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The Young Mother. Management of Children in Regard to Health | by William A. Alcott



It is by no means the object of this little work to set people to watching their stomachs from meal to meal, in regard to the effects of food, drink, etc. for nothing in the world is better calculated to make dyspeptics than this. It is true, indeed, that some things may be obviously and greatly injurious, taken only once; and when they are so, they should be avoided. But in general, it is the effect of a habitual use of certain things for a long time together--and the longer the experiment the better—which we are to observe.

TitleThe Young Mother. Management of Children in Regard to Health
AuthorWilliam A. Alcott
PublisherGeorge W. Light
Year1836
Copyright1836, William A. Alcott
AmazonThe Young Mother

Advertisement To The Third Edition

The present edition has been much enlarged. The author has added a section on the conduct and management of the mother herself, besides several other important amendments and additions. The whole has also been carefully revised, and we cannot but indulge the hope that no popular work of the kind will be found more perfect, or more worthy of the public confidence.

-Preface
There is a prejudice abroad, to some extent, against agitating the questions What shall we eat? What shall we drink? and Wherewithal shall we be clothed? not ...
-Preface. Continued
There is a sense in which every infant may be said to be born healthy, so that we may not only adopt the language of the poet, Bowring, and say a child is born; ...
-Chapter I. The Nursery
General remarks. Importance of a Nursery generally overlooked. Its walls ceiling windows chimney. Two apartments. Sliding partition. Reasons for this ...
-Chapter II. Temperature
General principle Keep cool. Our own sensations not always to be trusted. Thermometer. Why infants require more external heat than adults. Means of warmth. Air ...
-Chapter III. Ventilation
General ignorance of the constitution of the atmosphere. The subject briefly explained. Oxygen gas. Nitrogen. Carbonic acid. Fires, candles, and breathing ...
-Chapter IV. The Child's Dress
General principles. SEC. 1. Swathing the body its numerous evils. SEC. 2. Form of the dress. Fashion. Tight lacing its dangers. Structure and motion of the ...
-Sec. 1. Swathing The Body.
Buffon, in his Natural History, says that in France, an infant has hardly enjoyed the liberty of moving and stretching its limbs, before it is put into ...
-Sec. 2. Form Of The Dress.
On this subject a writer in the London Literary Gazette of some eight or ten years ago, lays down the following general directions, to which, in cold weather, ...
-Sec. 2. Form Of The Dress. Continued
Now is it probable nay, is it possible that the lungs, especially those of young persons, can expand and come to their full and natural size under pressure, ...
-Sec. 3. Material.
I have already committed myself to the reader as favoring the use of soft flannel in cold weather, especially for children who are not yet able to run about ...
-Sec. 4. Quantity.
The quantity of clothing used by different individuals of the same age, in the same climate, possessing constitutions nearly alike, and following similar ...
-Sec. 5. Caps.
The practice of putting caps on infants is happily going by; and perhaps it may be thought unnecessary for me to dwell a single moment on the subject. But as ...
-Sec. 6. Hats And Bonnets.
The hats worn in this country are almost universally too warm. But if it is a great mistake in adults to wear thick, heavy hats, it is much more so in the case ...
-Sec. 7. Covering For The Feet.
The same reason for avoiding the use of any covering for the head, in early infancy, is a sufficient reason for covering the feet well. For just in proportion ...
-Sec. 8. Pins.
The custom of using ten or a dozen pins in the dressing of children, ought by all means to be set aside. They not only often wound the skin, but they have ...
-Sec. 9. Remaining Wet.
On the subject of changing the wet clothing of a child, there is a strange and monstrous error abroad; which is, that by suffering them to remain wet and cold, ...
-Sec. 10. Remarks On The Dress Of Boys.
