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BLW and weight gain (health visitors)

(35 Posts)
JackieBrambles Tue 01-Oct-13 13:45:50

Hello everyone

I’m new to Mumsnet but have been a long time lurker since my baby boy was born in February!

He’ll be 33 weeks tomorrow and we’ve been doing BLW since 25-26 weeks.

We’ve really been enjoying it and he’s been eating a wide variety of stuff (although after his face got blotchy after having eggy bread I’ve not given him ‘neat’ eggs in any form yet). His faves are mango, nectarine, plums, humous on rice cakes/pitta and potato/sweet potato wedges so far. He’s had meat and fish too (he liked sardines on toast!).

Some is definitely going in (can tell by his poo) but it varies day to day how much he’ll eat. Some meals he’ll happily sit for ages picking at bits but other times he’s just not bothered or gets annoyed in his highchair (I always try to bf him at least an hour before in case of hunger/frustration). We give him food three times a day (breakfast at 8ish, lunch at 12.30ish and dinner at 6ish).

I went to the health visitor today to get him weighed and he’s now on the 9th centile (was fluctuating between 25th and 9th). He’s 7.34kilos. She said that his weight has slowed too much and we need to get more calories into him. Her suggestion was to give him yogurt? (petis filou she said??). I remember reading on here that’s full of sugar and it doesn’t seem right to me. She knows I’m doing BLW so suggested I give him a spoon and have one myself and just have a go with it.

I really don’t want to spoon feed him and I don’t think he’d allow me to anyway. But she wants to see him again in two weeks and now I’m worried that I’m messing this up.

I breastfeed on demand and he still feeds at least twice over night as well, and I also offer even if he hasn’t demanded if its been longer than 3.5 hours-ish during the day.

He’s absolutely gorgeous, smiley and thriving. He’s been crawling for a month already (quite early it seems compared to his friends of a similar age) and last week has started pulling himself up on things. Do you think it could be that he’s burning more calories because he’s so active?

Sorry this is so long.

Does anyone have any advice of high calorie foods I can give him? How do you experienced BLWers ‘do’ yogurt? What kind do you buy?

I’ve got the BLW cook book and I’ve made the lentil wedges and lamb sausages (sausages went down better!).

Or should I just ignore the health visitor and go with my gut? (which is that he’s absolutely fine??).


Thanks in advance smile

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 01-Oct-13 13:48:19

Ds2 did this too, but I did give him stuff like yoghurt sand dairy lea on toast.

Fruit is also full of sugar so really don't worry about the odd yoghurt. Ds2 is still quite skinny and he eats for Britain, some kids are just built that way.

babybouncer Tue 01-Oct-13 14:33:25

I first started doing BLW just because DS completely refused a spoon and I carried on because it was so easy. I always spoonfed him yoghurt (well, plain yoghurt with fruit purée to start and petit filous after a little while!) because he loved it and couldn't get it himself. DD always preferred being spoonfed, but ironically now likes to treat yoghurt as finger food (along with scrambled eggs and baked beans!) which is what some BLWers do.

As for the weight change, my HV (who was great) always said that some weight change is normal, but it is worth keeping an eye on any infant who crosses two centiles lines. I would trust your instincts as a parent - a happy child is a healthy child.

bundaberg Tue 01-Oct-13 14:36:48

i would ignore her.
if he has fluctuated between the 9th and 25th and is now on the 9th then how is that an issue?
babies weight DOES slow down gradually, and breastfed babies often gain quickly to start with and then can almost plateau, which is fine.

even if he did need to gain more weight, the best way to do that would be by breastfeeding him more!
so i'd go with the flow. he knows when he is hungry, you don't wnat to go overriding that without very good reason to (ie, if he was clearly failing to thrive)

you're also right that being more active could be making him burn more calories. again that's totally normal and ok. he might also be having a growth spurt and shooting up in length, which can make it look at though weight gain has slowed.

how often do you have him weighed?

spatchcock Tue 01-Oct-13 14:45:14

I would ignore her, too. Babies at this age get most of their calories from breastmilk. I wouldn't be giving petit filou either! Stick with natural sugars.

