Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Growth Charts for Babies

Scenario #1
Stranger:  "Aw, your baby is so cute!  How old is she?  About 7 months?"
Me:  "7 months?!  Hah, no.  She's barely 3 months old."
Stranger:  "Oh, I'm sorry.  I (stuttering), I didn't mean anything..."

The conversation trails off with said stranger apologizing and me thinking he has nothing to apologize for....

Scenario #2
Setting:  Backyard barbeque with old work colleagues
Friend:  "How old is she?"
Me:  "3 months."
Friend:  (after staring at my child like there is something terribly wrong with her)  "Wow, she's big."  (followed by yet another long pause to stare at my freak child)
The friend seemed to be genuinely concerned about the size of my daughter.

Interactions like those listed above happen every single time we leave our house.  People have commented so much about my daughter's size that I just go ahead and bring it up first in order to get it over with.  Yes, I have a big baby.  Look at me.  Look at my husband.  I would be worried if she did not have fat rolls everywhere.

Now, I know my daughter is healthy.  I know she doesn't eat more than babies her age are supposed to eat; and I know she is built EXACTLY like my husband.  Yet, somehow I've let all of the "your baby is fat" stares and comments worry me.

Yesterday, my daughter had her 4 month check-up with the pediatrician.  I had been eagerly awaiting this particular appointment to make sure our baby isn't unhealthily large.  Four months and 4 days into her little life, she weighed in at 15lbs, 14 oz and measured 25" long.  Weight, length, and head circumference all fall in the 90s for growth percentile.  The nurse ran the tests, took the measurements, and went to tell the doctor we were ready for her.  As my husband and I waited, we had a minute to mull over the fact that our barely 4 month old little girl weighs almost 16lbs.  I know she's gotten heavier, but I had no idea she weighed that much.

The doctor quickly entered the tiny examination room and was a delight as always.  She loves Emma (as I'm sure she loves all of her patients) and gave her a clean bill of health.  "She's perfect.  Whatever you're doing, keep doing it."  : )

I almost felt ridiculous for asking, but I did.  "Is she too big?"  The doctor reaffirmed my beliefs that she is perfectly fine.  She's bigger than a lot of 4 month old babies, but she is proportionate and obviously has our genes.  : )  She does fall in the 90s when compared to other babies, but that doesn't mean she's a freak.  It means she is at least as big or bigger than 90% (or 98%) of other babies her age.  There are still babies out there who are bigger than she.

After a wonderful visit to the pediatrician, I have this to say to everyone who gives me a hard time about my kid:

Again, my kid is big.  Look at me.  Look at my husband.  Now, get over it.

No longer will I just jump into a discussion of my baby's size every time I go out.  : )  She's healthy, happy, and perfect.

If you would like to track your baby's growth, click here for an interactive growth chart.  Plug in your information, and the website will generate an accurate growth chart for your child.  If you haven't seen a growth chart or would like to read more about what the chart represents, click here.  If you have a baby who is perfectly average in size, congratulations!  If you're like me and have a baby who is a little big or even a little small, don't let those averaged sized baby mothers, bully you!  : )

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