Whatever tends to disturb the growth of the body, or hinder the free exercise of the limbs, during the infancy and childhood of both sexes is injurious. And as ...
-Sec. 11. On The Dress Of Girls.
The same general principles which should guide the young mother in regard to the dress of boys, are equally important and applicable in the management of girls.
-Chapter V. Cleanliness
Physiology of the human skin. Of checking perspiration. Diseases thus produced. Dirt not healthy. How the mistake originated. Smell of the earth. Effect of ...
-Cleanliness. Continued
It is, however, true, that years sometimes intervene, before the evil consequences of dirtiness appear. The office of the vessels of the skin being interrupted, ...
-Chapter VI. On Bathing
Danger of savage practices. Rousseau. Cold water at birth. First washing of the child. Rules. Temperature. Bathing vessels. Unreasonable fears. Whims. Views of ...
-On Bathing. Part 2
While the washing is performed, the temperature of the room should be but a few degrees lower than that of the water; and the child should not be exposed to ...
-On Bathing. Part 3
I am aware, that in rejecting the indiscriminate cold bathing of infants, I am treading on ground which is rather unpopular, even with medical men; a large ...
-On Bathing. Part 4
Although I have given these rules for those who are determined to use the cold bath with their children, yet, for fear I shall be misunderstood, I must be ...
-Chapter VII. Food
SEC. 1. General principles. SEC. 2. Conduct of the mother. SEC. 3. Nursing rules in regard to it. SEC. 4. Quantity of food. Errors. Over-feeding. Gluttony. SEC.
-Sec. 2. Conduct Of The Mother.
Originally it was not my intention to give directions, in this volume, in regard to the food, drink, c., of the mother while nursing; but repeated ...
-Sec. 3. Nursing&Mdash;How Often.
Many lay it down, as an invariable rule, that no system can be pursued with a child till it is six months old; and it must be admitted by all, that for several ...
-Sec. 4. Quantity Of Food.
We all know, says Dr. Dewees, how easily the stomach may be made to demand more food than is absolutely required; first, by the repetition of aliment, and ...
-Sec. 5. How Long Should Milk Be The Only Food.
On this point, there is a great diversity of opinion. Perhaps the most approved role, of universal application, is, that the first change should be made in the ...
-Sec. 6. On Feeding Before Teething.
Having laid down the general rule, that until the appearance of teeth, the sole food of an infant should be the milk of its own mother, I proceed to speak of ...
-On Feeding Before Teething. Part 2
In regard to the water used in the preparation, only one thing needs to be said; which is, that it should be pure. If it is not, it should by all means be ...
-On Feeding Before Teething. Part 3
Little less absurd than jolting is the custom of tossing a child high, in quick succession, which is practised not only after meals, but at other times. But on ...
-Sec. 7. From Teething To Weaning.
This period will, of course, be longer or shorter according as the teeth begin to appear earlier or later, and according to the time when it is thought proper ...
-Sec. 8. During The Process Of Weaning.
It has already been shown that, in weaning, some regard should be had to the season of the year; and that the end of summer and beginning of fall are of all ...
-Sec. 9. Food Subsequently To Weaning.
You will allow me to introduce in this place, some of the sentiments of Dr. Cadogan, an English physician, from a little work on the management of children. [ ...
-Food Subsequently To Weaning. Part 2
When the child requires more solid sustenance, we are to inquire what and how much is most proper to give it. We may be well assured there is a great mistake ...
-Food Subsequently To Weaning. Part 3
It need not be wondered at, that a palate which has been so long tickled by variety, and by so many stimulating mixtures of food, should come to regard cold ...
-Food Subsequently To Weaning. Part 4
Were Locke still living, I should like to interrogate him at this place. He first speaks of giving children no meat till they are two or three years old; and ...
-Food Subsequently To Weaning. Part 5
