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Would You Put Your Baby on a Diet?

By paulabernstein |


Healthy Weight of Overweight?

Like most people, whenever I see a chubby baby, I have an uncontrollable urge to squeeze his cheeks. And there’s nothing cuter than chubby baby thighs.

But not everybody appreciates a big baby.

For some moms with a history of eating disorders, seeing a “fat” baby could trigger anxiety. In some extreme cases, they might even be tempted to put their baby on a diet.

Jessica Katz, guest blogger at Momlogic, recently wrote about such a case. A mom in her baby group was concerned that her hefty 7-month-old son was “too hungry all the time” and put him on a diet. She replaced breast milk with water in his bottle in the hopes that he would drop some weight.

The mom said she didn’t want a “fat kid.”

Obviously, limiting a baby’s caloric intake (especially without consulting a doctor) could be dangerous. I fear that with all of the talk about childhood obesity, some parents might go overboard and go to extreme measures to prevent their kid from becoming overweight.

As Katz writes, it’s clear that this woman had issues with food and weight. “She was extremely thin herself; she later confessed that she had even been afraid to get pregnant because she didn’t want to get fat. Obviously, she was projecting her body issues onto her son.”

Luckily, this woman sought therapy so she wouldn’t cause harm to her son. But I wonder if other parents worry that their big baby will develop into an obese child. If you find yourself fretting about it, please talk to your pediatrician or a therapist right away. Diets aren’t for babies!

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Photo: flickr/massdistraction

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About paulabernstein



Paula Bernstein is a freelance writer and social media manager with a background in entertainment journalism. She is also the co-author of Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited.

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0 thoughts on “Would You Put Your Baby on a Diet?

  1. Rosana says:

    For the love of God!!! Can people get a grip before becoming parents????
    I have a chubby 8 month old and she is chubby because she weight 10 pounds when she was born. However, I know that being chubby is her shape for now because she drinks breastmilk, eats her three meals (two homemade vegetable puree meals) fruit,two snacks a day and drinks some juice (which I dilute with water). At the same time, the pediatrician is not concerned because her height and weight are proportionate.
    Every parent knows what their infant eat so they know why the kid is fat or not. So why get concerned if they are chubby but feed them a healthy diet or surprised that they are chubby when they feed them a bad diet.

  2. JEssica says:

    I would be more concerned with a thin baby. A fat baby looks so healthy to me.

  3. Gretchen Powers says:

    My own personal and non-scientific theory is you don’t worry at LEAST til they start walking and then probably not til after they’re weaned…of course, that doesn’t mean much in today’s world where people are weaning way too early…oh well. What a terrible, sad story. I am glad she got help.

  4. mbaker says:

    That’s nuts. My son was 8 pounds 14 ounces when he was born and was a very chunky baby. When he started eating solids though we fed him a healthy diet and once he started walking he slowly started slimming down. At 3 1/2 years old he has lost his baby fat and is a thin, active toddler. I’m not worried about a chunky baby as long as the baby isn’t overfed and is fed healthy food once he or she starts solids.

  5. [...] instinct. Unfortunately, there are some moms that seem to have their wires crossed. For example the mother who put her 7-month-old on a diet because she thought he was getting too fat. Supposedly, she had an eating disorder and recognized [...]

  6. Kayt says:

    I was concerned when my guy plateaued on his weight gain at 14 months, but shot up like a weed. He went from 70th percentile to 25th from his 12 to 15 month checkups. I love the big squishy babies, and my guy was so long, he never really was smooshy and adorable like that.

  7. [...] not be as rare as we’d like to think. In early October, our own Paula Bernstein chimed in on a MomLogic post in which one mom wrote about another mom’s concern that her 7 month-old baby was “too [...]

  8. [...] know that childhood obesity is a serious issue, but I would never even dream of putting a breastfed baby on a diet. Not even if my insurance cut off her coverage, like what happened to that fat baby in Colorado. I [...]

  9. Kat says:

    Babies are designed to be chubby. There’s a good reason for this!

    Those little chubby hands and legs? They give padding for when the baby is crawling.
    That adorable chubby tush? Padding for when baby tries to stand and doesn’t quite get it.

    It’s called baby fat! Children can retain baby fat until their close to 5 years old.
    It’s not a big deal. Feed them right and make sure then get exercise…or tummy time. Depending on their age

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