Babes should be nursed but three times a day. This may seem a preposterous rule; but let us reason together upon it. The food which Nature has provided for the child is adapted to its age and capacity for digesting; and it requires about the same length of time for the infant to digest its meal as it does the man of ripe age to digest his; and the various steps in the digestive process are the same in both cases. Then if five hours are required to complete the process well, why disturb it till it is finished? By letting the child have only its regular breakfast, dinner, and supper, it digests its food well, and is well nourished by it. But adopt the course usually taken, and the little one's stomach is kept confused and oppressed, and its system is but half nourished from the same quantity of food which would be requisite under a regular system. As infants are usually treated, they are subject to repeated vomiting, colic, and, not unfrequently, fits; and the cause is obvious: the stomach has been overloaded. Only feed infants right, and there is no reason why they should vomit any more than grown persons. What danger can there be of a child's suffering from want of food before the expiration of the five hours between meals, when they not unfrequently go from twelve to twenty-four hours, and sometimes longer, after birth, before they take any substantial nourishment? The idea that a child will suffer hunger, if it do not take food oftener than once in five hours during the day, is all nonsense; and worse than this, great injury is done by such a notion. The "little and often" system is destructive -- contrary to the laws of health -- contrary to true philosophy and reason; and should forever be abandoned.

If infants from the first were treated in this way, they would not only be more healthy, but altogether more quiet, and easy to be taken care of. Then, instead of putting the child to the breast to stop its mouth and get rid of its crying, it would feel better, and be far less likely to cry. And generally, instead of worrisome nights -- usually caused by a disturbed stomach -- it would sleep quietly till morning; and the mother with it. The food of the infant, taken just before it sleeps, or in the night, interferes with its quiet sleep; just as that of any other individual, from a similar cause, is disturbed. This experiment has been tried, and proved successful: let others try it.

When children are old enough to take solid food, they should have only three meals a day. If they eat oftener, their stomachs will be deranged, and their food will not so well nourish them. If any mother will take pains to look at the laws of digestion, she will at once see that no child can take food oftener than once in five hours without interfering with a previous meal, and injuring the healthful operation of the digestive organs. Those children who have been brought up on the exclusive system of eating but three times a day, have been proved to be more than ordinarily strong and healthy. While other children have been afflicted with worms, colic, cholera-morbus, and a host of other ailments common to children generally, they have escaped.

Why, then, will mothers suffer their children to. violate the laws of their natures, and expose themselves to suffer the penalty of those violated laws? Will a mother have such a tender concern for her offspring's gratification, as to suffer it to destroy its own comfort and health, and perhaps life? It is often said, "My child has no appetite for breakfast; therefore it must have a lunch before dinner." But this is a sure way of prolonging the difficulty: the child will never be likely to have an appetite for breakfast, as long as this irregular and unlawful course is indulged; and especially as long as the child knows that he may depend on the precious lunch. Let the child go from breakfast time till dinner time, and it will not be long before he will eat his regular breakfast. If parents would secure for their children a healthy appetite and a sound constitution, let them rigidly insist on their eating but three times a day, using simple food, and having other things in keeping with nature's laws; and, so far as all human means are concerned, they may be sure of accomplishing their purpose.

The almost continual hankering for food which many children seem to have, arises wholly from a habit of constant eating. If their eating were reduced to a regular habit, their appetite would become regular. But this irregular appetite is not natural; it is created, and unhealthy. If we get into a habit of eating seven times a day, we shall hanker after food as many times. If we once establish a habit of eating but three times a day, we shall want food only as many times. Now, what will mothers and nurses do? Will they begin with the infant by a regular system, and continue it? or will they go on in the old beaten path, to the injury of those they profess to love and cherish? Will they make a mock of parental love and fondness, by unrestrained and unlimited indulgence? or will they love so sincerely as to keep the child from every hurtful thing? That pretended love, which, knowing the evil consequences, at all hazards, seeks only to gratify, proves its own falseness. Shame -- SHAME on that mother's love which passes heedlessly by her child's chief and ultimate good, to indulge it in a momentary gratification, or to save herself the trouble of controlling its solicitations! Shame on that mother's humanity even, whose refined and tender sympathy cannot refuse indulgence where health, and, it may be, life, are at stake! If mothers and fathers have a substantial affection for their offspring, let them manifest it under the dictates of reason and common sense -- let them seek their permanent good. If those having the care of children would be able to give a final account of their guardianship in peace, let them, next to their morals, seek for those under their charge, soundness of constitution. And in doing this, they do perhaps as much for their morals as could be done through any other means; for physical and moral health are closely allied.