When a baby is born the new state of existence is by no means an agreeable one; as the child , by its loud cries, will generally try to prove. Nor is this surprising,when we consider that an abrupt transition has been made from a state of unconscious repose, in a bland fluid at a temperature of 98o F, to the rude contact of rough clothes and flannels, and comparatively low/high temperature of air. The sensitiveness of the infant's nervous system is however its safeguard; the stimulus of the atmospheric air applied to cutaneous nerves causes first inspiration (probably) and the act of crying contributes filling of pulmonary air cells and thus infant begins to breathe, blood commencing circulation through lungs, any further exposure to cold may be injurious so the infant is enveloped in warm soft flannel and placed in the lap of mother (or a nurse if mother is not is a position to take care of her baby) seated near a good fire (instinct leads mothers to keep their new born keep warm; heat of a mature baby at birth varies from 98°F to 95°F , being 3-5°F less than those of adults while the heat of prematurely born infants is still less); if the infant is healthy and active it is bathed carefully in warm water and dried aith a warm soft napkin.Care is to be taken of the cut end of the cord to prevent any secondary haemorrhage / infection. Dress the infant from the clothes made of light,soft,warm materials fastened by strings (not pins) and wrapped in a loose flannel shawl and placed in mother's lap. Infant's first food should be colostrums (the milk first secreted by the mother) and the pernicious system of domestic drugging (giving the infant honey etc.) is to avoided.
Contagious diseases are often caused by the spread of bacteria (such as in scarlet fever) or viruses (such as in chickenpox, measles, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and quite a few others) in droplets of saliva and mucus, especially when coughing or sneezing. Contagious diseases may also occur by coming in close personal contact with another infected person or even by sharing personal items of an infected person, as in the case with infestation caused by insects (such as with lice and scabies) or a fungal infection (such as in tinea infections, commonly called "ringworm").
Fortunately, many childhood diseases, once contracted, result in lifelong immunity in the infected child. However, this is not always the case. Vaccinations also provide immunity to some of the below diseases. Chickenpox, for example, is much less prevalent now than it was 15 years ago and is generally mild when contracted by a child who has had a chickenpox vaccination.
Unfortunately, many of these diseases are most contagious before the infected child has any symptoms of the disease, making transmission even more likely among peers.
FOOD OF INFANTS
In order to keep the body in health the diet must contain all the staminal principles; the only such food prepared by the nature is mother's milk (cow's milk is very near to it); milk alone is the proper food for infant during first few months after birth. The child should be presented to breast as soon as the infant is dressed and mother made dry and comfortable. It should be regularly nursed during 1st 2 or 3 weeks of life every 2 hours during the day and six or eight at night. Habit of offering the breast whenever it cries is to be avoided; it may induce indigestion in the child.
Proper time of weaning a healthy child is between ninth and twelfth month when nature by providing teeth and maturing stomach indicates the need of more solid diet. Change should never be abrupt (it must be remembered that the digestive organs are still weak) instead it should be gradual. The infant will thus daily become reconciled to the almost imperceptible alteration in its diet and the mother’s milk secretion will by degrees diminish as the demand for it lessens, until it ceases entirely by the time child is one year old.
The baby should be bathed daily in warm water; cleanliness is of utmost importance to health; frequent and speedy removal of damp and soiled clothing is essential. The nates and groins are to be well washed and gently dried to avoid rash and infection.
Let physicians say what they may , the clothing of the infants/children will always be modified by fashion and various caprices of parents, but so long as it is loose, simple, scrupulously clean, warm, soft, capable of being fastened without the use of pins, and not too heavy, we need not be very particular as to its shape. Under clothing should be of cotton only. Cap if worn should be thin and light; remember – keep the head cool and the feet warm.
Power of resisting cold in early life is very feeble – clothe the whole child (chest, neck, arms) – dress should be warm and sufficiently loose to allow perfect freedom of movement.
Until the end of 4th month there is hardly sufficient strength to support the back in an upright position so carry the baby in a reclining position on nurse’s arms in a way to afford entire support to body and head. Infant’s bones and limbs are very delicate at this period – they must not be shaken about roughly, nor tossed in air, nor rocked too violently. As they grow older they begin to make efforts to raise themselves and seem to experience satisfaction from being occasionally placed in a sitting position or from being laid on the bed / ground and allowed to roll and kick about at their pleasure causing various muscles of body in action, so increasing their strength and bulk. Taken proper care baby may crawl (on its hands and feet) by the end of ninth / tenth month; attempts may be made to encourage them to walk by supporting them under the arms, guarding them against falls and encouraging to move from one chair to another. Such children walk freely before the end of fifteenth month. When weather is favourable carry out the child regularly this will improve their health and development to great extent.