Protection of Women and Children in Soviet Russia


Regarding Child Care as Found in the Reception Rooms of Creches and the Museums of Mother and Child.


1. To fight against child mortality.

2. To bring up healthy citizens for the future.

3. To give due education from birth according to the principles of Soviet educators and doctors.

4. To re-organize family life and customs, i. e., to allow proper education for children, and at the same time permit any woman who so wishes, to work.

5. To allow women to he free in order that they may develop their cultural lives.


1. Medical and prophylactic.

a) Rationalisation of food.

b) Care for physical development of children.

c) Insurance against disease by medical means, and by teaching the principles of cleanliness.

d) The care of sick children.

2. Education according to scientifically planned pedological regimes.

a) Teaching useful habits.

b) Organising a child's play so that it will have educational value.

3. Cultural work.

a) Home visits by creche employees.

b) Regular meetings with parents' in the creche.

c) Organisations of educational exhibitions and excursions for parents.

4. Social Revolutionary work.

a) Propaganda for women's rights among the working masses.

b) Publicity given by trade union delegates elected to supervise creche work.


1. All creches are open from 7 :30 A. M. until 5:00 P. M. Children are received from 7:30 A. M. until 8:00 A. M. Should parents be late in bringing children to the creche, the children will not be admitted until the head doctor has given special permission. Children are returned to their parents between 4:30 and 5:00 P. M.

2. All children must be brought to the creche thoroughly washed, with hair combed, and in clean clothes. (It is now customary to shave the heads of both boys and girls of creche age.)

3. Children with fleas are sent home.

4. Children must be brought to the creche every day without fail. In case the mother is unable to bring her children for any adequate reason, she must send word to the creche.

5. Parents must report to the creche all cases of disease in the apartment building in which they are living.

6. A child brought to a creche with a contagious disease must immediately be sent to the hospital and cannot be re-admitted to the creche without permission from the head doctor.

7. Children must be fed at home only on the food prescribed by the creche dietician.

8. On entering the creche, the mother must take off her overcoat.

9. Children who do not belong in the creches are not allowed to enter.

10. When the mothers bring their children to the creches in the morning, they must undress them, put their clothes in a special locker, and hand them naked to the nurses in attendance.

11. When parents apply for their children's entry into a creche, they must have a blood test. If their blood shows any traces of venereal disease, the children will not be accepted but will be sent to a special creche where they can receive the proper care.

12. The blood of all children is tested when they enter a creche, and on the first day of each year.

13. All parents must come to the creche when it is required, and must attend all meetings and lectures given by the creche.

14. No parent must complain about anything to the nurses; if she has any complaint to make, she must see the doctor.

15. If any of these rules are broken more than three times, the child is removed from the creche.

Instructions for Mothers (Illustrated)


1. A clean child is a healthy child.

2. You must bathe your child daily.

3. Use a bit of cotton and fresh cold water each morning to swab out your child's eyes, nose and ears.

4. Make your child wash his own hands before each meal.

5. A child must be washed in a separate bathtub from that used by the adults in the family. Your child's clothing must be kept apart from your own.

6. In buying or making clothes for your child, have them as much like those used in the creche as possible.


1. Food has a great influence on the health.

2. Give a child furniture proportional to his size, and he will soon eat independently.

3. Do not excite a child before he eats; and leave him in peace during his meals.

4. Never hurry a child while he is eating.

5. Accustom a child to eat at regular intervals.

6. Do not talk to a child while he is eating.

7. Avoid giving a child food between meals.


1. It is impossible to rear a child properly except in a toiling, friendly, peaceful and calm environment.

2. It is very hard to give due education to a single child, for a child needs the company of others his own age.

3. Never take a child to motion pictures or the theatre.

4. Do not carry a child in your arms for any length of time; he must move.

5. Do not help a child who is in a difficult situation unless it be dangerous; he must learn to care for himself.

6. Do not frighten a child.

7. If you are ill, upset or unhappy, do not let the child feel it.

8. Never whip, kick, or spit on a child.

9. Parents and elders should agree on what is allowed to and forbidden to children. It is bad to have one parent allow what the other forbids.

10. A well-balanced routine makes a child grow healthy and accustoms him to organized social life.

11. Teach a child to work for others.

12. Understand and take part in a child's happiness and sorrow, and he will come to you when he needs you.

13. Set aside a special place where the child may always play; by so doing, you teach order.

14. Do not disturb a child while he plays, or he will disturb you while you work.

15. If a child is annoyed with a toy, take it away and give it to him after he has forgotten his grievance.

16. Be careful of any trifle which a child considers a toy, even though it may only be a piece of wood or a stone.

17. Not everything you see in the toyshop is a good toy. Before buying a toy, see if you have anything in the house which will serve the same purpose.

