This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
Cow's milk is almost the only kind used in this country for infants; here and there, goat's milk may be had. Cow's milk is stronger in " solid " contents than woman's milk, but the latter is sweeter. Commonly, then, during the first months, a little pure water is added (half, or less, of the amount of milk), and a little white sugar. As the child grows older, less water is needed, and within the year often, none at all. A great mistake was formerly made, in mixing two pints of water with every pint of milk; the poor things sometimes, no doubt, starved under such a regimen.
But, sometimes, the thicker and harder curds made in the stomach with cow's milk may be difficult for the babe to digest. It becomes colicky and fretful, or it refuses the bottle. Then we must add rather more water, and something else to help to diffuse the clots, thus keeping them from forming solid masses.
Starchy materials will do this pretty well. Such alone will not nourish a child fully; arrowroot, farina, and other starches contain no nitrogen, and some of this element is indispensable for the growth of muscles, bones, and brains. Moreover, during the first three or four months very little saliva or pancreatic juice is formed, and, without these, starch is not digested. But the mechanical qualities of starch fit it for mixing up the casein and albumen of milk in the fluids of the stomach, and so promoting its digestion.