I was so tempted to lie and say I formula feed! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel awful.

I was at a friends b-day party for her son yesterday and met a very nice woman with a GORGEOUS daughter. I innocently asked "how old is she?"

"nine months" was her reply. SInce I don't walk around with a weight chart and yardstick, I just smiled and said "she's so cute". BUt I'm guessing she is small for her age and the mom must catch a lot of crap from her friends or dotors or something... only because the next words out of her mom's mouth sounded defensive.. but also she seemed (justifiably) proud that she nursed this long

"well, she was breastfed and that's why she's small.." and then she rambled off some (inaccurate) "facts" about BF babies being smaller and how no one can make enough milk to support a big baby....

and I just smiled and nodded and mentioned that her DD looked PERFECT to me, healthy and vibrant and smart and she must be doing something right!

then she looked over at my 23 pound 6 month old uber-chubby son and I cringed... she asked "so how much does your baby eat?"

I kept my answer vague. Who cares if her facts were wrong, she was proud of her accoumplishments "well, we haven't started solids yet"

"Oh, how much does he eat at a feeding?" THIS is where I was tempted to lie!! SHe was so happy to tell me all her nursing successes! I didn't want to see the look on her face if I told the truth.. but I did

"um, I have no idea.. he never took a bottle"

"but" she sputtered "he's never had formula then?"

"uh, no"

I felt like crap... she looked like she wanted to cry!

what can ya do?
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#2 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 10:10 PM
 
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Well, every nursing relationship is different. Every mom, every baby can't be the same. Who says that her baby isn't the size she's supposed to be? I've had three children, and they've all had different nursing styles and been at different places on the growth charts at the same ages -despite having birth weights that are very close. They're different people!

I say that if a baby is healthy, happy, and meeting milestones at close to the right times, then everything is okay. (Assuming, of course, that her baby isn't TINY TINY.) I know more than a few moms who've stopped nursing because their children were "too low" on the growth chart, but otherwise fine.

I guess I would just reassure her, say that her baby looks very healthy and happy, and is perfectly adorable. And then congratulate her for sticking to her guns and nursing!

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#3 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 10:11 PM
 
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I think you did the right thing. I feel badly for that mama, it sounds like she didn't have much education and support wrt bfing. Her supply could have been too low, or she could have been doing the "timer" method of bfing...you know, "only 10 minutes on each side." Poor mama. How sad that she felt the need to immediately defend herself, she must have gotten a lot of crap from other people, which sucks. Some babies are just petite, I hate all the size-judgement when it comes to babies. Her baby could just naturally be a petite lil girl.

I think you did the right thing. Lying about it would only have reinforced the misinformation that she already had. You were nice about it, you didn't try to rub her nose in it or anything.
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#4 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 10:12 PM
 
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That's a hard situation. But it sounds like you handled it with grace. I am glad you decided to tell her the truth.

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#5 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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I wouldn't feel bad. Babies come in different sizes. I once offended a breastfeeding mom by commenting that her baby looked big. It sounds like she assumed that all breastfeeding babies are smaller, but that just isn't true. Sorry if you feel bad about it.
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#6 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Poor thing. She must not get out much, though - there are a lot of big breastfed babies out there!
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#7 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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I think you handles the situation beautifully, and best not to reinforce myths about breasfeeding.


 
 

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#8 of 46 Old 06-04-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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Why should you feel bad? Babies do come in different sizes, just like adults. My babies all start off rather large (10-11lb) but by 6 months are very average. By 12 months they are slim and small for their age - but this is more to do with familial tendencies to be petite, especially on my husbands side - where all the womenfolk are those slim leggy beauties I just love to hate (think SJP)! By age 3-4 they are sticks on legs - not that they dont eat incredibly healthy and large quantities, just that fat doesnt run in DHs family at all.

I've had comments from people before about my kids being "small" but I just tell them their petiteness is familial and personally I'm envious because I have to work at being slim but the rest of my family get it naturally. As for babies, I just reply: "yep small but healthy".

Dont feel guilty about your baby being bigger - its not a competition after all.
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#9 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 08:16 AM
 
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Everyone has bigger kids than me. I know kids that were born two years after some of mine and are double their size weightwise not height. It is hard to be the mom with the skinny kiddos but other than that they are thriving, happy kids who can do anything their larger peers can do. It has taken me a long time to feel confident about it though. I am pregnant now and hoping maybe this one will be a big fat baby but then how will I carry him about? Chances are he will be tall and lean too.

I think you handled things well.
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#10 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 08:35 AM
 
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Your 6 month old weighs the same as my 22 month old. Good job mama!!!

If you see her again, or encounter this in the future, just stress how perfect/healthy/happy the other child looks, and point out that every child is different, and that what matters is that the child is proportional to his/herself.
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#11 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 09:07 AM
 
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Yeah, my little guy is a porker! There is a lady at work whose granddaughter is getting ready to turn one. She is smaller than my 5 month old! He weighs 17 pounds and is 27 inches tall, but he comes from a tribe of giant amazons! Some people are just little, and some are giant. As long as the babe is healthy, she shouldn't worry.

