Taking Care of Your Child

Taking Care of your child book cover

Taking Care of Your Child
A Parent’s Guide to Medical Care
Pantell, Fries, and Vickery

Another entry from my Swedish Death Cleaning project.

Since it has a 1992 publishing date, it has to be when I changed pediatricians and went to a new practice. Old pediatrician yelled at me for not breast feeding enough, even though I told him that I hadn’t had a shower in a month and was walking around topless trying to feed the baby all the time. I wasn’t making enough milk to feed my kid and was tired of crying every time I went to see this guy. I don’t like anyone who is sanctimonious about breastfeeding, but I really didn’t like this guy (yes, a guy) tell me how I just needed to try harder or I would hurt my baby.

When I joined the new practice evidently they gave me this book. (I stayed with that practice until my kids were teens.) No one yelled at me during well baby visits. New pediatrician told me to do bottle feeding and get some sleep. That moment totally changed my life.

As far as the book goes, its okay. I don’t remember using it much. It probably made me feel better to have it around though. Since my kids are grown up, I don’t think I am going to need a baby care book from the early 1990s. Circular file it is!



Back cover of taking care of your child

body diagram


  1. Hey Mary, my kids had serial ear infections when they were babies. They are twins, and their father and I were working full time at low paying jobs. When I took my 8 month old to meet the specialist for the first time he tried to tell me that I didn’t know how to give my kid a bath and that’s why she had one ear infection after another. Somehow, once he put tubes in her ears, I suddenly knew how to give my kid a bath. I hope that guy’s patients get to pick out his nursing home!

      1. Oh yeah, I felt like half the little kids I knew in the mid-late 80s had to get tubes in their ears. I don’t know what it means, exactly, but it was the go-to cure for chronic ear infections back then. Not sure about today.

      2. Yes, at least in the late 80s/early 90s. My doctor told my parents they should do that with me and they very politely told him where he could go, how to get there, and what to do on the way. Years later, some people have problems that stem from having tubes in their ears as children.

        As to whether or not it’s done today, I have absolutely no idea if it’s still best practice or not.

  2. Unfortunately, myths about how everyone can breast feed still abound, even in the medical community. Six years ago when I took a pre-natal breastfeeding class the (slightly dated) video we watched had a doctor saying “with proper support all mother’s can successfully breast feed” (I’m paraphrasing). Sometimes a woman just doesn’t make enough milk and stressing about it won’t help with milk production. (Apparently I’m feeling commenty today. Also, I’m not an expert, I just have thimble-full of knowledge and strong opinions – a dangerous combination in any situation.)

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