Three baby inventions that improved the modern era

Where would we be today without these ubiquitous inventions? We take them for granted now, but they were unheard of before Life Magazine rocketed their inventors to stardom.

Baby cages!

A Life Magazine photo showing a baby in a cage attached to the exterior of a city apartment window. A nanny inside the apartment is watching the baby.

This nanny  makes use of a baby cage provided to members of the Chelsea Baby Club in London in 1937. Luckily for us, the idea was patented in America in 1922 and so I can share with you its many perks.

The problem: city apartment dwellers don’t have much space.

The Solution: store your babies in a cage attached to the exterior of your apartment window.

Perks cited in the patent:

  • Baby receives fresh city air.
  • Sufficient room to play with toys.
  • Doubles as a place to sleep (like a crib). One variation describes curtains placed on the cage to prevent a draft.

Undocumented perk: Because of its mesh floor, spit-up and diaper leaks are a pinch to clean up. But what if the apartment above you has a baby cage too? Well, the patent describes a solid slanted roof that would easily sluff off any urine or feces raining down from above.

Baby Holder!

Life Magazine photo of two adults with tethers around their necks holding a baby in the air via a harness between the adults. The adults are in an ice skating rink and are wearing ice skates.

Oh, why not suspend a baby in a cloth bucket swing secured with one tether tied around the mother and one tether tied around the father while they both go ice skating? What could go wrong?

Breast Sleep Aid!

A Life Magazine photo of a manufactured facsimile of a woman's breast attached to a small cylinder that contains a button.

These fake breasts from Japan are equipped with an artificial heartbeat. Yes, they are a sleeping aid for babies.

Does the baby suckle them? Use them as a pillow? Caress them? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe fathers insert the battery boobs into a manzier and nuzzle their infants to sleep.

Photos and links via 30 Dumb Inventions at


One Response to “Three baby inventions that improved the modern era”

  1. kelly says:

    i need the fake boobs; my 14 month old will not go to sleep without mine!
    wondering if they sag after multiple uses?

    October 12th, 2009 at 5:58 am

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