Care Of The Baby
( Originally Published 1918 )
Because young girls are fond of little children and must help their mothers often with their baby brothers and sisters, they should know how to care for them. It is essential that they should understand the following points: The little body needs protection. The head is soft, and the brain may be injured by hard bumps or pressure. The skin is tender and is easily irritated by the bites of insects, friction, and so on. Kicking and wiggling are necessary to the development of the muscles, but the baby should not be played with all the time; and it is well for it while awake to lie quiet for part of the time. It should not he made to sit up until ready to do so. A desire to creep should he encouraged. Standing or walking should not he taught the baby until it tries to stand or walk itself, and then it must be helped very carefully.
The baby should have plenty of fresh air and should be allowed to spend much of its time out-of-doors. lu cold weather it must be warmly covered and sheltered from high winds. Its eves should always he protected from strong sunlight.
Poplar hours should he observed for sleep, and the baby should he put to bed early in the evening. If the house is not well screened in summer, a mosquito bar should be put over the crib. The clothing should he light and loose, so that the body can move freely.
Perfect cleanliness is necessary to keep the baby's skin in good condition; and a daily bath should be given. A morning hour, midway between the meals, is usually the best time for this. The baby should be taught to use the chamber before the bath and after the nap_ Everything should be ready before it is undressed. The room should be very warm. The water should be only moderately warm, and should he carefully tested to make sure that it is not too hot. The towels and covers for the baby should be at hand. The head and the feet should he washed first, and the body soaped before puffing the child into the bath. Little soap should be used. for even the best soap is strong and is apt to irritate the delicate skin. The bath should be given quickly, and the body wrapped at once in a blanket or towel and kept covered as much as possible while it is being dried.
The baby should be fed in small quantities at regular intervals and given plenty of cold water to drink. Not until it is eleven or twelve months of age should it be given solid or semi-solid food. Even then, milk should continue to form the basis of its diet, and of this a considerable quantity should be used about a quart a day from the twelfth month on. As the child grows older a more varied diet will be necessary. The most hygienic methods of food preparation should always be observed.
Certain foods should never be given; for example, fried foods, pastries, condiments, pickles, preserves, canned meats, fish, pork, sausage, cheap candies, coarse vegetables, unripe and overripe fruits, stimulants, foods treated with a preservative or colouring matter, and half-cooked starches.
The teacher should talk with the pupils, in order to see what points in connection with the care of the baby it is necessary for them to know, so that they may do their work at home intelligently.
METHOD OF WORK
It will probably not be possible to have anything more than a class discussion of the points in question, but the pupils' home experiences ought to make this discussion vital. If there is a nurse in the neighbourhood who can he secured to give one lesson on the care of the baby, the teacher should supplement her own Iessons by an additional lesson given by the nurse.
Household Science in Rural Schools:
Prevention Of Pests
Removing Stains, Bleaching Fabrics, And Setting Colours
Washing Dish Towels, Aprons, Etc.
Care Of The Baby
Cost Of Food, Clothing, And House
How To Keep Accounts
Care Of The Exterior Of The House
Discussion Of Foods And Cooking
Preparing And Serving Vegetables
Read More Articles About: Household Science in Rural Schools