Would you go to Jamie Durie for advice on your baby?

Well, he's a cheery chap and a landscape gardener, so he's well qualified to tell you the best way to bring up your baby isn't he?

No? Well, he might well be excellent at it, but the point I'm making (in a fairly obtuse way, it has to be said) is that it was a landscape gardener who invented the first "baby carriage" which is the ancestor of the modern pram. 

Which means, it wasn't a mother, a grandmother with ancient wisdom, a village midwife or a doctor or a doula. It was someone whose expertise lay in rose beds and topiary.

This will be leading to something, please stay with me....

According to Wikipedia and many sources, a landscape gardener in 1733 was asked by the Duke of Devonshire to build a means of transport that would carry his children.

Apparently Kent was the Jamie Durie of his day, and very talented (I heard this somewhere, not from Wikipedia, but I thought it really clarified the point for me).

Anyway, back to the encyclopedia.

He made a shell shaped basket on wheels that the children could sit in.

This was richly decorated and meant to be pulled by a goat or small pony.

Of course, not everyone had a goat, but the idea must have taken off, as with or without goat, versions of the baby carriage were selling well by the 1830s and when Queen Victoria bought three from Hitchings Baby Store, they jolly well took off!

It was a bit like our Kate stepping out with Brand A baby wrap, it would have been marketing gold - even then.

The carriages weren't light and snazzy like today - they were heavily ornamented works of art and designs were named after royalty, Princess and Duchess being popular names, as well as Balmoral and Windsor.

As the 1920s began, prams were now available to all families and were becoming safer, with larger wheels, brakes, deeper prams, and lower, sturdier frames.

In 1965, Mr Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer, designed the light fold-up stroller and I suppose, the rest is history.

But, are you feeling a little uncomfortable by now?

Because this beautiful story of the convenience and beauty of the pram does make you wonder if our children would have been better off if Mr Kent had said to the Duke, "I'm terribly sorry my dear chap, but your baby would be much better off in the arms of one of the staff. After all, the dear little thing is a parent clinger mammal, and so I imagine is inclined to want to be attached to a parent or their substitute as often as possible.

"By all means, your kind sir, place the older children in the carriage, but I would be recommending a course of action which will make the baby much happier, much less distressed and much more content in the scheme of things.

"I suggest my dear Duke, that you try this piece of soft cotton cloth which I have adapted to suit a newborn with the addition of some royal padding about the neck, and allowing you to wrap Sedgwick the Third close about you to your body, giving him the comforting closeness and security of hearing your heartbeat and feeling your touch, while being in proximity to your smell.

"If you place young Sedgwick in my baby carriage, my dear sir, I'm afraid he won't be enjoying this closeness, and could miss out on some marvellous congnitive and physiological benefits. And, we wouldn't want that for the little tacker, would we sir?"

"No, no, indeed not, many thanks Kent ol' chap, you are a champion of the first degree and a good sort and all that."

"Why thankyou sir, I shall take my leave."