The immediate assumption mothers and mothers only bear the weight of a decision to start solid food is not as shocking as it is just simply rage inducing — in an era in which most moms hold down a job outside parenting, the most effective thing we can do to ease the relatively uneven burden between parents is not assume that mothers are the go-to for things like feeding unless a breast is required to do so.
Yet all the articles about babies starting solids too early (with the notable exception of the New York Times) read like a freaking laundry commercial. The assumption that women are solely responsible for parenting and homemaking becomes incredibly frustrating when the pressure of doing so as a given is applied to an already busy mom who herself has a full-time job … and we really don’t need the national media reinforcing so casually this ridiculous stereotype that feeding a baby is a mom’s job.
Even the Times only escaped in the headline — the body of their coverage read:
” … the survey suggests that mothers are not aware of the recommendations or find them difficult to follow.”
Later in the article the terminology switched to “parents,” but the insinuation was there. Who else takes kids to the pediatrician, after all? And really, how can moms remember these complicated guidelines when we have to get to work on fulfilling our spring decor Pinterest goals? It’s just too much.
“Mothers may turn to a variety of sources for information on when to start their infants on solid foods, and these sources may provide conflicting advice, the researchers said … ‘Pediatricians and other health care providers need to provide clear and accurate guidance’ to women about when to start solid foods … some women may start their infant on solid foods sooner because they think that their babies’ crying indicates they are still hungry … interpretation of these cries (with the help of a doctor) may prevent some women from starting solid foods too early.”