Having a big baby is like having an ice-cream sundae with extra helpings of everything. It’s every bit as tempting and delicious as a smaller portion, but there’s just more of it.
My daughter was a totally average 7lb 5oz when she was born (sorry Kg folks, I only work in old money here). My husband and I are neither very short nor very tall, we are in fact also quite average. I carry a few extra pounds here and there but nothing alarming and my husband is annoyingly slim (though he’d like it pointed out at this point that he is not THAT slim, he is wrong). So, it took us more than a little by surprise when we realised that we have a >99.6th on our hands.
For those not in the know, and those who care, on a percentile chart >99.6 is the highest possible point. This means that in a room filled with 99 other girl babies born at the same time, our girl would be the heaviest. However, this did not just apply to her weight, as she is in the highest possible percentile for her length too. We have one great big baby on all counts it seems.
She didn’t gain weight immediately, losing a standard 7.7% of her body weight in the days after her birth, now that she was no longer intravenously fed on a steady diet of cake, crisps and pasta, but within 10 days she has regained the weight lost and more. ‘Great!’ I thought, ‘a healthy little girly.’
Not long after, her new-born clothes were getting a worryingly tight and her weigh-in with the midwife put her at around the 91st percentile. ‘OK’, I thought, ‘So she’s gaining lots of weight, that’ll be good for insulation in the winter and it means my milk bags are doing their job efficiently.’ However, it quickly became apparent that she wasn’t going to stop at the 91st percentile, oh no, our girl was heading for the top at a frightening pace.
She is just over 3 months old at the time of writing, and she is so far off the chart that she wouldn’t just be the heaviest in a room full of babies, but she’d give some stocky pre-schoolers a run for their money. This week we were at a play group, having a lovely time in a local park, when I met a mum with their own little one who was just 6 days younger than our girl. I kid you not when I say my girly looked like she had eaten this other child. This delicate and petite little girl was so small by comparison that to me she looked like a new-born. My friend who had invited me to the group commented that her little girl and mine looked almost the same size. I laughed and she laughed and then we got to talking about weights. I stopped laughing when we realised that my girl weighed almost the same as her daughter, except hers was a full year older. What. The. Actual.
Am I producing gold top? Do I feed her too much? Questions and concerns raced through my mind, but after a bit of extensive research I took comfort in the fact that as an almost exclusively breast-fed baby, it’s pretty impossible to overfeed her, and instead I have decided to wholeheartedly embrace her chunky lusciousness. I will also embrace her perpetually wanting open mouth, that makes her look like one of those little fish in that game where you had to try and catch them with a magnet on a stick.
I hope that she keeps up her roly-poly disposition because, as my nephew whispered conspiratorially to me one day, he prefers chubby babies. There is something reassuringly robust about endless fat rolls and plump thighs, which, when mixed with that intoxicating smell that only babies and expensive candles possess, is completely spellbinding.
She has been mistaken for a boy on more than one occasion, and I had to explain to the nice restaurant manager that ‘Buster’ was in fact a girl. Embarrassed, he quickly changed tact and suddenly she was a little princess instead. Only if sumo wrestlers can also be princesses pal. But I love that she could end up taking on Gwendoline Christie-type proportions, because as a self-confessed tomboy I’d love nothing more than my girl becoming the knight in shining armour rather than the distressed princess. (As a side note, if you don’t know who Gwendoline Christie is… A) where have you been? and B) Think tall, strong and incredibly striking. Or do a Google search, whatever.)
So, to conclude I have some practical advice. For those of you that find yourself with deliciously chubby cherubs, these are the 3 things you should know:
- The ‘lifting with your legs’ malarkey goes awry when your heavy load is squirmier than a greased-up squid. Be prepared for back pain. Do yourself a favour and get massaged regularly. Preferably by someone who knows what they are doing.
- Forget buying clothes ahead of time. Seriously. You’ll be planning a seasonal wardrobe but by August the little darling will be perspiring like the proverbial porker in jumpers, coats and mittens when your baby suddenly condenses 3 months of growth into 3 weeks; and you decide that they simply must get some wear out of their clothes. The past 3 months have raced by in a blur of beautiful unworn dresses, stretched sleepsuits and useless trousers that just couldn’t fit over her thighs. Buy as you go, and buy baggy.
- Nappy rash doesn’t just occur on the bottom. Nope. Hotspots include; armpits, under the adorable third chin and especially between the rolls of fat (more rolls than the Staypuft Marshmallow man of Ghostbusters lore). So, slather on a bit of barrier cream and don’t be surprised if those bits smell super cheesy if you forget to clean and dry them properly. Yum!
A Guest Blog from Nadine Holland
Nadine is a blogger who talks about the struggles and joys of becoming a mum, books, social issues and more. She’s also a qualified art teacher, and completed her fine art degree at the Birmingham institute of art and design more years ago than she cares to admit. Based in Gloucester, she lives with her husband Nick and their 2 naughty cats, Thor and Loki.
She has just become a mother for the first time and this inspired her to finally do something with her passion for writing. Aside from teaching, mumming and writing, she also loves a good horror movie, cooking and wandering around aimlessly in green spaces. You can find out more about her on her Website or follow her on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
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