Suitable for Children

Suitable for Children

 

During infancy.

Infants are very susceptible of the impressions of cold; a proper regard, therefore, to a suitable clothing of the body, is imperative to their enjoyment of health. Unfortunately, an opinion is prevalent in society, that the tender child has naturally a great power of generating heat and resisting cold; and from this popular error has arisen the most fatal results. This opinion has been much strengthened by the insidious manner in which cold operates on the frame, the injurious effects not being always manifest during or immediately after its application, so that but too frequently the fatal result is traced to a wrong source, or the infant sinks under the action of an unknown cause.

Suitable for Children
Suitable for Children

The power of generating heat in warm-blooded animals is at its minimum at birth, and increases successively to adult age; young animals, instead of being warmer than adults, are generally a degree or two colder, and part with their heat more readily; facts which cannot be too generally known. They show how absurd must be the folly of that system of “hardening” the constitution (to which reference has been before made), which induces the parent to plunge the tender and delicate child into the cold bath at all seasons of the year, and freely expose it to the cold, cutting currents of an easterly wind, with the lightest clothing.

The principles which ought to guide a parent in clothing her infant are as follows:

The material and quantity of the clothes should be such as to preserve a sufficient proportion of warmth to the body, regulated therefore by the season of the year, and the delicacy or strength of the infant’s constitution. In effecting this, however, the parent must guard against the too common practice of enveloping the child in innumerable folds of warm clothing, and keeping it constantly confined to very hot and close rooms; thus running into the opposite extreme to that to which I have just alluded: for nothing tends so much to enfeeble the constitution, to induce disease, and render the skin highly susceptible to the impression of cold; and thus to produce those very ailments which it is the chief intention to guard against.

In their make they should be so arranged as to put no restrictions to the free movements of all parts of the child’s body; and so loose and easy as to permit the insensible perspiration to have a free exit, instead of being confined to and absorbed by the clothes, and held in contact with the skin, till it gives rise to irritation.

In their quality they should be such as not to irritate the delicate skin of the child. In infancy, therefore, flannel is rather too rough, but is desirable as the child grows older, as it gives a gentle stimulus to the skin, and maintains health.

In its construction the dress should be so simple as to admit of being quickly put on, since dressing is irksome to the infant, causing it to cry, and exciting as much mental irritation as it is capable of feeling. Pins should be wholly dispensed with, their use being hazardous through the carelessness of nurses, and even through the ordinary movements of the infant itself.

The clothing must be changed daily. It is eminently conducive to good health that a complete change of dress should be made every day. If this is not done, washing will, in a great measure, fail in its object, especially in insuring freedom from skin diseases.

During childhood.

The clothing of the child should possess the same properties as that of infancy. It should afford due warmth, be of such materials as do not irritate the skin, and so made as to occasion no unnatural constriction.

In reference to due warmth, it may be well again to repeat, that too little clothing is frequently productive of the most sudden attacks of active disease; and that children who are thus exposed with thin clothing in a climate so variable as ours are the frequent subjects of croup, and other dangerous affections of the air- passages and lungs. On the other hand, it must not be forgotten, that too warm clothing is a source of disease, sometimes even of the same diseases which originate in exposure to cold, and often renders the frame more susceptible of the impressions of cold, especially of cold air taken into the lungs. Regulate the clothing, then, according to the season; resume the winter dress early; lay it aside late; for it is in spring and autumn that the vicissitudes in our climate are greatest, and congestive and inflammatory complaints most common.

With regard to material (as was before observed), the skin will at this age bear flannel next to it; and it is now not only proper, but necessary. It may be put off with advantage during the night, and cotton maybe substituted during the summer, the flannel being resumed early in the autumn. If from very great delicacy of constitution it proves too irritating to the skin, fine fleecy hosiery will in general be easily endured, and will greatly conduce to the preservation of health.

It is highly important that the clothes of the boy should be so made that no restraints shall be put on the movements of the body or limbs, nor injurious pressure made on his waist or chest. All his muscles ought to have full liberty to act, as their free exercise promotes both their growth and activity, and thus insures the regularity and efficiency of the several functions to which these muscles are subservient.

