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Here's the background: DD was born a little early, she was tiny to begin with, and then lost a pound, and it took us two full weeks before she started to gain, and even then it was slow. Now, at four months, she's starting to fill out, but she's still a bitty thing.

And the question - We encounter a woman, I'll call her Ms. Intrusive, several times a month. She isn't a friend of mine, but more someone we deal with because we have to. Everytime we see her, she makes the comment "She's so tiny and petite - just the way a baby girl should be!"

Am I wrong to be offended and kind of hurt by her comments? DH says to blow it off, that I'm overly sensitive about it from the months of warding off "You should just feed her formula - THAT will beef her up!" or the "Maybe your milk is too weak, you should give her formula" comments.

Am I over reacting? Any suggestions on what to say to this woman next time we see her?
 

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I would probably want to say something like "wow, and we wonder why there are so young girls with eating disorders..." but I might actually chicken out in real life. What a rude comment. And I guess boys should be big and beefy, so you moms of boys better stock up on steroids.

Amazing how the pressure to conform starts at infancy.
:
 

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No that would irk me too. I would probably come back with something like: "Actually I can't wait until she fills out some more! I would love her to be a chunky little marshmallow baby!!" PLEASE don't take this the wrong way, but are you offended because you want her to be more filled out than she is? Or is it just the implication that girls should be thin and dainty? Cause that would do it for me (the implication, I don't think I am even spelling that word correctly, ah well.). I am sure that your daughter is beautiful, and I am sure that this women agree's. But it's at this age, she could be in the 95th percentile for a year and still weigh like 102 lbs as an adult. Obviously her size and weight now have very little to do with how she will be as an adult. My friend has a roly poly baby, and I think she's just adorable. And my newborn is gonna be a big girl. You have a petite flower baby. What will this woman say if she turns into a chunky marshmallow baby I wonder?
 

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I have a lil girl who runs on the "petite" side also and I get comments like that all the time. I just smile and say she is perfect just the way she is and thank you. Everyone has ideas about how lil girls and lil boys should look and really if we spend our lives offended at others opinions than we may miss out on a whole lot of great things. Life is too short to worry so much about what others think or say.
 

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My dd was born 2 months early in a heck of a hurry at 5am. It was scary and she required a lot of extra protection cos of her size, she wasn't in incubators or anything. She took a while to build up her weight but bfing saw that she did. She's 10 now and is going through some amazing growth spurts, she's getting really long and tall, none of us are very tall but she is taking off! People come out with some stupid comments, can't think why girls should be petite by default that is just a ridiculous comment.
 

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Trust me, it goes both ways. DS is chubby and I get people telling me all the time "Oh, he's SOOOOOOOOOO fat!" or "Wow, he sure does love to eat!". The comments irk me, but I just ignore it because I know my son is perfect
YAY mama milk
 

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I think it is overly sensitive to be offended and hurt. I can understand annoyed.

The first part ("tiny and petite") is just a statement that happens to be true so I can't fault her that. If you are sensitive to the fact that she is currently a bit on the small side, I'd try to let go of any fault/guilt feelings. Some kids are just smaller than others. You didn't do anything wrong; kids come in a range of sizes. I'm sure there are moms of chunky kids who get comments that upset them too. People comment on stuff. I don't think they have any ill will behind it most of the time.

My dd1 and dd2 were bald as billiard balls until they were three. EVERYONE and their dog commented on their lack of hair. I just laughed about it. They didn't have hair. It was unusual. I didn't pierce their ears or tape ribbons on their heads. It just was what it was. Now they are ten and five and have full heads of gorgeous hair. Dd3 came out with a full head of hair and we would have thought she was switched if we hadn't had a home birth!


The "just the way a baby girl should be" part would bug me as it does fall into the category of stupid things people do and say that add up to eating disorders for some girls. I assume this woman is older from that comment. If she just said it once, I'd just let it go. If she continued to say it repeatedly, I'd tell her that that part of her comment is upsetting to you (and why - so she understands).
 

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Stupid as it is, and as aggravating as it is that these attitudes are one of the reasons why eating disorders are so prevalent, I do agree that she was probably trying to be nice, trying to make you feel that it was okay that she is small.

I wonder what things I say to people, trying to be nice, that may lead them to annoyance or aggravation!
:
 

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I wouldn't take it too personally- it sounds like she's simply noticing the baby's size and trying to comment on it in a positive light.

Since you see this woman frequently, you wouldn't be out of line to comment on how much DD has grown since her last visit, or how you're looking forward to her filling out, or how excited you are that she's finally grown into a certain outfit (or finally outgrown something) etc.
 

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I'd probably just smile and say something back like, "really? I think girls can be big or small or in between and it's all just fine. I love this one at any size!"

Then again, my daughter was over 9 lbs at birth so we're likely to be fending off these comments from the other end of the spectrum, oh joy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BensMom
I would probably want to say something like "wow, and we wonder why there are so young girls with eating disorders..." but I might actually chicken out in real life. What a rude comment. And I guess boys should be big and beefy, so you moms of boys better stock up on steroids.

Amazing how the pressure to conform starts at infancy.
:
What she said!
 

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People are always talking about how big ds2 is. I get "Are you feeding this kid? He looks starved! Ha ha." all the time. That, and the "linebacker" comments... and we hate football. But, it doesn't really bother me at all. I sometimes enjoy watching the reactions when they ask how old my baby is and I give them a number that's about 4 months younger than their guess. I'm often surprised by how big he is, so it doesn't surprise me that others comment.

We were at a big family gathering this weekend, and my cousin was there with his 2 year old daughter. I'm sure I said something like "wow, she's so petite!" but I didn't mean anything by it. She's adorable. Not much taller than my 5 month old giant, but still adorable.
 

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I don't think the size comment is a problem, however the "just like girl babies" thing is sexist and wrong.

As someone who is likely to comment on a baby being small (positively, I love the miniature and I find all babies to be small and cute) I'd react best if you said something like "yes, she is precious, and we're so happy that she's been able to grow so much since birth."
 

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I wouldn't be offended, but only because I've trained my brain to pity people who say or do hurtful things. The comment about being "just like a little girl should" was a little out there, but oh well... don't let it bug ya... sounds like your doing great!!!
 

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Ugh. I hate it when people comment about babies' size. My DD has always been skinny but she's very tall, and both DH and I are skinny. It seemed like every single person we met did the whole, "Oh she's so cute/how old is she/what's her name". Without fail, when we said how old she was, they ALWAYS said "Oh but she's so tiny!" and then there were all the "you should feed her more/she's not getting enough/you need to switch to formula" comments. I hated it.
 

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hmm. well, i would be offended, but mainly cause i'm not tiny and petite, so.....

ds had a realllly hard time gaining weight, too.... while he was 11 lbs when he was born, he lost a ton and didnt gain it back, so we went from hearing "wow, what a HUGE baby" to "oooh, what a tiny baby".... it was weird.

honestly? i think people just dont know what to say about a baby other than to comment on size. they just say it without really thinking, cause... what else do they have to say?

if it were me, i'd honestly just say-- you know, since we have had such a hard time getting her to gain weight, i would appreciate it if you would no longer comment on her size. thanks!

good luck!!!
 

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I have a little baby too and I try not to get upset about the comments, but of course it is hard! My ds took about 7 weeks to gain his birth weight back, but surprisingly in that time I only had one person tell me that I couldn't breastfeed!! Your milk is great and wonderful for your tiny girl and that's just her body type, so people need to deal with it! Try not to get too upset about the co mments , as people like to just spout out observations, but really you are the one that knows your baby is healthy and well fed!
 
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