MY BABY CONNECTION by Charlene Sands

 

Isn’t this cover beautiful?  What a gorgeous baby and hunky cowboy!   I was thrilled when I received the cover for my December book and it being only September I’d normally wait to show it off.  But this book and cover couldn’t be more pertinent in my life!   As of today’s post, my daughter is 33 weeks pregnant and that means in about 2 months I’ll have a new and first grandchild.  It’s a girl and no, they won’t tell us what names they are cooking up.  The little girl’s name on the cover is Meggie. Her mama, Trish calls her “Sweet Pea” sometimes.  And that hunk on the cover is none other than Clayton Worth, brother to Tagg Worth from Carrying the Rancher’s Heir. Both of those Worth men live on Worth Ranch in Red Ridge, Arizona.

Though, THE COWBOY’S PRIDE is a contemporary story, I thought we’d go back in time and see how babies were cared for in the 1800’s.  (AND trust me — you’ll be glad you had your babies in the modern world) but I did find some commonalties where parenting has come full circle.

 

THE CARE AND FEEDING

Affluent new mamas of the mid to late 19th century often used “wet nurses” to feed their babies.  In Europe and in the Victorian era, women rarely stayed at home and relied on servants, mammies and caregivers to breastfeed their children.  This practice was done much earlier in America though.  In the south and as early as the 1700’s, slaves spent a great deal of time raising children from wealthy families and that included nursing them.  If for some reason breastfeeding couldn’t be practiced, then the baby was given PAP, which is a combination of bread, water and sugar. When the child was old enough to eat solid foods, regular food cooked for the family was mashed up and spoon fed to the babies.   In 1867 a London scientist developed the first baby food. Baron Justus von Liebig introduced Soluble Food for Babies and it was available in America by 1869. 

The little tykes did not have it easy.  There were no modern conveniences and probably the worst of it was diaper-changing. 

MESSY ONES

In rural areas often babies were “toilet-trained” as early as possible.  But often times, this meant simply holding the baby over a chamber pot and allowing him to do his deed.  For the first few years of the baby’s life, they either went around bare-bottomed or wearing a skirt for this very reason.   If I was the mother, I’d say the sooner the better with the toilet training.  Ugh.   Poor babies – their little bottoms were never lotioned, oiled or pampered.  If they developed skin problems, they would be treated with a mixture of herbs.  Later on in the 1800’s if a baby wore a diaper, it was recommended that diapers be washed and not just hung out by the fire to dry as per prior practices.   Oh…a lovely thought!   Babies bottoms were simply wiped clean with a dry cloth and powdered with absorbent wood dust.  Then they were either re-diapered or left to run around naked for a while.  Baths were infrequent at best and it took doctors until the early 20th century to start recommending using soap and water to clean the baby’s bottom.  A “novel” idea.   The diaper “safety pin” was invented in 1849, which I think must have made life a little bit easier. 

COMING FULL CIRCLE

Though these practices seem uncivil and rough, many of our current baby care techniques have reverted to more natural techniques used centuries ago.   For instance, as nice as they might make the baby smell, the use of oils and lotions are not considered necessary in today’s world.   Too many babies develop skin rashes and sensitivities from the chemicals contained in those products.   So it’s okay not to butter up a baby’s bottom, but if you must, it’s now recommended that an all natural product be used on their skin.  Thankfully, we are in the “green” era and these all-natural, fragrance-free and chemical-free products are easily found on the store shelves.  It’s important to read the labels. 

Another practice that’s coming full circle is the use of fresh foods and baby grinders to mash up baby’s meal.  Often time, new parents like to know exactly what ingredients are in the food they serve to baby and they spend a great deal of time buying and preparing fresh healthy food for their children.  Something as simple as chicken stew, a little chicken, some fresh carrots and potatoes can make a hearty delicious meal for the baby.  No Cajun spices, please!!  Or you’ll find yourself holding that baby over the modern day chamber pot!

IF YOU LOVE BABIES

I hope you remember my new release coming to Eharlequin this November and all other outlets and bookstores in December. (It is available now for Pre-Order)   Little Meggie is a cutey-pie in a story of second-chances and heartfelt emotions.  Clayton Worth has a connection to this baby, but it’s not what you think. (And that’s all I’m saying!)  And there will be more about my Baby Connection coming soon!

In the meantime, my Kindle and Nook release, Smooth-Talking the Hometown Girl is available now for $.99! 

DRAWING

I’ll be offering a copy of my May release, Carrying the Rancher’s Heir or any one of my backlist books today, if you stop by with a comment about your parenting or babysitting days. 

