, carers and childcare workers. Their answers tell personal and emotional stories, relevant to the experiences of parents today.

The stories let us peek into the untold worlds of housework and home, to learn how the devastating impact of higher infant morality rates resonated through the generations, the effects on children called to be ‘little mums’ to their younger siblings, and what people really felt about living with and among their extended families, using childcare and dealing with relationship breakdown.

We collected an oral history archive containing 22 people’s memories. The full interviews can be found at Bishopsgate Institute in London.

Holding the Baby is an On the Record project, kindly funded by Gilda Street Trustin the memory of historian and author, Gilda O’Neill.