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More mum bashing, bottle fed babies better behaved

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by hhhh, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Another day, another headline to criticise mums...bottlefed babies are apparently better behaved according to the latest research. And not long ago there was a headline saying breastfeeding was better. Just to say to new mums, don't worry, it really doesn't make much difference, one of mine was bottle fed, the other breast ((what suited my family circs and the actual baby at the time, not following the latest headlines) and there's really not much difference. So whichever you are doing, plase don't be scared. There are pros and cons of both and in the end there's no real difference. For anyone reading this and saying it's pointing out the obvious, and I'd be better not rising to respond to things like this, true, but some new mums can be very worried and it seems strange in hindsight, but I have known people really beat themselves up for feeding the 'wrong' way. And don't think you can get away from the critics by combined feeding, I did that with my second for a short time, and got criticised for that too!
     
  2. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Another day, another headline to criticise mums...bottlefed babies are apparently better behaved according to the latest research. And not long ago there was a headline saying breastfeeding was better. Just to say to new mums, don't worry, it really doesn't make much difference, one of mine was bottle fed, the other breast ((what suited my family circs and the actual baby at the time, not following the latest headlines) and there's really not much difference. So whichever you are doing, plase don't be scared. There are pros and cons of both and in the end there's no real difference. For anyone reading this and saying it's pointing out the obvious, and I'd be better not rising to respond to things like this, true, but some new mums can be very worried and it seems strange in hindsight, but I have known people really beat themselves up for feeding the 'wrong' way. And don't think you can get away from the critics by combined feeding, I did that with my second for a short time, and got criticised for that too!
     
  3. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    As a mum, I certainly don't feel criticised by this! And it basically said that breastfed babies cry more rather than are less well behaved! And as crying is their main form of communication, it's hardly a behaviour issue is it?
    I've never once felt criticised for the way my baby feeds! I don't get why mums allow themselves to feel guilty about so many things!
     
  4. Exactly this - crying is not bad behaviour, it's communication. And noone has ever judged me for how I feed my baby (although now she's 13 months I am getting the occasional "How long are you going to feed her?" questions!). I have also never judged another mum for how she chooses to feed her baby - she will always do it with her baby's best interests at heart.
     
  5. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    What the research actually said was lost in translation when journalists put their hands on the paper. What Dr Ken Ong of the Medical Research Council says about the same piece of research is: “
    Bottle-fed babies may appear more content, but research suggests that
    these infants may be over-nourished and gain weight too quickly. Our
    findings are essentially similar to other stages of life; people often
    find that eating is comforting.


    “Rather
    than being put off breast-feeding, parents should have more realistic
    expectations of normal infant behaviour and should receive better
    understanding and support to cope with difficult infant behaviours if
    needed.
    ”

    To me he seems to say that adults in our society need education on what is normal infant behaviour and how to respond to them.

    A lot different from what the headlines said

     
  6. chicabonita

    chicabonita New commenter

    Totally agree. With sleep issues we've had recently, you'd think, from a lot of the comments online or even from HV etc, that a "normal" baby sleeps through for 12 hours every night, without exception, and that if yours doesn't, it's because you're "running in to her" every five minutes or otherwise pandering to the "behaviour". (Sorry, I'm a bit annoyed about this!) When you actually talk to people, it turns out that this 12-hour every night thing is actually the exception, and sleeping through is the exception rather than the rule- though all babies will do it for a period of time, or occasionally... One friend had golden nights from 4 to 14 months, then hell for another year and a half (and is still "training" her little boy to sleep as he gets older the problems simply change form- currently monsters under the bed!; another struggled for a whole year while her baby barely slept at all- night or naptime; and yet another admitted that although she says hers sleeps through, she brings him into her bed most nights in the early hours of the morning, because he wakes and is unsettled- he settles really well in her bed, but in this sleep-critical society of ours that doesn't count, she's making a rod for her back, spoiling him, etc...
    I think it's really unfair that this myth is peddled even by health visitors, that a "normal" baby sleeps for 12 hours every night, and if they don't, it's your fault- nothing to do with teeth, separation anxiety, illness, or simply needing a cuddle. It's mean and it perpetuates and accentuates the feelings of wretchedness that come with sleep deprivation anyway. Grrr.
    (And if your baby does sleep through for 12 hours, remember I'm just a bit jealous... [​IMG])
     
  7. Great post chica!
     
  8. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Totally agree fellow Chica!
    My 8 month old still wakes sometimes 3 times a night and when I mentioned it at the clinic when i got her weighed at 6 months, the HV just said that she should be sleeping through now and shouldn't need milk in the night, and that we should try controlled crying.
    My son (now 2.5) never slept well either, but he didn't eat well, so I always thought that was why, but my daughter eats 3 meals a day and snacks, so it's not that with her.
    They're all different anyway, and I think it's just down to personality, not how they're fed as a baby, nor how much they eat when they're weaned.
    I BF my daughter to begin with and when she was on more formula in the day at 6 weeks, it didn't change her behaviour at all (just stopped her 24/7 feeding), or how well she slept.
    I'm very jealous!!!
     
  9. Equally the reporting of this seemed designed to make bottle feeding mums feel guilty by implying that we deliberately overfeed our babies to get them quiet and are stuffing them full of food. I think we should all ignore reports like this, who doesn't want to do the best for their baby?! From all my mummy friends it seems that a baby's mood and behaviour is down to personality and a range of other stuff...
     
