Getting a baby to sit still for a photograph can be nearly impossible. The props, the flash, the cute outfit frills -- it can all turn into a nightmare pretty fast.

Back in the late 1800s, Victorian parents had it much worse with half-minute-long exposure times, the Guardian notes. But they seemed to figure out an ingenious way to calm antsy babies: by becoming part of the photo.

While holding their babies in place, mothers would conceal themselves in the photographs disguised as chairs and couches draped in fabric in the background. The results may be eerie, but let's face it, the idea is pretty clever.

A new collection of the vintage photos called "The Hidden Mother" by Linda Fregni Nagler reveals more than 1,000 of the creepy portraits. According to the book's description, the practice of hiding a parent in a portrait continued until the 1920s.

See if you can spot the hidden mothers in the portraits below.

hidden mother 1

hidden mother 2

hidden mother 3

hidden mother 4

hidden mother 5

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  • "Madonna and Child" by Andrea Solario Milan (1465-1524). Image: Public Domain.

  • 'Virgin and Child' by Nino Pisano (1365). Maria del Spina, Pisa. Image: Public Domain.

  • 'Madonna Litta' Leonardo da Vinci, circa 1490. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

  • "Virgin Child" by Christus Bentinck (1444 - 1476). Image: Public Domain.

  • Portrait Diptych of Laurent Froimont (left wing) by Rogier van der Weyden (1460s). Image: Public Domain.

  • "Madonna And Child" by Jean Fouquet (1450). Image: Public Domain.

  • "Nursing Madonna" by Bernardino Luini, (1485-1532). Image: Public Domain.

  • "Charity" by Guido Reni (1575-1642). Image: Public Domain.

  • "Roman Charity" by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1767. Image: Wikimedia Commons

  • "Roman Charity" by Peter Paul Rubens (1612). Image: Wikimedia Commons.