Thursday, May 22, 2014

How to Soothe a Teething Baby, c. 1450

Andrea Mantegna, The Circumcision of Jesus 
(detail, c. 1461)
"Sometimes babies have trouble with teething. In that case you should squeeze the gums with your fingers, and gently massage them, and the palate as well. And you should anoint the gums with the brains of a hare (which are very suitable for this purpose), or with fat or butter or good-quality olive oil; and you should do this twice a day. The milk of a dog is suitable, too. It is also very helpful to use hen's fat for both anointing and massaging the gums." 
Michele Savonarola, Ad mulieres ferrarienses (c. 1450)
Teething trouble? No problem -- just smear the baby's mouth with some fatty goo. The only issue is that once he's tasted hare's brains, he'll never go back to puréed pears.

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