Post # 1
I have a personal reason for asking this question, which I’ll get to, but first things first (sorry if this is long!)
My cousin just had a daughter who was born small–a little less than 6 pounds. The baby has continued to stay in the 5th percentile for height and weight, which isn’t suprising as both of her parents are small people (my cousin still buys her clothes at Gap Kids). The baby goes to a sitter everyday while cousin and her DH are at work and the sitter also has a daughter who is exactly the same age, except HER daughter is in the 95th percentile for weight and height. Both babies are about 4 months.
My aunt and uncle talk nonstop about how the sitter’s baby is “obese,” how clearly, the sitter is doing something wacky with the feeding, and how the baby needs to be put on a diet. They’ve also made comments insofar as to what kind of diet the babysitter eats. I can’t comment on the babysitter’s eating habits, but from what I understand, the babysitter breastfeeds and her baby isn’t yet eating solid food.
This talk makes me uncomfortable for a few reasons. For one, I’m not a pediatrician, but I’m assuming that it’s probably not a good idea to put an infant on a diet. I always figured that most infants pretty much eat according to hunger and stop when full. Second, I’ve met the babysitter and her family and the kid is large, but not to the point that she looks like an oompa-loompa or anything. The babysitter and her DH are big-boned, stocky people, and it just looks to me like their daughter has simply inherited a larger frame. Third, as someone who struggled with body image, it’s just hard to hear that kind of judgement on a BABY (as well as a mother). I also worry about what will be said about my own child (I’m due in September), in part because my husband is a big stocky guy (from a big, stocky family) and I may have a big, stocky baby. I’m just already worried about things being said by my relatives about my own kid and how I will respond. I also hate the idea of being judged as a mother in that way, especially comments about “abusing the kid by overfeeding it” or “not being careful enough when pregnant”–I mean, I do my best at eating a balanced diet, but I’m not a saint.
CAN one have an obese newborn? Is it possible to breastfeed too much??
Post # 3
@BothCoasts: Umm.. I’m fairly sure newborns don’t have food issues. Also, when they do the percentiles for height/weight, they’re not exactly figuring out their BMI or something silly like that. So of course if you’re 95th on height, it follows that you’ll also be 95th on weight.
Now if the baby was 5 percentile for height, but 95th for weight.. there might be an issue.
Post # 4
I’m pretty sure babies are notorious for being “chunky” at times. Evyerthing gets sorted out- babies grown and change shape fast.
Try to ingore it!
Post # 5
Babies come in all sizes. My dd is little and has never been on the chart. People asked me all the time “don’t you feed her??” People are just rude. Babies Aren’t obese and you really can’t breastfeeding too much.
Post # 6
Maybe they are just judgmental because they feel defensive about having a small baby. It doesn’t sound like the baby sitter is doing anything wrong. Babies grow at different rates. I think if they make comments about your babyyoushould put them in their place.
Post # 7
I don’t know of any friends having pediatric weight issues with their infants but let me tell you, the Pediatricians are BRUTAL about weight once kids are over age two. They just don’t stop. I have friends who come home in tears and I mean in tears about their kids weight because they are off the charts. I understand the pediatricans’ points that childhood obesity is dramatically on the rise, we’re seeing previously thought of “adult” diseases starting in kids age 14 and the eating habits you make as a child will carry into adulthood but there is no reason to bring a mom to tears. One pedi told my friend “YOU put everything on your child’s plate, you should do a better job.” ouch. They could’ve have been a little softer with that? My friend now obsesses over everything her child eats and I’m afraid it’s going to result in the girl having an eating disorder by the age of 6. Craziness.
Post # 8
@Foreverblonde345: Age TWO?
I mean, I agree that childhood obesity is on the rise and this is a concern, but it’s one thing to educate parents about child nutrition; it’s another to berate them. And besides, don’t toddlers also go through phases when they gain a little more weight in preparation for a growth spurt? And there’s the other side of the coin in that I know families in which their kids look perfectly healthy and are normal weights, but I know that their parents feed them terrible diets.
I feel for your friend…
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
When I was born, I weighed 9lbs., 4oz. & only 18in. long. Trust me when I say I was quite the chubby one! Today, I am 5’6″ & about 140lbs. I’m healthy & certainly far from obese! As long as you instill healthy habits throughout the child’s life, their weight at birth won’t brand them for life!!
Post # 10
@BothCoasts: I think they are way out of line. This is not normal behaviour to be obsessed with the weight of other people babies. When yours comes I am sure no one will be talking behind your back. Personally I would be way more worried if I had a “underweight” baby than “overweight”.
For the record I was an obese baby and toddler. Like seriously huge. The doc had to stick two charts together just so that they could monitor my growth and there were discussions about if it was child abuse. You know what, I just liked to eat, when I moved to solids if my parents dared to try and take my puree away from me I would go mental and would, as a result, frequently fall asleep into my food.
Fast-forward to early childhood and I was if anything an underweight child and teen and have a BMI of 22 now. When people see picks of me as a baby/todler they cant believe it. Dont worry about these people, you will know your baby and what is right for them.
Post # 11
I want to smack the daylights out of your aunt and uncle right now.
My daughter was 10lbs8oz and 22inches long at birth. She was 100th for height and 98th for weight. She perfectly proportionate and NOT obese. She’s currently 100th for height and 90th for weight. She TALL, when you’re tall you’re going to weigh more. I was 9lbs14oz and 21in and I’ve never had weight problems. I’m 5’7 and have been a size 8-10 my whole life.
I’d be more concerned about your cousins’s 5th percentile baby than the babysitter’s 95th percentile baby.
Post # 12
@zippylef: I’d be more concerned about your cousins’s 5th percentile baby than the babysitter’s 95th percentile baby. +1
Post # 13
So because my DD was in the 2nd percentile for height and weight up until age 4, does that mean she is an absurdly skinny baby according to your aunt and uncle’s standards?
If the child is proportionate, I don’t get what the big deal is? I understand childhood obesity is on the rise, but applying to term “obese” to a baby is out of control.
Post # 14
@zippylef: “I’d be more concerned about your cousins’s 5th percentile baby than the babysitter’s 95th percentile baby.”
Post # 15
I hate when people make negative comments about babies’ physical appearance. Way to instill body issues early.
As long as child tracks his/her own growth curve (i.e. there’s no huge increases or decreases in percentiles), the baby’s fine. I was never even on the charts as a kid, but my children are way at the top of the percentiles. My kids are really tall, and therefore heavier, than I ever was at their ages. I wasn’t “too little” and they are not “too big”; it’s just a difference in body build/genetics.
Post # 16
I think that’s absurd. I was 9 lbs. 8 oz. at birth, definitely a chubby baby, and around age 2 I REALLY slimmed down (to the point that I was UNDER the chart for weight virtually my entire life until I hit age 17). Today I’m 5’7″ and 115 pounds – clearly, far from obese. Just because a baby is big doesn’t mean they will end up as an obese child or adult!
I understand that childhood obesity is on the rise and certainly in older kids it needs to be addressed…at least monitoring what they are eating, creating healthy lifestyles, etc. But for an infant that seems ridiculous!