To tell my HV I will NOT restrict DS's food intake

(129 Posts)
thefuturesnotourstosee Wed 07-Aug-13 17:05:14

we've just come home from DS's one year HV check. DS has alwiays been a big baby and today he measured the 99th centile for both weight and height.

HV told me he was overweight and I should restrict his food intake. I told her I wanted to talk to the GP about this as I disagreed with her and she told me "he should be no higher than the 80th centile, you're clearly overfeeding him its obvious you don't need the doctor to tell you that".

I politely told her Id seek a second opinion scooped up DS and walked out.

Had his weight and height been substantially out of proportion I may have engaged but I don't think there's a problem. AIBU?

UnevenTan Wed 07-Aug-13 17:06:21

Did she calculate his bmi? There are instructions in the newer red books for dong this. If what you have written is what she said, then it wounds like she needs retraining, both in using the measures and communications.

YouTheCat Wed 07-Aug-13 17:06:51

She's an idiot.

UnevenTan Wed 07-Aug-13 17:06:52

Also, can u tell us the actual numbers and his exact age?

HaveTeaWillSurvive Wed 07-Aug-13 17:08:25

Yanbu, seems fairly self explanatory if the height and weight are roughly in line your child is tracking normally but see stories like this on here all the time.

alreadytaken Wed 07-Aug-13 17:08:38

how mad, I'd want a different health visitor in future.

McNewPants2013 Wed 07-Aug-13 17:09:12

I wouldn't even bother with a gp appointment.

It sounds like he is following is own line on the charts.

Why don't you put his stats in the NHS BMI calculator (too lazy to link) and tell her she is talking out of her arse.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 07-Aug-13 17:11:27

If every child was below the 80th centile there would be no centiles above there would there? She is wrong to say all children need to be below that. The fact that his length is on the same centile means he is in proportion really.
It wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion, but do not reduce your childs food intake unless a GP / paediatrician tells you to.

Doobiedoobedoobie Wed 07-Aug-13 17:11:42

No, she was a twat. At 12 months old, even if he was on the 50th for height and the 98th for weight, I wouldn't be restricting intake (aussuming of course the diet being offered is a good one, not mashed up mcdonalds wink )12 bloody months!

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 07-Aug-13 17:13:39

I thought they were only concerned if there were more than 2 centiles between height and weight. So she is wrong.

BlingLoving Wed 07-Aug-13 17:13:39

THat is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the percentile system! By definition, a minimum of 19 of the children she sees out of every 100 should be above the 80th percentile! And if he's in proportion, what on earth is the issue? Ignore ignore ignore.

zatyaballerina Wed 07-Aug-13 17:13:58

Has he always been on the 99 centile? His weight seems to be balanced with his height, what she says about him needing to be on or below the 80 centile sounds ridiculous given his height. Get him checked out by your gp just to be on the safe side.

soapnuts Wed 07-Aug-13 17:14:25

What a ridiculous thing to say - so she's saying no one should be above 80th percentile - Er no she clearly doesn't understand percentiles - if everyone was 80% or less then 80% wouldn't be 80% - it would be 100%!! Maybe a problem if the height and weight are vastly out (and that's still just a maybe) but if both tracking then she's talking our of her arse!

Whothefuckfarted Wed 07-Aug-13 17:14:55

As long as it follows a general curve you've nothing to worry about. Some babies have to be in the upper centile and some babies have to be in the lower centile.

No baby/child should ever be restricted with food as long as they eat a balanced diet and are active.

Ignore her. I'd go to the GP but only to flag the idiocy of this HV, not to ask for advice.

Cakebaker35 Wed 07-Aug-13 17:17:39

HV is an idiot. V depressing you see so much of this sort of rubbish advice. A everyone has said, he is tracking a centile which is just fine.

Sirzy Wed 07-Aug-13 17:18:22

Sounds like madness, but possibly a good time for you to think about what he does eat and if it is too much/wrong things?

wickeddevil Wed 07-Aug-13 17:20:31

What everyone else said!

Worth mentioning his activity levels too. Not uncommon for children to be chunky just before they start walking. Then just watch them change.

Your DS sounds like he's in proportion but I certainly would be reluctant to reduce food intake in a toddler who is about to become very active.

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 07-Aug-13 17:23:57

Ds3 was off the chart for weight and height at his year check, the hv wasn't concerned.

He started off right at the bottom at a tiny 4lb 4 grin

He's still huge now at 2.5. We've just had to buy him a new carseat as he's too big for his 0-4 year one

thefuturesnotourstosee Wed 07-Aug-13 17:24:50

87cm and 28 pounds IIRC (red book in car with dp)

He crawls and pulls to standing but not walking yet

He mainly eats what we eat. Fruit, fish, meat, veg, cereal, pasta, potatoes. Family food really. Odd pudding here and there. He's still breastfed for milk.

CoffeeOne Wed 07-Aug-13 17:26:05

Restricting food for a one year old? Bonkers. You know your DS, if he's always been a big baby and seems fine to you, carry on doing what you're doing.

Thepowerof3 Wed 07-Aug-13 17:29:53

Ignore her, someone I worked with got told at a clinic that her daughter was going to be 6 1/2 to 7 foot as an adult! They put up screens around her when breaking the news, her DD is now in her 20s and 5 ft 7

She is talking rubbish.
Both my boys were the same, they were EBF and both had reflux yet they stayed above the 95th centile until they were walking. Truly they were fat babies.
Now both teenagers and well over 6' tall they both weigh 10.5 stone so skinny.

TeddyPickleStick Wed 07-Aug-13 17:35:56

Depends. Are you over feeding him and is he overweight?

If no to both , then ignore her. If yes, then you need to take her advice.

rainbowfeet Wed 07-Aug-13 17:38:31

Ignore her!!

