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Having a Small Child

Baby2 is a Small Baby. I don’t mean a young baby, I mean she’s physically little. We haven’t had her nine-month doctor’s appointment for the official weigh-in (due to the crazy admin staff at the office) but I imagine she’s about 14 pounds, which puts her in the lowest percentile for weight and about the 15th percentile for height. Like I said, she’s little (and as you can likely guess, I hate percentiles. I hate having my perfectly healthy baby compared to other babies. But I digress).

Our pediatrician is not worried, as Baby2 meets all her development milestones, has a regular output of wet and dirty diapers, etc. Plus, Dr. P also had a son of her very own with the exact same growth chart as our dear Baby2. That experience of hers is probably helping us a ton, because Dr. P is super supportive at every visit when I voice even the smallest concern about her size.

We had an awful pediatrician with Kiddo1 (and we were too naive to think we had the option of finding someone else). Kiddo1 was also a Small Baby and our ped made us feel like the scum of the Earth because of it. I stopped going to well-baby visits after awhile and made Mr. Handsome take the lashings (in my defense, I did have to work!).

So we’ve been here before, in Small Baby Land, with Kiddo1. And man, people made us feel SO BAD about having a Small Baby. Mr. Handsome’s parents actually asked us if we fed him. Can you imagine? And Mr. Handsome was a Small Baby too! Size IS fairly genetic. We are not big people. Yet, our own parents questioned our practices.

Now with Baby2 I feel a bit better about her size because I know it’s genetic, I know she’s healthy, etc. I worry less than I did with Kiddo1: I attend all the appointments, I don’t lose sleep with worry (I lose sleep for other reasons, though, of course!).

Yet no matter how fine I feel in my own mind, there’s still a gaggle of people who just seem to LOVE to tell us how small our baby is.

It’s like someone pointing out a zit on the tip of my nose. Well hello, Captain Obvious. I had NO idea she was small! Yes, I see how your two-month-old is bigger, how wonderful for you. Could you maybe stop to think for a second how I may be feeling about having a Small Baby? Could you think that maybe there’s a reason she’s small? That maybe it is painful for me to even think about, let alone have it pointed out time and time again?! (The reason is genetics, and that is not painful, but what if she had a disease? Or was a premie?)

We were at a friends’ house a couple weeks ago and they must have said half a dozen times in a five minute period that she’s “just SO SMALL!” They are bigger people, they had big babies. Fine. But why must the obvious size of our baby always be pointed out? Whether it’s family, friends, or totally strangers, people love to state the obvious, and it is driving me crazy.

I no longer worry about her, instead I worry about other people. What will they say? What will I say back? I just avoid strangers most of the time, especially old ladies. They are THE WORST, mostly to Mr. Handsome (I think they secretly love tearing the confidence away from excellent fathers).

She’s little, but she’s little AND PERFECT. And I need to remember that I shouldn’t have to defend her, or anything about our family (including our genetics!), to anyone.

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Her shirt says, “Little and Perfect.” I think so too!

4 responses »

  1. Omg, I’m right there with you. C is in the 5th percentile (15th if you go by the canadian breastfeeding chart), and has been since about 7 months – he started out on the larger side, but pretty quickly genetics kicked in and he’s now small. Now that it’s nicer out, I’ve been taking him out to the park regularly and people always say: “How old is he, 12 months?” and I reply “18, actually)…people are just ignorant. Don’t know why they feel the need to point out how small your little girl is, especially other mom’s – you would think they’d ‘get it’, ya know? Oye. I’ve gotten used to it with C, but it’s still frustrating!

    And you’re absolutely right, you don’t have to defend her!! Just smile and nod…but I know it’s easier said than done. I always find myself defending C, too – finding ways to justify it. But someone has to be in the lower percentiles! And it might as well be our two perfect little children 🙂

    • Why must they assume an age?! We saw this family we know for the first time in a year, last time we saw them I was super pregnant. Baby2 was sitting, totally sitting on her own, on a blanket, and the mom says, “She must be about three months.” Three months?! 1, I don’t know any three-month-olds that can sit unassisted and 2, how long do you think I was pregnant?! It just boggles. Must they assume an age, based soley on size? Look at her pulling herself to standing! Look at her crawl! Sheesh.

      Yes, someone has to be in the lower percentiles. And it might as well be us awesome, super nice, go-with-the-flow type people. I can’t ever see you or me yelling back at an observer! But sometimes I want to. Plus smack them around a little. 🙂

  2. We have a small guy too! He is at about the 15th percentile and people are constantly saying how tiny he is (probably because he has been walking since 9 months and people are weirded out by a baby the size of some larger six month olds walking on his own). It sometimes bothers me, but I try to let people’s comments just roll off! Your sweetie is perfect!!

    • Wow, walking since 9 months! That’s amazing! I think I have gotten better about people’s comments since I posted about this topic. All that matters is our babies are happy and healthy!


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