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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

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 02-Oct-13 15:01:04

sparkle did your Lo lose weight or just drop down in the centiles? Actually loosing weight is very unusual in a baby.

JackieBrambles Fri 04-Oct-13 09:19:07

Thanks for the post Tiktok, I agree, I should really ask her. I was thrown really because there has never been any issue of his weight before and I have never seen this particular hv before either so in my head I had dismissed her opinion whilst I was sitting there, it was just afterwards I started to worry.

I've tried giving him a loaded spoon of natural yogurt with some mashed fruit in and he just grabs the stuff in the spoon with his fingers! It makes me worry that so many other mums say their babies (even blw babies) adore being spoon fed yogurt. When mine doesn't want to entertain me putting anything in his mouth!! I know that's the point of blw though.. Sorry I'm rambling.

Another mum came up to me at a group yesterday asking ' how old is your teeny crawler?!' She was worried her daughter wasn't crawling but I just felt worried that he's small!! :-/

JackieBrambles Fri 04-Oct-13 09:48:57

I think it's all just got to me today. Sorry, am going to re-read this thread as there is lots of assurance!!

His sleep is bad at the moment (im sure others have it way worse but he was up at 10, 2 and 5 last night) and I'm feeding him pretty much every time he wakes and DH and I were wondering about night weaning, as I wasn't convinced he was actually hungry in the night but this weight thing has made me wonder!

FreeButtonBee Fri 04-Oct-13 10:00:16

When giving spoons, you need to make sure you present them with the handle rather than aiming the bowl of the spoon at their mouth. That way, they have a fighting chance of not grabbing the food! Took me ages to work this out. And remember it will take time for him to work out how to use a spoon - try it at the end of one meal a day for a week or so, no pressure and when he's had a reasonable stab at eating other stuff. You might be surprised at how quickly he picks it up if you persist.

FreeButtonBee Fri 04-Oct-13 10:07:49

The other way to do it is to put the loaded spoon on the highchair tray. Then he can pick it up. 50% of the time they will grab the food but eventually the will grab the handle and have a go at getting it into their mouth.

JackieBrambles Fri 04-Oct-13 12:20:13

Thanks Free, good point about the spoons! Will try that. I'm being impatient I know.

AidanTheRevengeNinja Sat 05-Oct-13 07:41:02

Have a look in your red book, his weight should be marked on the charts so you can see if he's actually lost or just dropped centiles (as JJJ said, more likely).

Good calorie-dense foods are avocado, banana, anything mixed with a dollop of mascarpone (mmm), cheese sauces (can mix with veg) and buttered toast. I've just read the original BLW book and it allows for spoon-feeding if the baby will accept it, it just advises not to give at every single meal (though loaded spoons are always fine), so even purists shouldn't have a problem with this smile

JackieBrambles Thu 31-Oct-13 09:46:58

Sorry to bother you all again, but I’m feeling quite stressed!

My ds is 8.5 months now (37 weeks). It has been a month since I last saw the HV and I felt like he had been eating well so we thought we should go to get him weighed.

Mistake! I saw the same HV as before and as it was so busy at the clinic I felt I couldn't be awkward and ask to see someone else.

He was 7.34kg a month ago, and he’s now 7.43. He’s just below the 9th centile. He was born on 50th, went down to 25th and has fluctuated between there and the 9th since then.

The HV again sucked air through her teeth (and wrote ‘minimal weight gain’ in his red book) and asked me what I was feeding him.

I explained that I have been carrying on doing BLW, but I have also started offering yogurt to my DS on a spoon. He likes it and just grabs the spoon and directs the bowl end to his mouth and sucks it off.

Her suggestion was to increase his portion size?? I give him loads, lots of choice too and if he won’t eat it what can I do? He won’t really accept anything other than yogurt on a spoon, I’ve tried and he wants to feed himself because that is what he has always done.

He’s been enjoying meal times and eating lots of different things but how much he actually ingests is anyone’s guess!

I guess this is my main worry – when will he actually start eating lots rather than just sucking/licking/gumming stuff? Maybe I’m offering the wrong things? I’ve been avoiding egg because it seems to bring his face out in a rash but I’ve been giving him pretty much everything else.

I just feel like if I’d started off spooning in puree like everyone else has done he would be eating so much more and would be a big chunky baby like all the others his age! But now he'll never take puree or anything from a spoon so I feel like it’s my fault he’s so petite and that I’ve failed him

I did tell her that he is very active, has been crawling for 2 months and is now cruising/trying to climb so is probably burning a lot of calories that way but she didn’t seem to pay it any mind.

She also suggested I get an over the counter multi vitamin (Abidec) because this will help increase his appetite? I have never heard of this, has anyone else? I did get some and tried to give it to him fairly unsuccessfully – he just spits most of it out!

Has any one else had something similar? When did your blw babies start swallowing whole meals?

I swear since I saw the HV he has stopped wanting to try foods, maybe he’s picking up on my stress! I really don’t want to worry about meal times with him. My DH is not worried and says he's fine and a little dynamo and v happy. But I'm just worried he's too small!

Any words of comfort/advice much appreciated.

tiktok Thu 31-Oct-13 11:23:09

This HV sounds very undermining, and unless she really doesn't like her job or mothers, she probably doesn't intend to be.

Weight is only one aspect of a baby's health and well-being, and by 8 mths, when you can see what the baby's doing, his behaviour, his physical development, his energy, then it's really not much a a guide.

I have not heard that a vitamin pill will increase appetite and don't see how this could work. Perhaps she could explain if that's what she meant?

We know that stress round mealtimes is not good for babies at all, and does not increase intake. Many babies eat better when meal times are sociable and when no one is really taking any notice of what they eat.

Could you, perhaps, call the clinic and ask to speak at a separate appointment to another HV? I think that's the best way to get reassurance, honestly....nothing in your post indicates anything to worry about, but a proper assessment from someone official is probably the only thing that will put your mind at rest smile

JackieBrambles Thu 31-Oct-13 11:33:47

Thanks for replying Tiktok - I agree so I called yesterday morn to find out who my assigned hv is (my original one left) and I left a message on her voice mail.

She hasn't called back yet though. I guess I will call again tomorrow if I still haven't heard anything.

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