Fresh air is always considered the best option when thinking about your health, and of course, receiving sunshine. It is especially good for a young child’s development and we see this thought process going into many young parents minds today: just look at all the kids and strollers going through your local park. Today it just seems normal that kids and everyone needs to get a regular supply of fresh air and sunshine. But this wisdom was actually a radical change of the last century.
And the other big change was some of the ideas that came about to get that fresh air. In an idea that could be seen as a genius or insane – funny how those two regularly come together right? We saw some urban mothers putting their offspring in a cage that was attached to the windowsills. It was even called a baby cage.
Dr. Luther Emmett Holt is often seen as the first medical representative who started to proactively recommend new parents should practice “Baby Airing” He was the director of New York’s Babies Hospital in the late 1880s and as a result had a very big influence on the care of young infants. For example, his observations that many babies were dying due to high levels of bacteria levels led to the invention of milk certification. So there was nothing insane with Dr. Holt, he was by and far an amazing medical doctor. Dr. Holt even started the practice that seems so normal today in the medical world: keeping charts and logs of your patients progress.
He noted from his studies that fresh air helped renew and purify the blood, it also helped improve appetite and ensure the digestion systems worked correctly. Cheeks become red outside and all the signs of a healthy human being are seen. He believed that fresh air would help boost a babies immunity system and ensure the child grew to be stronger.
Though he never recommends that mother’s put their babies in a platform hanging off their windows, his statements inevitably caused mothers to do so. And of course, entrepreneurs entered the industry which saw the creation of the Boggins Window-Crib.
However, during the 20th-century baby cages quickly fell out of fashion: as you can imagine there were some major concerns over infant and baby safety.