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Am I going to be a controlling mum? - Help me understand myself please!

(43 Posts)
whosthis Mon 21-Jan-13 21:06:30

Hi everyone, I know it makes no sense to get angry with a 3 months old just because he doesn't want to "enough" milk as I deem he should. My brain understand 100% why it's a joke and why it is extremely unnecessary. I love him and I wouldn't really be angry with him. But at that moment, I just couldn't control myself and almost jumped over the roof. confused

DS is a relatively little boy since he was breastfed. I attributed that to my low-quality milk and was eventually obliged to stop bf and use formula only. Comparing with other babies in the clinic or in post-natal group, his size just couldn't compare with anyone else. His weight falls into 9th percentile. Therefore, I have been always concerned if he could catch up and worried otherwise he might be bullied in the school and ect.

He didn't have a lot yesterday, about 810ml. Fair enough, as he didn't burp well and the gas in his system made him uncomfortable to have enough. But today, each time after I prepared the bottle with full hope that he could finish it (about 190-200), he would lose his interest after having finished less than a half and then the rest just became frustrating and tiring. In the end, I just had to give up. It happened at the 2nd, and the 3rd time of feeding of the day already. I was hoping the 4th time it could get better as his hunger might be built up and therefore have a bit more. But not really... I constantly tried this and that, all the tricks I could think about and burp him till my both arms so sore that I could barely raise them up. Nothing worked. He didn't seem to be upset by the wind this time and just didn't want! I know, I swear that I understand that baby's appetite can differ one day to the other. But after he happened to brush the bottle on to the floor using his arm in an intention to get away from the bottle, I became really angry. I couldn't help myself and I picked the bottle up and knocked it on the table hard, very hard. Once, twice, again and again. I know, I know I shouldn't feel like that, it really isn't necessary and I was over-reacting. But I just couldn't stop feeling the frustration, the worry and the anger.

I put him on the sofa and stepped back sitting in the chair on the other side of the room and felt hopeless to calm down myself or put my emotion aligned with the rational part of my brain. I knew it's dangerous to put him alone on the sofa, but I just couldn't face him. I could only manage to look at him from a distance otherwise I would feel suffocated...

As I said, I love him and I am perfectly aware that child's appetite would wary everyday and as my husband said DS wouldn't eat normally all the time until he's an adult someday. I can't understand if it is because I am (going to be) a controlling mum or it's just because I am simply overworried.

Did any of you experience the same or similar feeling? Or maybe anyone could help me understand what's wrong with me? I am a bit afraid that when he's older, I would make him and myself really unhappy just because of silly little things for which he wouldn't follow the way I want him to follow...

TheSecondComing Mon 21-Jan-13 21:10:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VisualiseAHorse Mon 21-Jan-13 21:16:05

Firstly - don't put the baby on the sofa. He may suddenly decide to roll off. Always put baby in the cot or even on the floor - no where he can roll into harm.

I used to get VERY angry when my LO wouldn't sleep when he was clearly tired. I can't count the times I put him in his cot and walked off, leaving him to cry for a good 5/10 minutes.

My LO was also on the 9th centile when he was born (and still is for height, although his weight has shot up in the past two months to the 91st!!) He is now 9 months old. In terms of worrying about what he'll be like at school - RELAX. He is a baby, he is finding his 'correct' line to fall onto. Look at him now....is he a happy, alert baby, does he makes plenty of wet/dirty nappies etc? IGNORE the book for a while, it's just a guideline, not something that a baby has to stick to religiously. Hell, I never even touched the bottom line when I was a baby, and here I am, a very healthy 26 year old.

I would advise making smaller bottles. Make half the amount you currently are, that way, it won't matter so much whether he finishes or not. Are you feeding him to a routine or on demand?

Many mums get angry with their babies - have you spoken to your partner about this?

sparkle101 Mon 21-Jan-13 21:17:41

My dd was exactly like this and I was exactly like you. When she was born she weighed 5.12, and went down to 5. I took her to be weighed every week and got really upset when she wouldn't take the bottle, crying and getting very emotional!

She is two and a half now, she's small for her age (but only a couple of months behind) and she has carried on her eating traits all this way, some days she will eat food like its going out of fashion and others she will hardly touch it. They'll regulate themselves, you're not doing anything wrong but do try and give yourself a break!

sparkle101 Mon 21-Jan-13 21:18:04

My dd was exactly like this and I was exactly like you. When she was born she weighed 5.12, and went down to 5. I took her to be weighed every week and got really upset when she wouldn't take the bottle, crying and getting very emotional!

