The word milk, used alone, means ordinary milkman's milk containing about 4 % of fat.


Whole milk Top milk Skim milk




Sometimes other cereals


Cane-sugar Milk-sugar

Malt-sugar (" Dextri-maltose," " malt-soup extract," or other preparation of maltose).



Lime-water Magnesia Baking soda

The Milk

Raw milk is best if it can be obtained very clean. The cleaner it is, the fewer bacteria it contains. Sickness and death are much more common among bottle-fed than among nursing babies. Bacteria in milk cause much of these. If the milk is obtained fresh from the cow, make sure that the cow is healthy and that the milk is drawn and handled in the cleanliest possible way. When it comes into the house, strain it through several layers of cheese-cloth into sterilized jars or milk-bottles. (How will you sterilize these?) Keep it cool till used.

If milk is obtained from a milkman, buy bottled milk, the cleanest obtainable. Certified milk, guaranteed to be exceptionally clean, is sold at an extra price in some cities. Many cities have milk stations at which high-grade milk is sold at cost or below cost to mothers who otherwise could not afford to buy good milk for their babies. Never use loose milk. (For care of milk see p. 96.)

The milk of Holstein or ordinary grade cows is best. The milk of Jerseys is too rich in fat for most babies. Mixed milk is better than milk from one cow, because it varies less from day to day.


The milk must be diluted with water to reduce the proportion of protein. For a little baby the milk must be made very weak at first. As the baby gets used to cow's milk, it is made stronger. Water is sometimes added plain, sometimes made into gruel with a cereal. When added plain, it must first be boiled and cooled.


Sugar is not added for the sake of its taste, but for its food value (pp. 266 and 269). Milk-sugar, the kind which Nature provides, is in some ways the best. The best milk-sugar, however, is expensive. Cane-sugar agrees very well with some babies. Other babies do better on malt-sugar than on either milk-sugar or cane-sugar. Dissolve malt-sugar in boiling water, using one ounce of water to one of sugar. Other sugars may be dissolved in the boiled water after it has cooled, or in the milk. If cane-sugar is not bought in a sealed package, it may not be clean and should be boiled.


The younger the baby, the less starch he can digest. Whether the starch is digested or not, adding gruel to the milk often makes it agree better with the baby. The less fat there is in the food, the more carbohydrate should be added. (Explain why.)

Directions For Gruels

The easiest way to make gruel is from the flour of wheat, barley, oats, rice, whichever may be ordered. If the unground grain is used, many hours' cooking is required. A gruel may be made thick enough to jelly when cold or thin enough to remain watery.

To prepare barley water, stir together one level teaspoonful of barley flour and enough cold water to make a smooth paste. Stir in two and one-fourth cups of boiling water, and boil gently fifteen minutes. Or cook in a double boiler at least one hour. (Unless you can watch it constantly, it is better to use the double boiler.) If it boils away, add boiling water. When cooked, measure, and, if necessary, add enough boiling water to bring the amount of gruel up to one pint.

Oatmeal water is made in the same way.1 jelly. The gruels should be cold when added to the milk. It is best to make it the night before. Enough for two or three days may be made at one time and kept in a glass jar if there is an ice-box or other clean, cold place to keep it in.

For barley jelly, follow the same directions, except that 2 to 4 tablespoonfuls of flour is used, according to the thickness desired.

Other kinds of gruels are made like barley water and barley 1 Oatmeal is laxative. Barley has the opposite effect.