Searchlights on Health/Nursing
1. The new-born infant requires only the mother's milk. The true mother will nurse her child if it is a possibility. The infant will thrive better and have many more chances for life.
2. The mother's milk is the natural food, and nothing can fully take its place. It needs no feeding for the first few days as it was commonly deemed necessary a few years ago. The secretions in the mother's breast are sufficient.
3. Artificial Food. Tokology says: "The best artificial food is cream reduced and sweetened with sugar of mill. Analysis shows that human milk contains more cream and sugar and less casein than the milk of animals."
4. Milk should form the basis of all preparations of food. If the milk is too strong, indigestion will follow, and the child will lose instead of gaining strength.
WEANING.—The weaning of the child depends much upon the strength and condition of the mother. If it does not occur in hot weather, from nine to twelve months is as long as any child should be nursed.
FOOD IN WEANING.—Infants cry a great deal during weaning, but a few days of patient perseverance will overcome all difficulties. Give the child purely a milk diet, Graham bread, milk crackers and milk, or a little milk thickened with boiled rice, a little jelly, apple sauce, etc., may be safely used. Cracked wheat, oatmeal, wheat germ, or anything of that kind thoroughly cooked and served with a little cream and sugar, is an excellent food.
MILK DRAWN FROM THE BREASTS.—If the mother suffers considerably from the milk gathering in the breast after weaning the child, withdraw it by taking a bottle that holds about a pint or a quart, putting a piece of cloth wrung out in warm water around the bottle, then fill it with boiling water, pour the water out and apply the bottle to the breast, and the bottle cooling will form a vacuum and will withdraw the milk into the bottle. This is one of the best methods now in use.
RETURN OF THE MENSES.—If the menses return while the mother is nursing, the child should at once be weaned, for the mother's milk no longer contains sufficient nourishment. In case the mother should become pregnant while the child is nursing it should at once be weaned, or serious results will follow to the health of the child. A mother's milk is no longer sufficiently rich to nourish the child or keep it in good health.
CARE OF THE BOTTLE.—If the child is fed on the bottle great care should be taken in keeping it absolutely clean. Never use white rubber nipples. A plain form of bottle with a black rubber nipple is preferable.
CHILDREN should not be permitted to come to the table until two years of age.
CHAFING.—One of the best remedies is powdered lycopodium; apply it every time the babe is cleaned; but first wash with pure castile soap; Pears' soap is also good. A preparation of oxide of zinc is also highly recommended. Chafing sometimes results from an acid condition of the stomach; in that case give a few doses of castoria.
COLIC.—If an infant is seriously troubled with colic, there is nothing better than camomile or catnip tea. Procure the leaves and make tea and give it as warm as the babe can bear.