Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Posts Tagged ‘health visitors’

Health Visitors and Eating 'Enough'

Monday, September 4th, 2006

I keep on seeing people on other websites saying that their Health Visitors are advising mothers that their babies 'should' be on three meals a day by a certain age. (I'm not even going to print the age because the whole concept is bogus, so those of you who have stumbled on this page in a desperate search for hard facts which prove you are inadequate parents who are starving your children will be forced to look elsewhere.)

Now, I should stress that I am not accusing my own Health Visitor here because she has studiously avoided me since I quizzed her relentlessly when she came to give me her weaning talk… 'baby rice for the first week, apple puree for the second, carrot puree the third and then you're on your own'… and told her I was going to do Baby Led Weaning, which of course she'd never heard of. Having nervously suggested that the baby might choke to death she left the building and has never been seen again.

(Funnily enough, Morv goes to the same surgery as I do and the whole reason she weaned Boomer a little bit earlier was because of the panicky Health Visitors claiming to have seen her take a dip on the centile charts. I wouldn't know about Babybird because since all the problems I had with breastfeeding in the beginning – which one day I will work up sufficient bile to tell you all about – I have kept her away from the weighing scales and been much the happier for it.)

Anyway, I just can't understand how these other Health Visitors can be so definitive about what babies
'should' be eating. Think about it, with every other area of child
development they give you months of leeway either side and solemnly tell you NOT
to compare your child with other babies, but with weaning it's so prescriptive. Can you imagine if they indicated that you weren't doing a good job as a mother if your baby wasn't walking by a year? It drives me crackers because it stresses mothers out and that stress absolutely transmits to the child, leading to food anxieties all round…

So it seems to me that if your child is happy, healthy and enjoying playing with food, then you are doing just fine. Don't cut back on milk feeds, as I have heard some (idiot) Health Visitors advise, high-calorie milk is their main source of nutrients for the first year, and just leave the food for fun. As for three meals a day, bollocks. Only in the wealthy West do we finish our breakfasts while we wonder what we're having for lunch. Babybear sometimes has one, two or three solid feeds (sometimes with snacks if she wants them) because, and pardon me if I appear to be going over old ground here… we are doing Baby Led Weaning, not Health Visitor Led Weaning.

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