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Post Info TOPIC: handling small children


Student

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Posts: 140
Date: Oct 12 1:17 PM, 2019
RE: handling small children
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That makes a lot more sense now - thanks, Dark Mare!

Being myself of the belly-sleeping cohort of the 1980s, I was aware of the back vs belly sleeping debate, but didn't know that turning kids over used to be a thing as well



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Graduate

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Posts: 561
Date: Oct 3 7:27 AM, 2019
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I don't know whether it was done in the 18th century, but it was in the 1950s, when I was a child. As I recall, babies were made to sleep on their backs to prevent crib death later renamed SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) but my mother kept up the repositioning until the child was 18 months old or so.
Thinking had changed by 1960, the year my youngest brother was born, so he was spared much of the repositioning.

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Student

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Posts: 140
Date: Apr 6 9:26 PM, 2019
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I have a question about a curious parenting practice of Demelza's - turning her children over in their sleep:
 
1) In Demelza, after the quarrel with Ross when she admitted to her role in Verity's elopement:
[Ross] lit another candle and walked over to the cot. Julia had kicked off all the bedclothes. She was lying like a Muslim worshipper, her head down and her seat in the air. He was about to cover her when Demelza came in. `Look,' he said. She came over and gave a little, gulping `Oh,' when she saw the child. She swallowed and turned her over.
 
2) In Warleggan, when Ross and Demelza come back from Truro, having discovered who their "mystery benefactor" was, and Ross makes an attempt at reconciliation with Demelza in their old bedroom:
Jeremy's breathing was a little more hurried now, as if he were dreaming. She turned him over expertly, firmly; as if knowing the touch of the familiar hand, he settled more comfortably after it.
 
I do get Ross's reaction to put the bedclothes Julia has kicked off back on her (she might get cold otherwise), but I'm not sure why Demelza would think it necessary to turn the child over. In the described scenes both Julia and Jeremy were about 18 months old - i.e. toddlers rather than babies who may be unable to change their position at night.
 
So why did they need help with turning over? Is this something people used to do in the 18th century? Or at the time when WG was writing the books?


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