The Baby Cage
Although it sounds and even looks terrifying, baby cages were really popular in the first half of 20th century.
Physicians at that time, same as today, recommended a lot of fresh air and sun for babies and small children in order to build and boost their immune system.
Easier said than done in urban areas and buildings without balconies and backyards. Parents had to be inventive. One of such parent was Emma Read of Spokane, Washington, who patented the baby cage in 1922.
In the early 1930s, the baby cages became popular in the UK, too, especially in London as an excellent solution to “aired out” babies.
The size of the baby cages varied and mostly depended on the dimensions of the window. Also, there were baby cages big enough for toddlers.
Looking at this old photo of a baby in the baby cage hanging from a window it is certain that besides boosting the immune system babies probably conquered any fear of heights.
Eleanor Roosevelt Liked Baby Cages
The concept of baby cages was introduced in the late 18th century when famous America pediatrician Dr. Luther Emmett Holt wrote about “airing” babies in his book “The Care and Feeding of Children,” although there was no mentioning of baby cages as such.
Even Eleanor Roosevelt bought a baby cage in 1906, long before the commercial options became available on the market.
In her New York City townhouse, she hung a chicken-wire baby cage out the window for her first child Anna. Her neighbors didn’t like this practice and almost reported her to the authorities.
Times change. Parenting, too. Regardless of their popularity and practical use, baby cages stopped being used during the 1950s, partly due to safety issues.
Still, this is not a bad idea if you have a cat and you are living in an apartment without a terrace.