Parenting Club – The Twilight Zone
This week I received an email from Boots Parenting Club, announcing that my daughter is now 6 months old (infact, she still had a week to go then). It then launched into its sales pitch with the following tidbit:
Your little one is probably quite familiar with solids now so you might want to try her on something other than puree.
Now, I know people introduce solids before 6 months – we began baby led weaning at 5 and a half months, because it seemed like the right time for Plum – but that’s not the official advice is it?
I expected that a company such as Boots would stick by the advice in their marketing, that solids should be introduced from 6 months, but not only did they not do that, they have assumed that most parents will have ignored that advice. I just find it a little odd.
The email then went on to invite me to download their weaning planner. Only on clicking the link do I get told, in very small print, that the official advice is to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months. The planner suggests introducing baby rice and then purees from six months, which follows the accepted advice – so why does their email suggest that a baby not quite a 6 months old should be moved on to stage 2 on their planner?
Of course, since we are trying baby led weaning, their planner isn’t relevant, but I feel strongly that companies such as Boots – and Mothercare, from my post earlier in the week – have a responsibility to know the official advice and to stick to it. I know a lot of mothers are confident in their choices and that is great, but that are parents out there who will not feel confident about the decision they have to make, and will rely more heavily on the advice they receive. When everywhere you turn, respected organisations are giving you differing advice, and some cannot even be consistent with themselves, it must be incredibly confusing.
I found the whole email a bit bizarre to be honest. The next bit tells me that by now most babies are sleeping longer at night (oh really? My children missed that memo lol) and so now would be a great time to treat myself to an eye cream. Sorry, what? My baby can roll over now, so it’s ok to let her sleep on her side, and since she’s now sleeping 6-8 hours at a time at night, why don’t I buy one if your incredibly expensive eye creams to celebrate? Can you say “tenuous”?
Finally, there is a link to a 6 month milestones webpage telling me what I can expect from an average 6 month old baby. In amongst all these milestones, Boots suggests that families might find the Ferber method of controlled crying useful and go on to describe how it is done.
Oh, and the whole thing is sponsored by Coco Pops. Coco Pops ffs. I think perhaps I stepped into the Twilight Zone.