There was a lot I didn’t know about babies until I had one. I have mentioned this before. One of the fundamental things I had no idea about, was that it is not ok for a baby to be small. I mean, obviously all babies are kind of small; if they weren’t, they’d be born all full-sized and creepy, like real-life Benjamin Buttons*. But it is not ok to have a baby who hangs out at the lower end of the centile chart.
M is a lower-end baby; she hangs out around the tenth centile for weight (although is around the 70th for length and head size). Her weight gain has been stable, she feeds well, loves solids and is bounding through milestones. She sleeps right through the night (unless I have jinxed this by writing it down, which is totally possible) and is an utterly content and happy baby.
To some health visitors and many strangers, this does not matter. Because M does not sport enough rolls to stock a Gregg’s, apparently I should be concerned. I myself, am 5’2″ and weigh about 118lbs. Even in pregnancy, I only gained about a stone despite eating like a pig with some kind of thyroid condition causing it to be constantly ravenous. Both my brother and I were small babies. My husband is long and lean. These are also things which do not matter.
It has been suggested I replace breastfeeds with formula, try to increase my already ample milk supply, and ‘hide’ butter and cheese in my baby’s food. I have not done these things, because having your very healthy child fit into its clothes for a little longer than other babies is not the worst thing to happen since the UK stopped manufacturing the Secret chocolate bar. I myself am still able to wear clothes from many children’s sections, and frankly, who doesn’t love to save on tax?
I can also take comfort from the fact that M will eventually level out with other kids and people will stop complaining that she is not fat enough and start complaining that I’m doing something else wrong.
*Incidentally, I found The Curious Case of Benjamin Button excessively irritating because he was not born as a full-size man. However, at the end of the film, he was a baby-sized baby, so logically he should have been born adult-sized. Also, it was very boring and actually not very curious at all.