The Art of Natural Childcare



07:28 PM | 30-06-2023

Key Principles from 'The Hygienic Care of Children' ~ A Book By Herbert M Shelton

In a world where commercial interests often overshadow the well-being of children, it's essential to prioritize their interests above all else. "The Hygienic Care of Children" by Herbert M. Shelton provides invaluable guidance on fostering the natural care of children.

Every birth is a perfect regeneration of nature

Every newborn child is a fresh effort of nature to produce a perfect man or woman. Nothing in this world is more beautiful and lovely than a healthy, well-developed, happy, and contented child. By embracing natural hygiene practices, placing our kids' interests first and commercial interests last, and understanding key aspects such as conception, breastfeeding, diet, sleep, and emotional support, we can pave the way for a generation of vibrant and flourishing children.

Ensuring Healthy & Natural Births:

The first requirement for a healthy, normal human being is to be born well. The foundation of a healthy child begins with a well-executed birth. When the mother enjoys good health, childbirth can be a positive and enlightening experience. To promote proper development of the new life, it is crucial for the prospective mother to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise, positive thinking, fresh air, sunshine, cleanliness, sufficient sleep, and a nutritious diet are essential, ideally starting at least six months prior to conception. However, any improvement in the diet at any time during pregnancy is better than no improvement at all. The fetus will benefit from developing in a clean and healthful environment.

The Significance of Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding not only provides immense benefits to the child but also enhances the mother's well-being. However, if the mother's milk is affected by any acute or chronic disease, weaning becomes necessary. Nature intends for human infants to be nursed naturally for a period of three to five years. 

Understanding Appropriate Diets:


Each animal produces milk for its young – cow’s milk is prepared to meet the nutritive needs of the calf, goat’s milk for the kid, and a female dog's milk for her puppies. The young of all mammalian species naturally subsist for a certain period exclusively on milk – the milk of their own mothers which is specially prepared for them. There comes a time when children begin instinctively to add other foods to their diet.

Nature has made no provision to supply us with milk beyond a certain age of our development. There comes a time when teeth and other physiological powers of the digestive system are developed and milk is no longer needed. Man should be weaned. There can be no doubt that the present practice of forcing children to consume a quart of milk (sometimes more) a day is a vicious practice and the forced feeding program should be abandoned.

Milk is not a good article of diet for children after they have passed the normal nursing period. It is not employed by any other mammal after the period of infancy has passed.


The fact that Nature makes no provisions for the digestion of starches before full dentition, should be sufficient evidence that she does not intend it to form any part of the infant's diet. Before the teeth are fully developed the saliva of the infant contains a mere trace of ptyalin, the enzyme that converts starch into sugar. When starch digestion is impossible, starch fermentation is inevitable. This poisons the baby.

Starches should be avoided in the diet of toothless infants, as their digestive system is not adequately equipped to process them. Cereals can lead to poor bone and teeth development in children under the age of two or three.


Overfeeding poses risks to a child's health, as it can result in pathological fermentation and reduced disease resistance. Establishing regular feeding patterns helps prevent the development of overeating habits. It is unnecessary to feed a child at night, as it disrupts both the mother's and child's sleep patterns and contributes to overfeeding. Never force a child to eat; instead, respect their natural hunger cues as a reliable guide for mealtimes.

Simple foods

Don't season and sweeten their foods to stimulate a false appetite and induce them to overeat. Children quite naturally eat monotrophic meals. They like to make a meal on one thing. 

Set them a good example--they will follow a good example as readily as they will a bad one. 


Sleep in infants and children should be encouraged. Never wake a child to feed it. A healthy child will sleep through the night if not disturbed. A child that is not overfed will not pass urine and feces, at frequent intervals during the night. Physical comfort is the greatest hypnotic (sleep producer) a child can have.

Exposure to Nature
Homes must be kept in wholesome condition. Doors and windows should be wide-open in summer, and the house must be well-aired in the wintertime. Babies should be allowed to remain nude for several hours daily. When the sun is not too hot, children should be allowed to play in it, or in a room with a glass roof and sides.

Creating an Emotionally Nurturing Environment

Children thrive in an atmosphere of gentleness, kindness, and love. Fear-based punishment stifles their growth, while patient instruction, intelligent guidance, and sympathetic understanding promote their well-being. Unresolved conflicts and negative emotions within the family can adversely affect both unborn and growing children. By cultivating a positive home atmosphere, we lay the groundwork for the physical and mental health of our children.

Signs of Healthy Development:
Parents often worry about their children's growth, but understanding the signs of healthy development can alleviate unnecessary concerns. Look for these leading characteristics in a normal, well-nourished child:

1. Mental alertness and brightness: A child who is curious, engaged, and shows intellectual acuity is a positive indicator of healthy development.

2. Cheerfulness and contentment: A child's overall disposition, marked by happiness and contentment, reflects their well-being.

3. Bright, sparkling, wide-open eyes: Clear, vibrant eyes signify good health and vitality.

4. Good appetite: A child with a healthy appetite demonstrates their body's readiness to receive and process nourishment.

5. Absence of vomiting and regurgitation: Normal digestion without frequent episodes of vomiting or regurgitation indicates a healthy gastrointestinal system.

6. Normal bowel movements: Regular, well-formed, and age-appropriate bowel movements indicate a well-functioning digestive system.

7. Little crying: A child who rarely cries and is generally calm and content shows emotional stability.

8. Steady weight gain: Healthy growth should result in a steady weight gain, reflecting appropriate development without excessive fat accumulation.

9. Firm elastic flesh and springy muscles: Touch and feel the child's flesh and muscles, which should have a firm yet elastic quality, indicating good muscle tone.

10. Sound, continuous sleep: A child who enjoys uninterrupted, sound sleep with eyes and mouth closed experiences rejuvenating rest.

11. Constant growth in height and intelligence: Observe consistent growth in height along with cognitive development and increased intelligence.

12. Symmetrical development: Look for balanced growth and development of muscular tissue rather than excessive fat deposition.

13. Clear skin: Healthy skin, free from rashes or irritations, is a positive sign of overall well-being.

14. Absence of emaciation: A child should have a healthy body weight with no signs of severe thinness or malnutrition.

15. No evidence of pain or discomfort: A child who is free from obvious signs of pain or discomfort indicates good health and well-being.

16. Regular rate of development: Overall, observe a consistent and age-appropriate pace of development, both physically and mentally.

By prioritizing kids' well-being, from preconception to infancy and beyond, we can raise a generation of healthy, happy, and vibrant children. Embrace the principles of natural hygiene, including healthy childbirth, breastfeeding, appropriate diets, balanced feeding habits, simplicity, ample sleep, and emotional support.

By fostering an environment of love, understanding, and gentleness, we provide the optimal conditions for our children's physical, mental, and emotional growth.

Let us strive to create a world where children are naturally healthy and happy, paving the way for a brighter future.


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