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"Medical Advice on the Bodily and Mental Health of Children" (1794)

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61. Is it proper to chew the food before you give it to children?
No. It is disgusting and hurtful.

(Observation. To suffer children to suck the mock-bubby, boats, &c. are very bad and disgusting customs, which occasion gripes, and therefore are dangerous.)

62. What is in general to be observed with regard to the feeding of children?
That they be regularly and moderately fed, and their stomachs not loaded with milk or other things. It is, therefore, necessary to prevent people from giving children sweetmeats, or food out of season: the feeding of the child ought to be entirely left to its mother.

63. Do affectionate careful mothers act right when they take their infants with them to bed?
No. It is dangerous and hurtful; children ought, therefore, to lay by themselves. [ . . . ]

64. Is it necessary to keep infants very warm?
No. They must not be kept too warm.

65. Is it good to cover their heads?
By no means; it causes humours to break out.

(Observation. From the hour of birth the head of a child ought to be kept uncovered. Mothers will find that, even in the coldest night, when they lay their hands on an infant’s head, it is always warm.)

66. Children are eager to stare at every thing, particularly at the light; what is to be observed with regard to this?
They ought to be immediately turned so as to have the object in a direct line before them; they should never be suffered to look at it sideways, as that would cause them to squint.

67. By what means is the getting of teeth rendered difficult and dangerous?
By caps; by keeping the head too warm; by uncleanliness, and improper food.

(Observation. Nature herself causes pains at teething time, and the child is afterwards the cause of many more. It may not be amiss here to observe, 1. That pains and agonies are the first instructors of man; they teach him to avoid ills, and make him provident, compassionate, humane, and courageous. 2. Natural bodily pain, in many instances, and particularly in childhood, is less hurtful to man and his happiness, than the anxiety and mortification of soul which a child suffers that is irritated, put in a passion, or treated with contempt; and it is as bad to frighten children.)

68. What is to be observed with regard to making children walk?
They ought not to be taught to walk in strings, or chairs, or go-carts, or be led by the arm; they ought to be suffered to creep on the floor, till by degrees they learn to walk.

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