She is two and a half now, she's small for her age (but only a couple of months behind) and she has carried on her eating traits all this way, some days she will eat food like its going out of fashion and others she will hardly touch it. They'll regulate themselves, you're not doing anything wrong but do try and give yourself a break!

cheddarcheeselover Mon 21-Jan-13 21:18:05

Oh gosh, it's so so hard, and it sounds like you've had the brunt of some rubbish HV advice re weight.
9th centile is perfectly fine and healthy. 50th isn't where everyone should be, it's just the middle of the healthy range.
I think you are showing signs of pnd/anxiety and that you should talk to your gp.
every single mother in the world gets 'the rage' sometimes, it's what you do with it that matters. You did the right thing, take it out on an inanimate object and take a step back to breathe.

cheddarcheeselover Mon 21-Jan-13 21:20:50

and don't worry too much about the sofa, even if he did roll he'd be fine, and the chance of him learning to roll in that moment is tiny.

MikeFlowersPops Mon 21-Jan-13 21:22:46

It's normal to be worried and it's normal to feel frustrated with your child. It is also normal to feel suffocated sometimes when you look after a small baby day in day out.

I get frustrated with my 5 yo on a daily basis and she's at school for half the day and isn't completely helpless. She also sleeps at night.

You need techniques to cope with your frustration and anger appropriately - and I think putting your baby down in a safe place (maybe the floor next time?) and walking away to gather yourself is an appropriate response. You're doing fine and it will get easier smile

PignutSalamander Mon 21-Jan-13 21:25:11

Oh dear, stop beating yourself up!

We all get that angry way sometimes and then you look at your tiny baby and think how could I ever be angry with that sweet little angel, I am a monster! I'm obviously a terrible mother and this is the start of it all going horribly wrong.
It sounds to me like you did not have the right support for bf and I know from experience how incredibly personally you take this. It does not mean that you have failed or that your baby is rejecting you.
Your baby thinks you are the entire universe right now and has already forgotten the brief flash of anger.

Some babies are smaller. Those fucking stupid centiles are not targets you have to make him reach. They are utterly irrelevant. WHO guidelines state as long as baby is gaining 2oz per week and bright eyed and bushey tailed they are fine.

Being big or small now does not mean it stays that way.

This bit is really hard but you can do it. Try to stop stressing about what your baby "should" be doing and enjoy him for who he is.

ifherbumwereabungalow Mon 21-Jan-13 21:27:01

I am so sorry you are having such a frustrating time OP, but please believe me when I say you are being way too hard on yourself! I adore my DS (7 months old) but I have often had days when I have felt exactly the same as you. 200ml does seem like a lot to try and get down him at each sitting, my DS is a bloody mammoth and still doesn't always drink that much now! Maybe if you try it little and often you will be able to get more into him? As you say, their needs do vary from day to day so you really don't need to panic. As for winding, I used to spend ages trying to get some up and eventually gave up more often than not. By 3 months they are moving about, sitting up with your support, so alot will escape unnoticed.
As for leaving him on the sofa and sitting somewhere else for a minute, this is something I did/do and he hasn't fallen off yet! As long as you have some cushions tucked around him and are keeping an eye, you have nothing to worry about. You need the space as much as he does!
I am sure someone will be along to give you some fantastic advice and support, but in the meantime, don't despair. I have had many moments with baby and his older brother when I thought I was losing my mind, and my temper, and felt absolutely awful afterwards, but everybody I know has experienced similar lapses and they have all lived to tell the tale. Eternal guilt seems to be part and parcel of motherhood, and you will probably have a million more moments of bottle banging and wanting to scream in the future. This is normal! Please don't let this overwhelm you. You are not alone, and I am sure there are thousands of women experiencing exactly the same, and all feeling dreadful because of it. Hang in there, I will be thinking of you.

PignutSalamander Mon 21-Jan-13 21:32:21


This website has a helpline number I have called them a couple times when I really needed to talk and they are great!
there is also bluebell for pnd support but that may just be Scotland

CatsRule Mon 21-Jan-13 21:32:57

My ds was between 50th and 75th centile when he was born. He went as low as 0.4 and now sits around the 2nd line. My first hv was a menace! She constantly harrassed me about his weight, he was gaining 4oz per week on average prior to weaning at 6 months...she said he should gain 8oz per week. It turned out, after much pushing by me, he was referred and he had/has reflux. It took 14 weeks of me saying something isn't right. Hv's don't know it all. Every baby is different and won't necessarily follow the textbook.