The same remarks apply with equal force to the dress of the girl; and happily, during childhood, at least, no distinction is made in this matter between the sexes. Not so, however, when the girl is about to emerge from this period of life; a system of dress is then adopted which has the most pernicious effects upon her health, and the development of the body, the employment of tight stays, which impede the free and full action of the respiratory organs, being only one of the many restrictions and injurious practices from which in latter years they are thus doomed to suffer so severely.

 

 

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Newborns Colic

Newborns Colic

After nearly nine months of staying in the mother’s womb, an infant is finally brought out into the world. It is here that the job of both parents becomes challenging, as a baby will cry for more than three hours daily making it impossible to get the much-needed rest.

Newborns Colic
Newborns Colic

Doctors refer to the long excessive crying of a newborn as Colic. Until now, research is unable to pinpoint why this happens. There are various theories that explain this.

The first is when the baby ingests air during breastfeeding. Another claims that the infant is drinking too fast which leads to gastrointestinal pain. It is also possible that the food being eaten by the mother is the cause while some claim that the baby’s newborn’s immune system is not yet able to adapt to life outside the womb.

Regardless of what caused it, doctors believe that this is very common among newborn children. This means there is nothing to worry about since this will gradually disappear in the next few months.

Parents should take it as the first step in nurturing and caring for a child. Some believe that if this did not happen, the period of adjustment will be more difficult.

There is single solution to take care of a colic baby. Sometimes, this idea will work while at times it doesn’t. Here are some of the things that parents can try to find out if it works on the child.

1. If the newborn is in the crib, perhaps getting it out and holding or rocking it in one’s arms can do the trick. Sometimes singing a song is effective, as the baby will once again fall asleep.

2. Making the baby burp after breastfeeding can also prevent the infant from waking up.

3. The baby may be hungry so it is time to breastfeed. If the infant is full and the arms are sore from carry, maybe going for a ride in the car or in the carriage can make it go away.

4. The baby’s sensitivity to noise can make it wake up again and cry. This can be prevented by not making too sounds. Playing a CD of classical music can help make the infant get enough rest.

5. Giving the newborn a warm bath can also help it stop crying. The parent should make sure it is not too hot because this could be too much for the infant’s skin.

6. It is never too late to give the newborn a pacifier. This will make the baby think that it is still sucking onto the mother’s breast when it is feeding time.

7. Since Colic is associated with gas pains, the parents can also try using Simethicone drops, which has been proven to be effective for making the newborn stop crying.

8. Lastly, the mother should make some changes in the diet. This is because the food being consumed may produce gas, which is converted to milk and passes to the child.

Colic is nothing serious because it is not even classified as a disease or a disorder. It is part of the growing phase of becoming a parent until the newborn is able to stand and even speak for itself. This is just one of the many challenges that anyone will face should the couple decide to have a family.

 

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Teaching to Walk

Teaching to Walk

 

Exercise is essentially important to the health of the infant. Its first exercise, of course, will be in the nurse’s arms. After a month or two, when it begins to sleep less during the day, it will delight to roll and kick about on the sofa: it will thus use its limbs freely; and this, with carrying out into the open air, is all the exercise it requires at this period. By and by, however, the child will make its first attempts to walk. Now it is important that none of the many plans which have been devised to teach a child to walk, should be adopted the go-cart, leading-strings, etc.; their tendency is mischievous; and flatness of the chest, confined lungs, distorted spine, and deformed legs, are so many evils which often originate in such practices. This is explained by the fact of the bones in infancy being comparatively soft and pliable, and if prematurely subjected by these contrivances to carry the weight of the body, they yield just like an elastic stick bending under a weight, and as a natural consequence become curved and distorted.

Teaching to Walk
Teaching to Walk

It is highly necessary that the young and experienced mother should recollect this fact, for the early efforts of the little one to walk are naturally viewed by her with so much delight, that she will be apt to encourage and prolong its attempts, without any thought of the mischief which they may occasion; thus many a parent has had to mourn over the deformity which she has herself created.

