New Yorkers Used to Hang Their Babies Out of Windows in Chicken Wire Cages

In the early 19th century, a process known as "airing" babies was thought to be a healthy way to get city infants some fresh air and sunlight inside of the home. Promoted by numerous parenting books, New Yorkers, and even Eleanor Roosevelt, the process involved a cage made of chicken wire and metal which attached to the outside of the window frame.

Essentially, the thinking was that this was part of a process to toughen up the babies, and make them better able to withstand common colds. It was believed that exposing infants to cold temperatures—both outside and through cold-water bathing—would grant them a certain immunity to catching minor illnesses.

Here is a short video showing similar cages in action, decades later in London:

Check out the full article on Mental Floss to learn more about these bizarre baby cages.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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