DD was also small and BLW and also very active - walking at ten months and after that never stopped moving. She's now two and although she's small and wiry she's a bundle of energy who loves her food.

Wishihadabs Tue 01-Oct-13 14:50:14

Ignore, ignore he does nt need sweetened yoghurt. Ds was spoon fed purees and did exactly this when he started crawling/pulling up as did BLw dd its normal IMO. They are now a healthy nine year old and 7 year old who eat everything.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 01-Oct-13 14:50:28

I would ignore. Extra calories at this age should be from formula or breast milk not food. Petit filoux are very high in sugar. Sounds like your doing just fine. Forget the charts go by your baby. They fluctuate, unless he has a massive drop or appears ill then he's probably just found his "line"

Wishihadabs Tue 01-Oct-13 14:52:09

IMo worrying about food / weight causes far more problems. Yes dsis I'm looking at you.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 01-Oct-13 14:52:44

Some great advice on here already and totally agree with bund.

Did she measure his length too? The weight of a baby is just one small part of assessing how they are doing. Your HV should be looking at the baby, not the scales. I also can't see why it's an issue if he's been fluctuating between 9th and 25th and is now on the 9th.

My advice would be, don't worry about what you feed him, his main source of nutrition should be from bfing anyway. Just continue to let him have fun with the food and learn to handle family meal times, cups etc.

Don go back in 2 weeks. The red book says to get your baby weighed only once a month.

Offer a bf at least every 3 hours in the day, feed from both sides at least once during each feed and maybe try breast compressions.

And welcome to Mn thanks

JackieBrambles Tue 01-Oct-13 14:57:11

Thanks everyone for your posts, I feel so much better already!

I last got him weighed 6 weeks ago, just after we started weaning. Generally i go every 4-6 weeks. I saw a different hv last time who told me I should be feeding him 3 meals a day, even though the nhs says they don't need that until they are 9 months or so. It's so confusing!!

I'm a bit worried that in 2 weeks time nothing will have changed. Maybe I just shouldn't go! (Or I should go, and be a bit argumentative instead of weak!!)

Thanks again for the support.

marzipananimal Tue 01-Oct-13 14:59:42

Go with your gut, sounds like he's doing great. I wouldn't see the hv again in 2 weeks, it's too soon to weigh him again. Just say you have no concerns so don't need to see her

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 01-Oct-13 15:02:15

Three meals a day is rubbish!! Some babies will some babies won't. It's meant to be fun and and jut a little taste, your baby will decide when he's hungry for more food , forcing it will result in them eating less not more. Listen to your baby not a stranger with a text book. smile dd2 was 8/9 months before she are actual meals she just tried stuff up until then. Nothing wrong with her weight either smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 01-Oct-13 15:03:27

You weren't weak either, your baby's weight is such an emotive subject, you were bound to listen to the silly bitch her.

And yes you are right, the NHS don't recommend moving to 3 meals a day till Lo is between 8 and 9 months.

JackieBrambles Tue 01-Oct-13 15:03:36

X post Jilted, I think that's what I'll do - not go!

She didn't measure him, his length hasn't been measured since 6 weeks (although he has an 8ish month check coming up where he will be I think). To be honest she barely even looked at him!

Its most unlike compliant me to disagree with a health care professional, but I just find their advice so conflicting - plus so many of then don't seem to 'get' blw.

And thanks for the welcome! :-)

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 01-Oct-13 15:05:48

If she truely was concerned she would have measured him and also measured his head circumference.

Don't go and relax and enjoy your Lo. What's for tea? smile

JackieBrambles Tue 01-Oct-13 15:18:17

Spag Bol tonight, with a couple of rigatoni pasta shapes!

Funny how i'm now not worrying about the mess! When I first started blw I was horrified :-D

JackieBrambles Tue 01-Oct-13 15:42:02

Wheresmy - until today I was busy thinking 'food for fun etc' and I was so pleased that he'd sit happily at the table with us for a good hour trying a bit of everything that she really knocked my confidence. I'm so glad I've come here to get some reassurance!