I panicked a little when ds shot up to the 75th centile (I am overweight & kind of sensitive about my dc's following me) blush but HV said not to worry & that's what the centiles are there for.. Babies & toddlers weight will go up & down within those lines depending on lots of factors.. & that as long as ds gets a balanced healthy diet then it doesn't matter where they are on the chart.

Mine was the same. He's now 5 and the tallest in the class without an inch of chub on him (apart from his adorable chubby cheeks top and bottom). Ignore her. Your DS is completely in proportion and I expect absolutely lovely.

sparkle12mar08 Wed 07-Aug-13 17:42:30

He's very big for his age, but totally in proportion. My ds 1 only hit those numbers at 2y 5m, but again was totally in proportion, and on appearances looked skinny in fact as regards weight to height. If you're concerned speak to you GP but otherwise, ignore her. She's demonstrating a shocking lack of knowledge of how the statistics work.

Bakingtins Wed 07-Aug-13 17:45:35

Ignore. She is completely ignorant about what percentiles mean. So many HVs seem to be aiming to get everyone onto the 50th percentile line confused The only thing I'd be doing is flagging up to the GP that the HVs are in need of some retraining.

Tee2072 Wed 07-Aug-13 17:46:00

Do not check his BMI. BMI is bullshit.

If both height and weight are the same centile, he's fine.

SaucyJack Wed 07-Aug-13 17:48:41

You're under no obligation to visit HVs, take their advice or discuss your own parenting views with them.

Having sid that, are you overfeeding him?

LEMisdisappointed Wed 07-Aug-13 17:51:05

she's mad, id not worry about it - also once he starts walking he will slim down some

MoominsYonisAreScary Wed 07-Aug-13 17:55:36

Well from my red book that just looks like he's on the 99th for weight and slightly over for height so just a tall 1 year old

HaplessHousewife Wed 07-Aug-13 17:57:56

DS has always been under the 50th centile for height but at about 6 months shot up to the 91st centile for weight blush. He stayed there for a long time and the HVs were never worried. There was one weighing session (around 2) when the nursery assistant told me to change his milk to semi-skimmed. The HV took one look at him and said not to bother, he looked fine to her – he's solidly built rather than fat.

At his 2.5 year check he was still under the 50th centile for height but had gone down to close to the 75th for weight so I'm glad I ignored the assistant as he's obviously balancing out as he grows.

It's ridiculous to say your DS is overweight when he's perfectly in proportion.

thefuturesnotourstosee Wed 07-Aug-13 18:01:34

Thank you for all the reassurance. I suppose that what worries me most is that while I am quite a strong personality and have some idea about how centiles etc. work there will be others who will simply do as they are told possibly to the ultimate detriment of their DC. It seems so wrong that she can give what is basically wrong advice and people will trust her and follow it.

enormouse Wed 07-Aug-13 18:02:28

He sounds proportionate to me.
My DS was the opposite. he fell from the 25th to the 20th centile. He had a bad teething incident followed by d and v and after stayed on the centile. He is still quite slim but healthy and strong looking but the hv was adamant I should try and feed him up somehow, she didn't explain how exactly to do this though. He would eat all day if he could and has a balanced, varied diet.

I stopped taking him to be weighed a few months ago as they she said a number of other things that pissed me off (for e.g. his bad temper on the day she came to see him was due to me going to uni and giving him separation anxiety not that he needed a nap!)

I've digressed -sorry! But as long as he's healthy and happy, eating a good diet I wouldn't bother with the HVs.

alreadytaken Wed 07-Aug-13 18:03:47

looks like the HV isn't the only one not understanding centiles. He's a lot taller than average and therefore you'd expect him to be a lot heavier than average. If he was at the 80th centile you might be underfeeding him.

If you do speak to your gp it should only be to question the health visitors training.

EmmaGellerGreen Wed 07-Aug-13 18:04:38

You don't need to tell her anything because you don't need to see her. If you are happy with his diet and weight then there is nothing to do!

Whoknowswhocares Wed 07-Aug-13 18:08:20

Clueless woman!
The whole point of centiles dictates that 20% of children will be above her magic 80 centile mark. If his height and weight were wildly different, then she would have a point but as it stands, she has just proved her inability to perform her job to an acceptable standard

ChippingInHopHopHop Wed 07-Aug-13 18:08:24

You need to make a serious complaint about her, to her governing body. You are right, she could be doing some serious damage with her lack of knowledge and disturbing communication skills - report her for the benefit of others.

hardboiledpossum Wed 07-Aug-13 18:14:41

She is clearly an idiot, i would complain. He is perfectly in proportion, anyone with a basic understanding of maths should be able to see that. Besides it is impossible to over feed an infant who is being offered a sensible diet. Small children self regulate and it is harmful to interfere with this. I had a similar incident with my health visitor, which has red me to missing following checks. This is flagged up on his notes and i am interrogated on why i didn't arrange a two year check for him every time we go to the doctors .

MiaowTheCat Wed 07-Aug-13 18:17:47

Both my DDs are between the 91st and 98th centile for weight... the health visitors repeatedly tell me NOT to worry about it as their height is on exactly the same line... they're just in proportion.

And centiles - someone by their very definition HAS to be 100, and a fair proportion of kids will have to be over the 80th centile line - that's how the bloody things work!

MissStrawberry Wed 07-Aug-13 18:22:21


(You were super mum) grin

DS1 and 2 were both quite big when little. Both are really quite slim now. Don't worry. She is probably trying to make sure he doesn't end up obese when he is 30 but going about it all wrong.

SwedishHouseMat Wed 07-Aug-13 18:28:43

I wish someone would just throw these silly charts away. If your baby is happy and healthy and is a little chubby, does it really matter? I've seen tiny babies grow up to be hulking rugby players and bigger babies grow up to be petite women.

Every baby is different. Every baby grows and develops at their own pace. Chubby babies don't necessarily grow up to be obese adults. I'm tired of this hysteria regarding over-feeding babies.

