Your Baby Might Be Skinny If….

Your baby might be skinny if………..he can crawl out of his own pants.

We took Daniel to the nursery on Sunday morning wearing a red and white striped shirt, along with some blue pants, both size 9 months. Admittedly, I knew that the pants were a little big; after all, while getting ready for church, we looked into the living room to see Daniel’s pants, but no Daniel in them. He had crawled right out! BUT his little legs are so long, so he needs the older/larger size, and I figured it was a fluke. Well, when I went to pick him, I got a cute striped top baby, wearing only a diaper on the bottom half. He had obviously done it again.

This is not the first time my little skinny baby has worked out of clothes. When he was three months, I remember placing him in his crib while I put up laundry. I turned on his mobile for entertainment. I really did not look at him the whole time I was dealing with the clothes. I could hear him, and from the sound of it, he was having a wonderful time! Once finished, I looked over and noticed that my son had not only kicked off his socks  but he had kicked off his pants too! That is excitement.

Now, I would not say being able to wiggle out of your pants is a bad thing. I mean, how many Americans need to lose a few pounds? I just pray that he does not work himself out of his clothes so easily as he grows up, if you catch my drift!

Anyway, I tell you this to say, my son is a light weight, and according to his well-baby check-up last Friday, he weighs about 16 1/2 lbs at 9 months. I am pleased; he looks healthy and happy. Yet, he is only in the 4th or 5th percentile for weight. Hmmm. Should this matter? I mean, he is healthy, right?That should be our main focus, not his exact weight. Plus, he is still a breastfed baby and they are slower to pack on the lbs, correct?

Luckily, I have a great, kind pediatrician, but I have heard stories to the contrary.  Some doctors have practically forced parents to convert to formula before they were ready, claiming that this will do the trick for weight gain. A friend from church had a 5lb baby. She obviously had some catching up to do in the weight department than most babies. My friend, completely freaked out by her doctor, had to take the baby for genetic testing simply based off the fact her daughter did not weigh enough. Her doctor was “worried about her ability to thrive.” Mom was  in hysterics, thinking something might be genetically wrong! BUT her baby had double her birth weight as she should have; plus, she was meeting all developmental milestones- she just didn’t fall too highly on the charts for her age. Some parents have been criticized  for not feeding their baby enough when they do! If you saw how much my little one ate, you would be surprised that he is still under 17lbs…..I DO FEED HIM! He just has a bit of his mommy’s skinny genetics and his daddy’s tall genetics, thus a long skinny baby who can crawl out of his pants. Formula or not, some babies are just going to be skinny…..and visa-versa. In fact, a colleague of mine was trudging through some old books when he found a medical book from the 30s. Formula was available then, but not as frequent. He said that the height/weight chart for babies was drastically different from the ones from today. The weight expectation is much higher in 2007.

Am I suppose to want a chunky baby, like my baby is not good enough? Not saying there is anything wrong with chunky babies, mind you, I am just saying that chubby thighs does not always equate a healthy baby, just as skinny baby legs does not denote the opposite. Besides, the very chunky babies skew the percentile results. And, as my friend Liz says her mom says (a mom who is a family practice doctor by the way): “Someone has to be in the lower percentile; otherwise, there are no percentiles.”

So, for all of you with chunky babies out there, enjoy your 95th percentiles. And all of you with skinny-mini babies, feel comfortable in your 5th percentile. Just make sure your little one is happy and healthy, hitting developmental milestones at the appropriate times. —Weight is not the only indicator of success.