Dr says my toddler is overweight, and other things - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-20-2008, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am hoping someone can commiserate, offer support, or set me straight. This is kind of a rant, so skip if desired.

My DH (SAHD) took P (26 mo) for his 2 year checkup today. We see a provider most people in the area consider pretty crunchy. P is still nursing, btw. The outcome is, as far as I can tell,

1. P is overweight. So much so that she wants to run blood tests. He is 40 lbs. He has always been big (9-7 at birth, 24 lbs at 6 mo). I don't see how he is fat. I don't even see how the charts show him to be fat-- he is at 100%, but so what? I am very very upset about this.

2. We need to feed P fewer starches. Meaning, no white bread, less fruit. This will cause him to eat more beans and vegetables. I agree with this (the white bread was an argument I lost with DH anyway) since I know we can do better by him for his diet.

3. There is NO REASON P should not sleep through the night. He still wakes about once a night around 3am, then is in our room from 5 or 6am. I don't think this is too bad. I don't usually nurse him at 3. I am a FT WOHM, so part of me wonders if he just wants the cuddles. I will admit the sleep thing, with two kids, is really hard for me. But I don't want to force him into anything. This is part of why he's still nursing in the first place-- I want to give him space to be himself, as he needs to.
Ped (CNP actually) says we should put him in his room, say goodnight, leave, when he cries etc put him back in room or check on him, repeat ad nauseum. I guess at the "end" of this "successful" whatever, he will go to sleep on his own with minimal crying. This is just wrong. I haven't worked my ass off trying to accomodate his sleep to the best of my ability so that I can let him cry now. I don't understand. Is my child so abnormal, really?

4. Timeouts work on 2 yo apparently, and we should use them.


I"m trying to stick to these points, because the whole thing makes me mad. It makes me mad that I said I didn't want him to get the varicella shot and DH said he would "discuss it" and decide-- so P got it. I thought I was a parent too, and sometimes I feel that being a FT WOHP means I get less say because I'm not there each day. No one has to address this, since it's not really the point, but right now I feel like I'm a bad mother with a badly behaved overweight spoiled child and it makes me cry. LIterally. LIke, I cried at work.

Thank you for listening.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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I saw pics of your adorable ds in your blog, and he certainly doesn't look overweight to me. It sounds like you already know how to improve his diet, so I'd stick to that. I would try to find a second opinion before you do something like blood tests.

As far as the waking up, my ds still wakes up during the night and climbs in bed with us. I think that's pretty normal. I think the CNP was full of it when she said you should let him cry himself to sleep.

mama.

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Old 08-20-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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This is where he plots: http://www.medcalc.com/growth/chart.php

If that doesn't work...try this and fill it in: http://www.medcalc.com/growth/


I have big kids too...ds is 5 and 56 lbs (he was 30 lbs at 1) and dd is 2 and 31 lbs.

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my DH said he doesn't know where I got "cry to sleep" from (um, he said it? but what she meant is, read a book, sing a song, say goodnight, tuck him in, turn out light, leave. And basically reinforce this by putting him in his room again if he comes out, etc. Because, as she said, he's not 4 mo old. He knows we're in the house and knows we will come back.
I don't completely disagree with this, but I am perhaps not getting the entire suggestion. Am I then supposed to do this at night too? I guess I am just offended that anyone thinks it is unordinary for a child to wake at night.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:23 PM
 
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nak

3 & 4 are parenting, not medical issues, so the cnp's opinion means nothing
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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1. Your son does not look overweight at ALL! (checked your blog to see pics )
2. Your ped has no place telling you how to discipline your child.
3. Nobody sleeps through the night. Not you, me or my 70 yo grandmother. There is nothing wrong with your DS waking at night or even wanting to cuddle/nurse back to sleep.

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Old 08-20-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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As for the first point: if he has pretty much followed his curve, I wouldn't worry about it too much, assuming his diet is/ will be healthy and balanced.
As for point 3&4 - I agree those are parenting issues. I have never even brought those things up with a healthcare professional since I wasn't interested in their opinion. When asked directly for instance "How does he sleep?" I just say "fine". Heck, my 2 year old wakes several times a night, and my now 5 year old still wakes at least once. They both sleep in our bed.
I'm wondering if maybe your dh is leaning towards the dr's advice, and that's what makes you so upset? or are these topics that you don't fully agree on? Otherwise, if both you and your dh agree that you're parenting the way you want to, I would just shrug this off as a different opinion that doesn't carry much weight.

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Old 08-20-2008, 06:47 PM
 
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Ugh. I'm sorry! I'd be upset too.