It may be as well here to remark, that if such distortion is timely noticed, it is capable of correction, even after evident curvature has taken place. It is to be remedied by using those means that shall invigorate the frame, and promote the child’s general health (a daily plunge into the cold bath, or sponging with cold salt water, will be found signally efficacious), and by avoiding the original cause of the distortion never allowing the child to get upon his feet. The only way to accomplish the latter intention, is to put both the legs into a large stocking; this will effectually answer this purpose, while, at the same time, it does not prevent the free and full exercise of the muscles of the legs. After some months pursuing this plan, the limbs will be found no longer deformed, the bones to have acquired firmness and the muscles strength; and the child may be permitted to get upon his feet again without any hazard of perpetuating or renewing the evil.

The best mode of teaching a child to walk, is to let it teach itself, and this it will do readily enough. It will first crawl about: this exercises every muscle in the body, does not fatigue the child, throws no weight upon the bones, but imparts vigour and strength, and is thus highly useful. After a while, having the power, it will wish to do more: it will endeavour to lift itself upon its feet by the aid of a chair, and though it fail again and again in its attempts, it will still persevere until it accomplish it. By this it learns, first, to raise itself from the floor; and secondly, to stand, but not without keeping hold of the object on which it has seized. Next it will balance itself without holding, and will proudly and laughingly show that it can stand alone. Fearful, however, as yet of moving its limbs without support, it will seize a chair or anything else near it, when it will dare to advance as far as the limits of its support will permit. This little adventure will be repeated day after day with increased exultation; when, after numerous trials, he will feel confident of his power to balance himself, and he will run alone. Now time is required for this gradual self-teaching, during which the muscles and bones become strengthened; and when at last called upon to sustain the weight of the body, are fully capable of doing so.

Exercise during childhood.
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When the child has acquired sufficient strength to take active exercise, he can scarcely be too much in the open air; the more he is habituated to this, the more capable will he be of bearing the vicissitudes of the climate. Children, too, should always be allowed to amuse themselves at pleasure, for they will generally take that kind and degree of exercise which is best calculated to promote the growth and development of the body. In the unrestrained indulgence of their youthful sports, every muscle of the body comes in for its share of active exercise; and free growth, vigour, and health are the result.

If, however, a child is delicate and strumous, and too feeble to take sufficient exercise on foot, and to such a constitution the respiration of a pure air and exercise are indispensable for the improvement of health, and without them all other efforts will fail, riding on a donkey or pony forms the best substitute. This kind of exercise will always be found of infinite service to delicate children; it amuses the mind, and exercises the muscles of the whole body, and yet in so gentle a manner as to induce little fatigue.

The exercises of horseback, however, are most particularly useful where there is a tendency in the constitution to pulmonary consumption, either from hereditary or accidental causes. It is here beneficial, as well through its influence on the general health, as more directly on the lungs themselves. There can be no doubt that the lungs, like the muscles of the body, acquire power and health of function by exercise. Now during a ride this is obtained, and without much fatigue to the body. The free and equable expansion of the lungs by full inspiration, necessarily takes place; this maintains their healthy structure, by keeping all the air-passages open and pervious; it prevents congestion in the pulmonary circulation, and at the same time provides more completely for the necessary chemical action on the blood, by changing, at each act of respiration, a sufficient proportion of the whole air contained in the lungs, all objects of great importance, and all capable of being promoted, more or less, by the means in question.

 

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Childhood Sleep

Childhood Sleep

During infancy.
For three or four weeks after birth the infant sleeps more or less, day and night, only waking to satisfy the demands of hunger; at the expiration of this time, however, each interval of wakefulness grows longer, so that it sleeps less frequently, but for longer periods at a time.

Childhood Sleep
Childhood Sleep

This disposition to repose in the early weeks of the infant’s life must not be interfered with; but this period having expired, great care is necessary to induce regularity in its hours of sleep, otherwise too much will be taken in the day-time, and restless and disturbed nights will follow. The child should be brought into the habit of sleeping in the middle of the day, before its dinner, and for about two hours, more or less. If put to rest at a later period of the day, it will invariably cause a bad night.

At first the infant should sleep with its parent. The low temperature of its body, and its small power of generating heat, render this necessary. If it should happen, however, that the child has disturbed and restless nights, it must immediately be removed to the bed and care of another female, to be brought to its mother at an early hour in the morning, for the purpose of being nursed. This is necessary for the preservation of the mother’s health, which through sleepless nights would of course be soon deranged, and the infant would also suffer from the influence which such deranged health would have upon the milk.

