Airing, New York, 1906

In 1906 Eleanor Roosevelt bought a chicken-wire cage for hanging from the window of her New York City townhouse for first child, Anna, to nap in—a practice known as “airing” for city dwelling children.

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.



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