The digestive powers of the young are more nearly as strong as those of the adult than is usually admitted, and they are much more active. They require a less ...
-Food Subsequently To Weaning. Part 6
No child who has been accustomed, from the first, to good wheaten bread, made of unbolted meal, and not less than one day old, will ever prefer any other, ...
-Food Subsequently To Weaning. Part 7
Potatoes, added to unbolted wheat flour, make excellent bread; and so, as I am informed, does rice. Of the latter, however, I have never eaten. Oats and barley, ...
-Sec. 10. Remarks On Fruit.
There is a very great diversity of opinion on the subject of fruit. Some maintain that all fruit, even in the most ripe and perfect state, is of doubtful ...
-Remarks On Fruit. Part 2
Some say that fruit should never be eaten in the morning, before breakfast. Now everything I know of the human constitution, together with what I have learned ...
-Remarks On Fruit. Part 3
Apples may be used either raw or cooked. In either case, the skins and seeds should be avoided, as has been before suggested. I am not ignorant that WILLICH, ...
-Sec. 11. Confectionary.
By confectionary we here mean the substances usually sold at those shops in our cities distinguished by the general name of confectionaries, and which consist ...
-Sec. 12. Pastry.
Dr. Paris, a distinguished British writer on diet, says that all pastry is an abomination. And yet, go where we will, we find it often on the table. Hardly any ...
-Sec. 13. Crude Or Raw Substances.
I have reserved this section for remarks on certain articles used at our fashionable modern tables, of which I could not well find it convenient to speak ...
-Chapter VIII. Drinks
Infants need little drink. Adults, even, generally drink to cool themselves. Simple water the best drink. Opinions of Dr. Oliver and Dr. Dewees. Animal food ...
-Drinks. Continued
But if the drinks above mentioned, and even milk and water, are objectionable, what shall we say of cider, wine, and ardent spirits? substances which contain, ...
-Chapter IX. Giving Medicine
Prevention better than cure. Nine in ten infantile diseases caused by errors in diet and drink. Signs of failing health. Causes of a bad breath. Flesh eaters.
-Chapter X. Exercise
SEC. 1. Objections to the use of cradles. SEC. 2. Carrying in the arms its uses and abuses. SEC. 3. Creeping why useful to be encouraged. SEC. 4. Walking ...
-Sec. 2. Carrying In The Arms.
This is the most appropriate exercise for the first two months of existence; and indeed, one of the best for some time afterward. Although a healthy, thriving ...
-Sec. 3. Creeping.
Mankind must creep before they can walk, is an old adage often used to remind us of that patient application which is so indispensable to secure any highly ...
-Sec. 4. Walking.
The way to learn how to write without ruled lines, is to rule, was the frequent saying of an old schoolmaster whom I once knew; and I may say with as much ...
-Sec. 5. Riding In Carriages.
It will be seen by the foregoing section, that I am not very friendly to the use of carriages for the young, after they can walk. Before this period, however, ...
-Sec. 6. Riding On Horseback.
While children are very young, I think it both improper and unsafe to take them abroad on horseback; I mean so long as they are in health. In case of disease, ...
-Chapter XI. Amusements
Universal need of amusements. Why so necessary. Error of schools. Error of families. Infant schools, as often conducted, particularly injurious. Lessons, or ...
-Amusements. Part 2
The arrangements of the infant school, also, seem designed for the same purpose to repress as much as possible the infantile desire for amusement. Not that ...
-Amusements. Part 3
Perhaps this exercise comes nearer to my ideas of a perfect amusement than almost any which could be named. The mind is agreeably occupied, without being ...
-Chapter XII. Crying
Its importance. Danger of repressing a tendency to cry. Anecdote from Dr. Rush. Physiology of crying. Folly of attempting wholly to suppress it. Crying, says ...
-Chapter XIII. Laughing
Laugh and be fat. Laughing is healthy. A common error. Monastic notions yet too prevalent on this subject. Laughing, like crying, has a good effect on the ...
-Chapter XIV. Sleep
