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Need reassurance that my HV is clueless please!

(19 Posts)
you Thu 09-Jul-09 10:41:49

I visited my HV to have DD (16 weeks on Sat) weighed and she asked how often I was feeding. I still feed her at least twice through the night and have been told that by this age she should be sleeping through as she is ff. Was advised to 'water down' her night feeds by keeping the same amount of water but reducing the amount of powder every few days till she is taking only water.

This can't be right can it?! She's 5.5kg so just under the 25th centile so she's not huge anyway. We demand feed during the day and she feeds every 3-4 hours taking 4-6 oz each time. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a decent nights sleep but surely she's still too little to just expect her to sleep through if she's not ready? Or maybe not, I don't know!

alexpolismum Thu 09-Jul-09 10:47:06

My sister's ff baby is 14 months and still doesn't sleep through, still needs a feed during the night. Why shouldn't she?

My dd is bf, turned 1 last Tuesday and also wakes up for a feed during the night.

If it comes to that, I am in my 30s and still like to have a glass of water during the night!

BagPuss71 Thu 09-Jul-09 10:54:32

My DD is nearly eight months old. She didn't sleep through until I weaned her at six months. Even after this she was still waking at night so as I wanted her to sleep through and I knew she was well fed during the day I stopped bf at night. After a couple of nights she was going from 7pm til 7am.

I was given similar advice to you when my DD was a similar age but I didn't do it as I felt she was too young.

tiktok Thu 09-Jul-09 11:03:00

you : ask her where she has her information from.

Anyone who says what babies 'should' be doing by a certain age can be challenged in this way.

The majority of babies of this age wake in the night and feed. It is normal. Why would you be expected to change normal behaviour?

maxmissie Thu 09-Jul-09 11:03:21

My dd was formula fed and didn't completely drop her night time feeds until she was about 9 months. there is no way she would have slept through the night without a feed at 16 weeks. We demand fed her in the day and once-twice at night and then as she started to eat more food (around 8-9 months) gradually weaned her off a bottle at night by reducing the amount of formula by an oz every couple of nights or so. We didn't water it down just reduced the amount of powder and water accordingly. I think your hv is being abit unreasonable and I would do what you think feels right.

undomesticatedgoddess Thu 09-Jul-09 11:14:59

shock at your HV.

Feeding at night is absolutely normal for a 16 week baby. My DS is 16 weeks and feeds between 1-3 times a night. What shocked me most was the advice regarding making the formula more dilute.

As far as I'm aware this is never advised. I really would challenge this.

Or do what I did yesterday which was to nod and smile at the (unsolicited) advice yesterday regarding not allowing my DS to sleep at the breast as this was a bad habit.

tiktok Thu 09-Jul-09 11:17:36

Why not challenge, udomesticatedgoddess?

Nodding and smiling indicates to the HV that you accept her advice.

StealthPolarBear Thu 09-Jul-09 11:21:34

16 weeks and should be sleeping through shock
Not only that but I thought the advice was not to water down formula!

StealthPolarBear Thu 09-Jul-09 11:24:25

tiktok it is hard to challenge when you know anecdotally that something is a bad idea but don't have "the facts" to back it up. I was very angry recently at my HV telling me she thought I was still treating my DS (2y2m) as a baby because I hadn't started seriously potty training him yet. Coincidentally she said that not long after finding out I was still bf him hmm But not sure I could have put together a coherent argument - whereas if she had told me to stop feeding at 6mo, I'd have been a bit more sure of myself iyswim.

tiktok Thu 09-Jul-09 11:44:18

SPB, I know everyone recognises the feeling of 'That is wrong but how do I challenge it?', going home and kicking themselves for not speaking up

But as a policy, it is not a good thing to do!

It is perfectly acceptable to be assertive and say, 'I am sorry, but I don't understand why you are saying this....my understanding of this is that it's normal for babies to be like this.'

You don't need a load of facts.

You could have said the same about potty training - 'My understanding is that toddlers vary quite a lot in the age they're ready to start using the toilet or potty - am I wrong?'

you Thu 09-Jul-09 11:48:25

Oh good, thanks everyone! Is watering down formula dangerous then? I just thought it wasn't recommended because it filled them up without getting the calories into them?

I know full well I should be challenging her, but in all honesty it's easier just to do as UDG said, smile and nod and research later! Which is bad I know, but I tried the former back when they were giving ridiculous breastfeeding advice and didn't get anywhere. If I wasn't so paranoid militant about getting DD weighed I wouldn't bother going, but there we go.

tiktok Thu 09-Jul-09 11:55:34

Watering down formula is not actively dangerous, but it is under-feeding....why would anyone think this is appropriate for a 16 week old baby who's on the small side??

CherryChoc Thu 09-Jul-09 12:52:06

Yes, I find a good way of challenging something I'm not sure of myself is to say in a surprised voice "Really, why is that?" Which also gives me a bit of time to compose myself if they have just made me feel angry and/or undermined.

undomesticatedgoddess Thu 09-Jul-09 13:49:45

Tik Tok

I don't always challenge because sometimes I just want to take the path of least resistance. I was also caught a bit off guard as I'd gone to ask her about something else.

At the end of the day it is advice and I can choose whether to follow it or not. I'm also not really bothered whether she thinks I'm following her advice or not in this particular instance. I'm more than happy for my baby to get comfort from breast feeding.

I might have to try CherryChoc's approach next time as I suspect it won't be the last time she gives me advice I don't agree with!

tiktok Thu 09-Jul-09 14:45:07

I understand, honest, undomesticated...we can't always be on red alert for crappy advice all the time. 'Twould be exhausting

Cherrychoc's approach is a good one!

StealthPolarBear Thu 09-Jul-09 15:28:46

When she found out I was still bf she said "well you might want to stop that before the new baby's born" then took a look at my face and said "or you might not".
Then to be followed with a load of stuff about how he might lose interest or feel such a big boy that he'd no longer want it!

weegiemum Thu 09-Jul-09 15:31:07

Remember: you do not have to see the HV!

I didn't realise this first time, but sent her packing after one visit the next 2 times!

happyflower Fri 10-Jul-09 15:43:33

Just to say I don't think I've received any useful advice from HV ever!
Just get your jabs and (optional if you're a data addict like me) get them weighed at clinic. Don't bother asking for advice from HVs - mumsnet is much better!

CyradisTheSeer Fri 10-Jul-09 16:03:54

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