City apartments, as many people know, can be small and stuffy. And while fresh air is a wonderful, healthful thing for people of all ages, in the late 19th century, the idea of actively “airing” your baby to promote health started cropping up in parenting books.
The concept was introduced by Dr. Luther Emmett Holt who wrote about “airing” in his 1894 book The Care and Feeding of Children.
A similar idaemakes an appearance in Louis Fischer’s 1920 book The Health-Care of the Baby, which describes “a convenient outdoor sleeping compartment readily attached to any window,” called the Boggins’ Window Crib. The wire device, 36″ x 24″ x 27″, is described as being “admirably adapted for city apartments,” with an insulated roof that will keep the baby cool enough to build up a cold-weather tolerance even in summer.
In the 1930s baby cages were touted as the ‘it’ parenting product in…
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