What was the best and worst thing about caring for a baby?

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Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling Author of 35 novels, writing both western and contemporary romance. She's a lover of all things romantic, especially her bold, rugged, heartstopping "real good men" heroes! She's the recepient of the National Readers' Choice Award, the Bookseller's Best Award and the Cataromance Reviwer's Choice Award. When not writing, she spends time with her "hero" husband, enjoying Pacific Beaches and drinking iced mocha cappucinos!

Charlene loves to hear from her readers.
Drop her a line at www.charlenesands.com or write her at PO. Box 4883, West Hills, CA 91308
"LIKE" her at www.Facebook.com/CharleneSandsbooks

56 thoughts on “MY BABY CONNECTION by Charlene Sands”

  1. Oh, I have a ten month old granddaughter who stole my heart just like my three year old grandson captured it.

    Best thing? When they smile at you or lay their little head on your shoulder and sigh.

    Worst? My kids are using the “new-fangled” cloth diapers, the ones with covers which have inserts. If you don’t hold your breath just right and snap or velcro them just right, they leak!

    Love, love, love the cover, Charlene. One of the best hunk and baby covers I have seen.

    Peace, Julie

  2. Congrats on being a grandma, such an exciting time. I know i have a home daycare and so many kids even my own have senstive skin. I feel just cleaning a babies bottom with warm water and baking soda and a mild soap ith a soft cloth is enough, thats what I use instead of baby wipes, but now they have all kinds out there.The cover of your December book is so beautiful, the cowboy is good looking, can he come over here! I can’t wait to read it!What a tease…love the babies face so beautiful! I love babies but not rushing my kids to have one yet, still too young yet but my oldest could but glad he’s not rushing into marriage just yet..have fun with your new gradchild when she comes…love and spoil her!

  3. What a great post enjoyed reading it so much,,just had a new grandson born this week,im loving being a grandma an you will too

  4. Congrats Grandmom to be Charlene and Vickie!. I too will be a first time Grandmom around November 5th (My daughter is about 32 weeks pregnant). Exciting times!

    I’m amazed at the safety changes. Our foot pedal crib is considered dangerous, as are blankets and bedding bumper pads. I didn’t know about the sleepers without legs.

    Best things: smiles, hugs, feeling of contentment and love, holding your child in your arms then all the firsts, first cereal, first bath, first steps, first haircut…

    Worst: when you child gets sick and you feel so helpless

  5. Hi Charlene. Love the cover to your book.
    Best things are: smiles,cuddling with baby, all the firsts, and seeing the wonder they have when they learn about new things.
    Worst things: when they are sick, when they cry and you can’t figure out what’s wrong, stink diapers and when they vomit.

  6. Hi Julie! Oh, I can’t wait to have the baby smile at me like yours do. I will take your word for it that it’s the BEST since you’re experienced with sighs and smiles!! 🙂

  7. What a heart-melting cover, Charlene. So appropriate. And congratulations on your little one. You must be over the moon. Being a grandma is the best.
    In my research on Native Americans I learned that they packed babies’ little bottoms with soft, absorbent moss before they wrapped them and put them in their cradle boards. The babies were already used to a snug space so they didn’t seem to mind the confinement. Not a bad way to do things.

  8. Hi Carole – You are surrounded with babies all day. It’s got to take a lot of patience to do that. And yes, we wanted grandchildren, but we didn’t want to rush our kids either. But my daughter said she wanted a child before she turned 30…she almost made it. Thanks for the cover love too!! 🙂

  9. Congralations on becoming a grandma. Best smiles worst not being able to communicate to tell you exactly what they need.

  10. I don’t know if I was really that “selfish” pre-baby, but I definitely wasn’t after my kids were born. It’s amazing how our priorities change for the better once we have that tiny bundle in our arms – and we’re responsible for their lives! Yes, their lives! A heavy burden yes, but incredible and joyous yes too!

  11. Hi Laurie G! You too? How Wonderful and CONGRATULATIONS! Boy or girl?
    Our daughter is taking the baby care classes I teach and Saturday we are going to a Breastfeeding class. I have to re-educate people about all the safety rules, just like you said no more bumper pads, or crib latches. We put baby on their back to sleep and no blanketing. They have these amazing Sleep Sacks, that work as a little blanket. Don’t want to overheat the baby at night! Oh, I’m so excited… all these new ones coming around the same time. We’ll have to share stories, when the babies arrive. My daughter is due Oct 28.