I would ignore this advice from the HV.

HVs don't get very good reviews on MN. With advice like this, I'm not surprised.

YoniHuman Wed 07-Aug-13 18:30:09

Definitely complain in writing about the advice you were given. She was clearly talking out of her arse.

MrsDeVere Wed 07-Aug-13 18:31:06

My DCs were all on the high centiles.

None of them were overweight. They are mixed race and afaik those bloody centiles have not been updated for years.

I could be wrong, I hope I am and that they have been updated to take into account different ethnicities.

Because those bloody charts cause more trouble than they are worth.

catgirl1976 Wed 07-Aug-13 18:46:42

She is an idiot

If he is on for both height and weight he's in proportion

If he was on the 99th for weight and the 30th for height then she'd have a point

My DS is off the charts for both height and weight. He's not fat at all.

He's very tall therefore he weighs more

Ignore her

vj32 Wed 07-Aug-13 19:09:50

Ds was significantly above the top line on the chart for weight at 8 months old. But he was an early walker at about ten months and then put on no more weight for over 6 months. He just zoomed upwards.

At just over 2 he is now just above the 95th. He can eat a scary amount of food some days but he burns it all off with the constant running and climbing.

Ignore the HV.

ShabbyButNotChic Wed 07-Aug-13 19:14:48

My friend has an 8month old son who was always a bit of a porker well rounded. Her hv told her the same, she must be over feeding etc. as it was her first baby she was naturally upset, thought she was a shit mum etc.
she went for a 2nd opinion, and when she told them what he ate, and how often, they told her not to worry at all. I think it totally depends which hv you see.

He started crawling 6weeks ago and has already lost a substantial amount of chunk. I think they tend to even out a bit when they start moving smile

TheUnstoppableWindmill Wed 07-Aug-13 19:22:33

If you have time, I really think that it would be worth writing a letter of complaint and asking for a response to check that it gets noticed (I'm not sure who is in charge of HVs...)- she really needs retraining as she clearly doesn't understand centiles, and you're right that someone less confident/clued up than yourself may heed some bad advice.

GogoGobo Wed 07-Aug-13 19:33:07 HV is an idiot. Ignore, ignore, ignore!

dontyouknow Wed 07-Aug-13 19:33:45

At a hospital appt a while ago my then 4 year old DD was weighed and came out at the 99th percentile. I asked the consultant if that was anything to worry about and said she does eat pretty healthily (most of the time...) He looked at me like I was mad and said she was so tall she must be at the 99th percentile for height and clearly isn't overweight so it was fine. He seemed less than keen on the percentile charts and told me to ignore them and just look at her.

Some babies are a bit more than just chubby and perhaps are overfed, but if yours is the same percentile for height and weight it would seem this isn't the case so YANBU.

Fairylea Wed 07-Aug-13 19:36:23

Hv is an idiot .

We had our one year check yesterday. Ds is 86cm tall and weighs 30lbs. She didn't even mention his height or weight except in a nice "what a big healthy boy" type way.

Ignore ignore ignore.

My dd is 10 years old and now skinny as anything and she was the same as ds when she was little.

I've just been looking at the NHS explanation for centile charts and it's quite clear. So the HV really needs to be flagged up as not understanding them.

MrsDeVere I noticed that there was a comment that the UK charts are based on the WHO charts. "Since May 2009, the centile charts in your PCHR or red book have been based on measurements taken by the World Health Organization from healthy, breastfed children with non-smoking parents from a range of countries." Hopefully this might cover your ethnicity issue.

stopgap Wed 07-Aug-13 19:41:47

You get it if your child is smaller, too. My DS is two, and has always been 80th-90th centile for height, and 10th-25th centile for weight (though he just crept up to 25th-50th at his most recent check).

I have been on the receiving end of grief his entire life. Plenty of "Are you sure he's getting enough solids/milk/meals?" He was breastfed on demand as a baby and breastfed until he was a toddler, but he ate plenty of solids from a year on, and a huge variety.

Disregard, and move along.

Notmydolly Wed 07-Aug-13 19:42:47

Hi OP,

I don't very often post here but I wanted to add my support. My ds is 9 months old - just. He is 28lbs already, he is on the 95th centile. BUT he was big to start with - 9lb 6oz at birth and he was two weeks early!!

No child is the same, please ignore the hv. Sounds like you're doing a great job

MrsDeVere Wed 07-Aug-13 19:45:05

Fry thank feck for that.

Only two of my five were born after that date. But by the time they were born I didn't bother getting them weighed grin

TattyDevine Wed 07-Aug-13 19:45:40

Mine were like this, 99th centile born, in fact DD went off the chart at one point so I didn't go to any HV checks, didn't see one since she was 6 weeks old. I was scared they'd take her away from me, it was around the time of that dreadful doco where there was a 9 month eating a whole portion of chips from the chippy!

She got uber fat on milk alone and now at nearly 4 she is quite a bit leaner than I imagined, she still has the toddler sticky out tummy but its not fat, its sort of hard? Her previously munchable legs are getting quite lean.

Haven't even weighed her since I got on a plane with her at 7 months.

Ignore, smile and nod, don't see them, and if you have any genuine concerns see your GP and if they talk shit get a 2nd opinion.

MissMarplesBloomers Wed 07-Aug-13 19:46:44

My DD was on the 98/9th centile from about that age, she is now a gorgeous almost 6 ft-er size 12/14 .

She was one ofthose who was quite a chunky monkey till she crawled & then lost it. I always knew when she was starting a growth spurt as she'd eat for England, get a real pot belly & then shot up another inch or two & get skinny again!

I agree with others go to your GP just to make sure your concerns are logged about this HV's incompetance.

