Sisterhood Blog

Is My Baby Girl Too F-t?

By Deborah Kolben

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Mika and her mother (click for even bigger “awww”)

My mother-in-law just sent me an article entitled “When is your chubby baby too chubby” I wouldn’t take it so personally if I wasn’t already a little worried about my four-month-old daughter.

When I took Mika in to the doctor for her most recent check-up, the nurse started chuckling when she looked down at the scale. “Sixteen pounds, eight ounces! Wooweee!” “Um, doesn’t that actually say ‘five ounces’” I asked demurely. The point five indicated half a pound, or eight ounces. And it was at that moment that I realized I had become totally crazy. I was worried about what my adorable baby weighed. I was worried that if she was too chubby now (she’s in the 95th percentile for weight), she would spend her life obsessing over her thighs and rear end.

Last year, when I found out that I was having a girl, I immediately started worrying about how to instill in her a positive body image and a healthy relationship with food. I remember so vividly, and painfully, those teenage years — when I wanted to hide under a burlap sack.

So, while I’m of course not really worried about my baby being scarred by her adorable layers of chub, I am really worried about raising an emotionally healthy girl who feels great about herself. Any tips from experienced moms out there? (I mean, aside from not writing things about them that they may find really embarrassing one day.)

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cm Thu. Feb 18, 2010

Hi D. The midwives in Germany say you can't overfeed a baby fed exclusively breast milk. It is the sugar in formula that is problematic for young babies. Most breast fed babies will notice when they have had enough to eat and won't overeat, at least not without spitting up afterwards.

sarah Thu. Feb 18, 2010

The best thing you can do is STOP WORRYING! Stop looking at her body in the frame of "fat" or "chubby", stop thinking about it, stop measuring her up, stop fretting about it, and most definitely stop writing to the whole world that you're worried about her being chubby. Those are the worst things you can do.

The BEST thing you can do is just love her, unconditionally, without ever commenting on her weight. Because at the end of the day, there are two kinds of people in the world, those who are loved unconditionally and those who are not. And we know which ones end up healthy and balanced and able to look after their own selves.

Lisa B Thu. Feb 18, 2010

Best advice I can give - don't listen too much to other people.

Old ladies in the supermarket will cluck that you haven't dressed her appropriately for the weather. Some mom will make you feel bad when her little precious starts walking earlier. Uncle Chaim will natter on about how his grandson is a child genius and reading in two languages at the age of 3.

Seriously. Other people, and books, and magazines and online articles (:-)) will make you nuts, doubt yourself and second guess your every move.

Your daughter will do what every other daughter from time immemorial has ever done - mimic you (it is positively scary how you will see yourself mirrored in her eight year old self). If you spend all your time wrapped in self doubt and looking to others for guidance, so will she.

Show her what an emotionally healthy woman thinks about herself and how she behaves. Develop a good relationship with her, provide her with good role models and be honest.

Good luck.

Sharon Fri. Feb 19, 2010

Just provide her with healthy food and opportunities to play and move around. Then don't worry about her weight ever again. I also believe in telling kids every so often that they are beautiful, because if you think you're beautiful, you act beautiful. And our children are all beautiful, every single one.

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