Little man N’s development check (and a health visitor rant)

Yesterday we had N’s 9-12 month development check. I’m sure J didn’t have his until he was around one year, but never mind. Being a first time Mum with J, I took everything as gospel and was in a rush for him to do everything, but with N I have been much more relaxed and just got on with it (and let him get on with it) as I know each individual baby/child develops at their own rate and just because they don’t keep up with their peers, or conform to some chart, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with them. I know I could have refused this check but brushing aside my moans, I always find it interesting to see how they ‘conform’, well, I suppose so I can moan really, ha!

It was a bit different this time and when she arrived I had to fill in a questionnaire which looked like this:

It basically asked a few questions of whether they are doing things yet, in each category of communication skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving skills, and personal-social skills; each requires a response of ‘yes’, ‘sometimes’, or ‘no’, and then each section is scored according to their ‘chart’.

N scored fairly high in all sections other than communication, and this is all because he wasn’t saying any words yet, just babbling a lot. According to the health visitor, he “should” be saying at least 3 words now and talking in full sentences! (Okay, I might be exaggerating there (only ever so slightly), but that’s how she made it sound!). I told her that J was a late talker too and he never stops now and can say hundreds of things so I wasn’t worried, but no, she kept drumming it in that he should be doing it – imagine if I was a first time mother with low confidence in my abilities, maybe already suffering PND/anxiety, and she had said this? According to her, we don’t talk to him enough. We are always talking to him, and if we’re not, then his brother is! We’re always telling him what things are, we always sing songs together, make songs up, ask him to do things, and he understands. I’m confident of that. Believe it or not, he said “Mama” after she left! He just didn’t want to talk for her obviously.

The other thing the health visitor is concerned about is his weight. He’s currently measuring on the 98th centile (he was born on the 50th – but the same thing happened to J and he is now on the 75th again) and his height puts him on the 75th. Apparently these level each other out, but basically he’s still too fat and needs to lose weight! So what am I going to do, starve my baby? I don’t think so. He still has three formula milk feeds a day and he eats three balanced meals a day so I think he’s doing perfectly fine. Again, I’m not in the slightest bit worried and am confident that when he starts walking he will go the same way as J. I also argued this point to her. But she insisted that a fat baby equals a fat adult when they get to 50 or 60, so a fat baby isn’t a healthy baby. Okay then. I swear above all, she was trying to make me feel bad, but it didn’t work.

I think he is a perfectly happy healthy baby. Just perfect.

When I have visited baby clinic before I have heard people complaining about her too; that she tells them to do things differently even when they have had children before and ‘know what they’re doing’ this time so to speak. 

I’m half considering submitting a complaint about her just in case she does ‘pick on’ the wrong person next time. What do you think?