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.

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8 thoughts on “Your Baby Might Be Skinny If….

  1. As long as they stay in their growth curve without any drastic up or down than they are fine. I had one dr who said that my skinny-minny under 5% baby (she’s almost 5 and still in that same %, just around 30 lbs) needed to eat more. Grrrr. I switched drs and the next one said that she was growing the way she was supposed to grow. She did and still does have some sensory issues that make her not want to eat certain things, but she still eats enough for her. As for another of my kids, she started out around 10%, but as she grew, she has slowly gone farther up the % chart and now is at 75%. She has wider bones and seems to have her daddy’s tall genes, so that was expected. Out of all my five children, one did have a problem and we found it because of her falling low on her growth chart. She wasn’t always eating enough and didn’t let me know she needed more. I was glad to know before anything serious happened and I could get a few extra feedings in each day and got her back up on the correct curve for her. Anyway, my point I guess is, I’m glad you know that your child is fine. You may have to make sure and have some safety pins to take in pant waistbands. That’s what I do with my itty-bitty one.

  2. My pediatrician says the charts really don’t mean much, unless at one check up he’s at 50% and the next he’s at 5% (or vice versa). They’re nothing to hang your hat by, so to speak, but they act as markers for the doctors to check. Baby C had his 4-month yesterday (4 months and 10 days, to be exact – but who’s counting?), and he was at 50% in weight and 90% in height (up from 75% at his 2-month, which was up from 50% at his 2-week, which was up from 25% at birth!). As long as everything is progressing normally, your little one is just fine. And my pediatrician also says Mommy Instincts should never be discounted!

  3. My mom has a book called Super-Sized Kids I believe. It talks about how the food portions have increased, especially at fast-food places. I had not thought about formula increasing a baby’s weight.

    I must add how detailed this blog is. You even added the graph for extra effect!

  4. I would not worry too much. I have lots of friends who have skinny babies, me included. The only reason we were so concerened about Luke was that he was not gaining any weight. He stayed 11 pounds for three months and he very quickly dropped off of the growth chart. My doctors told me to put him on formula when I could have breast fed him for much longer. As long as he is staying on the curve he’s fine. I personally think that skinny babies rock! After all, they stay in their baby cloths for a lot longer, so they are cheaper too! Your skinny guy is the cutest!

  5. I have a long and lean baby too and while my Dr. has always been great there have been a nurse or two along the way who freaked me out. Wanted me to force solids when he wasn’t interested so he “got enough calories.” What a crock. He went in for several weight checks, all to find out that the first “issue” came from a BROKEN SCALE! Then he didn’t gain weight as quickly due to several ear infections and a stomach bug or two. All the while he looked and acted VERY healthy. Glad we had a borrowed baby scale because we weighed him before the last “weight check” and were able to prove that the scale at the Dr. office was broken. All that stress. I feel for your friends, especially the one who had to go through genetic testing! And those weight charts. My nursing book mentioned that often breastfed babies are off on the “typical” weight gain since they just don’t gain as much as formula fed babies, but the current growth charts don’t reflect that difference. You worry enough about your baby growing ok sometimes the percentiles should be thrown out the window if a baby is eating and appears healthy.

  6. Yeah, I forgot to mention that my son has also wandered out of his pants. Once I put him in his crib and came back and no pants. We have since safety pinned a few pairs due to the length being fine. I also put him in a pair of shorts once and took him to the sitter and when I came to pick him up … no shorts. Apparently they kept falling down so she took them off. The waistband had gotten streched out or he had gotten taller and thinner, cause the shorts had fit him fine most of the summer!

  7. and lila started in the very low percentile range but now well we discussed this the other day….both of my kids are chunky :p lila is >97% for height and weight and 50% for head circ and Tyler is 90% height & weight!! yes – my children ARE gigantic – t hanks for noticing!! :) I think your kids look fine – they look the way they are supposed to!!

  8. He’s fine! Jacey is skinny, too. She has super long legs, and was wearing, and wiggling out of, 9 month pants at 6 months. Jackson wore 9-12 months at six months, too, but he weighed 5 1/2 pounds more at his 6 month check up than she did! He needed a bigger waist band, not long pant legs!
    Every kid is different. The way I look at it, Jacey should be proud to be tall and thin….I only WISH it was genetic!

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