  10. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    I am trying to thread carefully here as my post isn't intended to be critical of anyone's feeding methods. However, when scientists speak of their findings they ought to compare their results based on what is the biological norm - in every area. So they ought to use breast milk as the normal for human babies. The terminology they use then has to match this as 'ground zero' so to speak because breastmilk is the biological norm with no benefits. They therefore have to compare formula from here. Normally the press and even research papers use terms that say that breastmilk has advantages. It doesn't. We then have to look at how formula stacks up to this default setting.
    Mr Ong did not say that parents 'deliberately overfeed' formula fed babies. From the way milk (human or formula) is delivered by a bottle and teat it is easy to overfeed a baby. So babies who are fed breastmilk exclusively by a bottle also run a risk of being overfed. There is I think not enough education of how to read a baby's body language about when he is being overfed. This is just one instance but there are others which I believe are relevant to infant feeding and where simple steps can reduce instances of unintentional overfeeding of babies.

    This blog link discusses it better than I can. http://blog.nurturedchild.ca/index.php/2010/12/10/baby-led-bottle-feeding/
     
  11. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Are formula fed babies more likely statistically to be overweight, then?
     
  12. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    The lactation consultant I saw when i was desperately trying to BF my daughter said that formula fills them up more and they like that feeling so FF babies are more likely to need to eat more to be full and therefore be overweight.
    My son was a really bad feeder from day 1 and ended up losing 30% of his birth weight and had to be formula fed (although i persevered and managed to mix feed for 10 weeks) but at 2.5 he doesn't eat a lot and never has, is as tall as some 4 year olds yet below the 75th centile for weight, so I certainly don't think formula has affected him.
    My 8 month old ended up on formula in the day from 6 weeks, and again i mix fed her for 11 weeks (she was the opposite of my son and didn't stop feeding). She was really difficult to feed when we switched to formula too, and would only take 1 or 2oz when the guide for her age/weight was saying she should be having 4oz, and she's never been that interested in milk at all. So, again, I don't have concerns that having had formula will make her overweight. She's very tall too, in 9-12 months clothes, in fact some 12-18 months stuff now, but last time she was weighed she was on the 75th centile.
    I think that what a child is fed once they are weaned has more of an impact on weight, and also genetics does too. Obviously if a child is on a diet of chips and take-aways they are more likely to be overweight regardless of how they were fed as a baby!
     
  13. There is research to suggest that, and also that length of exclusive breastfeeding also reduces the risk of obesity in later life. There will be other factors involved too as with any study on obesity, etc.
     
  14. undiwear

    undiwear New commenter

    Kittenmittens,
    All a weight chart can tell you is that 49 out of every 50 babies of the same age are bigger than yours. Heck, somebody has to be on the 2nd percentile. That is how the system works! Weight alone can't tell you much. Is your baby hitting most of her developmental milestones? Is she usually content? Barring expected childhood illnesses, is she normally healthy? Is her wieght gain inexorably on the up? These things tell you a lot more about a baby in conjuction with weight. I wonder how humanity decided if a baby was happy before the advent of modern weights and measures?
    It sounds like you were very poorly supported in the first few days post partum Kittenmittens. While regret is understandable, anger is an emotion which come to the forefront when many mothers realise how the people we entrusted to know how to support new mothers with breastfeeding turned out to be frankly pants at it. Please don't blame yourself for the bad start you had and of course your baby had to live on something and in the absence of your milk, formula it had to be.



     
  15. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    You are both right, I am small myself so it's to be expected that LO is little but when she's next to her peers she looks so tiny, I do wonder if she's ok! She is very happy and active and isn;t gaining any weight at the moment but HV said she didn;t need to be referred on as she looked so well, she has the usual colds etc but seems generally healthy. I will try to relax about it!
    Sorry to take over the thread!
     
  16. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    Like Undiwear (i think) said, some babies have to be on the 2nd centile! My son was always on the 98th for height and weight, and he's still that for height but his weight has dropped a lot as he doesn't eat much and is very active. It has its downsides though as people are always shocked that he's 2 because he's so tall and expect so much more from him behaviour-wise. He is mainly in age 3-4 clothes and has size 9 feet and looks like a giant next to some kids his age!
    Like you say, you are small. All adults aren't the same height and weight either, so there's no reason why children should be. I'm 5'6", my husband is 6 foot, so our children were never going to be short.
    I think we had similar experiences too with BF. My son went from 7lbs 13 to 6 lbs 7 and was so, so skinny due to not thriving on BF and we didn't get the support either, and that really affected my confidence when i had baby no. 2.
     
  17. I agree that those charts are a real pain. My baby was kept under HV observation because his head circumference was on the 98th percentile when measured by the doctor at his 6 week check. She said that if it went off the chart they may have to do something. It's really odd because I immediately asked about hydrocephalus (sp?) which she ruled out and then could not say what they would be looking for?! I was really upset and got the HV to come round. Turns out he was on the 91st percentile for weight and height, so everything in proportion! They monitored his head for a while then stopped.
    I have no idea why they think it is somehow unacceptable for a baby to be at the top or the bottom of the chart - as you guys have rightly said - someone has to be! This obsession with measurement and monitoring is absolutely crazy and only serves to worry parents. Years ago they never had all of this and I can't help wonder if we were all better off!
    So Kittenmittens, please do not worry. We all come in different shapes and sizes and your daughter sounds like she is really thriving!
     

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