While some of the advice Therese Oneill dredges up sounds crazy, you have to keep this in mind:
According to the CDC, in the year 1900, 10 to 30 percent of all American babies born died before their first birthday. They died from things we don't think about. They died because their drinking water was too close to their sewers. Because the cow's milk they drank was unpasteurized. They died of measles and whooping cough and all the diseases that now cause four minutes of hard crying in a nurse's office and a Batman Band-Aid, instead of death. That was the time these writers, and the mothers they wrote for, lived in.That suspended baby cage is awesome.
They were frightened.
They didn't know why their babies died, or screamed, or sickened; and they clung desperately to anyone who claimed to have the knowledge to prevent it.