BATHING THE BABY
Those who have once become accustomed to the daily bath will be loath to give it up. I never think we can commence a good habit too early’ so I have always had my babies put into the bath from the time they were a fortnight old, says a lady correspondent. My last baby, however, proved an exception. For five weeks after his birth I was too ill to attend to these things myself, and the nurse was too ignorant or too idle. The consequence was, when I was able to take charge of the young gentleman myself, there had to be a battle. I had the water slightly warm, so as to cause no chill, and when baby was undressed I popped him straight in. The little man kicked and screamed for a minute or two, but soon ceased. For the next two or three mornings, there was a slight resistance, fainter every time; after that, the crying was performed when he had to be taken out of the bath; not when he was put in.
A warm or tepid bath should be given every night, until the child is three or four years of age; then a bath twice a week is quite sufficient. After cold bath the children should be well and briskly rubbed all over with a coarse towel. This is of great importance. If a child displays symptoms of weakness in the spine, indicated by general lassitude and an inclination to stoop, it is a good plan to put a handful of very coarse salt into a bowl of water, and sponge the little one’s back and chest with this when it is in the bath. No one, either old or young should stay in cold water more than a minute or two at the outside.
Source: The Lamar News March 11, 1886, transcribed from microfilm by Veneta McKinney.