This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
The child should be fed at regular intervals, the length of which should be determined by its age. It should be fed a proper quantity, and at proper times. The habit of feeding children as frequently during the night as during the day, is a mistaken and injurious one. (See section on "Feeding and Care of Infants.")
When the child shows symptoms of indigestion, careful inquiry should be made respecting the nature of its food, the manner of feeding, etc. If the cause is ascertained to be in the mother, either a healthy wet nurse, whose child is about the same age as that of the patient, should be employed, or, when this cannot be done, as is often the case, cows' milk should be used. The milk should be taken as fresh as possible. It ought not to be more than six or eight hours old, when fresher can be obtained. Attention should also be given to the length of time since the cow has calved. The milk of cows, being richer in caseine and in fat than human milk, should be diluted with pure water, or, as we prefer, with barley water, or thin oatmeal gruel, well boiled, and strained through a coarse cloth. For a very young child, milk should bo diluted one-half. As a child grows older, and its digestive powers increase in strength, the quantity of water may be diminished.
In cases in which there is much acidity, and the discharges from the bowels are very fetid in character, lime-water may often be used with advantage, one part lime-water being added to three or four parts of milk. In some cases it is sufficient to give the infant one or two teaspoonsful of lime-water in double the quantity of milk after other food has been taken. In severe cases in which the digestive organs of the child seem to be unable to digest milk in any form, strong beef tea, white of egg dissolved in water, barley-water, or thin oatmeal gruel may be employed, either separately or combined. Wo have succeeded in cases which seemed utterly hopeless, in restoring children by beginning with egg water, made by dissolving the white of an egg in a glass of tepid water, and gradually adding a little milk, oatmeal gruel, beef tea, or other food, as the child became able to bear it. In many cases, it is necessary to give food in very small quantities, sometimes not more than a tablespoonful or two at a time, and at intervals of an hour or two. When there is evidence that the nursing-bottle is at fault, and the evidence may be considered good whenever the nursing-bottle is employed, the bottle should be discarded at once, and the child should be fed with a spoon. Nursing-bottles with long tubes should be avoided as in the highest degree dangerous. We have never yet found one which was not in a condition unfit for use. In extreme cases, in which the stomach rejects food altogether, it should be allowed to rest for a time. the child being nourished in the meantime by means of nutritive enemata of beef tea, egg and milk, and other preparations suitable for such use.
Diarrhea, dysentery, colic, and other diseases of the digestive organs in children, should be treated upon the same principles, and essentially in the same manner, as recommended for these diseases in older persons.