The new baby is mostly digestive canal so it is not to be wondered at that this central mechanism easily gets upset. Some slight change in the quality of milk may cause diarrhea, with the passage of numerous watery stools but without prostration. Forcing the baby to eat or finish his bottle when he doesn’t want to, may result in the same thing. In hot weather the baby’s appetite is capricious just as yours is and forcing too much food on him simply results in a revolt.
The treatment of these intestinal troubles depends on the severity of the condition. All that may be necessary, in mild cases, is to reduce the amount or number of feedings. Cereals or cod liver oil or other solid foods should be discontinued.
Water is the most important thing to give the sick baby. The heat and the loss of water in the stools thoroughly dries him out. The water should be boiled and then cooled and fed by a medicine dropper or bottle, or the physician may even decide to give it hypodermically if the stomach is too upset.
In severe cases, all food, except water and well cooked barley water, should be stopped. A baby can go a long time without food if it gets enough water.
Cathartics usually should not be given. If the baby is known to have received some spoiled milk, a small dose of castor oil should be given, but it is best to attempt to treat these summer intestinal troubles without the use of medicines.