When a month or six weeks has elapsed, the child, if healthy, may sleep alone in a cradle or cot, care being taken that it has a sufficiency of clothing, that the room in which it is placed is sufficiently warm, viz. 60 degrees, and the position of the cot itself is not such as to be exposed to currents of cold air. It is essentially necessary to attend to these points, since the faculty of producing heat, and consequently the power of maintaining the temperature, is less during sleep than at any other time, and therefore exposure to cold is especially injurious. It is but too frequently the case that inflammation of some internal organ will occur under such circumstances, without the true source of the disease ever being suspected. Here, however, a frequent error must be guarded against, that of covering up the infant in its cot with too much clothing throwing over its face the muslin handkerchief and, last of all, drawing the drapery of the bed closely together. The object is to keep the infant sufficiently warm with pure air; it therefore ought to have free access to its mouth, and the atmosphere of the whole room should be kept sufficiently warm to allow the child to breathe it freely: in winter, therefore, there must always be a fire in the nursery.

The child up to two years old, at least, should sleep upon a feather bed, for the reasons referred to above. The pillow, however, after the sixth month, should be made of horsehair; for at this time teething commences, and it is highly important that the head should be kept cool.

During childhood.
Up to the third or fourth year the child should be permitted to sleep for an hour or so before its dinner. After this time it may gradually be discontinued; but it must be recollected, that during the whole period of childhood more sleep is required than in adult age. The child, therefore, should be put to rest every evening between seven and eight; and if it be in health it will sleep soundly until the following morning. No definite rule, however, can be laid down in reference to the number of hours of sleep to be allowed; for one will require more or less than another.Regularity as to the time of going to rest is the chief point to attend to; permit nothing to interfere with it, and then only let the child sleep without disturbance, until it awakes of its own accord on the following morning, and it will have had sufficient rest.

The amount of sleep necessary to preserve health varies according to the state of the body, and the habits of the individual. Infants pass much the greater portion of their time in sleep. Children sleep twelve or fourteen hours. The schoolboy generally ten. In youth, a third part of the twenty-four hours is spent in sleep. Whilst, in advanced age, many do not spend more than four, five, or six hours in sleep.

It is a cruel thing for a mother to sacrifice her child’s health that she may indulge her own vanity, and yet how often is this done in reference to sleep. An evening party is to assemble, and the little child is kept up for hours beyond its stated time for retiring to rest, that it may be exhibited, fondled, and admired. Its usual portion of sleep is thus abridged, and, from the previous excitement, what little he does obtain, is broken and unrefreshing, and he rises on the morrow wearied and exhausted.

Once awake, it should not be permitted to lie longer in bed, but should be encouraged to arise immediately. This is the way to bring about the habit of early rising, which prevents many serious evils to which parents are not sufficiently alive, promotes both mental and corporeal health, and of all habits is said to be the most conducive to longevity.

A child should never be suddenly aroused from sleep; it excites the brain, quickens the action of the heart, and, if often repeated, serious consequences would result. The change of sleeping to waking should always be gradual.

The bed on which the child now sleeps should be a mattress: at this age a feather bed is always injurious to children; for the body, sinking deep into the bed, is completely buried in feathers, and the unnatural degree of warmth thus produced relaxes and weakens the system, particularly the skin, and renders the child unusually susceptible to the impressions of cold. Then, instead of the bed being made up in the morning as soon as vacated, and while still saturated with the nocturnal exhalations from the body, the bed-clothes should be thrown over the backs of chairs, the mattress shaken well up, and the window thrown open for several hours, so that the apartment shall be thoroughly ventilated. It is also indispensably requisite not to allow the child to sleep with persons in bad health, or who are far advanced in life; if possible, it should sleep alone.

 

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After school and discipline

After school and discipline

How important is discipline when it comes to after school programs? Since
most of the activities are recreational, does a program have to adhere to
strict rules? Discipline is just as important here as it is in
activities that pertain to the school. The child is sent to a program
because you want him to learn more. Discipline in one form or the other is
necessary to facilitate learning.

