Medicine: No Boiling, No Burps

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An enthusiastic doctor-delegate cried: "Say, this is a damn sight more important than some of the scientific papers." The big hit at a recent Pittsburgh convention of the American Academy of Pediatrics was a new kind of nursing bottle—a plastic job that seems to eliminate a few of the nuisances of baby-raising, including burps and constant bottle-boiling. The new bottle comes already sterilized, feeds the baby his milk without air, can be thrown away after one feeding.

Its inventor, a Washington (D.C.) nurse named Adda May Allen, got the idea while watching premature babies at Columbia Hospital. She observed that sucking on a bottle often exhausted her little patients. As a partial vacuum develops in the bottle, a baby sometimes has to fight a collapsed nipple. Nurse Allen decided that what was needed was a bottle with collapsible sides which would close on the vacuum as the milk was drawn out.

Her "bottles" are tubes of paper-thin, transparent plastic (cost: half a cent each). They are packaged as a roll of sterile tubing, sealed at intervals. Mother snips off a piece of tubing with sterile scissors, fills it, fits a sterilized nylon crown and rubber nipple over the open end, and squeezes out the air. The baby feeds with little effort: the milk flows easily. Nurse Allen thinks it is "the nearest approach to breast feeding."

Already widely tested in Washington hospitals, the Allen bottles, called "Shellies," will soon be produced in quantity and be available to tired parents.