I apologize in advance if this blog sounds like a vent, because it's a touchy subject for me. I have two children. When my daughter was born, she was small and stayed in the lower percentile for weight and height during her first year. As a new mom, it stressed me out, mostly because of comments from other people about how she wasn't growing fast enough. When my son was born, his weight shot up rapidly. At 5 months, he weighed 20 pounds, and I would definitely say he was a chubby baby. Both of my kids were breast-fed and the pediatrician said there was no cause for concern. Kids grow at different rates, and mine were both happy and healthy which is what mattered most. My 4 and 2-year old children are now average when it comes to weight and height.
When you have kids, it seems like everyone wants to put in their 2-cents about how to raise them. Usually you'll encounter those people who feel the need to give their opinion about your infant's weight. Either he's too small or too big. Either she's eating too much or she's not eating enough. I am all for eating healthy and teaching kids to make good food choices. I think you want to set kids up for developing good habits as early as possible. But I also believe that early on, babies grow at their own speed. In most cases, as long as the pediatrician isn't concerned that there is a problem, parents shouldn't have to get so stressed out about their infant's rate of weight gain. That's why I was so disturbed to read a recent article about parents putting their infants on diets.
Doctors are seeing parents (who struggle with obesity themselves) restricting their infants food intake so that the child doesn't face the same weight struggles that they have experienced. Although a few of the stories are extreme (putting extra water in a baby's formula to slow down their weight gain), doctors say some parents are happy when they hear their child's weight is at the lower end of average for their age. Gone are the days when chubby baby is considered normal. The pressure to be thin seems to be starting from Day 1.
Instead of putting infants on a diet, doctors recommend breastfeeding. Breastfed babies tend to gain weight rapidly in the first six months, and then slow down. Formula-fed babies are more likely to continue the rapid weight gain. Doctors also say that the best thing parents can do is be good role models for healthy eating as their children get older and learn to make their own food choices.
What do you think?
More From SparkPeople