"I'm going to put my baby in a cage outside the window of my apartment so that s/he can get some fresh air." Saying that out loud in the world we currently live in would end with you having your children taken away from you, and you would likely end up behind bars yourself.
In the early 1900s, the practice of "airing" your baby was quite popular in major metropolitan areas like New York City. New York is a city of apartments, and for any of you who have ever lived in a stuffy little apartment with children, you can understand why parents were willing to try this. Fresh air was considered a pinnacle point of having a healthy child, so why not hang them out a window high above the streets?
Emma Read applied for a patent on a "portable baby cage" in 1922. Some people, including Eleanor Roosevelt, were improvising with their own homemade versions of these contraptions, but they weren't considered "safe". Roosevelt's was actually a chicken wire cage that she would just hang out the window of her New York home. Neighbors were mortified and threatened to call the police.
Imagine what would happen if someone attempted to use one of these contraptions today. Society would collapse into a collective bundle of mom/dad shaming. I bet you that even as people read this, they are getting mad at the parents of the 1920s and 30s. But believe it or not, these cages were actually advertised as a good idea. Check out this PSA for putting your baby in a cage.
Parenting has definitly changed. As a parent, you can find yourself in hot water for simply allowing your child to play in the backyard without supervision, yet less than 100 years ago you could put your baby in a cage precariously hanging off the side of a tall building. Oh how the times have changed.
What do you think of this historical trend?