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Sorry – your child is not aesthetically pleasing. Change it.

I read something on a message board yesterday that made me so mad I literally couldn’t see straight.

A woman posted that her paediatrician had recommended a walker to help her ‘fat’ infant lose weight. The child in question is just one year old, and apparently weighs 14 kilos (almost 31 pounds). According to my Plunket book the highest ‘normal’ weight for a girl of that age is 11.75 kilos; for a boy it’s 12.75 kilos. In other words, although this wee girl may have been ‘off the chart’ weight-wise she wasn’t far off.

The worst bit, though, wasn’t that a supposed ‘medical professional’ felt a baby could be ‘too fat’ but that the mother thought so too! (And this woman has at least 3 other kids, teens and adults, so she isn’t new to all this). The mother says she is “really concerned” (yes, that’s a direct quote) about her daughter’s weight gains and is pleased that the child likes her new walker as it’s helping her to ‘burn off the calories”. But the real kicker comes in the last post of the thread – she says that the baby in question keeps gaining weight despite the fact she “eats hardly anything”.

If you’re appalled, well, join the club.

At the age of 1 I doubt very much this child is eating junk food of any kind. And despite earlier denying that her child moves much the Mother admits later in the thread that her girl is quite an active wee bean, crawling and ‘walking’ using furniture for support. So we have a baby who 1) eats little, 2) doesn’t eat junk, and 3) is active in a way that is appropriate and normal for her age. And she’s fat. And that fat is not being seen as the natural progression of her growth that it is; instead it’s being seen as a ‘problem’ to be dealt with. And to add insult to injury no-one is addressing what I personally think is the only thing that possibly could be indicative of a real problem… the reason why she eats so little.

Because a fat baby is a bad baby and it must be changed at once!

There is no medical reason to make a child of that age lose weight (or not gain more). Even the hardiest anti-obesity-ers amongst us must surely see that this is ridiculous?? The child has just turned 1! She is a baby and at the moment, a fat baby. Her fat is normal and desirable and I am sickened that her Mother sees it differently.

For the child’s sake, I hope she is a slim kid and teen, or her Mum will make her life hell.

This actually touches me a little deeper than I thought it would. That’s partly due to my own struggles with my self-esteem and my body over the years, but it’s also linked to what happened to my twins when they were born. My wee girls spent the first couple of weeks of their lives in our hospital’s specialist neo-natal unit because they lost more than 10% of the body weight soon after birth – my milk didn’t come in for a while and apparently my colostrum wasn’t enough (they also had high billyrubin levels). I felt so much *guilt* at that – I’d starved my babies without wanting to, without even knowing I was doing so. I have pictures of them from that time and they look awful – like little gaunt freaks. They do not look like my wee babes, my little girls. They look terrible and sick and it was all my fault. So when people complain about a baby being ‘too fat’ – when a sign of health and well-being is decried as a negative due to what can only be described as aesthetic reasons, because there’s no heath reason for it – it’s a red flag to me. And I get really, really, angry.

Brenda2002 from the TradeMe message board – you have failed your child.


2 Responses

  1. As the mother of a one year old I cannot imagine. What is this woman doing not feeding her child food? This is insanity. Her baby needs to eat. She is GROWING BRAIN CELLS and learning how to walk and speak and dance. This makes me very sad.

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