After school and discipline
After school and discipline

Every program should begin by laying down the rules. The supervisor or
teacher should explain each rule and can thus prevent future mishaps.
Misbehavior should be addressed as and when it occurs. Deal with the
problem in such a manner that it causes the least disruption. It is unwise
to turn a blind eye to misbehavior because it catches on like fire, and
soon you will have a bunch of unruly children on your hands. Besides,
however much they resist it, children like to operate within the safety
net of strict guidelines and rules.

When a child misbehaves, it is mostly due to a craving for attention. A
supervisor should observe the children and find out what the child wants.
Talk to the child so that you can understand what he or she wants.
Appropriate disciplinary measures should be taken if there are no apparent
reasons for bad behavior.

 

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After school activities

After school activities

Start off by making enquiries. Nothing can beat the power of information.
Approach the school authorities first. Find out if they are offering any
after school activities. Get a list of the various classes that are
available in your school. In case the school does not provide any
extracurricular activities for the child, approach your neighbors. Collect
information about any after school programs, the quality of the courses
taught and the timings etc. Also, check out some of the community
resources. These may include places of worship, community centers,
Museums, libraries, the YMCA, The Boys and Girls Club etc.

After school activities
After school activities

After you have colleted all the necessary information, discuss the various
options with your child. Find out what his interests are. The best way to
find out what is most suitable is to ask your child. When little children
are too small, you cannot completely rely on their feedback. In this case,
monitor the development of the child on a regular basis. If the child
shows excessive resistance to an activity, it may be necessary to look for
other options. Always consider your family’s schedule when planning the
extracurricular activities. If it is difficult for you to chauffeur your
child, you may want to employ tutors at home or conduct some activity at
home itself.

 

 

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Stomach Disorders among Infants

Stomach Disorders among Infants

Disorder of the stomach and bowels is one of the most fruitful sources of the diseases of infancy. Only prevent their derangement, and, all things being equal, the infant will be healthy and flourish, and need not the aid of physic or physicians.

Stomach Disorders among Infants
Stomach Disorders among Infants

There are many causes which may give rise to these affections; many of them appertain to the mother’s system, some to that of the infant. All are capable, to a great extent, of being prevented or remedied. It is, therefore, most important that a mother should not be ignorant or misinformed upon this subject. It is the prevention of these affections, however, that will be principally dwelt upon here; for let the mother ever bear in mind, and act upon the principle, that the prevention of disease alone belongs to her; the cure to the physician. For the sake of clearness and reference, these disorders will be spoken of as they occur:

To the infant at the breast.
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The infant’s stomach and bowels may become deranged from the breast-milk becoming unwholesome. This may arise from the parent getting out of health, a circumstance which will be so manifest to herself, and to those more immediately interested in her welfare, that it is only necessary just to allude to it here. Suffice it to say, that there are many causes of a general kind to which it may owe its origin; but that the most frequent is undue lactation, and the effects both upon mother and child fully dwelt upon.

Anxiety of mind in the mother will cause her milk to be unhealthy in its character, and deficient in quantity, giving rise to flatulence, griping, and sometimes even convulsions in the infant. A fit of passion in the nurse will frequently be followed by a fit of bowel complain in the child. These causes of course are temporary, and when removed the milk becomes a healthy and sufficient for the child as before.

Sudden and great mental disturbance, however, will occasionally drive away the milk altogether, and in a few hours. A Mrs. S., aet. 29, a fine healthy woman, of a blonde complexion, was confined of a boy. She had a good time, and a plentiful supply of milk for the child, which she continued to suckle till the following January, a period of three months, when her milk suddenly disappeared. This circumstance puzzled the medical attendant, for he could not trace it to any physical ailment; but the milk never returned, and a wet-nurse became necessary. In the following spring the husband of this lady failed, an adversity which had been impending since the date when the breast-milk disappeared, upon which day the deranged state of the husband’s affairs was made known to the wife, a fact which at once explained the mysterious disappearance of the milk.

