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Thread: Health Visitor concerned about 9mo weight

  1. #1

    Default Health Visitor concerned about 9mo weight

    My daughter is 9 months old and has been exclusively breastfed since birth, having refused every bottle on the market! She feeds roughly every 3 hours during the day, sometimes more and sometimes less frequently. I know a lot of her feedings are for comfort as she is incredibly clingy. At night she rarely goes more than 3 hours without feeding, more often only 2 hours. This doesn't bother me at all. I don't feel at all sleep deprived and I find it the best way to get her back to sleep quickly.

    I started solids with her at 6 months. She is very hit and miss with these. Some days she will eat, others she won't. I've tried a mixture of both purees/mashed foods and blw but she seems to just prefer breastfeeding.

    She is a very big baby and the health visitor is concerned about this. *At her last weigh in at 8 months she was 27lbs and had gone way off the centile charts. The health visitor said i am feeding her too much at night and I should stop this and use controlled crying as she should be sleeping through the night. I am not at all comfortable with doing this. The health visitor also said that because she is feeding so much during the night, this is the reason she is not eating solids as she is filling up on milk during the night.*

    They keep calling me and asking to come round to 'help' me stop feeding her so frequently. I'm not sure how they are planning on doing that and so far I'm ignoring their calls!

    Am I feeding her too much? Should I be concerned that she won't eat solids and that she is 'overweight'? Any advice would be appreciated.*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Health Visitor concerned about 9mo weight

    Keep ducking your HV's calls.

    There is no doubt that you have a big baby. But there's nothing you should be doing about that except waiting, nursing on demand, and focusing on feeding only healthy solids. As babies become more mobile, they tend to "lean out" and drop percentiles on the charts. Once your baby is cruising/walking/running, the calories that used to get packed on as fat will go into motion, instead. I am guessing that you won't have to do anything but wait and watch, and eventually a lean toddler will emerge from the baby chub.

    Breastfed babies don't overeat, because milk flow slows down as soon as the baby is full and transitions from sucking eagerly for nutrition to sucking slowly for comfort, so there's no reason to limit your baby's nursing frequency. This is totally different from how bottle-fed babies eat. Bottles deliver a rapid flow of fluid regardless of whether the baby is hungry or just sucking lazily for comfort, and it is easy to overfeed using a bottle.

    Night-nursing is a problem ONLY if it is a problem for mom, in terms of getting enough sleep. "Controlled crying" is parenting advice, not health advice, and there's no reason for you to use that technique if you don't feel comfortable with it. It's easy advice to give but difficult advice to follow: it's not like your HV is going to be there in your house, listening to the baby crying sadly from loneliness and hunger!

    When it comes to solids, it sounds like your baby is right on track. A 9 month-old baby should still be receiving the majority of her calories from breastmilk (or formula), and not from solids. Solids should not begin to replace breast milk until some time after the first year, and many babies do not transition to a majority-solids diet until well into their second year, and don't have much interest in solids until that point. Since breastmilk is the healthiest thing any person ever gets to eat, and because it provides balanced nutrition (unlike most solids), there's no need to push solids at this point!

    Since you have a big baby, the one thing I would do is focus on feeding healthy solids. The parents of a small, skinny baby might need to tempt their child to eat by offering things that are sweeter or fattier than average- but you don't have to do that. Just offer healthy solids (fruits, veggies, whole grains, meats, fish, etc.) and let your baby develop a taste for those. That way you're building healthy habits and a healthy palate for the future.

    Don't stress!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Health Visitor concerned about 9mo weight

    Thank you so much for such a quick reply and for all your advice. You're reassurance has actually brought tears to my eyes! (in a good way!) x

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Health Visitor concerned about 9mo weight

    omg another concern about a BIG baby? Oh good night. Ya can't win for losing-or in this case gaining, I guess....

    At her last weigh in at 8 months she was 27lbs and had gone way off the centile charts. The health visitor said i am feeding her too much at night and I should stop this and use controlled crying as she should be sleeping through the night.
    This is terrible advice. Really! what the heck is "controlled crying?" Do I even want to know?

    Your baby should NOT be "sleeping through the night" necessarily, at this age. Here is some research based info about NORMAL sleep patterns in human babies: http://www.isisonline.org.uk/how_bab...p_development/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Middle of nowhere in Ohio

    Default Re: Health Visitor concerned about 9mo weight

    Sorry your HV is a pain, but I also have had VERY big babies. I used to get teased because they all looked like little sumo wrestlers with rolls on top of rolls. They never started thinning out until they started crawling a lot. Some HV still use the formula charts for breastfed babies, which isn't fair because breastfed babies grow at a different curve than formula fed babies. Don't stress and keep doing what you are doing!
    Passed my CLC exam!

    Mother of 3: 12-25-04 12-3-07 1-13-2011

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