Thanks again

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Tue 01-Oct-13 15:47:58

I hardly ever took dd2 to the HV. I found them to be a waste of time and so focused on feeding schedules and charts that they were completely detached from the actual baby. A breast feeding baby who is feeding on demand and trying everything in varying quantities and is happily doing so at the table with his family, does not need any intervention smile

Sounds like a lovely set up and I hope he enjoys throwing his spag Bol grin

mrsmartin1984 Tue 01-Oct-13 16:02:27

Your HV is talking out of her back side. The growth curves are an average. All children go through growth spurts and stalls. It's only and issue if he drops two of the lines on the growth graph. Allot of HV are very anti BLWing. Do what you feel is right. He sounds like he is doing fine. Some meals are better then others

CornishYarg Wed 02-Oct-13 09:38:59

I agree with everyone else; she's over-reacting to a normal fluctuation in weight. My understanding was that weight fluctuations were only cause for further investigation if they crossed two centile lines (with no corresponding change in length). Some HCPs do seem to panic when a baby is on a lower centile line; there seems to be a lack of understanding sometimes that, by definition, some babies have to be on the lower centiles.

If you did fancy giving yogurt a try, our approach for DS who refused spoonfeeding was to load up a spoon with yogurt and hand it to him to feed himself. A bit messy but he got pretty proficient quite early. You could try stirring pureed fruit into natural full-fat yogurt; it would still contain sugar, but fruit sugar only rather than also having added sugar. Or some yogurt brands like Rachel's My First Yogurts don't contain added sugar and are sweetened with fruit sugar only.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 02-Oct-13 09:48:06

I remember being at the drs one day, It was baby clinic day and I was sat opposite a woman with a baby boy. She was telling her friend about how the HV had said the baby was under weight and how they had told her to do all this stuff to increase calories. The poor thing was huge. Beyond happy healthy chubby , we are talking three chins no neck and rolls on the arms and legs. She was saying how she rushed she's left it alone and allowed herself to be the judge and that they said he was gaining to quickly after all the fuss confused

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 02-Oct-13 09:48:40


noblegiraffe Wed 02-Oct-13 13:12:00

My 8 month old loves baby yoghurt. I'll put some on a spoon for her, put the spoon on her tray, she grabs it, shoves it in her mouth (mostly) then bangs the empty spoon on the tray till I oblige and refill it.

You want thick stuff, like fromage frais that will stay on the spoon. I bought some Rachel's yoghurts and they were way too runny, were running off the spoon before it got to her mouth. Yeo Valley and Muller both do tiny weaning baby yoghurts that are the right consistency.

tiktok Wed 02-Oct-13 13:32:32

Jackie, it does seem very odd advice from the HV - from what you have said here, there is no cause for concern. Maybe she thinks there is? It might make sense to ask her - tell her you have been so worried, you have sought comments from anonymous people on the internet, and this has led you to wonder why the HV suggested your baby needed to gain more weight. She needs to know she is worrying parents, and to explain why her advice is to give processed, high-sugar foods to a baby whose weight seems well within normal and who is showing every other sign of health.

Ask her what she thinks will happen if you follow your own observations that he is doing fine, eating well from a range of healthy foods, and developing normally....and therefore you don't need to do anything different. If she has concerns she has not expressed clearly enough to you, then she can share them with you. You will be able to judge how convinced and convincing she is smile

sparklekitty Wed 02-Oct-13 13:41:45

My BLW DD lost weight at one point. My HV asked if she was BLW and when I said yes she shrugged and said it happens sometimes, weight again in a month and if still loosing then look at what she's eating.

She said a good way to increase weight was more carbs, so bread, pasta, rice etc.

I give DD those Rachels baby yogurts, they're just yogurt with fruit puree in them (yes I know I could do this myself but I'm too lazy) and she loves them.

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