Story: Pregnancy, birth and baby care

Outdoor babies, early 1900s

Outdoor babies, early 1900s

For decades, Plunket was big on fresh air and sunshine for babies. This photograph shows babies outside at Dunedin's Karitane Hospital in the early 1900s. The newborn babies are in wicker cradles shaded with blankets, while the older babies below are fully exposed to the sun and air. A Plunket guidebook published in 1910 stated, 'At the Karitane Hospital the babies live out of doors all day, and a broad stream of pure cold outside air flows through the sleeping rooms all night long; tiny delicate babies, after a week or more of gradual habituation, sleep well, grow and flourish in rooms where the temperature frequently falls as low as freezing.' (Frederic Truby King, Feeding and care of baby, p. 55)

Using this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago, Royal New Zealand Plunket Society Collections
Reference: S10-062b/AG-007-001/002

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Pregnancy, birth and baby care - Postnatal and baby care', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 June 2024)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 24 Oct 2018