  12. Hi CrystalB – Yes, to all the worst things!! Stinky diapers and not knowing what’s wrong when they are sick. But the smell of a new pristine little baby is priceless! We haven’t had a baby in our family for many years. First grandchild on both sides. This little girl will get lots of attention!! 🙂

  13. Cute babies and hunky cowboys.. Oh I am just swooning… You will bet this will be on my tbr shelf the minute it goes on sale..

    I am sure you are chopping at the bit for that little bundle of love to arrive… Congrats to you all and let us know when the big event happens.. We want to know what they named that little sweetie.. Good luck to you all..

  14. Hi Elizabeth – I wonder if the Baby Bjorn’s were modeled after the Indian’s cradle boards? I never thought of that before!! The soft moss on their bottoms, seems a lot nicer on the skin than wood dust. Thanks for the cover love!! 🙂

  15. Hi Laney4 – A good point! Priorities change when you have kids and it’s amazing how much you’re willing to give, and give, and give. I agree, incredible and joyous. 🙂

  16. Hi Kathleen – I was amazed and thrilled with cover, so THANK YOU for that. I always want horses on the cover, but to have that expression on the cowboy’s face, while holding the baby, well that says it all. I hope you enjoy the story. Baby Meggie was such fun to write! 🙂

  17. There is nothing better than a tough, hunky cowboy holding an innocent baby on the cover of a book. It speaks to a woman’s emotions on so many levels.

    Thank you for posting the info about raising babies back in the day. Since I have an infant in the historical western my research has yielded a lot but I didn’t know about using wood dust or about when safety pins were invented or how they fed their babies solid food.

    In my research I found some information about Judith Waterford, a wet nurse in the early 1800’s who wet nursed for 50 years! She apparently could produce 2 quarts of breast milk a day and she was still producing milk at the age of 81!

    The worst thing about taking care of my daughter when she was an infant was dealing with colic. We had some tough days and nights. But we got through it. She’s almost 21 🙂

    Hope everyone has a wonderful day

  18. Hi Cher G – I’m glad you like the cover. I think the Billionaires and Babies sell well, for that reason. Give an alpha man a baby to hold, and I’m toast! Wow, can’t imagine living with “milk” all those years. When I breastfed, I would leak all over the place!! Oh and colic is trying for parents. I bet she was a good teen-ager though, she wouldn’t dare give you trouble again, like that!! Thanks for your thoughtful post!! 🙂

  19. Yeah Grandmas rule!
    Your book sounds really good and I like the cover a lot.
    There were ups and downs of raising a child. When they survive you and turn out to be upstanding citizens with goals and ambition it makes you feel you have done a good job.

  20. Hi Joye– how true that is. My kids turned out wonderful. I am proud of them and they really gave me no trouble while growing up. We were blessed. I like your Slogan!! I will adopt it! Hey, isn’t it Grandparents Day soon?

  21. Hey Charlene! What a GORGEOUS cover – I can’t wait to read this one! I loved your history of babies, lol.

    My Grandmother would take the youngest child in to sleep with her and Grandpa. (I think she was taught that by her MIL, who was blind and almost deaf.) Not until the child was up and walking would she let it sleep alone. Since my Grandmother wasn’t what you’d call the most cuddly and maternal woman, this part of her is just fascinating to me.

    Great post!

  22. I just love this cover, Charlene! You must do a post for my blog!

    I adore babies. Adore them. I can’t get enough of that smell. My Elli is already 20 months old and we’re introducing her to the Elmo potty. lol

    Hugs to you, my sweet friend.

  23. Congratulations on pending grandma-hood! That’s great. Grandkids are much different from your children. You can hold ’em and spoil ’em and send them home with their parents. It’s a great way to get even with your kids for some of the problems they caused. My mother always said you have to pay for your raising. I learned so many things about babies way back in the early days, things I’d never considered before. I’m just glad advancements were made with the diaper. When my kids were babies we didn’t have pampers and their little bottoms stayed raw all the time.

    I absolutely LOVE the cover of your new book!! Nothing melts my heart faster than seeing a big ol’ hunk of a man holding a tiny baby. I wish you lots of success with it.

  24. Hi Charlene!

    What a great cover – sure to appeal to almost every woman! A handsome cowboy and sweet little baby! It’s a winner!

    As for being a grandma…all the things you knew you shouldn’t do for your kids – you get to do them with, and for, your grand kids.

