View Full Version : Am I being stupid?

21-07-2013, 11:13 PM
I've recently got into a bit a disagreement with one of the parents. Up until now everything has been fine, but recently they have started bringing in food which I feel isn't suitable for the child.

First of all the child I look after is a baby (10 months - with no teeth.)

I've politely informed them that their child doesn't manage the chunks that they provide. (Half blueberries, sliced strawberries, orange pieces) and if they wouldn't mind mashing it up etc

The baby actually wretches on his food and there has been a few times where I've had to quickly get him out of the high chair out of fear he's going to choke.

Everything was agreed although nothing happened the next day so I ended up mashing it and informing them of what I had done and suggested they maybe bring a fruit pot (organix) etc that is already previously blended.

Next time he arrived, instead of giving him the fruit, they brought in chunks of cheese and sandwiches. I couldn't believe it when i saw it and ended up having to be a bit firm with the father when he picked up that night. He said he manages it at fine at home but is confused why he can't manage it with me.

He later then said that his wife will spend 40 minutes with the baby as he eats his food!!!

Am I over reacting??

21-07-2013, 11:31 PM
I had a parent like this too a few years ago and like you I was very firm in my approach too.

It is hard when you can't get them on board with things like this and saying "well he does it fine at home" is annoying because if he is struggling that much with you it is impossible he will be coping with it at home.

Sounds to me like they are possibly pushed for time and are hoping you will mash up the foods etc while he is with you. Saying he copes at home is a get out for them to keep bringing in unmashed foods in while he is with you.

I would stay strong and stick to your guns.

Keep on informing them that you've had to mash his food after he was gagging/choking again today.

If he is being given foods like this -eating isn't going to be very enjoyable for the poor lad :(

The parent I had this issue with a few years back I had several words with them before they accepted what I was saying and began to co-operate.

Sometimes they can be really stubborn and expect us to back down! x

22-07-2013, 05:45 AM
I had a parent like this last year, the little one was just 7 months when she started with me, the first day I opened her lunch box really shocked me, she had cubes of cheese, grapes, sandwiches, crisps and lots more very unsuitable foods, she didn't have any teeth at that point, I honestly thought she had another family members lunch box, when I questioned mum she said she wasn't going through the mashing food stage, it's some new thing around at the moment where babies should miss the mushy stage and go straight into the finger food, she even said the little one ate slices of steak and chips at home. Trouble was this little one was tiny and it was easy to see she was wasting everything as she really couldn't cope with it, i must admit I did mush her food as I didn't want to have to cope with a chocking child. She moved on after 3 month as her friend registered, but that's a different story!

22-07-2013, 06:02 AM
I think if a parent wants to follow baby led weaning then you should respect their wishes (especially if they are supplying the food). Yes a lot of it may end up on the floor at first but the baby will soon figure it out. I don't think 40 minutes is that long a time for a meal, some babies and children take ages to eat. It is also very rare for a child to actually choke on their food, a lot of babies have a strong gag reflex and will bring up the larger bits they can not manage without requiring any assistance. I think you should do some research on baby led weaning to understand the parents point of view. As a parent I would not be happy with you telling me my methods were wrong and that I should change them.

22-07-2013, 06:06 AM
I too wondered if they were trying baby led weaning? I'm not really "up" on it, but if that's the case, they should have told you as the little I know says it's quite messy and time consuming! I may be wrong!

If they genuinely believe that he can manage the lumps, and you feel he can't, you have a problem and you'll just need to keep telling them! I think I may had unwittingly contributed to one of my own children's food issues by pushing for lumps etc too early, so I'd probably be feeling the same as you. I didn't make the same mistake twice!

22-07-2013, 06:13 AM
Those foods sounds perfectly fine to me. They are exactly what I weaned my kids on and every other baby I have weaned over the past 20 years. If you panic and grab the child when he/she gags you will end up with a child who is scared of solid food. Gagging is how we prevent choking, it is just the tongue moving the food from the back of the mouth to the front, and you can't choke when food is at the front of your mouth.
Relax, the child is 10 months old and absolutely should be eating proper table food, don't force it to eat mush.

