Did you read the article a couple weeks ago in the Straits Times on fat babies turn into fat adults?
Does this worry you? Do/did you have a big baby?
When news stories put articles like these in the paper, it often causes parents to panic. If this is you, there are things you can do to ensure this is not the result for your child.
First off, understand the growth charts that doctors use. These are a universal tool used globally, and many people don’t understand how they were developed or what they really mean. For those of your who are statistic lovers, this might be a little easier, but for those that are not, the simple explanation is the weights were compiled by averages of thousands of babies. The WHO charts have been verified in numerous countries from developed to third world and that is what many countries use. Singapore has their own which is slightly less than the WHO, but again, its based on statistics. In other words, 5% of babies should end up above the 95 percentile.
Studies show that even though a baby was initially big when born, that does not necessarily mean that the baby will end up big when he is an adult. As the article mentioned, there are some hypotheses that it is more important how a baby grows in the first few months. Most parents and grandparents prefer chubby babies right? That is not necessarily a good thing, if your babies jumps to higher weight percentages. It is more ideal that a baby follows their growth curve for healthy development.
Traditionally many people have been raised to believe that chubby babies are healthier, and if you had a smaller baby, there is often a lot of pressure on you that you are doing something wrong that your baby is not big. For those parents who have smaller babies, see the paragraph above – its all based on averages. That means there needs to be smaller babies too.
Next week we will talk about one of my biggest concerns, when I see a baby who is extremely large or chubby and how the first few months of eating can lead to your baby having weight issues in the future.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear if you had/have concerns over your baby’s weight and what they are.