PSA: Don’t Forget To Air Out Your Baby In Its Baby Cage

Babies! What a nuisance, right? They poop and they smell weird and they are constantly covered in sticky things, like apple juice and their own vomit. They want to show you things all the time, whether it is this spot of light on the floor that they need to yell about over and over again, or a raisin that they dropped a couple of days ago that is now covered in cat hair and dust.

Sometimes, the confines of your tiny apartment are just too much for you and baby Andromeda to bear, but the lack of green space in your neighborhood means you must resort to drastic measures. This is why the baby cage is right for you.

A baby cage is what it sounds like: A cage that extends outside of your window, similar to what you’d use to house an AC unit, but padded and secure, for your tiny prince or princess to climb out and get some fresh air. They were briefly popular in London in the 1930s, a solution that harried mothers turned to when they wanted to give little Alice the pleasures of the outdoors. I mean, this is crazy. But look at this goddamned baby.

Cage Baby

That baby looks fine! That baby is being watched by a lady in an apron and a smock, and that baby is letting every bit of sun and fresh air wash over its naked body. That baby is secure! That baby is happy. That baby is in a cage.

The notion that babies needed to be “aired out,” like your Birkenstocks after a long weekend, came from The Care And Feeding of Children by L. Emmet Holt, a doctor who wrote what is probably the best childcare guide that I’ve ever heard of. The whole thing reads like a delightfully stuffy Q&A, and assures me that childcare in the early 20th century was a much more relaxed affair. Here is the pertinent excerpt:

How should such an airing be given?

The child should be dressed with bonnet and light coat as if for the street and placed in its crib or carriage which should stand a few feet from the window All the windows are then thrown wide open, but the doors closed to prevent draughts. Screens are unnecessary.

At what age may a child go out of doors?

In summer, when one week old; in spring and fall, usually at about one month; in winter, when about three months old, on pleasant days, being kept in, the sun and out of the wind.

Of what advantage to the child is going out?

Fresh air is required to renew and purify the blood, and this is just as necessary for health and growth as proper food.

So! Airing out your baby is very important. Don’t forget to air out your baby.

[h/t Gothamist]