Maybe you should offer her a gift of Mothering for support!
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#12 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 09:11 AM
 
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I think you handled the situation perfectly, you told her that her child looked great and wonderful, and that she must be doing something right, which sounds like something much better than anyone else had told her. She probably felt bad for assuming that you formula fed.
It is sad that people can't recognize that there is great genetic diversity and children will develop the way they are supposed to develop.
By the way, your six month old weighs almost as much as my 20 month old. Holy moly! What are you making in those breasts, milkshakes????
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#13 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 09:17 AM
 
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That poor mama. She probably does get a lot of crap about her dd's size, and the doc or her mom may have been the place she's gotten her misinformation. And most likely, it's just a normal human variation. We're not all the same! Heck, take my dd and ds.... both were bf (though ds was bf longer). Dd was always a chubby baby, ds was long and thin. Right now, they're actually the same height, despite a 2 year age difference! But dd is about 58lbs, and ds is only 51ish. Two kids, same family, totally different sizes. If you see her again and the topic comes up, tell her about THAT!
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#14 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 11:13 AM
 
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I feel sorry for her. I bet she is surrounded by people that tell her those things.

I'm breastfeeding twins and they are HUGE for their age. They weigh the same as my cousins 1year old and they were even born 5 weeks early. They're like little sumo wrestlers. Not even six months old yet, but are already wearing 12 Month old clothes.

For a while I was actually being told, that I'm probably eating too fattening :
(I eat very healthy, by the way!)
People say crazy things.

Also, just because a baby is too big or two skinny doesn't mean they'll stay that way until they're grown up.
I was a chubby baby myself, the Pediatrician wanted my mom to put me on a diet (crazy doctors back then... ) and I grew up to be skinny with a fast metabolism.
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#15 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 01:01 PM
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I think you handled it as best you could: you told her her DD was cute and looked perfect, you didn't say "my goodness she's tiny" or anything like that. And you didn't say anything like "and she's STILL nursing???" or anything else that would call BFing into question.

I think the only thing you could have done additionally is to just to let her know that you know that babies (and people) come in all shapes and sizes, and to agree with her about how healthy BFing is, no matter what shape or size the baby.
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#16 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 01:33 PM
 
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It's so annoying how people get all judgmental when babies are allegedly too small...then when they grow up, it's all about being stick slim. Really mind-boggling.

My son is 6 months, 27 inches tall and 17 and 1/2 pounds. People always comment on what a big boy he is, and routinely guess him to be older than his 6 months. But according the ped, he's 50% weight and 75% for height. Hardly enormous. However, I have one breastfeeding friend whose 4 month old weighed 22 pounds. At two, he's 43 pounds, 37 inches tall. Now that's a big kid! And his parents are both petite!
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#17 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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some of these babies actually sound overweight! opposite end of the spectrum, i guess.
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#18 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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I used to assume that formula made babies fat wayyy back when i had one child! I BF my babies and he was the only small baby I had. I really ate my words, lol. Once my kids are toddlers, they stay small. DH and I are small people so it's ALL in their genes!

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#19 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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I know how it feels to have a "smaller than average" child. Anastasia is 10 months and barely 15 lbs, she's only 25 inches. I get the, "oh, how old is she? 4 months?" a lot. I've gotten nasty comments when I reveal her true age, such as I'm "starving her" or that my milk must be "inadequate". Kids come in all sizes, someone has to make up the bottom of the % charts. Thats my baby, in the 2%, but thats okay.

I think you handeled yourself wonderfully.
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#20 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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As others have said,each baby has their own pattern. My ds was 24lb at 6m - 31 at a year, older DD was 19 at 6m and 24 at 1 - today at 3.5 and 2.5 they are only 35lb and 27lb so they are small now but big at one.
My youngest is just a mite of a thing - she was 17lb 6oz at one and at 15m is only 18,2 but is doing just fine
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#21 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babygrace View Post
some of these babies actually sound overweight! opposite end of the spectrum, i guess.
There is no such thing as an over weight BABY.



to the OP:

It's all so subjective either way. If that ever happens again I would just say, "Oh well, you never know, all babies are different and I think she looks perfect" I had an exclusively BF'd pudgy boy as well, my MIL teased that I must produce heavy cream. But really it's just that every baby is different.
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#22 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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Sounds like you handled the situation well - honesty without judgement is always OK. I'd feel the same way though - I'm always worrying about making someone else feel bad! Like if we're discussing risks of formula, I rerally hesitate to say anything in front of someone who has ff (they can't do anything about it now!), so I'm careful. BTW, my (now 90 lb, tall and very skinny) 12 yr old was 27 lbs at 5 months old!! He looked like the Michelin Man!! And he was EBF then - no food until 6-7 months! Once he could walk, though, he skinnied out! I always said I made WHALE MILK! BTW, I actually envy moms with what I call "normal" or "average" sized babes (7 lbs at birth, etc) - mine were HUGE (9-10lbs) and gained a pound/week! My back!! Oh well, we're big in my family!
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#23 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babygrace View Post
some of these babies actually sound overweight! opposite end of the spectrum, i guess.
Which babies are you refering to? For ebf babies, it's not possible for them to be "overweight" -- bf babies are the size they're meant to be.