UnevenTan Wed 07-Aug-13 19:50:51

The bmi chart your HV could have used is available online here. Plot the weight centile versus the height centile and the chart will clearly indicate if the child is overweight or obese. BUT I mis-remembered and it's only valid from age 2 years blush. That said, it's not as straightforward as same centile for both = fine, perhaps because of the aforementioned trend for overweight children to grow taller too.

If the HV has genuine concerns about your child's weight then you should be getting a referral to a paediatrician/dietician, not random advise to feed them less, which is not helpful, specific or likely to be well-received.

skyflyer Wed 07-Aug-13 19:51:04

HV is an idiot. Someone has to be on the 99th to make the chart up.

UnevenTan Wed 07-Aug-13 19:55:20

I don't think it's fair to say the HV is an idiot. We have not examined the child. Maybe she has genuine concerns for valid reasons that the OP has not understood because of the clunky way it's been communicated?

Sme children are naturally and normally very large, but not the numbers that Hv's will be seeing nowadays. At 12 months, in the absence of any other concerns, it might just be a question if the health professional exploring the child's diet a bit and watching and waiting, or maybe a referral might be appropriate in some cases.

Sensitive communication and good training is the key, but they cannot dismiss all large children as normal, because we all now that is not the case in a society where 20% children are obese...

silverten Wed 07-Aug-13 19:56:15

HV is talking rubbish. Somebody has to be the biggest/smallest. It's not possible for all children to be under the 80th centile.

What is a bit more important is weight relative to height. If your DS was substantially under- or over- weight for his height then that might be a problem. BMI tries to get to this idea in a single measure but has its shortcomings and shouldn't be used as a blunt instrument without thought.

Your DS is unusually tall and unusually heavy for his age (did she use the right age for him, do you know?). But that doesn't mean there is anything necessarily wrong with him!

VeryDullNameChange Wed 07-Aug-13 19:58:13

I'd complain - someone this thick/ignorant/both should not be giving medical advice.

LoveBeingItsABoy Wed 07-Aug-13 19:59:17

She's a knob, ignore, ignore, ignore

UnevenTan Wed 07-Aug-13 20:01:09

From the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health guidance:

"Because it is difficult to measure length and height accurately in pre-school children, successive measurements commonly show wide variation. If there are worries about growth, it is useful to measure on a few occasions over time; most healthy children will show a stable average position over time."

Maybe get him re-weighed in 3 months (by someone else) and see if anything's changed smile?

VeryDullNameChange Wed 07-Aug-13 20:02:01

(Although I agree that many of the top 20% children by weight in the UK probably are at serious risk of obesity because that's the way we're currently distributed - but not the OPs child if he's been unusually tall from birth).

MiaowTheCat Wed 07-Aug-13 20:02:15

Some of them are fucking numpties. I had a great one a few months back (I tend to keep an eye on both kids' weight because of them being high centiles - if there IS going to become an issue I want to be right on top of it) who was absolutely adamant DD2 couldn't possibly only be 4 months. She was determined to tell me DD2 wasn't that age and that I was wrong - I kind of think I would remember DD2's birth date somehow - I WAS pretty involved! (DD2 is in 6-9 month clothes and I've had to cut the feet off babygros so she can stretch out in them... totally genetic as their father is incredibly, people stop in the street to say "cor you're tall", tall)

UnevenTan Wed 07-Aug-13 20:03:51

However, re-reading the OP, the 80th centile bit sounds weird. Even if she were meaning bmi centiles for 2 yrs+ overweight is the 91st+.

Yonionekanobe Wed 07-Aug-13 20:04:33

I had the opposite issue with DD, who I was apparently under feeding as she was only in the 20th. That was also at a year. Currently pg with DC2 - we will not be getting him/her weighed unless worried about something and then straight to GP.

carabos Wed 07-Aug-13 20:07:08

DS1 was on the 97th centile for height and weight at 12 months. He was 7lb 6ozs at birth and weighed more than 8lb a week later (ebf). The HV rode my ass about his size from day one. At school he looked like he was in the wrong class being a head taller than every other kid until he was about 14. Then hey presto, everyone shot up around him and closed the gap.

Today, age 27, he's a very gorgeous 6ft 1in with a powerful, muscular physique.

Concentrate on the quality of your DS diet, encourage him to be physically active and give yourself a pat on the back for raising a robust, healthy child.

BornToFolk Wed 07-Aug-13 20:19:15

DS was off the chart weight-wise at around a year old. His height was around 50-75th centile, I think. He was a dream to wean as he ate everything until he was a year old, and still drank lots of milk too. He never crawled, though he was cruising at a year.

My HV told me not to worry. As long as he was eating a good well balanced diet with lots of fruit, veg and milk and not too many treats, then it would balance out.

He started walking at 13 months and gradually became less of a chubster! He's always going to be heavy, I think, as he has a broad, muscular build like his dad but now, at 5.5. he has very little spare fat on him.

If you have no concerns about your DS's weight, then carry on with what you're doing.

RogueRebel Wed 07-Aug-13 20:36:48

my health visitor wanted me to put my 3month DD on a restricted diet. she was born big at 9.6 and a half and was a hungry baby.
I refused to do this because I knew she wouldn't settle unless she was on hungry baby formula, I had to stop BFing because she wasn't getting enough and I asked to see someone else.
I had a visit with doctor who measured DD height, weight head the whole shabang.
his opinion was I had a very healthy, but large baby because she was in proportion with everything else.
I think HV get to focused on the numbers and don't look at the big picture.
DD is now nearly 3 and doesn't look much different from her peers in nursery so really no need to worry.

Littleen Wed 07-Aug-13 20:39:19

Sounds stupid! If your child becomes overweight/chubby/chunky etc. it would be a much better solution to increase activity levels, rather than messing with his head about food!

It sounds like the HV doesn't really understand how centiles work or what they mean.

That said, there's a difference between being on the top centile line and being over it. A child could be precisely on the 99th centile for height, and several kilograms over for weight - and that could be an issue.