22-07-2013, 06:23 AM
It does sound like baby led weaning to me too. I did it with my youngest ds. I would recommend it to anyone!
The parents should have told you that this is what they're doing though. I'd be very angry if they hadn't told me. How are you supposed to know?
Like others have said, baby is very unlikely to choke, the gag reflex is very strong! It will take you a little while to get used to watching it though. Especially after the 1st aid training which tells you the signs of a child choking.
It's very messy & I always made double what he needed to eat as most of it ended up on the floor, in his hair, ground into his nappy, on my walls or on me :)
Speak to the parents & ask them if this is what they're doing. They need to be honest with you :)

22-07-2013, 06:38 AM
No you are not being stupid, its always scary when a baby starts lumps but in my experience at 10 months old the child should be eating lumps. Does the baby eat any kind of finger food? Baby rice cakes, toast? etc. I always started on soft food, banana, soft veg. Babies can chew very well with out teeth, my daughter got her first tooth at 18 months but was eating a Sunday lunch at 12 months lol! Why don't you call a H.V for advice. Good Luck.

22-07-2013, 07:12 AM
It does sound very much like baby led weaning. I was sceptical that first however its fantastic and does really encourage the child to eat food not mush. the thing with mushing food is then you do just have to introduce lumps at a later date.

Perhaps the parents thought you would know about it :)

This link may give you information

Baby Led Weaning - The Mush Stops Here! (http://www.babyledweaning.com/)

22-07-2013, 07:19 AM
My 7mth old eats those sorts of foods and she manages them just fine:thumbsup:

22-07-2013, 07:25 AM
Baby led weaning. Did it with my daughter and you will be suprised what they can manage. My child never had purée or mashed food. From six months my child was sucking of bits of meat. Read up on it it is brilliant and if this is how a parent wants to feed there child you should at least try to get on board with it

22-07-2013, 07:26 AM
It does sound very much like baby led weaning. I was sceptical that first however its fantastic and does really encourage the child to eat food not mush. the thing with mushing food is then you do just have to introduce lumps at a later date.

Perhaps the parents thought you would know about it :)

This link may give you information

Baby Led Weaning - The Mush Stops Here! (http://www.babyledweaning.com/)

I agree Fussy and with others that it sounds like BLW. I too think it's great, I would suggest u have a meeting with parents as to their weaning approach so you can support them :-)

22-07-2013, 07:28 AM
"Food before one is just for fun" it's about trying new things as much as eating and I try my best to use baby led weaning as I then don't have to sit and spoonfeed. Mealtimes might take longer and be more messy but I can get on with a few bits and pieces whilst they eat

22-07-2013, 07:30 AM
Agree with posts above re baby led weaning, let the child eat what is brought stop telling the parents they are wrong and that they must be liars if he eats it at home, he is their child to be brought up as they want, do you have a 'working in partnership with parents policy' mine says l respect parents wishes and will follow their lead on the bringing up of their child. It might be quicker for you to mash the food so that he can swallow without chewing but spending time with him eating and not panicking every time he gags will be beneficial in the end l am forever telling parents to stop panicking every time their child gags over food it does not necessarily mean they are going to choke or be sick, if you are uncomfortable with how they want to wean their child then l would sit down with the parents and say so rather than telling them they are wrong.
Sorry to be so harsh but we should be working with parents not against them.

22-07-2013, 07:38 AM
I agree, nothing wrong with baby led weaning, and its certainly not a new approach - I did it with my three youngest, the oldest of whom is now nine.

