When the Health Visitor first visited after Spud was born she handed me a red book. The Personal Child Health Record or PCHR. As a first time Mum i was excited about everything that I was given for him and filled it out perfectly. I thought the weight charts were brilliant and thought that they were great for letting me know just how well Spud was growing. It was probably the only thing that kept me on track when Spud and I developed our hideous relationship with food.
As you can see from his chart after a very speedy weight gain and jump from the 25th centile to the 91st centile (BEFORE WEANING!) he remained on the 91st centile and followed it steadily even when I was offering far too much food at every meal time.
When he turned 8 months he had a check at the Dr’s who said the word – “Overweight.” For the past 8 months I had seen the Health Visitor a lot who had never mentioned that Spud packed a few too many pounds so I was a bit taken aback by the Dr. I asked him if he was going to consider Spud’s height in the equation because he was also on the 91st centile for that which made him above average and in proportion. The Dr said that at that age height is never a factor. Call me stupid but really?! They expect a child who is way above average in height to be an average weight?! They are willing to put a BABY on a diet to try and cut his weight gain down? It’s beyond ridiculous, I’m surprised that they aren’t asking people to try and stunt baby length because how dare they be above average?! Safe to say I ignored his advice but I did bring it up with the Health Visitor who scoffed at his ignorance. So Health Visitors send us to Dr’s for medical advice yet they can’t agree on it?
Now when Spike was born he was only 6oz heavier than Spud was at birth. A dinky little 7lb 5oz baby on the 25th centile. Imagine my shock when as a breast fed baby within 2 weeks he had jumped up to the 50th centile. He only lost a few ounces after birth but I really didn’t expect him to have regained the loss and gained so much on top of it! I had a lot of problems with the Health Vistors down here so rarely took him but liked to know how much he weighed so did brave the trip a few times.
As you can see, like his big brother he had a very quick gain BEFORE he was weaned but settled slightly higher on the 98th centile. At 7 months the Health Visitor told me that if he gained any weight that didn’t follow his line then we would have to have a discussion. I was ordered to return within 4 weeks to get him checked. Now with Spike length is even more or an issue. This chunky lad was on the 98th centile for length at 3 months old! We had various Dr’s appointments about him being unable to hold his head up. It was eventually decided that with head circumference on the 98th centile his head was just too heavy to hold up so we had to wait for his body to catch up! Also at 7 months Spike wasn’t moving. He sort of commando crawled but nothing to write home about and again this isn’t something they would consider.
Spike eats a lot less than Spud did at this age but absolutely loves food. If we have food Spike wants it. It doesn’t matter what it is, he has to have it. I didn’t take Spike back after 4 weeks. I took him back 10 weeks later at over 10.5 months old. He has dropped from the 99.6th line to the 98th centile because he has started to move. He now crawls at lightening speed and pulls himself up for a bit of sofa cruising so burns a his calories through exercise. I love his little Buddha belly and his big chunky thighs but he is far from fat, he is a baby with some meat on him – a nice chunky lad. Luckily I saw a different Health Visitor who said he was the picture of health and that as long as I wasn’t feeding him cakes and chocolate all day long then to carry on with what I am doing.
Either the WHO need to change their guidelines or some NHS professionals need retraining in common sense. Not considering other factors and only concentrating on weight for age is ridiculous. Just because my boys are at the top end of the chart it doesn’t mean that they will be obese adults. Fair enough Spike might have a bit more of a “rugby player” build than some of his peers but if you look at Spud who was a chunky baby and is now a tall, skinny little boy it kind of blows the charts ‘prediction’ out of the water!