SpanielFace Wed 07-Aug-13 20:51:42

My DS was on 75th centile for height, 98th for weight, at his check up at 10 months. We did BLW and he is a very enthusiastic eater, but it is all healthy home cooked food. He wasn't crawling at that stage, and I have just assumed that he will naturally slim down as he becomes mobile. He's now 11 months and just starting to crawl).

It does worry me sometimes, but I am hoping that feeding healthy food to the child's appetite, not making a big issue of how much they eat (restricting/coercing etc), and encouraging them to be active, is the way to ensure they are a healthy BMI as an adult. Some of these stories have made me feel better!

pointythings Wed 07-Aug-13 21:24:45

I've just put your DS's stats into a calculator and he's actually a bit higher for height than he is for weight. So he's taller than he is heavy.

With him not walking yet I would imagine that gap will widen when he starts to walk. As long as you're feeding him healthy food and still giving him breast milk, he'll be fine.

As for your HV's interpretation of centiles - words fail.

Itchywoolyjumper Wed 07-Aug-13 21:46:19

I don't think many HVs know how the percentile thing works or how to plot graphs.
I used to go to a clinic where we were seen by whichever member of the team was available so we saw about 20 of them before I gave it up as a bad job and only one of them knew how to plot a graph. I had all manner of crazy advice, DS at one point was apparently so underweight we had to be monitored weekly and then not to long after that was over weight and I had to watch what he was eating.
I went home and redrew the graph with the numbers they'd put in the book and it was a perfect, smooth curve between the 25th and the 50th so I never went back again.

OttilieKnackered Wed 07-Aug-13 21:55:05

Do mumsnetters all have massive children? Whenever these centiles are mentioned all anyone ever says is 'DS is on the 99th centile for height and the 90th for weight' or something. Where are all the small babies? Or are the measurements really out of date?

I don't think so - DS1 is very tall but at 5 is the same height and weight as his 8yo cousin. There are certainly children older than him in his class that only come up to his shoulder or his ear.

frogspoon Wed 07-Aug-13 22:04:19

As he is the same percentile for height and weight, he is probably fine and in proportion.

However there are other things to take into account, such as the height/ weight of you and your DS's father, and his height/weight at birth

If you or his father are in the highest percentiles it is probably just genetic, and it is normal for him to be that size. However if you are both average or below average height/weight it might be a concern.

His size in proportion to his birth weight may also be relevant. You mentioned that he has always been a big baby, but has he always been in the 90+ percentile? If he used to be e.g. in the 70th percentile at birth, but has dramatically increased that would be a concern.

It isn't where he is on the height/weight chart that is important, but that he stays at the expected percentile and does not go up or down.

Do mumsnetters all have massive children? In my experience, not medical, I think the issue is that children at the bigger end, including my DD, who is off the charts for height, are just big kids. The very little kids I know, at the very bottom or off the bottom of the charts tend to be children with health issues, preemies, multiples or a combination of those.

I know one little girl who is absolutely tiny, shoes specially made tiny, because she was very ill at birth and in NICU etc. Her Mum wouldn't be on here talking about food or HVs because she has very specialised care and knows this is pretty unique to her case.

pointythings Wed 07-Aug-13 22:38:01

DD1 is 5'5'' at 12 and is the second tallest in her class - the tallest being another girl at 5'7''. DD isn't skinny, she is a size 6 and has a definite waist and boobs (bordering on B cup) but she is completely in proportion if a little long limbed - she's 78th centile for weight, 96th for height.

DD2 is 4'10'' at 10, is the tallest in her class, thin as a reed though starting to develop a little bit now - 40th centile for weight, 87th for height.

Both are within normal range, but with widely divergent height/weight centiles - children don't grow according to a set pattern.

And don't even get me started on their enormous feet.

SamHamwidge Wed 07-Aug-13 23:29:53

Me! My little girl is on the 0.4th centile. She was a preemie with IUGR. Thankfully she is doing well (eating is a nightmare, but that's another story).

I have beef with HV's. Like Itchy I have rarely met one who has ploted the right place on the graphs, I have to go over them myself!

And bloody centiles!!!!!! Some people are obsessed by them! Does my head in -

RappyNash Wed 07-Aug-13 23:35:03

Eh, my 2.9yo was weighed and measured by a paediatrician this week and came out 25th for height and 75th for weight. Paed said this was fine, particularly as his father was also very - ahem - solidly built at this age and is now an incredibly lean and ripped adult.

Snatchoo Wed 07-Aug-13 23:35:43

My twins are a bit shorter and skinnier than average. Haven't weighed or measured them for a while.

DS3 however, is almost as heavy as DTS2 (there is 2 yrs 9 months between them!). He is tall for his age and chunky, although definitely not fat. You can see his ribs, like you ought to.

My twins were 36 weekers, and, well, twins! DS3, a 40 weeker singleton has always been a different shape.

UnevenTan Wed 07-Aug-13 23:36:44

My dcs are all below the 25th centile for weight and height. One was at one stage below the 0.4 centile. No health issues (though we had a paed referral to check). Never had any cause to start a thread about it smile.

Bellasbundle Wed 07-Aug-13 23:45:29

I think I may have been blessed with a wonderful health visitor my dd always been on 50th centil e for height and weight, ds born on 25th stayed there for four months and then didn't gain an ounce for 4 months hv didn't panic reassured all along as he looked so healthy/happy/content pead declared him as failing to thrive - eventually discharged with a 'all the best things come in small packages' now two years later he is still little but very noisy and gets checked 3 monthly by the health visitor who has been brilliant throughout :-)

zipzap Wed 07-Aug-13 23:46:20

I would be putting in a formal complaint about the HV and how she is giving out potentially dangerous advice based on a complete misunderstanding of the percentiles work.

