Searchlights on Health/How to Keep a Baby Well

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

HOW TO KEEP A BABY WELL.

1. The mother's milk is the natural food, and nothing can fully take its place.

2. The infant's stomach does not readily accommodate itself to changes in diet; therefore, regularity in quality, quantity and temperature is extremely necessary.

3. Not until a child is a year old should it be allowed any food except that of milk, and possibly a little cracker or bread, thoroughly soaked and softened.

4. Meat should never be given to very young children. The best artificial food is cream, reduced and sweetened with sugar and milk. No rule can be given for its reduction. Observation and experience must teach that, because every child's stomach is governed by a rule of its own.

5. A child can be safely weaned at one year of age, and sometimes less. It depends entirely upon the season, and upon the health of the child.

6. A child should never be weaned during the warm weather, in June, July or August.

7. When a child is weaned it may be given, in connection with the milk diet, some such nourishment as broth, gruel, egg, or some prepared food.

8. A child should never be allowed to come to the table until two years of age.

9. A child should never eat much starchy food until four years old.

10. A child should have all the water it desires to drink, but it is decidedly the best to boil the water first, and allow it to cool. All the impurities and disease germs are thereby destroyed. This one thing alone will add greatly to the health and vigor of the child.

11. Where there is a tendency to bowel disorder, a little gum arabic, rice, or barley may be boiled with the drinking water.

12. If the child uses a bottle it should be kept absolutely clean. It is best to have two or three bottles, so that one will always be perfectly clean and fresh.

13. The nipple should be of black or pure rubber, and not of the white or vulcanized rubber; it should fit over the top of the bottle. No tubes should ever be used; it is impossible to keep them clean.

14. When the rubber becomes coated, a little coarse salt will clean it.

15. Babies should be fed at regular times. They should also be put to sleep at regular hours. Regularity is one of the best safeguards to health.

16. Milk for babies and children should be from healthy cows. Milk from different cows varies, and it is always better for a child to have milk from the same cow. A farrow cow's milk is preferable, especially if the child is not very strong.

17. Many of the prepared foods advertised for children are of little benefit. A few may be good, but what is good for one child may not be for another. So it must be simply a matter of experiment if any of the advertised foods are used.

18. It is a physiological fact that an infant is always healthier and better to sleep alone. It gets better air and is not liable to suffocation.

19. A healthy child should never be fed in less than two hours from the last time they finished before, gradually lengthening the time as it grows older. At 4 months 3-1/2 or 4 hours; at 5 months a healthy child will be better if given nothing in the night except, perhaps, a little water.

20. Give an infant a little water several times a day.

21. A delicate child the first year should be oiled after each bath. The oiling may often take the place of the bath, in case of a cold.

22. In oiling a babe, use pure olive oil, and wipe off thoroughly after each application. For nourishing a weak child use also olive oil.

23. For colds, coughs, croup, etc., use goose oil externally and give a teaspoonful at bed-time.