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« The Way Things Ought to Be--but Aren’t | Main | Good timing »

April 30, 2008

My Picture of the Day

Nursery_furniture What do you think of this picture? Does it remind you of anything? Feel free to send in your comments, or for fun, your captions. I got the photo from a church furniture catalog, the first of its kind delivered in my mailbox, and the photo immediately got my attention. It’s a six-infant "bunkie" designed for church nurseries.

(Image © ChurchPlaza.com)

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"Our Children, Our Pets"

Rolley Haggard

At first I thought it was an array of rabbit hutches.

I still do.


Reminds me of the pet shops where puppies are stacked in cages behind the glass wall. Boy for sale?


Well, my first thought isn't all that funny; it reminds me right off the bat of B.F. Skinner's "operant conditioning chamber" that he created for his daughter, Debbie:

My second thought (moving toward funny, but still wry) is that maybe the Feds got alerted when the FLDS group in Texas put in an order for 100 of these...


Rabbit hutch or chicken coop was my first thought. My second darker thought was...warehousing babies...why do we do this?? Mom may need a break, but this is just not the way to give her a break, even on Sunday morning, even for just 50 minutes, even with the most loving, caring folks in our beautiful, well appointed nursery of our beautiful church. IMHO, we really need to put this on the table and rethink this...

Christian Y

So exactly how many rabbits will fit in each "hutch"?



My prior church used these. During the service we'd have multiple children napping and not too many attendants. The bars were really important in making sure the children didn't roll out of the cribs if they awoke before some one could fetch them. Seems creepy, but actually a decent idea. Also conserves space for small churches.

Steve (SBK)

I agree with the appearance of pet-store furniture (and related humor).

However, I think that it would probably suit its purpose quite well in an economical (space saving) fashion. Babies don't need a lot of room to sleep. (If sleep/napping is the purpose... If it's supposed to be a "play area" for each kid...well...)
They're visible, safe, and insulated from sound in these. If we were afraid of utility we wouldn't put them in cages.. er, cribs.. every night.

Katharine Eastvold

My in-laws' church purchased one of these at some point (or maybe someone donated it), but as far as I know, no one has had the heart to put a baby in it. It sits unused in the old "cry room" and kind of gives everyone the creeps. Then again, if you had a rapidly growing church with lots of babies in the nursery and literally no space to put enough cribs, and as long as the babies were asleep when they were in there (I'd never put a baby in a "cage" like that when he/she is awake, just to get him/her out of the way for a while) and properly supervised, I guess it would be okay...


Mark Jordan

I don't think the kids mind a bit. I wouldn't even mind if it were comfortable


Melanie wrote: "Seems creepy".

Right. But if it's such a practical idea, why would anyone be creeped out by it?

I know *I'm* creeped out because my caption was going to be "Skinner Boxes Go Condo; Fundamentalist Sects Rejoice", but then I realized I'd need to explain it to most everyone.

Skinner's original article in 1945 was "Baby In A Box" - why is that creepy?

What is it about treating humans like animals (rabbit hutches, chicken coops, Skinner replacing rats and chickens in his box with his daughter, ...) that makes even Darwinists uncomfortable?

Oh - were you thinking that I posted the comment *below* my name? That one was actually posted by SWSmith. I myself have no problem giving Mom (and Dad, and nursery workers) a break. I just want those Japanese caretaker robots instead of a box; it's far more humane. :-)


I think you can only intelligently comment on these IF you have at least one child **and** IF you work at least occasionally in the church nursery :-) I think they're great!

Gina Dalfonzo

Here's where I put a bag over my head in shame, I guess. My church nursery has used these for years -- and I've been putting babies in them for years, as a nursery worker. When worker numbers are limited and the choice is between holding a sleeping child or attending to a wide-awake and screaming one, the "rabbit hutches" suddenly become lifesavers.

Steve and Melanie are right, they're only for napping babies. They're comfortable, roomy, and safe, and the babies don't care about their appearance, as far as I can tell. The moment they wake up, they're taken back out to be held and cared for.

Still, the captions are funny. :-)


And I (and yes, I have a child who sleeps in a cage...er, crib at night, so I'm "qualified" to comment "intelligently," but prefer to comment irreverently) wanted to break in w/ more funny captions, which Jason was presumably going for, but everyone got serious! Eh.

As a mom, if baby's sleeping, yes, this is practical; awake? get him/her out!

But back to levity:
"Free to Good Home"
"How much is that baby in the window?"


I have a vague memory of our church nursery having cubbies like this for the older toddlers and loving them. It was like a group sleepover. I never thought of them as inhumane. When we weren't napping in them our dollies were and good doll-mums would never let their dollies sleep in rabbit hatches.


I used to sleep in a very similar contraption on camping trips in my grandparents' travel trailer. The part of the trailer that projected over the back of the car had a little bunk in it with a wooden grill that fit over the opening to keep us kids from rolling out in the middle of the night and conking our heads on the floor five feet below. We loved it. It was like a treehouse in the camper.

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