Weaning, is the aft of gradually removing an infant from the breast, and habituating it to take common food.
Weaning requires to be conducted with some precaution : it will, therefore, be advisable to inure children to take proper aliment out of a boat or tea-cup, at the age of 3 or 4 months ; so that they may not too suddenly, and sensibly, feel the loss of the breast. To facilitate this change, the human milk should be occasionally with-held from them, while the mother or nurse may partake of such aliment as tends to diminish the secretion of that salutary fluid.
Children committed to the care of wet-nurses, ought, in prudence, not to be allowed to suck, after the age of 6 or 8 months ; as their infantine faculties then begin to un-fold; and they are apt to acquire an undue degree of affection for their foster-mothers. On the other hand; they should not be precipitately removed from the breast; because this tender part is thus liable to become inflamed, and ulcerated ; so that scirrhous tumors, and even cancers, may arise from such conduct.
Lastly, the diet of children, when weaned, ought to be light, and adapted to the strength of their stomach, and constitution : hence, all coarse food must be strictly avoided, during the first and second year of life ; for such mistaken indulgence often lays the foundation of diseases originating from a bad digestion ; of scrophula, or other glandular affections; and even of eventual consumption, at the age of puberty.