Unwholesome articles of diet will affect the mother’s milk, and derange the infant’s bowels. Once, I was called to see an infant at the breast with diarrhoea. The remedial measures had but little effect so long as the infant was allowed the breast-milk; but this being discontinued, and arrow-root made with water only allowed, the complaint was quickly put a stop to. Believing that the mother’s milk was impaired from some accidental cause which might now be passed, the infant was again allowed the breast. In less than four-and-twenty hours, however, the diarrhoea returned. The mother being a very healthy woman, it was suspected that some unwholesome article in her diet might be the cause. The regimen was accordingly carefully inquired into, when it appeared that porter from a neighbouring publican’s had been substituted for their own for some little time past. This proved to be bad, throwing down, when left to stand a few hours, a considerable sediment; it was discontinued; good sound ale taken instead; the infant again put to the breast, upon the milk of which it flourished, and never had another attack.

In the same way aperient medicine, taken by the mother, will act on the child’s bowels, through the effect which it produces upon her milk. This, however, is not the case with all kinds of purgative medicine, nor does the same purgative produce a like effect upon all children. It is well, therefore, for a parent to notice what aperient acts thus through her system upon that of her child, and what does not, and when an aperient becomes necessary for herself, unless she desire that the infant’s bowels be moved, to avoid the latter; if otherwise, she may take the former with good effect.

Again; the return of the monthly periods whilst the mother is a nurse always affects the properties of the milk, more or less, deranging the stomach and bowels of the infant. It will thus frequently happen, that a few days before the mother is going to be unwell, the infant will become fretful and uneasy; its stomach will throw up the milk, and its motions will be frequent, watery, and greenish. And then, when the period is fully over, the milk will cease to purge. It is principally in the early months, however, that the infant seems to be affected by this circumstance; for it will be generally found that although the milk is certainly impaired by it, being less abundant and nutritious, still, after the third or fourth month it ceases to affect the infant. Is then a mother, because her monthly periods return after her delivery, to give up nursing? Certainly not, unless the infant’s health is seriously affected by it; for she will generally find that, as the periods come round, by keeping the infant pretty much from the breast, during its continuance, and feeding him upon artificial food, she will prevent disorder of the child’s health, and be able in the intervals to nurse her infant with advantage. It must be added, however, that a wet- nurse is to be resorted to rather than any risk incurred of injuring the child’s health; and that, in every case, partial feeding will be necessary at a much earlier period than when a mother is not thus affected.

The milk may also be rendered less nutritive, and diminished in quantity, by the mother again becoming pregnant. In this case, however, the parent’s health will chiefly suffer, if she persevere in nursing; this, however, will again act prejudicially to the child. It will be wise, therefore, if pregnancy should occur, and the milk disagree with the infant, to resign the duties of a nurse, and to put the child upon a suitable artificial diet.

The infant that is constantly at the breast will always be suffering, more or less, from flatulence, griping, looseness of the bowels, and vomiting. This is caused by a sufficient interval not being allowed between the meals for digestion. The milk, therefore, passes on from the stomach into the bowels undigested, and the effects just alluded to follow. Time must not only be given for the proper digestion of the milk, but the stomach itself must be allowed a season of repose. This evil, then, must be avoided most carefully by the mother strictly adhering to those rules for nursing.

The bowels of the infant at the breast, as well as after it is weaned, are generally affected by teething. And it is fortunate that this is the case, for it prevents more serious affections. Indeed, the diarrhoea that occurs during dentition, except it be violent, must not be subdued; if, however, this is the case, attention must be paid to it. It will generally be found to be accompanied by a swollen gum; the freely lancing of which will sometimes alone put a stop to the looseness: further medical aid may, however, be necessary.

At the period of weaning.
————————

There is great susceptibility to derangements of the stomach and bowels of the child at the period when weaning ordinarily takes place, so that great care and judgment must be exercised in effecting this object. Usually, however, the bowels are deranged during this process from one of these causes; from weaning too early, from effecting it too suddenly and abruptly, or from over-feeding and the use of improper and unsuitable food. There is another cause which also may give rise to diarrhoea at this time, independently of weaning, viz. the irritation of difficult teething.

The substitution of artificial food for the breast-milk of the mother, at a period when the digestive organs of the infant are too delicate for this change, is a frequent source of the affections now under consideration.

The attempt to wean a delicate child, for instance, when only six months old, will inevitably be followed by disorder of the stomach and bowels. Unless, therefore, a mother is obliged to resort to this measure, from becoming pregnant, or any other unavoidable cause, if she consult the welfare of her child, she will not give up nursing at this early period.