I find it difficult to not get frustrated sometimes. Last week I put him in his cot and had to walk away...he is pinching at the moment and it can be really sore and trying. There is nothing wrong with feeling angry or frustrated but deal with it by keeping him safe first.

Where my ds's eating ia concerned, he is 10 months now and regularly at least 5 time a week throw up his food. Today he hasn't kept a thing down. I have been to the Dr who after giving me lots of eye rolling declared me pfb!! Seriously, the Dr was unhelpful and unconcerned. I am though but have had to change my approach to his food. Maybe a different approach could help your ds? Or even help you rationalise it and realise that he cannot help it.

MissPB Mon 21-Jan-13 21:33:14

My DDwas only 6lb 4 when she was born and she looked so tiny next to other babies we met. I remember watching them down huge bottles of milk and felt mortified when mine would only have 80 ml. I felt as if I was doing something wrong or that there was something wrong with mine.

But there was nothing wrong with DD and I wasn't doing anything wrong - took me ages to stop feeling guilty and worried about it though.

But she grew just fine and is the same height/size as most of her peers at age 7.

It is so hard to not worry but your baby is probably taking as much as he needs. Try writing down the amount of milk he drinks at each sitting and add it up at the end of the day and you will probably start to see a pattern and see he his getting enough. I could only ever keep this up for a few days at a time though!

PignutSalamander Mon 21-Jan-13 21:34:32


StraightTalkinSheila Mon 21-Jan-13 21:36:18

You sound as if everything is overwhelming you. You come across as being a good mum- concerned about your baby and wanting the best for him.

However, perhaps you should think about goig to see your doctor if your feelings are becoming all consuming. It might be that you are just exhausted and stressed, or perhaps soome PND lurking.

Don't worry about damaging your DS's development for the future. You love him and you want the best for him, but you do need to go and talk about how you feel right now with someone outside your family.

Good luck, OP. I hope you will be able to feel better soon.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Mon 21-Jan-13 22:48:32

The thing with centiles is, if everyone was the same, they wouldn't exist. The normal distrinution thing and the famous "bell curve" automatically mean that some people/data are at each end. It doesn't matter what you measure, there will be a certain number of points at the low and high ends. That is FINE honestly, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with your baby, or reflect on your parenting, really it doesn't. It just means "what it says" he is 9th percentile. Well so fucking what? It means nothing else. It will make no difference to how he is treated at school, or how intelligent and gorgeous and lovely he is, it just can't. As long as he eats, and isn't screaming with hunger, and isn't skeletally thin or hugely fat, he is fine
If you really can't get your fears and concerns out of your head, then I second the suggestion to go and see the GP or health visitor and get some proper reassurance and/or help. Just to get you through and out the other side, rather than letting your worries spoil the precious moments with DS while he's so young. You should be enjoying him, and it is a shame to be all worried and chewed up when there's no need smile

PomBearWithAnOFRS Mon 21-Jan-13 22:48:54

distribution not distrinution

whosthis Mon 21-Jan-13 22:53:35

Thank you, ladies! To know I am not the only one brought some consolation if not a complete relief. It's odd, isn't it? This little person without any intention just drives you mad. blush I guess it's probably because we care and we want the best for them. But ultimately, I hope I can keep in mind, (*PignutSalamander*, thank you) to enjoy him for who he is.

The percentile thing does make me feel uncomfortable and the bf thing in my heart sadden me as a mum who has limits to provide. But I know as long as he's healthy and happy, nothing else matters.

Thank you for the comforting words and the supports, ladies. As always, you are there whenever I need you! Thanks! brew

FannyBazaar Mon 21-Jan-13 23:02:56

It is so very hard to be relaxed and calm when your child isn't one of those plump babies that never has trouble gaining weight. You are right though, it is something that can manifest itself in different ways when he's older. Is he otherwise healthy?

Have you checked the amounts you are giving him fit in with the guidelines for his weight? The NHS has a bottle feeding leaflet [http://www.nhs.uk/start4life/Documents/PDFs/Start4Life_Guide_to_bottle_feeding.pdf] which recommends 150-200ml per kg per day. Around 8 feeds a day would be normal but formula manufacturers instructions suggest 6 or maybe even 5 large feeds for that age rather than 8 small ones.

