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.