Depriving the child at once of the breast, and substituting artificial food, however proper under due regulations such food may be, will invariably cause bowel complaints. Certain rules and regulations must be adopted to effect weaning safely, the details of which are given elsewhere.

If too large a quantity of food is given at each meal, or the meals are too frequently repeated, in both instances the stomach will become oppressed, wearied, and deranged; part of the food, perhaps, thrown up by vomiting, whilst the remainder, not having undergone the digestive process, will pass on into the bowels, irritate its delicate lining membrane, and produce flatulence, with griping, purging, and perhaps convulsions.

Then, again, improper and unsuitable food will be followed by precisely the same effects; and unless a judicious alteration be quickly made, remedies will not only have no influence over the disease, but the cause being continued, the disease will become most seriously aggravated.

It is, therefore, of the first importance to the well-doing of the child, that at this period, when the mother is about to substitute an artificial food for that of her own breast, she should first ascertain what kind of food suits the child best, and then the precise quantity which nature demands. Many cases might be cited, where children have never had a prescription written for them, simply because, these points having been attended to, their diet has been managed with judgment and care; whilst, on the other hand, others might be referred to, whose life has been hazarded, and all but lost, simply from injudicious dietetic management. Over-feeding, and improper articles of food, are more frequently productive, in their result, of anxious hours and distressing scenes to the parent, and of danger and loss of life to the child, than almost any other causes.

The irritation caused by difficult teething may give rise to diarrhea at the period when the infant is weaned, independently of the weaning itself. Such disorder of the bowels, if it manifestly occur from this cause, is a favorable circumstance, and should not be interfered with, unless indeed the attack be severe and aggravated, when medical aid becomes necessary. Slight diarrhea then, during weaning, when it is fairly traceable to the cutting of a tooth (the heated and inflamed state of the gum will at once point to this as the source of the derangement), is of no consequence, but it must not be mistaken for disorder arising from other causes. Lancing the gum will at once, then, remove the cause, and generally cure the bowel complaint.

 

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Too much of school

Too much of school

When my mom finally decided to take that plum posting as a Divisional
Head, I knew I was in trouble. Her office hours stretched way beyond my
school hours. And anyway, I was privy to the many discussions my parents
had about ‘Honey, what do we do with the kids?’ Well, finally they struck
gold – an educational after school program. Won’t that be just grand? Kids
are learning new things while parents are happily minting greenbacks!

Too much of school
Too much of school

And so, we went directly to another class after our school. The brochure
said that they would be ‘using fun activities and innovative teaching
methods to fill the gap in your child’s understanding’. I suppose they
meant that the teacher would write down the homework and we were to copy
it. At least, this is what happened most of the time. Of course, we didn’t
tell our parents. How would that help? They’d simply get smart and shift us to a class that would actually make us solve our homework.

I hated the classes. Mostly, I was bored to tears or falling asleep.
After so many hours at school who’d want to spend the entire afternoon
with the same books? But, as a child, one had little choice in these
matters. Especially when one’s parents were cleverly telling one that
mommy’s salary will help get us that spanking new TV or that video game.
Lose some, win some!

Then, one day, my sister decided to rock the proverbial boat. She decided
she had enough of studying and refused to go to the after school program.
That’s when my parents began to smell something stale. Shortly after that,
they put us in a better program (o, yes, another educational one). This
was bigger, brighter and somehow more fun. We had some interesting games,
and a COMPUTER too. Each of us got a chance to do something on the PC
(this, when PCs were just beginning to make their presence felt). We
somehow managed to blaze through our homework, most of which had to be
done by us. Then it was time to have fun. We had a little bit of
everything. Acting classes, speech, games and of course painting. Those
hours we spent splashing color on pages and laughing at silly jokes were
really the highlight of an otherwise boring day. Ironically, I began
looking forward to my after school program.

Now, so many years afterward, when I need to take up a job and leave my
own child alone till I get back, I know how important these after school
programs have become. Talk about history repeating itself! I just hope I’d
get her into a good one, and yes, it’s going to be educational too.

 

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Camping with Kids

Camping with Kids
by Debora Geary

Camping with happy kids is wonderful – camping with miserable kids could convince you to pick a new family hobby. There’s lots of ways to ensure a happy camping experience, but here are my picks for the three most important.

