Leave a comment

Raising a Child: Then and Now (Part V – Raising a “Good” Baby)

[This is a guest post written by Risa Tanji, a Student Assistant in Special Collections & University Archives, who works primarily in the Prange Collection.  This is the last post of the series. See also the Introduction, Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.]

The meaning of good parenting has evolved over time. During the early post-war years in Japan, parents were focused on raising a strong, independent child, while parents today seem to be more interested in fulfilling their babies’ needs.

Akanbo no sodatekata (Prange Call No. 2019-0038) front cover

In his book, The Common Sense of Child Rearing/赤ん坊の育て方 (Prange Call No. 2019-0038), Dr. Toshio Tanaka strongly suggested that mothers cuddle their children only when necessary. He believed that when the mother-baby “skinship” was excessive, the baby would develop an excessive craving for hugs and piggy-back-rides and would become a difficult child.

He also advised that mothers should only be with their child when breastfeeding, and that children would be happier to see their mother only at certain times of the day. Now, many mothers feel that holding their child as much as possible contributes to the child’s well being. 

The Common Sense of Child Rearing also included baby sleep advice. Tanaka strongly advised against parents sleeping with their babies.  He was concerned that the baby would want to nurse all night — this would disrupt the breastfeeding schedule — and neither the baby nor the parents would get enough sleep.  

Today, there are disputes among parents and researchers about the family bed. Some prefer putting their baby in a crib, for fear of rolling over and crushing them.  Others are in favor of the family bed, wishing to maximize their time with their children to foster a closer relationship.

According to Dr. Tanaka, one of the best ways to gauge babies’ overall health is by analyzing how much they cry.  Tanaka stated that healthy babies rarely cry, never regurgitate their milk, and refuse to be held by their parents. In contrast, unhealthy babies cry often and refuse to be away from their mother. This notion is in contrast to the famous Japanese proverb, “Children who cry will grow.” Now, many parents understand that crying is a primary form of communication for a baby, and most parents would be more concerned if their baby never cried and rejected their embrace.



  1. Awaya, Shinobu. (2014). “Hito No Kenko Wa Taijiki Kara Kimaru : DOHaD Setsu (Seijinbyo Taijiki Hassho Kigensetsu) No Dai-Ichininsha Fukuoka Hideoki Sensei Ni Kiku” [People’s Health Is Determined During Their Fetal Period : Delivered by Dr. Hideoki Fukuoka, The Leading Theorist of the DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease) Hypothesis] (Daiokishin, Kankyo Horumon Taisaku Kokumin Kaigi Nyusureta Dai 87-go [Dioxin and Environmental Hormone-Preventing National Congress Newsletter, vol. 87]). [online]http://kokumin-kaigi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/fukuoka871.pdf. Accessed March 27, 2019.
  2. Chiba-ken Ishikai. (2010). “Kodomo Sodanshitsu : Bonyu Ikujichu No Byoki Ni Tsuite” [Counseling Room on Children : On Diseases During The Breastfeeding Period] (Mireniamu Dai 35-go [Millenium vol. 35]). [online]https://www.chiba.med.or.jp/general/millennium/pdf/millennium35_14.pdf. Accessed March 12, 2019.
  3. Ehime Seikyo Byoin. (2002). “Jikachudoku (Asetonkessei Otosho, Shukisei Otosho)” [Autointoxication (Acetonic Vomiting, Cyclic Vomiting)]. [online]http://www.e-seikyo-hp.jp/medical/pediatrics/6.pdf. Accessed February 26, 2019.
  4. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomics. (2019). “Iryoyo Iyakuhin no Yakko Bunrui” [Therapeutic Category of Drugs in Japan]. [online]https://www.genome.jp/kegg-bin/get_htext?jp08301+D00142. Accessed April 3, 2019.
  5. Moriya, Mitsuo. (1949). “Ikuji Shinrigaku” [Child Raising Psychology]. Kyoto City: Usui Shobo. Prange Call Number 2019-0019.
  6. Nakabachi, Fujiro. (1948). “Byoki O Sasenu Shin Ikujiho” [New Child-Raising Methods to Raise an Illness-Free Child]. Tokyo: Fujin Tosho Shuppansha. Prange Call Number 2019-0022.
  7. Ota, Yuriko. (2016). “Jyozu Na Oyatsu No Torikata” [Good Ways to Eat Snacks]. (Kodomo No Mikaku O Hagukumu Shokuji No Hinto Vol.06 [Hints To Nurture Children’s Palate Through Meals Vol.06]). [online]https://shoku.hapiku.com/column/004/mikaku-006/. Accessed April 14, 2019.
  8. Saitama Josanin. (2009). “‘Nyuyoji No Atopisei Hifuen” No Benkyokai Ni Ittekimashita!” [We Went to a Study Session on “Atopic Dermatitis For Infants”!] (Saitama Josanin Nyusureta No.1 [Saitama OB/GYN Newsletter No. 1]). [online]http://saitamajosanin.com/saitama-josanin_newsNO1.pdf. Accessed February 26, 2019.
  9. Seiiku Shikkan Kokufukuto Jisedai Ikusei Kiban Kenkyu Jigyo. (2013). “Nyuyoji Shintai Hatsuiku Hyoka Manyuaru : Nyuyoji Shintai Hatsuiku Chosa No Tokeigakuteki Kaiseki To Sono Shuho Oyobi Rikatsuyo Ni Kansuru Kenkyu” [Manual For Evaluating Infant Somatic Growth : Research on Statistical Analysis of Infant Somatic Growth Investigation and the Methods and Application of the Study]. [online]https://www.niph.go.jp/soshiki/07shougai/hatsuiku/index.files/katsuyou.pdf. Accessed February 24, 2019.
  10. Shufu No Tomosha Henshukyoku. (1948). “Akachan No Shokuji To Oyatsu” [Babies’ Meals and Snacks]. Tokyo: Shufu No Tomosha. Prange Call Number 2019-0012.
  11. Tanaka, Toshio. (1946). “Akanbo No Sodatekata” [How to Raise a Baby]. Fukuoka City: Tanaka Shonika Iin. Prange Call Number 2019-0038.
  12. World Health Organization. (2008). “Ninshinchu Oyobi Jyunyuki No Shokuhin Anzen To Eiyo” [Food Safety and Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation Period] (Kokusai Shokuhini Anzen Tokyoku Nettowaku Information Note No. 3 [INFOSAN: International Food Safety Authorities Network Information Note No. 3]). [online]https://www.chiba.med.or.jp/general/millennium/pdf/millennium35_14.pdf. Accessed March 28, 2019.
  13. Yamamoto, Yasumichi. (1948). “Ikuji No Joshiki” [The Common Sense of Child Rearing]. Tokyo: Sobunsha. Prange Call Number 2019-0013.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: