I get to talk to lots and lots of parents, and often, my jaw drops with some of the advice they get from people they go to for help with feeding. It makes me beyond sad that parents who might be struggling (or maybe aren’t really) are getting out-of-date and often counter-productive feeding advice that can make matters far, far worse- not better. Here are a few from primary care physicians.
“Just give him only milk to drink. He will drink it before he gets dehydrated.”
“Don’t give your baby any table foods until twelve months.” (This was the most recent that came up in a class, and I had a hard time trying to be neutral. I usually try to not react and udermine a care-giver, but this time I couldn’t help myself. “Really? You were told that? Until 12 months? Did I understand that? No table foods until 12 months? I have to respectfully say that about every resource would disagree with that advice.” Well, I don’t think I was that respectful…
“Just serve beef and green beans for three days. She’ll eat it eventually.”
“Your baby (4 month old healthy breast-fed) is gaining weight too fast, she’s at risk for obesity. You should make her wait an hour when she starts to act hungry. Try to cut out a feeding or two a day.” (This was a breast-fed baby born a little early who was doing some catch-up growth from about 10% to about 50% and following a typical breast-fed pattern of early rapid gain.)
What’s the worst advice you’ve heard about feeding? From a health care professional or other? What was the most helpful?