March 27, 2007

It's My Kid In A Box

gearability_baby_box.jpgOver at GearAbility, Marty has the first in a series of posts and photos about being raised in--and then raising her own daughter in--an Air Crib. Marty's family was friends with B.F. Skinner, the famous Harvard psychologist who invented the baby-in-a-box concept in 1945.

[Skinner was seeking to create a safe, comfortable, kid-optimized space at the center of the modern American home. His original Baby Tender was climate-controlled, laundry-free, and it put the kid at eye-level, where all the action is. Check this previous post for the AirCrib's backstory.]

Anyway, Marty says she turned out fine, and her daughter, who just graduated from college, did, too. They used their baby box more as a crib, not so much as a playpen, which clarified one of my baby box preconceptions: that you were supposed to leave your kid in it most of the time.

She also points out one advantage of an straight in/out baby box I'd never thought of: they're great for parents in wheelchairs, who otherwise have to deal with cribs designed for kidlifting by a standing person.

Next up will be the how-to's of making your own baby box, which I imagine goes something like,

1. Cut a hole in the box.
2. Put the kid's junk in the box.

A Better Baby Crib for Parents Who Use Wheelchairs []
Previously: The Aircrib: B.F. Skinner's Baby-In-A-Box


The wheelchair accessibility issue is interesting and would not have occurred to me. Still now I'll have that song running through my head for the rest of the day.

"Over at your parents' house, a kid in a box... Backstage at the CMAs, a kid in a box..."

This issue with the height of the babybox has made me recall that in OZ my BILs children had cots (cribs) that were much higher and larger than the cribs available here. The mattress was at an adult waist height. The side of the crib opened out like a gate which meant that there was no bending to lift and none of that noise from putting the crib rail back up. Being larger the crib was in use for a longer period. I have looked all over for a similar crib here with no luck.

"Just swish the mesh mattress under the faucet and let it dry"

And end up with a mattress with a HUGE brown stain on it, apparently. No thanks.

[a little 409 now and then, maybe take it out back and hose it down with the lawnchairs, you're good as new! -ed.]

Twinshere, the Baby Tenda toddler crib may be what you're after...beware the scary sales tactics at their 'safety seminars' though.

Twinshere -- cribs for hospitals are often at waist height, too, though I've only seen them with drop-down sides. Try a medical supply house.

Jeff -- there was a window at the end of my daughter's air crib as well as the door (also a window) at the front. What you're seeing is the yellowed light coming in through that window from a lamp on the other side. The mattress got drooled on, but diapers prevented -- quite effectively -- the type of stain you're implying.

None of that stuff ever ended up on her mattress, though of course it could have, in which case "swish the mattress under a faucet, bleach it, and rinse" would have worked just fine.

20 year old photos and lousy indoor photography -- what're you gonna do? Air-brush it for posterity? Hey, I'm almost a journalist. No photo-shopping here.

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