As far as being overweight, well, I don't know what to say about that. I think that very few of us have an ideal diet or feed our kids an ideal diet, so there's always room for improvement! My DD isn't overweight but she definitely could eat more good stuff and less bad stuff--more vegetables and fewer simple starches are always a good thing for anybody as well as opportunities to move our bodies! Sounds like you're on the same page as that anyway, so I'd just go ahead and implement that.

It's hard to know what to say about the ped situation because you weren't at the appointment--so how much of that advice is just unsolicited parenting advice or how much of it is the result of your DH's questioning, etc.? What was his opinion about all this and how he related it to you? Was he upset by it too, or did he seem to go with what the dr. said? Are you and he on the same page about these parenting issues? (nursing, toddler coming into the bed, discipline, etc.) I am just wondering this because you noted two areas where you and your DH are in conflict about parenting issues (the bread and the vax) and his opinion is prevailing against your wishes, and to me that seems like the greater issue--it's much easier to ignore unwanted advice from a ped about issues like sleep and discipline (most of which I think usually is based on their own opinions and experiences than it is any sort of sound scientifically based advice) than it is to be in conflict with your partner and the child's other parent. And since the advice is being filtered through your DH, it's hard to know what the context was with the ped. (like, if somebody asked, "Can I use time-outs with my 2 year old?" and the ped says, "yes, that might work" and that gets heard or reported as "the ped says that time-outs should be used with our 2 year old", or, "is there any reason my child shouldn't be sleeping through the night?", etc. . . . ) Is there any way that you could take time off work to go to doctor's appointments with your DH/kids, or work it out so that the appointments are during non-working hours for you? I have the reverse situation (I SAH and DH WOH FT) and once in a while I want him to come to a ped appointment or he will decide to take off work and come too, especially if there is a decision re. vax or something that we aren't decided on.

FWIW, my daughter is 33 months and she still sleeps with me pretty much fulltime. I have a toddler bed for her in her room--if I put her in the toddler bed, she wakes up around 3 in the morning and comes into my bed. She still nurses too, and once in a while she nurses at night. Heck, sometimes adults wake up at night too--we get thirsty, have to pee, or have a bad dream. It's just that we can usually take care of these needs by ourselves, and an infant or young child cannot! So yeah, I don't think that sounds abnormal!
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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Yeah, 3 & 4 are parenting issues, and I make it a point to never take parenting advice from medical professionals. They don't live in my house, they don't see us more than a few times a year at most, they have no idea what does or does not work for my family.

As for the weight issues, has your ds always followed that curve? That's a much bigger issue than his actual weight. Our ped has mintioned a few times that ds is a bit heavier than she'd like to see for his height, but he's been in the same percentile (within 5% either way) almost all his life, so it's not a huge deal. If your ds was hovering around the 60th percentile for a long time then jumped to 100, it would be a different situation, kwim? Or if his growth (height-wise) suddenly stopped keeping up with his weight gain, out of nowhere. But if his all around growth has been steady, (and especially if your other kids have followed similar patterns) I don't hink it's anything to really worry about.

MJ~ Proud mom to DS (4)
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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Oh, I thought of something else--don't kids at that age sometimes sort of chub up for a while but then start growing in height? My DD gained fairly steadily until about 2 ish, and then has pretty much plateaued weight-wise but has really gotten taller.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:54 PM
 
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How tall is he?


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Old 08-20-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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My word. My son is the exact same age and weighs close to 40 lbs. He's always stayed on the charts at the same %. At least until he was 1, we stopped doing well checks then. He also still wakes up at night and comes to bed with us. If we (or you) have a problem with it, that's one thing but why does the doc care?

I do agree about the bread, but that's it. As long as he's staying on the curve the same, I don't see a problem. How tall is he? As for the rest, I'd chalk it up to another ped discussing things that don't need to be discussed.

Btw, I checked out the pics in your blog and he looks like a big active, very adorable boy.
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Regarding weight, I know he's always been above 100%, or at least I thought. The problem is that they and I don't have the most recent records, since I just changed doctors. All I have is memory, right now.
I just don't understand where this extra weight is, quite honestly. DH did say she felt a bit better about the weight when she heard that P is still nursing.

