The Importance of Simplicity - Decorations for Walls and Ceiling - Lack of Air the Cause of Sleeplessness - Open Fires are Necessary - The Right Bedding for Baby - Children must keep their Washing Utensils Separate

To be ideal the night-nursery must be clean, comfortable, but severely plain - beds, bedding, towels, ventilation, baths, etc., are all subjects which need careful consideration from the point of view of utility and hygiene.

The children's bedroom is a most important apartment, and requires greater care as regards ventilation and general arrangement than the day-nursery. Often,' children remain there from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. without any change whatever, and some night-nurseries are nearly hermetically sealed rooms. In these Nature's laws are set at defiance, and the poor mites who sleep in them are partially poisoned by re-breathing their own and nurse's breath over and over again. A badly ventilated night-nursery is one of the commonest causes of sleeplessness n children.

Decorations

The walls and ceiling should be treated exactly as those of the day-room. The colour chosen, however, should be very restful.

The floors are best when stained and varnished and polished, or covered with parquet or linoleum. Only washable rugs should be used, and one should be placed by each bed in order that there may be no danger of a thoughtless nurse taking her small charge out of bed and standing her barefooted on the cold floor.

If the weather is too rough or foggy for the windows actually to be open, they can at least be fitted with the piece of wood described in the article on the Ideal Day-nursery in Part 1, or a revolving ventilating pane can be fixed in place of ordinary glass. Soften the light from the windows with curtains of a soft, dark shade of green casement cloth. These can be washed every week.

Some people advocate no. blinds or curtains; this is hygienic without doubt, but, unfortunately, the light causes the youngsters to get frisky at an earlier hour in the morning than sober adults are able to appreciate.

On no account allow the nursery to be lighted by gas. Electric light is the best form of artificial light, but if it cannot be obtained, candles should be used even in preference to a lamp.

A low chair just the right height for little people to stand at

A low chair just the right height for little people to stand at

The Temperature

The temperature of the night-nursery is another important consideration. A great difference between the temperature of the night and day-nursery is dangerous, and causes, if nothing worse, much unnecessary discomfort. An attempt should be made to keep the temperature of both rooms as near 6o° Fahr. as possible.

An open fire both warms and aids in the ventilation of the room, but gas, oil, or any enclosed stoves are injurious, no matter what fuel they burn, unless they are scientifically fixed with a flue into the outside air.

In many modern houses, and flats especially, the rooms are far. too small for health, and the necessary furniture crowds out the little air-space there is. A well-known authority on children tells us that each child ought to have a space eight feet long, eight feet high, and eight feet deep at the least, and that the air in the room should be changed three times an hour.

Furniture

The furniture in the day-nursery should be plain and simple, but that of the night-nursery should be even simpler and more scanty.

There must be a separate bed for nurse, without curtains or valance, a cot-bed for each child. Each child, no matter how young, should sleep alone.

Wooden beds are artistic, but pretty iron or brass ones are more healthy. In any case, however, the bed should have a foundation of woven wire. Cots should have deep rails, and one, or, better still, both sides should be able to slide down. For older children, half-size bedsteads are generally used. Nursery sets of miniature furniture, just the right height for little people to stand at, are often seen, but, besides these, there must be a full-sized clothes press, low nursery chair, dressing-table, etc., for the nurse's own use. A screen is a necessity to ward off draughts when baby is having his bath, or to screen a bed if the door is needed open for any reason, for it must never be forgotten that fresh air is required, not draughts.

It is convenient to have a bath-room on the nursery floor, as this saves baths in the nursery. For very small children the bath-hammocks are a great boon, since they can be fitted to a full-size bath.

However efficient may be the drainage, it is not desirable to have the bath-room, lavatory, or housemaid's sink immediately

Iron cots are more healthy than wooden ones, and both sides should be made to slide down opposite the nursery door. Only the freshest air should find its way into the children's rooms.

Iron cots are more healthy than wooden ones, and both sides should be made to slide down opposite the nursery door. Only the freshest air should find its way into the children's rooms.

Allow nothing in the bedroom that may render the air impure.

Baskets of clothes waiting to go to the wash, slop-pails, boxes under the beds, or on top of wardrobes, garm e n t s hanging about on pegs, all harbour dust and give the room a slovenly appearance.

Bedding

The bedding most suitable for children's beds is a good hair mattress on a woven wire foundation, a mackintosh sheet for very young children, two or three light, fluffy blankets, one low, soft, hair-stuffed pillow, and perhaps a well-ventilated eiderdown quilt - never a heavy cotton one.

Babies must not have sheets, and the pillowcases must be made of the very finest cotton; linen is too cold. Older children may have twill cotton sheets.

In many nurseries it is customary for all the children to use the three or four towels provided, the same brushes and combs and sponges, sometimes even the same toothbrush.

This is not only undesirable from a hygienic point of view, but also it does not train the little ones in nice, cleanly habits, and should never be tolerated at any time.

A nursery fireplace with guard and rail upon which small garments may be warmed

A nursery fireplace with guard and rail upon which small garments may be warmed