Is My Baby Too Fat?

Hazel with toy
Chubby Hazel at 5 months

Or have her cheeks just taken over her face?

When I took my daughter to the doctor for her four month checkup last month, she weighed 15 pounds and was 25.5 inches long. “Is that crazy fat?” I asked the pediatrician. She just laughed and said it’s normal. But I had to ask … because people had started to make comments.

When a friend came up from Washington DC, he took one look at her and said, “Wow, she’s a little chunk!” And later that week, when I showed baby photos to a former coworker who also has an infant, she said, “Oh, what a cute porker!” Seriously, the word “porker” was used about my beloved baby daughter.

Maybe I caused this. Hazel was born a normal baby weight, at 7 pounds 12 ounces. But a week later, she weighed only six pounds 14 ounces, which meant she’d lost slightly more than the 10 percent of baby fat that newborns typically lose in the first week. When our lactation consultant warned me that Hazel needed to gain weight, I started feeding her breast milk “on demand,” and she quickly fattened up. Did I go too far? Hazel now has little rolls of baby fat on her thighs—we have to put Vaseline in the creases to avoid “chub rub.” Last week we already had to break out the six-month-old clothes, even though she’s not quite five months old. And Hazel’s cheeks have inflated drastically. But who doesn’t love seeing a chubby-faced baby?

I 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 definitely wouldn’t want my worry to sink into Hazel’s subconscious and give her issues with food (is babyrexia a problem yet? Just wait!). But I’m starting to wonder: Will this ruin her chances at being a baby model?

Thank goodness for Baby Spanx.

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