Kavita and gabry, I think you bring up good points. This is the first well visit that DH has taken P too on his own-- I usually schedule when I can do it. And quite honestly, I prefer to handle the visits myself so I can ignore what I want to ignore. I thought that, given scheduling difficulties, we could try this this time. I don't know if the advice was solicited or not. DH does not have an issue (seemingly) with anything she said. He has been frustrated with these issues, and we have clashed over them. Quite honestly, it makes me feel like I my opinions are overriden And he feels like I want to control everything. I don't think time outs are a good choice now, but DH is the SAHP and he wants to use them. He also wanted to try spanking even though I said NO. So he tried it once or twice anyway and now knows it doesn't work.
So there are deeper issues at work.
As for sleep, the past few nights P has been waking more than once and it's very hard for me. But I have ALWAYS been the one doing the nighttime care, and I don't know that DH really cares if I am tired. He cares that I complain that I am tired. He cares that he is disturbed. Maybe I am being cynical, but he doesn't care about my feelings. He has said before that it is my fault for dealing with sleep, etc the way I have.

Obviously I need to talk.

Part of this is being a mother bear. How DARE someone suggest my beautiful boy isn't perfectly sized? Doesn't nursing fix everything? No, he's not badly behaved. And am I really living under such a rock that the things I think are normal, aren't?
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by KatWrangler View Post
How tall is he?

35 in
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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I'd be beyond furious and never go back there again.

Your DS does NOT look overweight in the least. I would try a healthier variety of foods, but no diet or testing is necessary IMO.

And the sleeping thing infuriates me! My DD is 26 mo, and she has NEVER slept thru the night, for awhile was just waking once but currently wakes 2-3 times, and at least once has a bottle of milk and cuddles to get back to sleep. So, I can just imagine what she would say to me! Who cares, I guarantee she did not take parenting classes, but medical classes that have NOTHING to do with sleeping habits and parenting advice.

Big hugs to you!

Anna
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:15 PM
 
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ITA with the pps about never taking parenting advice from medical practitioners (especially Western ones!).

Your son looks totally healthy to me. In fact, he looks to be about the same size as a friend's ds, who is very healthy and on track. He's just big.

Maybe focus on giving more whole foods, but other than that...what can you do? My 19 mo dd is on the small side at about 23 pounds, and while small, no one is going to tell me she's ftt. Kids eat the amount of food they need to eat and run and play as much as they need to. All kids are different.

Happily parenting our snuggly wild child since 2007 and her little brother since 2011!

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Old 08-20-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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F%^*^%$$ her!
SERIOUSLY!

I take our Dr appts with a grain of salt (and in your case maybe a nice magarita)

1) Fix what you don't like about his diet, keep him active and try really hard to forget the ramblings of a CNP. If he has always been on the top of the charts you have nothing, NOTHING to worry about!

****By the way, I was told by our Pedi that CNP are not supposed to treat pediatric patients. (I requested the CNP b/c she rocks) - you might want to check on that ******(we are in PA)

2) The Sleep thing is BS! J is 27 months and is up at least once most nights. He is also still a booby boy So in our little sample size of 2, your son is totally normal! She is telling you to 'sleep train' or CIO and since he still wakes at night I'm assuming you don't believe in it. So again F@#! her. You are the one getting up with him so if you don't mind it, THERE IS NO PROBLEM! I can't for the life of me, imagine a 2 y/o CIO. Breaks my heart. Good lord, since when is it so wrong to want to snuggle your mama?

3) Timeouts work on 2 yo apparently, and we should use them.

Well, we've tried time outs for serious offenses and I couldn't really tell you one way or the other. I personally believe it is helpful for us to show J a pattern of cause and effect - but that is a personal parenting choice and none of any Dr or nurse's business. Again - if you don't mind not using time outs then - THERE IS NO PROBLEM!

I hate. hate. hate. most medical 'professionals' for reasons like this. IMO a good Dr (or cnp) should know his or her place and it soundls like this one really doesn't. If I need a nice dose of 'mainstream' parenting BS crammed down my throat, I'll pick up a parents magazine in the waiting room, thanks.

I would make it to his next appointment and the minute anyone starts rambling on about anything not 100% medically related to your son I would tell them that 'that is not the way we are parenting, and sleep training is unacceptable to us' or something like that and just change the subject. Also, and this is from experience - decide about shots concretely before the appointment. My pedi practice is really fanatical about shots and will do almost anything to convince you to vax if you (or hubby) is on the fence.

G/L - and I would think if you aren't 'in love' with this practice it might be worth shopping for a new one!

<3 Dena

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Old 08-20-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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I agree that 3 and 4 are parenting. Things that go in one ear and out the other if I don't agree. My almost 4 year old still has us with him when he goes to sleep and climbs in with us if he wants to, so obviously I've never just closed the door and walked out. And time out, would have been a joke with my son at age 2. I'm sure it works for some kids, but not all, probably not even the majority.

#1 and 2 make sense. His height is about average, 50 %ile, and his weight is off the charts. BUT, he's only 2. 2 is really the point when most doctors start worrying about height and weight proportions. At this point I would be concerned about keeping his diet healthy and keeping him active and watch to see that he slims down as he grows taller, which I would expect him to do given a relatively healthy lifestyle.

