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No. 13 (December 1955)
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MOTHERCRAFT

If properly cared for as set out in our previous articles, a baby grows and develops very quickly, particularly in the first year of life.

The average baby weighs 7 ½ lbs at birth and as a rough guide for parents, he doubles his birth weight, shall we say, when he is five months old and trebles it at one year.

No two babies are exactly alike, though they follow a definite pattern in the order in which they learn to do things. There is no hard and fast rule for babies, and there should be no cause for worry if the baby in your home is a little slower in doing things than the one next door.

The early training of a child, even from a month old, depends entirely on the mother. If she is keen and interested in her child, she will seek every advice and also make her home and surroundings as attractive as she is able to, to give her growing child every opportunity to grow up in a pleasant atmosphere.

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The Waikato North District Council provided the winning stall (above) in the Waikato Winter Show this year. The meeting house was the work of Mrs Frances Paki.

A growing child needs the constant care and attention of a good mother and will develop into a beautiful example of a mother's work. Babies are like flowers, they grow with tender care and develop into beautiful beings, just as flowers do which give endless pleasure in colour and scent round a home. A neglected child, home and garden give very unpleasant and drastic results, leading to bitter disapopintment.

The best way to train baby in good habits is to draw up a plan so that a regular time will be set aside for the main events in the day, such as feeding, sleeping, bathing, exercise, bowel action and so on.

The first thing to do is to see that baby is being fed at the same time each day, and other important things can be fitted in to suit these hours.

Toilet training may be begun when baby is about a month old. If he is held out for a few minutes only, every morning, say after the ten o'clock feeding, he soon knows what is expected of him and a regular bowel action becomes a habit.

Regular exercise also helps to promote a regular bowel action and a good time for this is just after a feed, say at 10 a.m.

If baby is put to bed regularly at the same hour, a rhythm of sleeping and waking is soon established. He should be awakened for his feed at the right time if necessary.

As baby grows he learns all sorts of interesting things. He will greet his mother with a smile, play with his toes and even put them in his mouth by the time he is four months old. At six months he can grasp dangling objects. At seven months to eight months he will relish chewing at a peg or a bone. At eight to nine months he should sit up alone. At about ten months he should crawl. At twelve months, stand with support of a chair. At fifteen months, walk alone. At eighteen months he should be able to feed himself if encouraged.

Some babies, and particularly those who are large and fat and placid, are slow at standing and walking alone, while the thin and excitable type of child may be running everywhere before he is one year old.

Immunization Against Diphtheria. Whooping Cough. Tetanus:

By the time baby is 9 months old he should have been immunized. A course of 3 monthly injections should be undertaken, commencing at six months and completed by the time he is nine months.

Consult your own family doctor. Public Health Nurse, or Department of Health District Office (if living in town). If you prefer you can arrange for a combined injection against diphtheria and

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whooping cough, or a triple injection against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus.

Vaccination Against Tuberculosis:

If your family is in contact with an active tuberculosis case, it will be wise to have your child tuberculin tested first. If the test is negative, then a B.C.G. vaccination will be done and will give protection to your child against contracting “T.B.” Contact your Public Health Nurse who will make arrangements for you to take your child to the nearest B.C.G. Vaccination Centre.

Deformities:

“Club feet” in early infancy when discovered early can be very successfully treated. Consult your family doctor.

Teething:

Teething usually begins when the baby is about six months old. In the mapority of cases it is quite a simple and natural process.

It is best to let the baby have something hard to chew on, a bone ring or a large greenstone Tiki. Any hard article given to the baby to chew on must be clean and large enough to prevent the baby from swallowing it.

In some cases the cutting of the teeth is a very hard and painful matter and causes baby a great amount of discomfort. If this happens to your baby get advice from the Public Health Nurse or your family doctor, or there may be little or no trouble at all.

Although baby's teeth are formed in his jaws long before he is born, they do not begin to appear before he is six months old, though it is known in some cases for babies to begin teething process at four months.

At his first birthday he will probably have six teeth and others will appear gradually until the first set of twenty teeth will be complete at about two and a half years of age.

Care Of Teeth:

Avoid giving small children biscuits, sweets, and sugar and tinned foods. Give plenty of green vegetables and raw fruit.

Feeding From One Year On:

1.

Keep to regular meal times.

2.

Do not give sweets and pieces between meals.

3.

Teach to chew. Soft pappy foods are bad for the teeth. Give at each meal some food requiring chewing.

4.

Milk should be brought to the boil, cooled quickly, and kept cool.

5.

Give dinner in middle of the day, a big heavy meal at night is indigestible.

6.

Do not force a child to eat if it is not hungry.