Baby Gear #TBT: Baby Cages

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ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
March 2, 2017
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Image: Watching Baby

Long before the days of baby gates, safety latches and window guards, city moms were finding resourceful ways to get baby outside (read: dodging going for a walk). Dangerous, but we’ll hand it to them: resourceful.

In the late 1800s, doctors began to recommend that kids in urban apartments get fresh air. Physicians like Dr. Luther Emmett Holt suggested placing baby’s bassinet next to a window in the absence of a backyard or front porch. But ambitious city moms went above and beyond, creating ‘baby cages’ out of their apartment windows.

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Spokane, Washington native Emma Read debuted the first patented baby cage in 1922. But she certainly didn’t invent the idea; Eleanor Roosevelt, who admitted that she “knew absolutely nothing about handling or feeding a baby,” used a chicken-wire cage to hang her daughter Anna out the window of a New York City apartment in 1906.

So where’d the baby cages go? We have a feeling they wouldn’t quite be up to the CPSC’s standards nowadays. Inevitably tied to safety concerns, their popularity declined after the 1930s.

Let’s agree; we’ve come a long way since then. From swings and  bouncers to  activity gyms, there’s plenty of ways to keep baby independently entertained without, um, locking her in a cage. And in terms of getting fresh air? We have strollers for every kind of mom.

(via Mashable)

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