Has anyone else noticed that food topics tend to bring out other people’s advice? Be they friends, in-laws or Dunkin’ Donuts employees (seriously!), everyone seems to have an opinion about how you are feeding your baby. Or, in our case, babies.
It seemed to start in the hospital, with the intense focus on how much milk the baby is getting, how often and whether your supply is sufficient. Each nurse and (awful) lactation consultant had a different opinion about what/how/when/how much we should be feeding the babies. I remember how stressful I found that experience in the hospital and how glad I was to be home. We went to visit the pediatrician the next day, and his only comment on feeding was, “Oh, you’re breastfeeding? Great! Keep on going if you can, because it’s great for the babies. If it gets to be too much, don’t feel guilty.” How refreshing! We finally stopped worrying about food intake as my 36 weekers started gaining a pound a week. Hard to worry at that point, except about childhood obesity.
Of course, this started a whole new round of comments. “They are so big! I bet they need some solids to fill them up!” Nope. The lactation consultant said to wait until 6 months. “I think he is eating too much. Your pediatrician is going to tell you to feed him less”. Um, thank you Dunkin’ Donuts lady. You are very nice but could you focus more on giving me my iced coffee and less on giving me medical advice? I know that moms of babies who are on the littler side get a whole other set of comments, probably even harder to handle.
As they got older, the unsolicited food advice continued. “Really, you’re pumping milk to use for cereal? You should use formula.” Um, ok. But this is working for us. “When are you going to stop breastfeeding?” Probably at a year, so I don’t have to start direct depositing my paycheck at BJ’s for formula. Ugh. And then, “REALLY?! A year? Isn’t that longer than most women BF?” Or, “You should continue BFing until they are two or three”. Yeah, this is a decision for me and me alone to make, thanks though. Even my lovely husband doesn’t get to weigh in (much) on this one. “Really??!! You’re not giving them wheat until a year?” Yep. That’s what the pediatrician said to do. “Can they
really eat large pieces of food like that?” Yep. “They can’t chew without teeth”. Um, watch them.
My recent favorite occurred when Seth had them at BJ’s and the samples being offered were crackers with Nutella. When he asked for two crackers without Nutella for the kids and said they couldn’t have nuts yet, the free sample lady began to pontificate on how no one worried about allergies when her kids were little and these concerns seem very limiting and a bit silly, really, to her. Um, thanks?
I don’t quite understand this flurry of food-related advice—we don’t get anywhere near as much advice about speech (where they are a bit slower than average) or walking (also slower) or their tantruming or crying or anything else. I’m not sure what it is about feeding that brings the advice out of the woodwork.
Does this happen to you too or is it just me? What comments have you gotten around feeding? How do you respond? Do any of them really bother you? Share with us!