Short of cutting a few inches off the bottom of your ds's legs he is going to stay - at least in the immediate future - the same height. That isn't going to change. And chances are that he will continue growing along at the same rate, albeit in fits and starts rather than in a nice smooth text-book curve but will average out just fine over time.

What she is saying is that your ds, who is currently in perfect proportions of height:weight - and you sound like you think your ds is proportionally right too - she is saying that your ds needs to lose a fifth of his body weight if he needs to get back down to the 80th percentile (you haven't said for weight, just height, but I'm extrapolating here and assuming she thinks he shouldn't be heavier than 80th percentile either - apologies if I am wrong).

Or that you should effectively starve him so he doesn't grow at the rate that he is obviously destined to do so at the moment.

If you were to follow her advice, you would have a really hungry unhappy child who was not growing as he should do - that's the sort of behaviour that HV are supposed to be picking up on and helping the mum to stop or to protect the child from - not advocating it as the way to treat a child.

Sorry, it's late and I'm rambling a bit but hopefully you get what I mean and will know exactly what figures she was talking about to make a detailed complaint about - but I really think it is something serious that could have serious repercussions for a child if the mother wasn't as switched on as you are and just thought they ought to do exactly what the HV told them to in similar circumstances to these!

hamab Wed 07-Aug-13 23:56:13

I'm in two minds really. Yes there are those dc who are just large - have tall parents etc.

I had two friends when my dc was little and they both complained about a similar interference and later refused to let the school nurse check their dc for weight and height.

They were both very big dc, having been average birth weights. They were a stone heavier than their counterparts at around age 2 - when they only weight 2 stone normally. One did even out when she started walking. The other is obese now.

In hindsight - I'd take it as something you need to watch tbh. It may be something, it may be nothing.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 08-Aug-13 00:48:36

I've got 5 dc. I've no idea what centile any of them were or are on. I never took them to be weighed...ever!

I can't believe people sit in clinics to have their babies weight plotted on a chart- really can't.

Its comment sense.

sleepywombat Thu 08-Aug-13 01:46:53

Hate this obsession with weighing babies.

Know so many FAT babies, who are now slim, perfectly healthy children. Indeed, the fattest babies I know are ebf.

Itchywoolyjumper Thu 08-Aug-13 10:06:10

The other thing I found about quite a lot of our HVs was that quite early on in the consultation they'd decide there was a problem and no matter how much evidence I provided they stuck to their line and that was it.

For example we once went and the HV commented on how short DS was and asked how tall his dad was. Now DH is over 6ft and this convinced her that DS had some kind of problem. It didn't matter that I explained to her that all my family are tiny wee short people so that DS had a fairly good chance of not being the Jolly Giant.

alreadytaken Thu 08-Aug-13 10:39:42

UnevenTan I worry about you. You said "That said, it's not as straightforward as same centile for both = fine, perhaps because of the aforementioned trend for overweight children to grow taller too." Overweight children do no "grow taller" because they are overweight. Some children do get a bit porky before a growth spurt, then the nutrients in their diet produce those things like bones that tend to weigh something. For that reason a child seen as overweight should be reweighed in a few weeks or months to see if there is still an issue.

Centiles are a crude measure on which to be doing anything. A baby who is very low weight may be failing to thrive and unable to grow properly. That may not be due to the amount they are fed but to, for example, milk intolerance. It needs medical advice. It's more of a concern than a baby seeming to be overweight at one measurement.

The suggestion that the food of an 1 year old should be restricted without medical advice proves that this HV is dangerous.

Shrugged Thu 08-Aug-13 10:53:22

MrsTerryPratchett, I think it's like MIL threads, in that no one posts a thread about unproblematic relationships! HVs are clearly being prompted into being the first line of defence against childhood obesity, so are perhaps over-primed to raise issues with children at the upper end of the centile charts, so there are more posts about that.

I agree, though, that this HV seems dangerously clueless about what centiles mean.

My toddler at his one year check was 50th for weight and 75th for height, but I can literally see him growing out and up in different stages week on week, after a period where not much changed.

Catinthebed Thu 08-Aug-13 11:00:49

I haven't read the whole thread but surely you don't restrict a childs food intake even if they were overweight. I understood that it was about making healthier choices ie. toast instead of choccie biccies, or fruit instead of raisins.

Prozacbear Thu 08-Aug-13 12:22:16

I stopped going to HV because of this - you don't need to see them, it's not mandated!

DS is off the scale for both weight and height at 2.6 - he is the size of a 3.6-year-old and has the shape of one too - he'll be 6'4" looking at the men in my family and his current size. He will never be a whippet, more a great dane, and HV couldn't seem to accept that, despite the fact that you can see his ribs! So I effed off.

Just don't go back. Ever. grin

Not for this age group - but for age 2-18 there is a WHO chart which has weight centile and height centile on the two axes and then plots whether your child is overweight here. This indicates that if a of 2-8 child is 98th centile for height and weight then they are overweight.

Leaving that aside as your DS is not 2, it is worth looking at the graphs here If you have remembered correctly then saying your 12 month old is 99th centile is fairly meaningless at 87cm. He is well above the 99th centile for height. By describing him as 99th centile you would include any 12 month old over 82 cm, whether they are 83 cm or 90 cm. And it would be reasonable to expect a 90 cm baby to weigh more than an 83 cm baby. The graphs are just not designed with the very tall in mind. He is the average height of a 23 month old (that is where the 50th centile hits 87cm). If he was 23 months then his weight of 12.7 kg (28 lb) would put him between 50th and 75th centile for weight. That strikes me as very much in proportion.

I wish everyone would just ignore hvs all the time. they give the worst advise.

Dd has always been off the charts tall, but around 75th for weight. she dropped down to under 50th for weight as she had feeding issues and hvs refused to help as she wasn't breastfed. then told me I was blatantly under feeding her. I don't bother with them at all, got some medical advice from an actually medically trained person and Dd got happy, fed well and is now between 50th and 75th having been there from about 9m. still off the chart tall.