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Old 08-20-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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Doesn't nursing fix everything?
Of course it does! Besides, nursing reduces his chances of being overweight anyways.
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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My ds is about the same age and is also 40lbs. He is not overweight at all...just solid, and tall (39"). My Ped is not worried about it at all because she can see that he isn't "fat", and that he is so young.. As long as he's eating a healthy diet and is fairly active I wouldn't worry about it! Kids come in all different shapes and sizes and your little guy looks great to me

Also my ds doesn't really sleep through the night. Sometimes he will but most nights he wakes up to nurse at least once -- if he is feeling off at all he's up several times a night.

I take a lot of things my Ped says with a grain of salt, because I really feel like I know what I'm doing for the most part...and if I don't and want her opinion then I will ask it.

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Old 08-20-2008, 07:36 PM
 
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I guess the only reason I agree that he's overweight is because his height is in the 50%...
My kids are very solid but their height and weight percentiles match up...

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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Old 08-20-2008, 07:37 PM
 
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I guess at the "end" of this "successful" whatever, he will go to sleep on his own with minimal crying.


I've had this same discussion with my mother many times. She insists that DS should be sleeping through the night in his own bed. I'll be honest, I wish he was but he's just not ready for that yet and I'm not going to make him cry himself to sleep everynight for my convenience. I can't imagine how listening to your toddler wail for hours and taking him back to his room 3,496 times a night is logical anyhow. I'd rather just roll over, plop one out and go back to sleep I agree that the practitioner's parenting advice is to be taken with a grain of salt. I had an OB tell me that I should nightwean my son at 6 months pp!

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Old 08-20-2008, 08:11 PM
 
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1. P is overweight. So much so that she wants to run blood tests. He is 40 lbs. He has always been big (9-7 at birth, 24 lbs at 6 mo). I don't see how he is fat. I don't even see how the charts show him to be fat-- he is at 100%, but so what? I am very very upset about this.


40 lbs is heavy for a two year old, but my son was around that at 2 1/2 and wasn't obese - he was a little chubby, and tall. Is his height wildly disproportionate to his height (like, is he in the 15th percentile for height and above the 100th for weight?)? If so, there might be areas in his diet to look at. Is he active? Make sure he's getting plenty of normal kid excercise.

2. We need to feed P fewer starches. Meaning, no white bread, less fruit. This will cause him to eat more beans and vegetables. I agree with this (the white bread was an argument I lost with DH anyway) since I know we can do better by him for his diet.

It never hurts to look at diet. However, my experience has been that cutting down certain foods do not necessarily mean they will want other foods. But more nutritionally dense foods tend to make you not want to eat as much.

3. There is NO REASON P should not sleep through the night. He still wakes about once a night around 3am, then is in our room from 5 or 6am. I don't think this is too bad. I don't usually nurse him at 3. I am a FT WOHM, so part of me wonders if he just wants the cuddles. I will admit the sleep thing, with two kids, is really hard for me. But I don't want to force him into anything. This is part of why he's still nursing in the first place-- I want to give him space to be himself, as he needs to.
Ped (CNP actually) says we should put him in his room, say goodnight, leave, when he cries etc put him back in room or check on him, repeat ad nauseum. I guess at the "end" of this "successful" whatever, he will go to sleep on his own with minimal crying. This is just wrong. I haven't worked my ass off trying to accomodate his sleep to the best of my ability so that I can let him cry now. I don't understand. Is my child so abnormal, really?

4. Timeouts work on 2 yo apparently, and we should use them.


These things fit into the MYOB catagory when it comes to peds. I would either tell ped "Thanks, but I'm not here for parenting advice" or just ignore her if what she says doesn't jibe with what you believe. As to the time outs, I think some peds recomend these this as a way to steer parents away from things like spanking.


I"m trying to stick to these points, because the whole thing makes me mad. It makes me mad that I said I didn't want him to get the varicella shot and DH said he would "discuss it" and decide-- so P got it. I thought I was a parent too, and sometimes I feel that being a FT WOHP means I get less say because I'm not there each day. No one has to address this, since it's not really the point, but right now I feel like I'm a bad mother with a badly behaved overweight spoiled child and it makes me cry. LIterally. LIke, I cried at work.