18. Never forbid a child to play with other healthy children.

19. All toys, benches, etc., should be in proportion to the child's size.

20. The various phases of a child's life should be regulated according to a well-organized plan.

21. Do not tell stories to a child before he goes to sleep, for you will disturb him with new impressions.

22. Do not awaken a child without need, when he should be sleeping.

23. Fresh air is as necessary in a child's room in winter as in summer.

24. A child should be given a chance to urinate before and after sleeping.

25. Do not allow a child to stay up later than eight o'clock in the evening.

26. Sleep for a child under three vears of age is as necessary during- the day as during the night.

27. Each child must sleep in an individual bed; and each bed must consist of a hair mattress, an oilcloth, a pillow, blankets and sheets.

28. While the child is sleeping, no one must talk in his room or otherwise disturb him.

29. A child must spend between three and four hours outdoors each day: and if, he is old enough, he should walk during that time.

30. A child must be taken out every day regularly, regardless of the weather.


1. From listening to grown-up persons, a child learns how to talk, so be careful of your language.

2. Never tell a child about things he cannot see. (This means that fairy stories should not be told to children.)

3. Children are interested in stories about domestic and wild animals and about men and children.

4. In speaking to a child you must use simple language, but not "baby talk."

5. You can tell the same story to a child several times in succession without boring him.

6. Give truthful answers to all questions a child may ask, even though they may be embarrassing; a child discovers the truth sooner or later, and if you have lied to him he will not respect you.


1. Children like to see the work of adult people, and try to imitate it.

2. Be diligent, for children learn how to work by imitation.

3. Whenever possible, allow children to help you at your work.

4. Never do any work for a child if he can do it for himself.

5. If a child sees you working with water, hammers or like implements, you must allow him to do the same, even though you may think it will hurt him.

6. Teach a child to be careful of any material he is using. After a child has finished working he must return the materials involved to their proper places.


1. After a child is from two to three weeks old, he must be taken outdoors every day.

2. A child's outdoor sleep must not be discontinued because of cold or bad weather.

3. In winter when the temperature goes ten degrees centigrade or more below zero, a child must not be allowed to stay out too long.

4. Before allowing a child to sleep in the open air when the weather is cold, cover his face with cold cream or vaseline to prevent frostbite.

5. Never cover a child's face with blankets, etc., while he is sleeping.

6. It is best for a child to sleep in a specially constructed fur-lined envelope when it is cold. These can be had at reasonable prices in all cooperative stores.


1. To aid in the normal development of the child, give him a sunny, dry and warm room with ample space.

2. A child must always have a specified corner of the room in which to play.

3. When there are children in the family, it is better to dispense with wall paper. Paint the walls with oil paint instead, so that they can be frequently washed.

4. The room in which a child lives must be kept at a temperature of about eighteen to nineteen degrees centigrade.

5. Always allow a child to play in the sunlight whenever possible, but when the electric light is necessary, see that it does not directly strike his eyes.

6. In warm weather, keep the windows open all of the time.

7. In cold weather, open the windows from three to four hours a day while the child is sleeping.

8. Do not smoke in a room where a child is living.

9. Never do the family washing in a room where a child is living unless there is a good fire, for it makes the room damp.

10. All the rooms of a home must be kept scrupulously clean, especially when there are children in the family. Remove dust with a clean, damp duster, and never sweep out a room when a child is in it.

11. Soft furniture, rugs and tapestries should not be allowed in a child's room because they hold dust and dirt.


1. Each child must have a bed of his own. It is unhealthy to sleep with others.

2. A child's bed must be in a light corner of the room far from the stove and not in draughts.

3. The pillow and mattress of a child's bed should be stuffed with horsehair or sea grass, in order that it be not too soft. [Note: There are seldom pillows in the creche for children for they are not considered advisable by Russian doctors.]

4. The mattress must be covered with oilcloth.

5. Use blankets made of pure wool; they are the warmest and are light in weight.

6. Whenever possible, carry the child's bed into the yard for an airing.

7. Fight against flies, bedbugs, and other insects; they are a source of infection.

8. Rocking a baby is bad for it; it is better to leave it alone when it cries.

9. If a child cries for a long time, see if he is wet or has some other discomfort; otherwise, let him cry.


1. Beginning at nine months, a baby must have a bath every day.

2. The bath must be given only before feeding.

3. Before putting a child in the bathtub, wash its hands and face if they are dirty.

4. An enameled or porcelain bathtub is the best. If you use a metal bathtub, it must be galvanized.

5. Wash the tub out with hot water and soap before and after giving a child his bath. After using the tub, turn it upside down.

