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Baby Cages: Historical Oddity Or The Perfect Gift For Urban Parents?

Every era’s parents deal with specific stuff — trying explaining to your parents the peril that social media poses to your kids, and they’ll act like they understand (but they totally don’t). Still, some parenting ideas are so mind boggling that, even in the context of the age, you have to wonder how they ever came to be accepted in the first place. Like baby cages.

Somehow not as bad as they sound (because, seriously, how could they sound worse?), baby cages were essentially wire window boxes that allowed infants to get fresh air and sunlight when living in densely settled urban environments. According to a deep dive into the phenomenon over at Vox, the bizarre contraptions were invented in 1922 and gained some acceptance in London before being vanquished from society along other terrible ideas from the era — like polio.

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While the idea of letting your baby chill in a cage, suspended a few stories over the street, sounds like crazy talk today, maybe don’t knock it until you try it? After all, most parents don’t live all that close to a playground, and you totally nailed installing the window AC unit this summer. Besides, you know what else is making a comeback these days? Polio.