I have limited interactions with them for ds but they're under the impression he is OK because his height and weight are both 50th. failing to see that actually ds is out of proportion. he has tiny kegs and a long body. our gp thinks its hilarious that they moan about dd's height/weight difference but can't see that about ds (nothing wrong with him of course, he's just not built as standard like a lot of kids)

MiaowTheCat Thu 08-Aug-13 18:38:00

My very very tall kids WERE preemies! Even when born they were all arms and legs and long (by preemie standards). Their dad is 6 foot 7 though so conversations in the hospital usually went along the lines of "oh she's very long" and then DH would walk into the room behind me, they'd take one look and comment "and I've just understood why!"

I actually think it has on our medical notes "really tall husband" because when I went to see the recurrent miscarriage consultant she caught us at the door to the clinic and said, "Oh you must be X... I'd heard your husband was really really tall"

Bruthastortoise Thu 08-Aug-13 18:44:34

I'm genuinely wondering if a child is on the 98th centile for height then which centile should they be on for weight in order to not be "overweight"? I was under the impression if a 98th centile height child was more than two centiles lighter weight wise then they'd be classed as underweight?

Turniptwirl Thu 08-Aug-13 18:48:25

It sounds like he has a balanced diet and that he is just a big baby since height and weight are in line.

As long as you keep his diet sensible I see no need to restrict it based on this.

tiggytape Thu 08-Aug-13 19:20:37

The charts are very confusing andf not that helpful at the extreme ends.
Having height and weight on the same centile does not necessarily mean a child has a healthy weight for their height because of the way the charts are compiled.
The charts were compiled years ago and are based on observed heights and weights. They show the position of either height or weight within a statistical distribution. They do not show if a particular height or weight is healthy - just how common it is in relation to other the children whose observations it is based on.

Obese children were less common when the charts were compiled. Therefore if 20% of children are overweight or obese now, this skews the upper ends. A child on the 90th centile for height and weight may not be as ideal as the identical figures for height and weight suggests.

The charts have lots of other inaccuracies too (eg being based mainly on a population who typically grew into slightly smaller adults than today's population) but it isn't the case that having identical figures for height and weight on those charts definitely means there is no problem and perfect proportion.

That said, I don't think it is good advice to tell a parent to restrict a 1 year old's food intake without an expert opinion and without a lot of knowledge about the baby's diet which this HV didn't have

SuckAtRelationships Thu 08-Aug-13 20:34:53

Because of my job I can tell you, babies who are around the 99th centile for height usually are around the same for weight. HTH smile (OK, common sense tells you this, but just as a back up, so does my job)

thefuturesnotourstosee Thu 08-Aug-13 20:47:27

You're not a HV are you suckatrelationships grin

I've just looked at DD's red book. She is now a slim tall 7 year old. At age 1 she was on 99th centile for height and weight. DP is over 6ft and I'm 5ft 7 so I suppose genetics have a lot to answer for

SmallFarAway Thu 08-Aug-13 20:51:00

My DD has been around 99th centile for height and weight since she was about 3 months old (was around 75th centile at birth). At her 12 month check the HV said she was big for her age but made no other comment.

UnevenTan Thu 08-Aug-13 21:03:17

Alreadytaken -nope, you are wrong. Overweight/obese children do grow taller than their peers. Search the academic literature and you will see it is well documented.

The charts are not that old. The quote below comes from the NHS website.

"Since May 2009, the centile charts in your PCHR or red book have been based on measurements taken by the World Health Organization from healthy, breastfed children with non-smoking parents from a range of countries."

BeesGoBuzzzzzz Thu 08-Aug-13 22:32:22

HV needs some training. Scary really.

KatOD Thu 08-Aug-13 22:56:03

Ignore her, clearly an innumerate idiot. My friend and I got so much hassle about our kids (her DS has been consistently small.. as are her and her DH and my DD has been consistently around 98-99th and DH and I are tall and broad) that we used to go to check ups together to see what new "mathematical" tosh they'd churn out to tell us we were doing something wrong. (Whilst our clearly healthy kids ran around playing with each other).

Just as there's a distribution of normal children's build, there's a distribution of normal HV's capability and it sounds like you and I managed to get ones around the 0.25th percentile.

No2 son has always been solid and weighs far more than he looks - he went for one check with a new health visitor who measured and then weighed him and then scratched her head, weighed him again and then checked the scales and then weighed him again - you could almost hear her muttering under her breath saying "ffs why are you so fuckin heavy when you look normal" grin

They don't know everything and as was said, if he is eating a healthy diet, why would you restrict food from a baby??

Aren't babies a lot like cats in that they don't tend to eat more than they need?

ICBINEG Fri 09-Aug-13 00:14:22

fab post katOD

ICBINEG Fri 09-Aug-13 00:15:43

Restricting / controlling babies/toddlers food intake is correlated with higher rates of even if your baby was 'too heavy' which he isn't then you would only make things worse by restricting...

goodasitgets Fri 09-Aug-13 00:59:48

I was prem but incredibly long (skinned rat as my dad said) grin
First they said I would have restricted growth and be petite
Then they actually talked about it being a problem as predicted height? Being 6'5
I evened out but was tallest in the school for most years and stopped at 5'11
It's like horses! We have one that has two enormous parents and so far looks like a child's pony. No good for my long legs, he must be some genetic throwback grin

LongTailedTit Fri 09-Aug-13 01:04:44

DS was 9th centile for both height and weight at his 2yr check a few months ago - I had a 'student' HV and she was fab, the first HV ever to point out that it meant he was in perfect proportion!