I have the opposite situation, parents who prefer to feed mush where I've always done blw, but I would.never tell them their approach is wrong (it isn't) - we have had a few months of mush, and have introduce blw and 'proper' solids at snack time recently - everyone happy.

hectors house
22-07-2013, 07:51 AM
When a baby of this age first starts with me (which they often due due to longer maternity leave) I ask the parents to come back to collect from a settling in session at lunch time and then they stay to lunch with us. I will ask the parent to bring a cooked meal for the child so I can see the quantity and texture of the food and whether the parent lets child have spoon etc.

I do think the parents should have explained in more detail the approach to weaning they have and to ensure that you have TIME to carry out their wishes - I would struggle to spend 40 mins supervising lunch with a lo, while coaxing and sometimes spoon feeding 2 other mindees too. Sometimes parents forget that when they are at home the child has a ration of one child to 2 adults and when with us, they have ratio of one adult to 3 children.

22-07-2013, 08:14 AM
Can you make time for parents to come in for a chat?

Personally I see nothing wrong with the food they are providing, but sometimes it's all about reaching a compromise. Explain that if you have other children to look after you can't spend 40mins supervising their child eating, so maybe they can send things that they know he gets through a bit quicker.

Get some information from them about how they feed their child. Do they put it all on a tray at once & let him help himself, do they give him one piece at a time, or do they put bits in his mouth?
Show them that you are interested, not critical of what they do.

Maybe ask them to show you how they feed lo. It is difficult when they start to gag, but if you can hold your nerve & let them clear the food themselves, you'll find you soon stop panicking that they're choking.

As other have said, read up on baby led weaning, so you can understand what parents are doing. There are many advantages to it (children who are fed this way often have improved fine motor skills) and it may turn out to be something you actually start to encourage :thumbsup:

Twinkling Stars
22-07-2013, 08:32 AM
I don't see anything wrong with the food they are providing. I did this with my son. Most of my mindees have done it as well. You just have to watch them carefully x

22-07-2013, 08:39 AM
Don't forget babies don't need teeth to chew as such. Their gums are solid and can use these to mush things. My daughter wouldn't eat mush as I discovered when she just pinched food off my plate and ate it happily lol.

22-07-2013, 09:15 AM
I can't really see a problem

It would not take long to chop them into smaller pieces .

I would explain to mom the pieces were a bit large so I cut them smaller and hope she takes the hint but if not I would do it anyway .

I think little ones can be scary when eating even with full supervision ...my one year old stuck half a banana in his mouth the other day ..panic panic :laughing:

So now he does not have half a banana like his mom gives him ..it will be cut into small manageable pieces

Good luck

Angel xxx

22-07-2013, 09:28 AM
My son was on finger food as you describe by the age of 10 months and he used to suck on french sticks and all sorts of things. My cousin was mortified (her son was 6 months older and still on puree) but she did have lots of problems with him eating as a toddler and gagging on lumps at 2.

I would do as suggested and ask mum or dad to give you 10 mins at pick up or a quick phone call to find out how they are actually feeding LO, so you can continue in a similar way. If you cant fit in 40 mins then perhaps have a chat with them to find a way forward and an acceptable time limit

22-07-2013, 11:54 AM
Hi first of all, thanks to everyone who replied, wasn't expecting so much of a response.

I'm all for baby led weaning, all the children I look after (minus 1) are all babies and encourage it if I feel they can manage it. This baby like I said has no teeth and he doesn't "chew" - he'll swallow everything he has full with attempting to chew it so naturally it is a bit alarming. - this little boy isn't looking for finger foods or is interested in them so I don't want to rush him.

I've worked in childcare for the last 6 years (mainly with babies) so I know not to get in quick as it will frighten them too. But how long can you leave it before something bad happens? I had to deal with real choking before in the past with a baby where the ambulance was called and it was a frightening experience.

Also it's not about being too worried to make a mess, I'm all for that - check my website lol. It's all about babies exploring textures etc - I work with 6 children with the eldest being 25 months.

I just find myself worrying for this little boy and I hope you all understand I'm only looking out for his best interest.

This has been discussed and resolved since but I was only wandering if anyone had similar problems and advice they could give me.

Many thanks :)