General remarks. Hints to fathers.SEC. 1. Proper hours for repose. Dark rooms. Noise.SEC. 2. Place for sleeping. Sleeping alonereasons.SEC. 3. Purity of the ...
-Sec. 1. Hour For Repose.
Generally speaking, the night is the appropriate season for repose; but in early infancy, it is every hour. I have already spoken of the vast amount of sleep ...
-Sec. 2. Sleeping Place.
For some time after its birth, the infant should sleep near its mother, though not in the same bed. The bedstead should be of the usual height of bedsteads, ...
-Sec. 3. Purity Of The Air.
The general importance of pure air has been mentioned. I have spoken of the elements of the atmosphere in which we live, of the manner in which it may be ...
-Sec. 4. The Bed.
This should never be of feathers. There are many reasons for this prohibition, especially to the feeble. 1. They are too warm. Infants should by all means be ...
-Sec. 5. The Covering.
The covering of the bed should be sufficiently warm, but never any warmer than is absolutely necessary to protect the child from chilliness. The lightest ...
-Sec. 6. Night Dresses.
The grand rule on this point is, to wear as little dress during sleep as possible. Some mothers not only suffer their infants to sleep in the same shirt, cap, ...
-Sec. 7. Posture Of The Body.
In early infancy, children who are not stuffed rather than fed, may occasionally be permitted to sleep on their backs, especially if they incline to do so. But ...
-Sec. 8. State Of The Mind.
In giving directions how to procure pleasant dreams, Dr. Franklin mentions as a highly important requisition, the possession of a quiet conscience. A wise ...
-Sec. 9. Quality Of Sleep.
The soundness, as well as other qualities, of sleep, differs greatly in different individuals; and even in the same night, with the same individual in ...
-Sec. 10. Quantity.
On this point much might be said, without exhausting the subject. But I have already observed that infants, when first born, require to sleep nearly their ...
-Chapter XV. Early Rising
All children naturally early risers. Evils of sitting up late at night. Excitements in the evening. The morning, by its beauties, invites us abroad. Example of ...
-Chapter XVI. Hardening The Constitution
Mistakes about hardening children. Their clothing. Much cold enfeebles. The Scotch Highlanders. The two extremes equally fatal over-tenderness and neglect. An ...
-Hardening The Constitution. Continued
Did they sleep in a cold or warm room? In a warm room. A good fire was always made in the stove before they went to bed, which kept them quite warm all night.
-Chapter XVII. Society
Duty of mothers in this matter. Children prefer the society of parents. Importance of other society. Necessity of society illustrated. Early diffidence.
-Chapter XVIII. Employments
Influence of mothers over daughters. Anecdote of Benjamin West. Anecdote of a poor mother. Of set lessons and lectures. Daughters under the mother's eye. Why ...
-Chapter XIX. Education Of The Senses
Improving the senses. Examples of improvement. SEC. 1. Hearing how injured how improved. SEC. 2. Seeing how injured. SEC. 3. Tasting and smelling how benumbed ...
-Sec. 1. Hearing.
The suggestion, in another place, to keep away caps from the child's head, if duly attended to, is one means of perfecting, or at least of preserving, the ...
-Sec. 2. Seeing.
The sight, says Addison, is the most perfect of all our senses; and this is unquestionably true. But it is more or less perfect, in different individuals, ...
-Sec. 3. Tasting And Smelling.
I do not know that it is worth our while to take pains, by any direct methods, to cultivate the organs of taste or smell; but I think it proper, at the least, ...
-Sec. 4. Feeling.
Corpulence and slovenliness are generally among the more prolific sources of a want of acuteness in feeling. The first is a disease, and may be avoided by a ...
-Chapter XX. Abuses
Bad seats for children at table and elsewhere. Why children hate Sunday. Seats at Sabbath school at church at district schools. Suspending children between the ...









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previous page: The Hygienic Care of Children | by Herbert M. Shelton
  
page up: Health and Healing Books
  
next page: Hygiene Of The Nursery | by Louis Starr