Page:Guide to health.djvu/135

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123
CARE OF THE CHILD

water. Its clothing should be as little as possible; for a few months it is best to have none at all. The child should be laid on a thin soft white sheet and covered with a warm cloth. This will obviate the need for the use of shirts, prevent the clothes from getting dirty, and make the child hardy and strong. A fine piece of cloth folded into four should be placed over the navel-string, and kept in position by a band over it. The practice of tying a thread to the navel-string and hanging it round the neck is highly injurious. The navel-band should be kept loose. If the part round the navel be moist, fine well-sifted flour may be gently applied over it.

As long as the supply of the mother's milk is sufficient, the child should be fed exclusively on it; but, when it gets insufficient, fried wheat well powdered, and mixed with hot water and a little of jaggery, may be used as a substitute with quite good results. Half a plantain well mashed and mixed with half a spoonful of olive oil is also particularly beneficial. If cow's milk has to be given, it should at first be mixed with water in the proportion of three to one, and then heated until it just begins to boil, when a little of pure jaggery should also be added. The use of sugar instead of jaggery is harmful. The child should gradually be accustomed to a fruit-diet,