ETA: Oops, cross posted with art goddess!
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#24 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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I bet her little girl is the perfect size for her, and your little guy is the perfect size for him! You having a big baby has NOTHING to do with her "success" or "failure" as a nursing mom.

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#25 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 08:24 PM
 
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You know my ds is kind of tall and although he is with in the charts he appears to be slimmer than some of the other babies his age. If someone was to asks me if he was breastfed (which he is) or why he was "small", I would be honest and say it was his genes, I am sure that petiteness ran in the woman's family. It is unfortunate that she blamed it on BF'ing though.
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#26 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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Just like adults, babies come in different shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are not. I hate this idea that all babies are supposed to be huge and chubby and if they are not you must be starving it. Especially if you are BFing.

My daughter was bigger than most of my friends children that are about the same age as her for the first 4 months of her life. She was/is EBF. Now at 8 months she's smaller than most of them. She's probably about 16-17 lbs and about 27 inches. Small side of average. I've read (somewhere?) that BF babies tend to be smaller (on average) than FF babies, but that's not necessarily because BM is inadequate. I've seen FF babies that are tiny, just as I have seen BF babies that are enormous.

My little girl is also built kind of funny. She is petite but still chubby. I mean you can see her ribs and sternum...but she has major chubby cheeks and rolls on her legs.
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#27 of 46 Old 06-05-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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I've read (somewhere?) that BF babies tend to be smaller (on average) than FF babies, but that's not necessarily because BM is inadequate. I've seen FF babies that are tiny, just as I have seen BF babies that are enormous.
How interesting, all of the breastfed babies that I have seen were on average larger than FF babies of the same age. Again all babies are going to be different.
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#28 of 46 Old 06-06-2007, 09:21 AM
 
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I hope that she wasn't too sad...I know when I was EBF my dd who is now 3 and weaned, i felt like I was starving her...even though i wasn't. She is just little. She would nurse for 15+ min per side and was always slow to gain weight...even now, and I felt so sad thinking perhaps I wasn't helping her...but my awesomely supportive Ped told me I was doing everything right...

Of course now I have a moose of a baby boy who at 7 wks already looks like he has meatballs for feet and I"m sure he's eating well...

Some are just wittle things...like my DD.

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#29 of 46 Old 06-08-2007, 03:45 AM
 
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If you run into her at another BBQ or etc. this summer, you could always tell her, "You know, I didn't have chance to tell you when we talked last time - so much of baby weight gain is genetic; I've a couple good friends who've had small babies AND large babies"
(after all there are several in this thread )

-- And share some of our stories.

Ina was a skinny thing, tall and skinny actually (so she looked even more skinny - 95% for height, 3-10% for weight). I was actually afraid someone would call us in to CPS! We were certain we'd have all skinny babes, after Ina -- after all, dh and I were our mothers' smallest babies too. Instead, we have a MOOSE in SJ. She's huge! Still 95% for height, but also for weight too. My mom had 7 babes, all about the same weight at birth (other than the preemie) - she had three CHUBS (#1, #3, #5), two skinnier ones (#2, #7), and two "average" ones.

In terms of the "bf so she's smaller" comment -- I know I've read in several places that bf infants tend to weigh about 1 pound less (as a cohort) than ff'd infants when they reach 1 year of age -- I think Kellymom talks about this; that bf'd infants gain faster than ff'd from 0-3 months; at the same rate from 4-6 months; then "lean out" more from 6-12 months. So, there may have been a partial truth to what she was saying/telling herself.

I'd imagine she's been getting a lot of pressure, and could use some support. If you get the opportunity to befriend her more, go for it. Even though I knew we were doing everything "right," I honestly still felt like maybe I was part of Ina's weight gain issues -- until we did the very same "right" things with SJ, and had a big baby instead.

I too think it's bizarre - we want our babies to be TUBS (no one wants a 50/50 baby, they all want a 90/90) -- then start worrying about their weight when they're older. Incidentally, my mom's biggest baby is the skinniest of all my sisters, she probably weighs 120 pounds today after three kids!

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#30 of 46 Old 07-14-2007, 10:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momtoalexsarah View Post
As others have said,each baby has their own pattern. My ds was 24lb at 6m - 31 at a year, older DD was 19 at 6m and 24 at 1 - today at 3.5 and 2.5 they are only 35lb and 27lb so they are small now but big at one.
My youngest is just a mite of a thing - she was 17lb 6oz at one and at 15m is only 18,2 but is doing just fine
wait, are you saying your kids are small? or big? I'm confused...:
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