The nutrition of the new-born infant is not a new subject, and the diseases of the digestive tract and the intestinal disturbances of infancy, we may assume, are as old as the race.
It has been thought that on this occasion an historical retrospect of gastro-intestinal disorders would be of interest; especially at this time when new hypotheses are appearing in certain quarters as to the nature of gastro-intestinal disorders in infants, and since some of the views which were held a decade ago are being subjected to sharp attack. It is obvious that a scientific classification depends on exact knowledge.
In reviewing the literature from the earliest period to the present time, we find great variation in clinical description and in the interpretation of the gastro-intestinal disturbances of infancy. The classifications, in so far as they have been made, have been influenced by the prevailing thought of the