Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!"
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, It would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence the rhyme: "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
Hence the custom; "holding a wake."