Camping with Kids
Camping with Kids

1. Keep the sleeping bag dry. Let’s face it, sleeping comfortably is pretty important to all of us, but a wet sleeping bag can make a kid totally miserable. This is especially true if your child’s sleeping bag is one of the big box store $20 variety. You know, the ones that weigh 15 pounds (dry!) and are made of cotton. Get one of those wet, and your camping trip is over, it will take until next year to dry. Even a good kids sleeping bag can get wet, however, and it’s not easy to convince a kid to climb into a soggy bag to sleep.
The key to keeping a sleeping bag dry is to keep its surroundings dry. If you’re going to be in wet conditions (rainy season, or paddling on a lake), prepare your gear. Put kids sleeping bags, and any other gear you treasure into dry bags, garbage bags, or some other water barrier. Put a tent cloth under your tent (properly!) so you keep water out of the tent. Teach your kids good tent etiquette so they don’t crawl all over the tent in their wet boots, or dump a mug of hot chocolate over their sleeping bag.
2. Avoid constipation. Think I’m kidding? I used to take city kids on month long canoe trips, and several of them showed insane talent for “poop in the woods” avoidance. Some made it as long as a week before they gave in and took Mr. Trowel off to dig a hole. Kids like routine and predictability, some kids a lot more than others. When that routine is turned upside down, even by fun activities like camping, it can cause system backup. That can lead to stomach troubles, cramps, and really stinky farts (amongst the 2-12 year old set, this is serious business, and might be for you too, if you’re sharing a tent).
Fortunately, there’s a really easy fix for camping constipation. Eat beans. I used to serve chili the first night out on trail. Vegetarian chili with 5 kinds of beans. Sometimes it took a day or two, but no kid could hold out a week against my 5 bean chili. Other forms of fiber help too – oatmeal for breakfast, dried fruit in your gorp. Also have your kids drink lots of water, especially if fiber isn’t a really common part of their diet.
3. Don’t take over. We spend most of our lives “organizing” our kids, making sure they get up, dressed, off to school, to weekly activities and play dates. It’s an easy trap to try to organize their camping experience too. This is especially easy to do when it looks like their first choices of activities involve sleeping in the tent all day or throwing rocks at one another across the firepit.
However, one of the most fundamental lessons camping can teach is that you are responsible for your own experience. Mother Nature is a great provider of natural consequences. Don’t put up your tent right, you’ll get wet. Don’t collect firewood, you won’t eat hot food. Do collect firewood, and discover the mesmerizing dance of a night campfire. Get up the energy to paddle to the middle of the lake in the middle of the night, and see stars like they were meant to be seen. Step back, and let your kids learn from their own experiences. You might just pick up a little something too.

 

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Your Child Sleep

Your Child Sleep

 

Good mothers and fathers come in many styles. Each one of us has different strengths, interests, and values that make us great parent. Don’t let yourself become discouraged or disappointed when others ‘give you advice’ that doesn’t seem to mesh with who you are. Maybe you’re not a roll around on the floor kind of parent with your child.  Maybe you’ve decided to hang back and let your little one explore. That’s great! As long as it works for you and your child, nobody should be able to convince you that your method is incorrect or wrong. Once you recognize and embrace your own personal parenting style, you can stop trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations and get on with the business of enjoying being a parent.

 

Your Child Sleep
Your Child Sleep

It’s important to keep in mind too, that these well-meaning advice givers don’t know your child as well as you.  They aren’t there with your child night and day, watching him grow, learn, explore, play, eat, and sleep.  Only you know what’s best for your child, and you know what works best in your household and for your lifestyle.  As with anything, figuring things out along the way will involve trial and error.

 

So when you receive yet another unsolicited piece of advice regarding your child’s napping or nighttime sleeping habits, keep both your and your child’s personal style in mind.  You’ve done the legwork, you’ve experimented, and you’ve learned together what works and what doesn’t work.  The cues should come from your instincts regarding your child and from your child directly.  There’s no such thing as a hard-and-fast rule for sleep habits among children other than it is needed! As your child grows, his cues may change, but as long as you stay in tune with him, his sleep habits shouldn’t have to suffer as a result. And neither should yours.

 

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