Sterilized Milk

If the milk must be kept for more than twenty-four hours, or kept without ice, as on a journey, all the spores in it must be killed as well as all the active micro-organisms. (See Bacteria in milk, p. 97, and the Life history of bacteria, p. 295.) To sterilize milk, boil it in the feeding-bottles for fifteen minutes on three successive days. Keep them on ice between one sterilization and the next. If the bottles are corked in the ice-box, replace corks by cotton plugs during sterilization.

Sterilizing milk lessens its food value. A baby fed upon it for a long time is likely to become seriously ill. .

Canned milk: condensed or evaporated. - There are three kinds of canned milk. The first is made of unsweetened whole milk, the second of whole milk sweetened, the third of skim milk sweetened. Unsweetened condensed milk is sterilized. This alone makes it unfit for a baby's steady use. The sweetened kinds depend for their keeping qualities on the large amount of cane-sugar added to them. (What other food is sometimes preserved in this way?) Canned milk is a convenience when good fresh milk cannot be obtained. It cannot make good the place of fresh milk in the diet. As a baby-food it has many defects. It may not be made from clean milk. Most kinds contain too little fat, and, when diluted for use, too little mineral matter. Sweetened condensed milk contains too much sugar. Babies fed on it are often very fat, but they are not likely to grow up strong. Unsweetened condensed milk may be used for a short time when good fresh milk is not obtainable or does not agree with the baby.

Dried Milks

Several kinds of dried and powdered milks are on the market. Some are made from whole milk, some from skim milk. Certain of these may be prescribed for a sick baby, or used for a well one, as condensed milk may, in an emergency. So-called "malted milk" is a mixture of dried milk and malted grain.

Proprietary baby-foods (Mellin's and the like) are not substitutes for milk. They are cereal foods, with more or less of the starch changed to more soluble carbohydrates. For some babies one of these foods may be added, instead of gruel, to the milk. They are much more expensive than gruel, however.

Other foods sometimes prescribed for bottle-babies are beef-juice, white-of-egg, vegetable soup made according to a special formula, and orange-juice. Babies who have to be fed on sterilized milk must have fresh orange-juice. It is well to give orange-juice if there is any possibility that the milk you use has been pasteurized or heated at all, or if it is diluted more than one-third.

A baby under one year must not have ice-cream, candy, soda-water, and, of course, no tea, coffee, beer, or any alcoholic drink. Nor should he have any solid food, except, after the ninth month, a spoonful of soft-cooked egg occasionally, and a piece of zwieback or a hard Educator cracker to gnaw.

A Baby Needs Water

This should be boiled and cooled. It may be given to a little baby from a feeding-bottle. Later let him learn to take it from a spoon.