My husband and I make fat babies. Or maybe I just make fatty milk. Or perhaps it’s both. My two children came into the world right around 9 pounds. And at two weeks, where the doctor wants to see them regain to their birth weight, mine were over 10 pounds. By four months my daughter was 21.5 pounds. My babies just happen to be born large and gain quickly.
And throughout their whole first year of life, I thought it was adorable. I loved their chubby legs and fat cheeks. I felt like I could pat myself on the back for a job well done. (Mom Job #1: Feed baby. Check!)
But after my daughter hit one year, I started getting some negative comments. The pediatrician warned me to not give her whole milk and suggested low fat cheese since she was obese. A stranger at the park asked me what I was feeding her (and not in a kind, curious way). Others commented on how tight her pants looked on her tummy.
As a mother, I had a difficult time not being offended. I breastfed my baby and she gained most of the chub in her first year. Was I supposed to not feed on demand? Put my four month old on a diet? Make her work out?
And I can’t help but think that no one ever commented on my son’s weight at this age. There wasn’t an “obese” diagnosis at one year from the pediatrician. No one asked me what I was feeding him. No one used him as an example of what they didn’t want their baby to look like.
Are we really so obsessed with the female body image that I have to have discussions about my baby girl’s weight? I can get over the comments from the pediatrician. It is, after all, her job. But from everyone else? Really?
She is getting more and more slender every day, yet she still doesn’t fall into the “normal” BMI range. But she isn’t over eating, or sitting around all day watching TV, or letting herself go. She is just a typical, beautiful two year old. Who happens to have more baby fat than other kids to lose.
So stop talking about my daughter’s weight. She is just a child. A sweet, innocent child. It breaks my heart that anyone cares enough about a toddler’s weight to comment on it.
The next time you want to judge me—or her—for her size, please remember that we are all unique. People come in all shapes and sizes, even when they are babies. Let her be the size and shape that she is before she (all too soon!) thinks that she isn’t good enough, or thin enough, to be what she wants to be.