If he is following his centile line and not dropping, it is fine.

My skinny child has never been one to eat loads but has robust health and great strength. Of course I'd love him to eat more but what he eats is good food so I have to just let him get on with it. It's hard isn't it and we all compare to others with plump babies even though we shouldn't.

OlivetheotherReindeer Mon 21-Jan-13 23:18:33

Oh gosh, I could have written this. It's so hard when they don't feed well. Please get him checked for reflux and silent reflux. Have a look at the boards around here for info. Silent reflux was the root of our problem, small bottles or bottle refusing. It's so much better now with meds and with weaning. Yes, some babies don't eat to a curve or chart but get a referral to a paed to put your mind at rest. It's so hard but it passes. Promise.

SquinkiesRule Mon 21-Jan-13 23:33:56

First you sound like a lovely Mum and second your milk was as good as anyone elses.
I remember back in the 80's (yes I'm old) there was a study done on quality of breast milk or some such title, they actually tested milk from a well to do woman with a very healthy diet living in a city, a woman who's diet was not as healthy and a woman living in poverty in an African nation with a very restricted diet. All had good quality milk, so I doubt unless you have malnutrition or some strange disease that your milk was of poor quality, give yourself a pat of the back for breastfeeding at all in this day and age.
All babies are different, some thrive on only milk others won't gain or grow no matter what without medical intervention.
What is important is the baby gets fed and happy and you are happy, no matter how it's done.
So stop beating yourself up and be nice to yourself, you sound like you are doing all you can your baby will be fine. Sometimes they sip at the bottle and eat very little and other times they gulp it down like you haven't fed them in a week.

wibblyjelly Mon 21-Jan-13 23:34:12

whosthis, I feel exactly the same. DS is gaining weight fine, and is a very happy chappy. However, I have in my head that he should be having a set amount of formula each day. Problem is its my set amount, and not his! He starts the feed well, then halfway through, bats it away in a very 'I don't want this mummy!' manner. I've been in tears quite a few times over the past few weeks.
Its now apparent that ds is teething, which is probably affecting him. Could your DC be teething maybe?

Yfronts Mon 21-Jan-13 23:44:21

Firstly, stop being so worried about the weight. You are projecting lots of problems onto your child and you will create lots of future eating problems if you continue with this feeding obsession.

Babies do drink more sometimes and sometimes they drink less - it's just the way babies are. I think you need to wire brush all the measurements out on the side of the bottle (so you can't read them!) and just let your baby take the lead about how much he wants to eat.

I have four kids, two of which are on the 0.4 percentile, one of which is on the 9th percentile and the last one is under the very bottom percentile. They were all born a bit heavier and then got lighter. They are the way god intended them to be - just perfect. They are wiry, bright, coordinated verbally and physically, able to stand up for themselves etc. Yes they were so much smaller then other huge babies in baby groups but you will fine that over a number of years most children move percentiles.

MorningHasBroken Mon 21-Jan-13 23:53:42

Whosthis, I have a 7 month old who's been off the bottom of the scale, currently tracking the 0.4th. I'm lucky to have a very understanding hv who seems to place as much emphasis on 'he looks healthy and happy' as the weight itself.

It's normal to get angry and stressed - you're tired, you don't get a break, no training and there's no manual to tell you what's right our wrong. If this was a 'normal' job we'd have handed our notices in long ago citing poor work conditions!

Have you got a neighbour or family/friend close by that can relieve you for a few minutes when you're finding it too much?

dayshiftdoris Mon 21-Jan-13 23:58:12

If your baby was born on the 9th centile and is still around the 9th centile then that sounds just fab to me...

Mine was born on the 98th and fell to the 50th after urine and chest infections... when I raised it a pediatrician asked me what my problem was - 'Do you not want your baby to be average?'...
Anyway - 8yrs on and passed that awful time he is on the 98th centile for height and weight grin

I remember the despair... putting him down and walking away was exactly the right thing to do tho next time I too would go with the cot, bouncy chair or his mat...
As for banging his bottle - I threw a parenting book at a wall once... it deserved it wink

I do wonder about the support you've had from professionals and if it hasnt been more pressure than support?


That is the website which contain the guidelines that HVs are supposed to follow when using growth charts... scroll down and there are parents leaflets or just read the professional guidelines.... I think you will find them reassuring.

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