from When a Child is Born by Wilhelm zur Linden M.D.

Copyright © 1995, 1998 Rudolf Steiner Press

Healing Arts Press, One Park Street, Rochester, Vermont, 05767 USA


On the whole babies are not kept warm enough nowadays. Except on the hottest days it is hardly possible to keep a baby too warm during the early months.

         It is particularly the abdomen which must be kept warm at all times. Chills caught in that region during nappy changing are the most frequent cause for discomfort, pains and hiccups (see below).

         The damp warmth inside the nappy usually has a temperature of about 98.6°F (37°C) while room temperature is often not more than 65° to 68°F (18° to 20°C). The evaporation caused by this drop of thirty or more degrees F (nineteen C) is a great shock to the system and often results in colic pains or bladder chills and worse. Spring and autumn are the most difficult seasons.

         So the room should be kept as warm as possible when the baby is changed. In addition, when the nappy is partly undone it is a good idea to dry underneath it with a towel before opening it completely. Keep the abdomen covered all the time, use warm water and work quickly. The clean nappies should be warmed. The best way is to keep the next lot of nappies and the next change of clothes with the baby in his cot.



A baby who often suffers from lengthy bouts of hiccups, a cramp of the diaphragm, is being treated wrongly in some way. Either his abdomen has been chilled during nappy changing (see above), or his bottle has not been warm enough. When feeding with the bottle it is important to keep it warm with a woolen cover or to warm it up every few minutes in hot water.

         The ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates recommended tickling in the nose with a feather as a cure for hiccups. Sneezing stretches the diaphragm ad this brings the hiccups to an end. A warm chamomile bag laid on the tummy usually does the trick too. Fill a small muslin bag with chamomile flowers and heat on the lid of a boiling saucepan. Then place on the baby’s tummy.