Awww. . .I'm sorry you're having a rough day. If you don't like how your dh is hand;ing appointments on his own, is there anyway to take a couple of hours of sick leave the next time and go, too? As for the shot - it doesn't sound like you were firm in your desires - and since your husband said he would discuss it and decide, that's what he did. It sounds like you might have agreed to him making the decision while he was there. Next time, you might ask him to bring home any information he gets from the ped so that you can look it over and discuss it before making a decison - or call the ped ahead of time and ask if you can get any paper work that they usually hand out at the X year appointment ahead of time so you can look at it and think of any questions or concerns you might have.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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Having read the whole thread now, it sounds to me like your husband has issues with how you want to raise your son, and used this doctor appointment as an excuse to try to push his agenda. You guys need to get on the same page and work at some compromises.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:19 PM
 
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His BMI says he's over the 95% meaning according to that chart he is overweight. He is well over 100% for weight and only about 75% for height. Now I take these charts w/ a grain of salt, as my son teeters between 'healthy weight' and 'at risk for being overweight' on the BMI chart. He's not fat in the slightest, he's very muscular and very little fat. I looked at your pics and your son doesn't look fat, but he looks like a big kid, pics are so hard to tell. AJ was about 34" and 29# at 2 and he was still fairly chubby, but he's really slimmed out since then, despite going down in % on height, he's just gotten more muscular which we all know wieghs more. The best thing you can do is encourage him to have a good diet, allow for lots of movement in his life and go from there. Not every child is going to be 50%, shoot, my 2nd child isn't on the height/weight charts he's so small, but no one tells me to feed him more, they just know he's small. Hugs!

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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Old 08-20-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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I recommend the book My Child Won't Eat! (it's not just for skinny kids.) In the future I would try to avoid letting DP take him alone. It seems very unlikely that the CNP told him about the wonders of timeouts unless he said something first.

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Old 08-21-2008, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by starlein26 View Post
I guess the only reason I agree that he's overweight is because his height is in the 50%...
My kids are very solid but their height and weight percentiles match up...
Well is this really how you measure weight? Couldn't a person be tall and thin, or short and stocky? DS has always been about 75% for height and around 100% for weight.

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Having read the whole thread now, it sounds to me like your husband has issues with how you want to raise your son, and used this doctor appointment as an excuse to try to push his agenda. You guys need to get on the same page and work at some compromises.
I think you're right.
AFter talking to the dr, it seems pretty clear that DH brought the parenting issues up. Dr is very hands off, and deferred to me several times.

So the main issue is weight--
She basically said that it doesn't matter what he looks like, what matters is that he is so far off the top of the chart. She thinks he should weigh 10 lbs less, so his height and weight percentiles match. That's 25% of his weight! And the percentiles have never matched up! I really disagree with this. I don't think he's overweight at all and I'm kind of pissed about the whole thing. And apparently the bloodwork and urine tests are routine for 2 yr visits. To deal with his weight we should work on feeding him 3 meals a day with 2 snacks (again, she defers to us) of good healthy food. No diets, etc. the theory is that grazing will cause them to fill up on certain foods rather than other more healthy ones, and can cause them to eat if bored.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Sounds like the real problem is between you and dh, since if the 2 of you are on the same page it's a piece of cake to blow off a ped's comments.

I'd like to recommend that you both read "Unconditional Parenting" because it has some interesting things to say about the state of the actual scientific research as far as what type of discipline is more effective and why. It's not all about judging people for doing punishments or rewards, it's more like, "you should use this approach because it actually works better, and besides your relationship with your kid will be better in the end." Good luck!

jillian+1 loves Miss MoJo (July 2007) and misses Henri (May 1970 - August 2009)
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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His weight is very high for a two year old BUT...he doesn't appear to be overweight- he looks healthy and active and absolutely ADORABLE!!!! I eagree with changing the diet to include more whole foods and less simple carbs. I wouldn't bother with the testing at this point because just because he's off the charts weight wise there isn't any health concern.

And the parenting advice is just that- parenting advice. Take it or leave it.

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Old 08-21-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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Kavita and gabry, I think you bring up good points. This is the first well visit that DH has taken P too on his own-- I usually schedule when I can do it. And quite honestly, I prefer to handle the visits myself so I can ignore what I want to ignore. I thought that, given scheduling difficulties, we could try this this time. I don't know if the advice was solicited or not. DH does not have an issue (seemingly) with anything she said. He has been frustrated with these issues, and we have clashed over them. Quite honestly, it makes me feel like I my opinions are overriden And he feels like I want to control everything. I don't think time outs are a good choice now, but DH is the SAHP and he wants to use them. He also wanted to try spanking even though I said NO. So he tried it once or twice anyway and now knows it doesn't work.
So there are deeper issues at work.
Perhaps DH at home isn't the best solution for you. Could he work & you stay at home? Could you both work & get aCCP that is on-board. If my DH got DS a vax we'd be separated. Instantly.

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