Tag Archives: health visitor

Does that mean I have a normal baby?


I took the little ones to play group today and handed the baby’s red book in to the health visitors for weighing. She was weighed last week, but I’ve been on a bit of a detox (or, not eating lots of rubbish all the time) and I wanted to check that it wasn’t affecting her weight gain. It would be so fantastic awful to have to revert back to a diet filled with whatever I like.
Anyway, we were last in the queue but once I had waited that long I sure as hell wasn’t going to give up. And anyway, it was soon our turn! Yes, everyone else had left but the toddler loves an empty room to run around and I can be stubborn at times.
So the baby is now 10 lb 8! I am astounded. I had just fed her, bit still… that’s 11 ounces in 8 days!
Of course, I panic.
“she seems to be putting weight on really quickly,” I say, hoping I don’t sound too panicky. “its about half a pound a week on average!”
“thats absolutely fine!” The health visitor responds.
She looks curious so I explain that my eldest daughter never really fed much, slept through at 5 weeks and was still only 10 at 6 months. Then my son… he wasn’t thriving at all so by 4 months our consultant had him in formula and baby rice. I think the confusion I’d subconciously come to was:
” I always assumed my breast milk wasn’t all that good…”
“your breast milk is good stuff!” She laughed. “half a pound a week is exactlybwhat we want. It’s.completely normal.”
Um, ok. I’ve got a normal baby then? What does one do with one of those then? I’m used to the extreme. Average is alien to me! From one baby who slept so well, potty trained so early and easily and has never had a tantrum… to one who still doesn’t sleep, regularly has dirty protests and is currently on his 7th tantrum of the day… to now have one that does things by the book?
Goodness, what pressure!


Isobel: four weeks on

I can hardly believe it has only been four weeks; it feels like a lifetime.

I can hardly believe it has been four weeks; it feels like only yesterday.

Each day that passes brings something new to our little family. Each smile from her brother, each kiss from her sister, each cuddle from Daddy is so special to see. Being a family of five is a real blessing.

We’ve had a couple of wobbles. Last week, I witnessed projectile vomiting which took me back to the dark days- when reflux first entered our lives. I stayed calm… until it happened again. This time though, I refused to be beaten. I called the health visitor who reassured me and we live to fight another day. Isobel does not have reflux. Isobel is fine. Mummy is paranoid.

Yesterday we had our first screaming fit. Yes, I know how lucky I am to be four weeks in and with only one screaming fit under our belts. I’d put her in the pram to walk to school to meet The big one. I’d even taken The big one’s scooter with me. When I got to school, I discovered that Zumba was on and The big one was busy shaking her stuff until 4pm. I don’t know why, but the baby decided to ‘kick off’ then, and no amount of walking around the vicinity of school would calm her down. I never thought I would find myself breastfeeding in the school playground, but there’s a first for everything.

Following that screaming fit, I felt a little deflated and more than a little exhausted- she’d been feeding every two hours since the previous day and all through the night and I was starting to think we needed to get a dummy. Then guess what happened? She blessed us with just the one feed last night and I have spent today feeling like a new person.

Being a family of five is a learning curve. So far, the best thing about it all is seeing The big one and and the toddler reacting to her. It’s going well. It was meant to be.

Big brother, little sister

To Wean or not to Wean, that is the question… but what is the answer?

I’m confused. We wean at six months, after having breastfed exclusively, and then we are guaranteed an intelligent child with a healthy appetite and an even healthier immune system. We do this on advice of the health visitors, GPs and, ulitmately, the WHO, despite our parents telling us that we were weaned at twelve weeks and we’re fine… Or maybe we KNOW that we should wean at six months, after perhaps bottle feeding our bundles of joy and yet we decide to listen to our babies- in this case we wean them a little earlier and we lie to the health visitor and pretend we’ve never even seen baby rice in the supermarket before…
The only problem now is that ‘they’ are telling us that waiting until six months is not the right things to do and, quite rightly, parents are now wondering what damage they may have done/ may be doing to their precious baby’s digestive systems…
I don’t think ‘they’ will ever really know what the right age to wean is. Some say that as long as they have the chewing and swallowing reflex then go for it. If they show signs of wanting/ needing food, go for it. If they aren’t gaining weight on just milk anymore, go for it. If they are fine with milk, thriving and showing no signs of needing more, perhaps wait? Or still go for it? I’m just not sure anymore!
The big one was always tiny as a baby (see my article on Mumable ) and when she got to five months she stopped gaining weight. She was only ten pounds two ounces and slept beautifully all night. My health visitor told me that I had to wake her for feeds and that she needed a bottle… I kept calm whilst explaining that she WOULD NOT take a bottle, we had been trying this for months. In the end, they went to great lengths to advise me that they did not condone early weaning but that in this case it was essential and by the way THEY DID NOT CONDONE EARLY WEANING.She had her first taste of baby rice at 5 months and two weeks. My daughter went on to continue in slow weight gain and she is still thin now. Hmm, panic over.
My son has suffered from reflux since he was born and still suffers terribly. His consultant told us at four months to ‘ignore the health visitor’ and start him on solids, in an attempt to ease his symptoms. It didn’t work. Today, my son DOES NOT EAT. He is being tested for intolerances next week and he still suffers terribly with reflux and adverse reactions to food. Hell, I think I wouldn’t eat either.

What I’m trying to say is that all babies are different. I have one child who was exclusively breastfed and weaned as close to six months as we could get away with and she is fine. I have one child who we were advised to wean at four months who is now terrified of mealtimes and potentially has food intolerances. If I only had one child, I would have clear views on the latest BBC article.
As it is, I’m just plain confused.
No-one can 100% say that my children should or should not have been weaned at six months. No-one can say that my children should or should not have been exclusively breastfed (did I mention I was advised to stop breastfeeding my son at three months and he began to gain weight as soon as I did?) and no health professional seems to be able to make their minds up on which advice to give in the first place! No wonder parents are so confused. How about we all just listen to our babies and make our own minds up? Did early weaning make my baby ill? Probably not. Did late weaning cause my daughter to fail to thrive? Again, probably not. Who knows? The professionals certainly don’t.
I’m not the only blogger who has been blogging about this. Read this post from Mellow Mummy . Seems we all have a story to tell about this one. So, what do you think?

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