He was a little early (36wks) and 5lb5oz, about 1/3rd Asian, and not a reliably good eater - all of these factors make it likely for him to be a bit smaller, but all previous HVs have put the frighteners on and made me feel like he was too small, when he's just the right size for him.
DH is tall, my family are all tall (I'm the family shrimp at 5'7"), so DS is likely to shoot up in his teens, but for now he's slim and petite.

My sister's kids were all 97th centile, they are all the tallest in their classes at school, some kids are just happen to be scaled up!

MiaowTheCat Fri 09-Aug-13 09:08:56

goodasitgets DH is very very tall - but his parents are lower end of average height - it just throws back to somewhere else in the genes (they think he has an uncle who is well over the 6 foot mark he got it from).

Both my DD seem to have been utterly unaffected in the height department by their prematurity too - they were both long enough for people to comment on it when they were born (poor DD1 had such big feet she looked like she was wearing clown shoes!)

MamaChubbyLegs Fri 09-Aug-13 09:29:08

I was 28lb at my 1 year check. I'm not sure if I was as tall as your DS, but by the time I was 6, I was so skinny that the dinner ladies at school had to monitor my eating. I stayed tall and skinny until 11 when I stopped growing up and got wide instead, but that was more to do with McDonalds and curry than what I was fed 11 years prior.

My DS (5 months) currently off the scale for height but on the 75th centile (I think?) for weight. He is tall and skinny. I hope he catches up with his weight. He's ribby! If my HV tells me to restrict his diet, I shall be laughing my way out of the childrens centre and merrily ignoring her!

alreadytaken Sun 11-Aug-13 12:04:16

KatOD flowers

UnevenTan You misunderstand statistics. The OP has a child who has always been big, suggesting a genetic tendency to be taller. That does not mean they will be obese. The tendency you refer to is a result of earlier development and does not persist into adulthood. You might also like to read Oxford's crtitique of BMI and height here especially the reference to babies being spheres and the accepted BMI measurement being inappropriate.

More to the point - you are diluting the message which should be heavily focused on food restriction is hardly ever recommended for children. Dietary changes and increased exercise, not food restriction, would be suggested for obese children and only after a proper assessment. A health visitor suggesting food restriction on the basis of a weight percentile needs retraining.

JerseySpud Sun 11-Aug-13 12:13:55

He's the same size as my 2 year old dd

So is my friends son who is 12 months. Her eldest son is the same ages as my eldest DD and has just had a massive growth spurt and slimmed out.

OhMowGod Sun 11-Aug-13 12:18:31

OP I deliberately cancelled our 1 year check for this exact reason. He too was 28lb. He was on the 95th centile for height.

He too was breastfed, but his diet was already hugely restricted because of health issues so he was that lovely chubby weight because of my milk which was fine by me.

He is 2 now and he is 30lb. Just 2lb gain in a year which is still absolutely fine, my eldest did the same went from super duper fat to walking and slimming right down and growing upwards.

MrsMook Sun 11-Aug-13 12:53:56

I tended to avoid the HVs. DS1 has food allergies with a significant effect on the basic foods he can eat and he is under the 25th centiles, but fairly proportionate. He was born on the 75th. He gets checked at the dieticians and they are happy with him, but they set more value on the way he looks for proportions, and general health than their measurements. He eats heartily and is very active, so I doubt there is anything of use the HVs can tell me in that department. It might be the allergies having an effect or just my petite genes.

You can tell when a small child is proportionate, and if they're not, early changes like getting mobile make a big difference between 6m-2y.

Idocrazythings Sun 11-Aug-13 13:11:33

I would complain about her "advise" to who ever you complain to. It sounds very odd and dangerous. At one babies are still self regulating their diet and know exactly how much they need to eat. My BIL was a very chubby baby, then had a couple of nasty chest infections thrown in with some asthma and quickly became a skinny baby!

Stupid woman. No wonder health professionals get a bad name when there are people like that out there.

Idocrazythings Sun 11-Aug-13 13:12:04

Oops "advice"

KatOD Mon 12-Aug-13 23:20:53

Nope understand statistics quite well thanks, 3 degrees in physics will do that.

TheBleedinObvious Mon 12-Aug-13 23:42:36

I would be after a second (or third) opinion for sure.

Also (and I'm not saying this necessarily applies to the op) sometimes parents are most certainly not the best judge of whether their child is a healthy weight or if weight/height is proportionate. Frog in the hot water syndrome. Which also applies to many aspects of child development (speech development, dietary habits, motor skills etc) which is why we have routine developmental checks. Although one professional opinion which doesn't seem right should be taken with a grain of salt until another opinion has been sought.

I know one mother who was shocked at hearing her son was overweight/obese as she had been providing a very healthy diet. What she did not understand was that although bananas are healthy a 5 year old should not be eating 5 bananas a day. He was just having too much food altogether.

BoffinMum Tue 13-Aug-13 00:04:13

I am another one who thinks 99% height should roughly equal 99% of weight, more or less.

Avoid HVs in future. Most of them speak utter rubbish IME.

Featherbag Tue 13-Aug-13 10:21:41

Ignore, and feel free to pm me if you want support or to have a general bitch about crazy HVs and lovely squidgy fat babies! My DS was similar height/weight at the same age, he's now 39lbs and about 90cms, or 2' 9". My crazy HV made me take him to a dietitian and implied if I didn't I'd be marked as uncooperative and overfeeding him. The dietitian agreed the HV is crazy and that DS has a fantastic diet, discharged him and I now avoid the crazy HV like the plague - I was gutted when I found out she'd been informed about my second pregnancy already!

Featherbag Tue 13-Aug-13 10:23:17

Oh, and no walking here til about 16 months - and should've said DS is now 22 months!

Jenny70 Tue 13-Aug-13 10:31:26

I agree that HV isn't understanding the curves. But can also see that having a child at the top of the centiles isn't necessarily healthy.

Perhaps a middle approach? Be more aware of how many desserts and fatty foods he gets, but don't limit his intake of healthy foods.

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