Sunday, April 25, 2010

Issue of the day: Baby and honey

Image from

Today, my issue was with honey. HONEY! the sweetest thing God ever created to be consumed by mankind......except those below 1 years of age.

Malay have many traditions, some make sense, some....doesn't but most can be tolerated especially if it minimises conflicts from MILs and your own mother. For pregnant, post-natal woman...there is the confidement issues (which I will not touch! not now). And then there's the tradition to welcome a newborn baby home. 

Among it let the newborn have a taste of honey.

PP, on the 7th day of her life..did this "belah mulut" (division of mouth?) ceremony to which honey was given to signify sweetness of life and in hope for her to grow with a sweet and kind personality (other condiments were given too to signify other aspects of life...which i can't remember).

She was given honey too when she visited her paternal grandparents home to "Welcome" her. 

On these two occasions, I bit my tongue. I....tolerated it. It is such a small amount after all.

But today, i left PP with my in-laws for an hour and left a bottle of plain boiled water to drink after her everyday evening walk. Imagine my horror when i came back and saw the plain water....was not so plain after that. It was brownish-gold.

I asked my MIL about it. She told me, she added HONEY! Natural honey..."good for baby" etc etc...honestly i was not listening. I was livid inside. A bottle of 3 ounces of honeyed water.....

PP LOVES....i repeat LOVES her plain boiled water. She loves it more than her own mother's milk!
No sweetening. No sugar. Plain. Boiled. Water. hot cold warm, doesn't matter, so long its her plain water. So why must my MIL teaches my daughter to have sweetened water?! she doesn't need it. Furthermore, its honey!

Now for those who doesn't know. Honey for infants below the age of 1 should not be given any form. One of my favourite reference, Andrew Adesman.M.D book "Baby Facts"

His book basically writes the myth, the reality and the fact about your babies care.

Baby Facts: The Truth about Your Child's Health from Newborn through PreschoolSo since Daddylicious was not understanding to why i was angry about what happened, i whipped out my "Baby Facts" book and read it out loud to him what Adesman wrote
Myth: Honey is a better sweetener than sugar
Reality: Though honey is a better choice than refined sugar, never give honey to a baby in her first year of life.
The facts: can be not only harmful but even deadly to a baby with an immature gastrointestinal system. Honey can contain naturally occuring bacteria in the form of botulism spores, which, when ingested, may cause a toxic reaction in an infant.
I use this book a lot to "de-bunk" nonsense do's and don't for babies when other people tries to give me advise.....and Yes. I did a triumphed "A-HA!" to Daddylicious after I finished reading that to him.

I don't know why i didn't say anything there and then. I know my MIL can accept changes in babycare..if she knew about it. I am lucky cause my MIL is pretty understanding and respect my wishes to raise my child the way i want to. But why didn't i say anything?! Maybe i was really angry about....if i were to say something then, it will not be a nice tone. Bit my tongue again. If i see her tomorrow, I have to bring it up and hopefully she won't be offended...

Nestle Cerelac, Honey and Wheat with Milk, 14.1-Ounce Cans (Pack of 4)
Also, before today, I always wondered about Nestle's Milk and Honey cerelac. I was worried about feeding PP all i can see was HONEEEYYYY. But BabyCenter's post...answered my question.
"Commercial foods that contain honey, like ready-to-eat breakfast cereals and baby food, are safe for your baby because they've been heated enough to kill the spores." BabyCenter. 
That set my mind at ease about one thing at least. As for the other honey matter, better safe than sorry and to set my dialogue with MIL without hurting her feelings and Mummylicious not getting defensive. ....or poke Daddylicious to say something.

Useful links
BabyCenter "When can my baby eat honey?" 
Dr "Honey and infant botulism"
Dr "Feeding a baby honey"


miralatiff said...

Honey also can make baby lost his/her appetite towards real food..
My mom did try to give my son a sip of honey when my son had a sore throat..Nasib baik I ada time tu..So dapat la di elakkan..

Mummylicious said...

I think its due to people keep saying "honey is good for you" so people automatically thinks since its good for us, its must be good for the baby too.

Heck i was ignorant too about this. so much to learn when you become a mother. scary.