  25. Hi Christine — Oh that practice today is considered very ‘unsafe’ for babies. But I bet your Grandma did it with much love and the best of intentions. We can co-sleep, with baby beside us, but not in the bed. Overheating and suffocation issues…we know so much more now about safety. It’s almost too much knowledge!!
    Thanks for stopping by today!!
    And thanks for the cover love! 🙂

  26. Hi Cher – you are the Grandma Queen. I might come to you for advice!! I know you love beinga grandma. I will definitely blog on your site when the time gets closer!! Releases early on Eharl in Nov! Thanks for the cover love too!! 🙂

  27. Hi Mary – I know I’ll love being a Grandma, but I want to be firm and teach the child right from wrong. I only hope I can swing that. I spoil my cats, heaven only knows what I’ll do with a granddaughter!! Gonna try though. Glad you like my alpha hero/baby cover!! 🙂

  28. Hi Linda – oh, I love what your mother said about getting even! My kids had disposable diaper but BEFORE the elastic legs. They too, would leak all over the place. I used to bring masking tape with me in my diaper bag, because no resealable tabs either. I needed to save money, and if I checked the diaper, opeining the tabs, I’d otherwise have to throw it out!! Funny the things we used to do. Thanks for the well-wishes! 🙂

  29. hi Charlene, I’m so excited about your new baby girl! And I”m already matchmaking her with our new grandson due just a few days later! Yay! I loved this post. I have always wondered just how noxious old-fashioned diapering et al must have been. I so loved Pampers.

    I remember my Dad and his big old hands that couldn’t work the diaper tapes…he’d just toss it until I said your’e throwing money away! The diaper is still good…use masking tape LOL.

    As for all of that, the book cover is divine and I’m looking forward to another Charlene Sands terrific read. Congrats on being a gramma, my dear friend! oxoxox

  30. I have taken care of my nephew since he was 3 months old… every weekday while my sister is at work… the best thing is seeing him grow step by step… love nap times best and since he goes home at dinner time, I get my evenings free! One day I hope to have a child of my own… Congrats on your upcoming grandbaby! 😀

  31. So many new and helpful answers to old baby-care
    questions!

    I’m impressed by the many Papas who have taken on so much infant/child care. Those Dads who
    don’t do as much still cite the age-old “dirty”
    diaper clause! (wet diapers – yes, “dirty”
    diapers – NO!)

    Pat Cochran

  32. This cover has to be one of my favorites! Love it!

    I just love babies! At my previous job I was the “gate” all new parents had to pass through. They knew they had to bring their babies by my desk so I could ooh and ahh, and do a far share of cuddling. :o)

    Congratulations on your upcoming little one!

    –Kirsten

  33. Charlene,

    Great cover! Love that baby in that cowboy’s arms.

    Congrats on being a new grandma soon! That’s going to be so wonderful! You get to spoil that child rotten then give her back to her parents! So much fun!

  34. Congrats! I know you’re going to have a blast with the new grandbaby!

    The knew cover is awesome! Nothing like a hunky guy showing his sensitive side. LOL

  35. and it isn’t only cajun spices that shouldn’t be fed to babies. Skip the refried beans until they are potty trained too. (The voice of sad experience!)

  36. Hi Tanya — yes, we’ll do some matchmaking!! I’m VERY excited for you too. Your baby girl is having a baby too. So sweet. And guess what, the new continuity I’m writing has a hero named Carter. I try NOT to think of your grandson, when I’m writing sensual scenes. Yikes!! But I love the name Carter… Thanks for saying hello today.

  37. Hi Colleen – oh that baby nephew of yours will have a special bond with you for it. After busy days, I BET naptimes are great. Heck, I need a nap some days. You’re a wonderful auntie!!

  38. Interesting post. My children were born before the advent of disposable diapers—I had three in diapers at the same time. Spent a lot of time doing laundry.

  39. Char,
    Congrats on being a new grandma in the near future. That has got to be so exciting! I love the cover. There is just nothing more hunky than a tough guy holding a baby or child. LOL I remember my mom (she was the oldest of 11 kids) telling how her mom would hold “the baby” (whichever one it was) over the ash bucket to toilet train them. That had to just be miserable for everyone. LOLLOL Thank God for safety pins, right? I loved this post–I didn’t know much of this and it was very interesting.

    We sure have it easy in this modern world, don’t we?

    Cheryl P.

  40. The worst thing about having babies is the sleepless nights. The best thing about babies is their lovely baby smell, cuddly bodies, and the way they giggle. Yep, I love babies.

    Congrats on your upcoming grandbaby AND your upcoming release (great cover!)

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