Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baby advice.

I've started a new job as a Plunket Educator. It is for the Plunket 'Education In Schools' programme.  It is a six week course taught in schools with an emphasis on safety.  For me it is basically like listening to a Plunket Nurse tell you what to do constantly - the messages are the same as I get for my girls, and the reactions of the students when you give them the 'E: True Hollywood Story of Parenting' is just hilarious.

So I was particularly pleased when my Mum sent me my Plunket Book.  It has a white and blue cover and is falling to bits.  I was 3.12kg and 3.3kg when first seen by Plunket at 2.5 weeks.

There is a suggested routine at the front of the book, which is about as laughable as any other timetable oriented routine I've seen for babies.  It does include sun bathing time(!) and lots of outside sleeping time.  It allows thirty minutes relaxation and recreation time for the mother in the evening, so perhaps I should consider it!

What I find really interesting is the six important headings that the book includes:  they are very close to the eight needs of children that I teach in my course.

Six 'headings'
  1. Love
  2. Food
  3. Cleanliness
  4. Rest
  5. Clothing
  6. Exercise (fresh air and play)
Eight 'basic needs'

  1. Love and Security
  2. Food
  3. Hygiene
  4. Rest and Sleep
  5. Clothing
  6. Development (physical and mental)
  7. Shelter
  8. Learning
There is not a single mention of breastfeeding in the old book (I was formula feed), but a formula fed baby today will still have approximatly 10,000 mentions of breastfeeding in their Plunket book.  There is a definite emphasis on 'motions.'  The standard headings for each visit are:
  • Date
  • Age
  • Weight
  • Nurse's Comments and Advice
  • Motions.
My formula feeds were being watered down at night from five weeks, I guess as part of a plan to get me sleeping through the night.  I was on solids from nine weeks (the norm these days is from six months).  In the seven weeks old entry there is a mysterious recipe for baking soda in cooled boiled water.  It doesn't mention what it is for.

There is an emphasis on iron rich foods that is familiar to today's parent.  Meat juice is suggested, and egg yolks every other day.  Sieved meat pulp (made from liver or kidney) was one handwritten recipe and there was a suggestion of fruit juice in the afternoon (at seven and a half months old).  Plunket nurses today would cringe at the fruit juice recommendation!

Anyone else have their old Plunket Book?


  1. Norm for solids is 6 months nowadays, surely?

    No plunket book for me or Beau, me being born overseas and Beau being number 6...

  2. Oops - good picking up! to edit.....

  3. Imagine feeding babies from six weeks!!

  4. mum still has both mine and my brothers plunket book, I also think she has hers and dads books too (almost pre-historic now)