Sunday, 25 October 2009

Baby weight

Not mine.  S and A's.  They're ten months old and I'm worrying about their weight...

When they were born, they were seven ounces apart.  Whenever I've had them weighed A has been heavier, but never by much.  The last time was at their ten month check. To nobody's great surprise, A was still heavier, by 11 ounces.  Which isn't much, even if you only weigh 20 pounds...

They're identical, so I could sit here wondering why A is always heavier, but it's not very complicated:  she eats more.

Now if I had just one baby and she ate like A, I'd think "great, she eats plenty"; and if I had just one baby and she ate like S, I'd think "great, she eats plenty".  But now I'm fretting about how much A eats.

Why? Because I really, really don't want her to be "the fat one".

Neither B nor I are what you might call slender, and we both come from families where doctors look at you slightly disapprovingly and say "well, you could do with losing....", so none of my girls is ever likely to be naturally slim.  But that's fine. It's taken me a long time to accept that I'm ok as I am, extra half stone or no, and I am adamant that one of the things I most want to teach the girls is to have the mythical healthy relationship with food:  to eat when they're hungry, and not eat when they're not, and to be happy with the way they look.

And it seems to me, that if you've got a pair of identical twins and one regularly eats more than the other, that's going to show, and then that's going to become the distinguishing feature.  And I'm not sure how you teach a girl to have my idealised "healthy relationship" with food if she's constantly referred to as "fat" for being a few pounds (or ounces) heavier than her sister...

But then nor do I want to put a ten month old baby, or indeed a child of any age, on a diet.  So I guess I just have to let nature, and their natures, take its course.  And hope I can give them both the confidence just to be who they are.  Help!


  1. When one of my boys was younger he ate a lot and everyone thought it was funny because he was slim. I used to tell family members not to encourage him and they thought I was being silly. Several years later he did in fact have a slight weight problem which he is still fighting. Encouraging children to eat more than they need (which I'm not saying you do) isn't doing them any favours. I don't think you're wrong to be having these thoughts. What does your doctor say?

  2. I don't think anyone should project their own insecurities onto their children. Let them find their own way - that's what they should be doing in the end. You might find that S is insecure about being the 'skinny' one. And you might find that they are exactly the same size by the time they are 15. Don't start fretting this early...


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