I watch very little commercial television because ads piss me off and I'd rather talk to the husbang or read blogs. But the other night, I saw good
sport Liz Ellis advertising formula for toddlers. In the words of Tim Dunlop
, just fuck off, Liz.
I am prepared to accept seeing "Thorpedo
" "extremely low GI"* water at the supermarket because he is a shocking joke anyway. But to see someone whose spirit and spunk I've admired on shows like "Glasshouse" endorsing something like toddler formula gives me the shits.
Toddlers do not need to drink formula. Some, who are ill or picky beyond ordinary maternal anxiety - ie, who are nutritionally deficient - might benefit. But the vast majority of kids do not need it. (In general, nutritional deficiency in our society is a matter of poverty (including eg, aboriginality, or psychology.) The issues are similar to those surrounding vitamin supplements. The difference is that as an adult you can chose, and pay, to take supplements if you want to. It is a BAD*THING*TO*DO* to try and persuade people that such supplementation for little children is normal and neccessary.
Toddlers often pick. I put food of one kind or another in front of Sage at about hour and a half intervals throughout the day (and before you tell me that my maternalism is saintly but unachievable think: 6 am to 8 pm minus 1.5 hours sleep - brekkie - morning tea - lunch - afternoon tea - dinner).
Scroll down here
to see what Nestle is (telling people in the food industry) it is trying to do. This
explains the benefits of feeding older babies. (Hint: if you are going to click through one link on this post, this is the one.)
Sage has just been weaned, at 25 months. It's been OK, not so tricky as I feared. As O said last night, Sage has always
known the comfort of the breast. For the first time in his experience of the world, that major comfort is gone. To help, he's getting even more cuddles than usual, and lots of tickling, and rolling around on the floor, and being an aeroplane on mama's feet and that kind of stuff. He has realised that breastfeeding has stopped - he patted my breasts this morning and said "Num nums gone." As a toddler, he's starting to learn about complexity, and this is part of it. I don't miss it, but once when he had a pretend suck outside my t-shirt I felt that real achey moo-cow urge to feed that all nursing mothers know.
I got some excellent booklets from the Australian Breastfeeding Association
in the early days - and later. With that help, and from talking to my sister, who breastfed her daughter until she was nearly two and is breastfeeding her 16 month old son, I overcame the horrendous early struggles to get Sage to feed. Nose tubes in hospital, double sided electric breast pumps, etc.
I can remember looking at the "Feeding in hot weather" booklet and seeing a photo of a woman in the shower feeding what O and I called a "giant baby'. I am fortunate that O's family, like mine, thinks that breastfeeding is a fantastic and marvellous thing. But it can still be a bit freaky. This is normal, people.
BTW, It's important to me that people don't think I'm on some superiority trip, I'm not. I'm grateful for what we had. My favourite Aunty in the whole world, the kindest exemplar of mother love you could ever hope to meet, thought breastfeeding was yucky and weird, and - of course - her kids are all fine.
If you've got - oh, say - twenty bucks in your wallet at the end of your Christmas shopping, you could just give it to the ABA. They could really use it.
* I don't know if they expect anyone knows what the G(lycemic) I(ndex)
is, but anyone who had read even a little about it would understand the only likely way water's GI would be up, would be where someone had put some form of sugar in it.