Letters from Mother: She describes the gift baby box

My Dear Daughter:

I am very sorry to hear that you have allowed yourself to become the prey of fear. My child, there is nothing coming to you in the future that should cause you to be afraid rather you should be filled with exceeding joy. I cannot help thinking that you have been overworking.

I know those baby clothes are very fascinating, but you must get out doors and take a good walk every day; call on some of your friends and above all do not give up your club. This is worth an effort even if it only disciplines your mind.

You must remember that for every man or woman born into this world, by dear, some mother suffered the pangs of childbirth. It is one of the laws of nature, and you have no reason to fear it if you have obeyed nature’s other laws, and I think you have.

I am afraid you are dwelling too much on your condition. If I were you, I would try to interest myself in something else. Read something every day, especially a good poem. Above all, don’t for a moment harbor fear in your heart, as it will not only make you and those about you unhappy, but it will be apt to impress its ugly features on your unborn child.

Mary Morgan came over this morning to tell me she is to be married in the spring. She caught your bouquet, you remember. She showed me the prettiest as well as one of the most useful of gifts she is sending to you. She calls it a “baby box.” I had intended sending you the things she put in it in a basket, but am glad she has had the pleasure of fixing it up for you.

“The idea is my own,” she confided with a little blush, “but I consulted with one of the visiting nurses of our association about what was necessary to put into it.”

She has purchased a beautiful satin-covered candy box, the size, which will hold five pounds of candy. In it she has put a number of daintily-wrapped packages with little tags on them telling what they are and what they are for.

There is a bottle of white vaseline, a bottle of carnation pink toilet water, a box of talcum powder, a package of sterilized gauze, a package of absorbent cotton, a box of boric acid crystals, a thermometer, a tiny hot water bag covered With a crocheted cover of pink silk, a cake of delicate soap, a tiny brush and comb, a small bottle of extract of witch hazel.

All these fit compactly in the box and can be placed in the little screen I shall send you tomorrow.

Until then, I am sending you only courageous and joyous thoughts which must dislodge all worry and fear of which you wrote yesterday.

Above all, my dear, let me caution you again against allowing yourself to “go to pieces,” as you call it. I believe that every time an expectant mother controls her nerves, her appetite or her temper she is adding just that much to the power of self-control she is giving her babe. I have seen the effect so often of lack of control in the mother shown in the child, that I have come to think this theory is more than just a mere notion of…

Your mother

About this story

Source publication: The Day Book (Chicago, Ill.)

Source publication date: February 12, 1912

Filed under: 1910s, Culture & lifestyle, Family & parenting

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