6. A child should not be allowed in the bath more than five to eight minutes.

7. The temperature of the water should be about 35 degrees centigrade; and 33 degrees centigrade for rinsing.

8. Do not use the bath water for washing the child's face; use fresh water.

9. Use soap in the child's bath only three times a week. [Note: Russian soap is not made from fats, for fats are too precious as food products; so soap in the U. S. S. R. is a chemical product, and is a little irritating to tender skin.]

10. It is best to wear soft gloves when rubbing a child's body in the bath.

11. When drying a child after his bath, use a soft large linen towel. [Note: I never saw a Turkish towel in use in Russia. The towels used for bath towels are about the texture of a good linen sheet.]

12. Persons bathing a child should first wash their hands, and they should wear a clean apron.

[Note: These instructions for the use of the shower bath are frequently seen, but aside from showing parents what should be done for a child, and the value of showers. I can see little use for them; for not very many Russian people could possibly know what a shower is and certainly very few possess such a luxury. There are showers, however, in all new creches.]

1. Do not give a shower to a child under one year of age.

2. After the first year, showers should be given in the mornings two and three times a week.

3. The shower must not last longer than three minutes.

4. After a shower the child must be sent immediately from the shower room and dressed.

5. In the wintertime a child should not be allowed to leave the house earlier than an hour and onehalf after he has had a shower.

6. The temperature in the shower room should be 20 degrees centigrade; the water should be about 33 degrees centigrade.


1. Use a separate table for dressing a child, and on this keep nothing but his clothes.

2. Swab out a child's ears and nose every morning with a bit of cotton dipped in cold water.

3. For very young children it is better to put a little vaseline in the nose each morning.

4. Re sure to clean a child's ears each morning.

5. Do not kiss a child's mouth or touch it with your hands; this may cause infection.

6. Until a child is one year of age, it is best to rub its skin each day with olive oil.

7. Keep the child's finger and toe nails short.

8. Wash a child with plain water each time it urinates.

9. In order to keep the sexual organs of a girl clean, wash them regularly every day with boiled water.

10. Remember that a child's skin is very tender, so do not rub it too hard.


1. After a child has reached one year of age, he should have from six to eight teeth.

2. A two-year-old child has twenty milk teeth.

3. To make a child's teeth strong, give him hard bread crusts on which to chew, and fresh fruits to eat.

4. A child must brush his teeth from the time he is two years of age.

5. After each meal the child must rinse his mouth with water.

6. The best time to have a child brush his teeth is before he goes to sleep at night, so that there will be no food particles in his mouth to decay while he sleeps.

7. After the toothbrush has been used, rinse it in cold water.

8. Use an up and down motion of the toothbrush; not a circular motion.

9. As soon as there is any tooth disorder, inflamed gums, toothache, etc., take the child to a dentist.

10. Do not worry if a child cries when he is cutting his teeth.


1. A child must be isolated at once from all ill persons, especially if there is a case of infectious disease in the family or in the neighbourhood.

2. To keep a child from infection and disease do not take him into crowds, trains, markets, etc.

3. Consult your local Point of Consultation regarding vaccination. It is essential that a child be vaccinated against smallpox, diphtheria and scarlet fever. (Typhus does not affect small children. )

4. When dressing a child in the morning, take its temperature.

5. When coming from the street, do not go near your child until you have removed your overcoat.

6. If you have been out shopping or working, wash your hands before touching your child.

7. Mothers who have colds, when feeding their babies at the breast should cover their mouths and noses so that they do not breathe on the baby.

8. Do not kiss children. [Note: This advice is seldom followed, for I noticed that the Russians are always kissing their children, even when they are dressing and undressing them in the reception rooms of the creches.]

9. The cleaner the room, the less possibility there is for disease.


1. A Baby's Layette.

  18 Napkins (soft linen if possible).

  4 Woolen vests.

  3 Flannel nightgowns that open down the front. 12 Day dresses (washable).

  2 Woolen blankets.

  3 Sheets.

  1 Woolen scarf or shawl in which to wrap baby.

   1 Linen scarf or shawl in which to wrap baby.

  1 Oilcloth for bed.

  1 Warm sleeping bag for winter.

2. Make a child's clothing convenient so that he can learn to undress himself.

3. Teach a child to care for his own clothes. Before he is very old he should be able to arrange them in neat piles before going to sleep.

4. Each child must have his own towel, etc.

5. Always undress a child in the same sequence, so that he will remember when to take off each article of clothing.

6. A child's clothing cannot be kept too clean.