Weaning


Sources: Papers On Health

Many of the troubles which come in this process arise simply

from ignorance or want of thought on the part of the nurse or mother.

Sometimes the child, having been burned with a hot teaspoon, will

afterwards refuse all that is offered in such a spoon. In such a case

use an egg-spoon of bone, or a small cup. Sometimes spoons of various

metals, having peculiar tastes, are used, and the child refuses them.

When food is refused, it is well therefore always to see that it is not

the spoon or dish which is the real reason.



Again, food ill-fitted for the child's digestion is offered. In this

case the child is doing the right thing in refusing it. Milk and hot

water, in equal quantities, with a very little sugar, is a mixture

which can always be given with safety. In weaning, the nurse should

begin by using this alone. Gradually a very little thin oatmeal jelly

may be added, and the strength of the mixture increased. If there

should be indigestion, a few teaspoonfuls of hot water will usually

cure it. If the bowels are inactive, mix a little pure CANE SYRUP

(see) with the food. Avoid all drugs as far as possible. If the whole

process be gradual, there will usually be little or no trouble with

the child. If, where teething and weaning are both coming together, the

child should be seized with chill and shivering, a good blanket

FOMENTATION (see) may be wrapped round the body and legs. Dry after

this, and rub with warm OLIVE OIL (see). Generally this will induce

sleep, in which case leave the child warm in the fomentation until it

awakes (see Teething).



In weaning, the mother often suffers as well as the child. The supply

of milk in the breast being over-abundant, the breasts become hard and

painful, and feverishness comes on. In this case the breasts must be

emptied, either by some other person, or by the various ingenious

instruments sold by all druggists. Then a large, cold damp cloth should

be placed over the emptied breast, and changed once or twice, rubbing

afterwards with a little olive oil. This, in ordinary cases, will cause

the flow of milk to cease. Where the swelling is very hard and almost

inflammatory, the breast should be fomented for five or ten minutes,

then emptied, and a cold cloth applied as above directed. If all this

fails, a BRAN POULTICE (see), or hot bag with moist flannel covering,

should be applied between the shoulders. While the patient lies on

this, cold towels (see Towels, Cold Wet) should be changed on the

breasts. This will usually effectually stay the secretion of milk. This

last treatment is rarely required, but is harmless and most efficient.



Where mother and child are both sickly, weaning must be carefully

conducted. But it must ever be remembered that a child is far more

healthily nourished on a bottle of good cow's milk or condensed milk

(of first-rate quality) than on a sickly mother's milk. This is the

case even if the child be ill. Only let the bottle not be too strong.

See Children, numerous articles.





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