Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/2122

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this the petticoat is placed, and then the infant's frock or slip. A shawl or piece of flannel should also be provided to throw over the shoulders. The head is better left without any covering A linen diaper is next applied, and the process of dressing is complete.

Nursing.—It should be regarded as a part of every mother's duty to bring up her child at the breast, unless, of course, there are obstacles in the way which prevent her doing so. The only consideration that ought to weigh with a mother should be the welfare of her child; if it is her intention of nursing, the allurements of pleasure should not be allowed to interfere with the discharge of her duty. If the breasts are large and the nipples depressed they must be drawn out by suction. The breast, before the infant is applied, should be sponged with tepid water and dried, and this should be again done when the child has finished suckling. The child's mouth should also be wiped out with a clean linen rag moistened with water or boracic lotion. Those who ought not to suckle are women who are consumptive, women who are very nervous and excitable, and those whose nipples are so depressed that they are obliged to give up all attempts at nursing. The diet of the nursing mother should be wholesome and nourishing, while at the same time easy of digestion. Stimulants are quite unnecessary, and will, in the majority of cases, do more harm than good. Cheerful occupation and exercise in the open air have a beneficial effect upon the milk. Personal cleanliness should be attended to, and the clothing should be warm and permit of the most perfect freedom of movement.

The Milk.—It has been already pointed out that if nothing in the mother's condition prevents her suckling her infant, it is her duty to do so; but certain conditions must be complied with in order that it may be beneficial to the child and not hurtful to the mother. During the first few days, until the milk comes to the breasts, the infant should not be applied more frequently than once in every six hours, but may have a little cow's milk, well diluted with boiling water and sweetened with loaf sugar, given occasionally instead, at a temperature of 96° F.

When the milk has come to the breasts all artificial nourishment must cease, and the child be put to the breast regularly. The frequency with which this should be done during the first month is once every two hours during the day, and once every three or four hours during the night.

The best time to give the child the breast is when it awakes out of sleep; when its hunger is appeased it will generally fall asleep again without further trouble.

After the first month the breast should not be given more frequently than once every two and a half or three hours during the day, and during the night once every three or four hours. As the child grows older, the time which is allowed to intervene between each meal should be increased,