to be sick of comments about my son's weight?(27 Posts)
I get it all time from strangers. 'He's a big boy', 'what is your mummy feeding you?' that kind of thing.
MIL, who I normally get along with, expresses disapproval every time he is given a bit of cake or a chip. 'Should he really be having that'.
My mum has now started referring to him all the time as her 'chunky monkey'.
Both mum and MIL know I've been battling an eating disorder since I was a teenager. I'm terrified of passing on my food issues to DS. I've been trying really hard to keep the emotion out of his meals and to be led by him. But they are making it really hard.
To cap it all I took him for his 18 month check up last week. I was prepared for the talk about his weight and how I'm a rubbish parent. HV says his weight is completely fine. He's on the 50th percentile for both weight and height.
Any advice on how to tell them to fuck off without actually telling them to fuck off?
Wow so your son is a completely healthy weight, you must be doing something right- you are spot on with not making weight a battle ground. I would be up front with your MIL/mother, perhaps have a chat with them when your son is not around and just say, frankly 'we are not talking about weight when son is around, you know I had eating issues and I really don't want to pass them on, could you stop mentioning his weight or food please'- and if they then do it given them a look.
It's ridiculous to be commenting on every chip, this is not the right way to go, especially as we are surrounded by tempting food all day every day and this is going to make him self-conscious/backfire.
I have actually had a very similar experience to you. My mil once said to me when she arrived to visit "oh dgs is looking a bit slimmer. He must have been eating more healthy" in other words "your son is a bit fat cos you feed him junk" i had to bite my tongue very hard that day!!
Cant you just ignore as much as possible and tell them he is in perfect proportion according to charts?
I totally get your being annoyed. I get wound up at my mil constant praise for eating so well finishing plate etc. It just sends the wrong message to them so easily. No issue if eat or dont eat food. Just be relaxed about it all as you are doing.
You are exactly right not to make food a toddler battleground, whether or not you've struggled with an ED yourself. I would raise my eyebrows every time a comment is made and say in exactly the same intonation, 'He's on the 50th centile for height and weight, mother/MIL. Or do you think you know better than the WHO?'
And you need also to start challenging the language they use around him as his comprehension grows.
To be fair to everyone who comments, he does look like he's heavier than he is because he has a round chubby face and a distinct pot belly.
My mum probably would think she knows better than the WHO.
My mum tried to give him chocolate buttons when he was about 6 weeks old. 'It never did you any harm.' Yeah right mother.
It is very irritating my 2nd centile 20 week old keeps getting called a chunky monkey and mr fatty pants, I am sure it is because 12lbs of his weight is on his cheeks! Some people are morons!
I was reading your OP thinking "gosh that's awful, no wonder she's pissed off" and then I got to the bit about him being 18 months old. I still see your point, and I well remember being really wound up by people telling me how "tiny"my youngest daughter was as a baby, when I was worrying she wasn't getting enough milk and was dropping down the centiles. But people talk and think differently about weight with babies and toddlers than they do with older children and adults. Being a "chunky monkey" is seen as being cute and loveable. Plenty of mothers I know have talked approvingly of their own babies/toddlers in those terms.
My friends daughter is the same age as mine but a stone heavier. She gets her build from her dad; the only time she eats junk is at my house! My daughter is skinny but again, gets its from her parents. People always say we don't feed her. You can't win
Are they used to smaller babies? Ds3 is 50th parcentile, in proportion and very healthy but gets a lot of those sort of comments (not the questioning of him being given the odd chip or cake though) just because he is a contrast to his brothers and cousins,.who are very small but "normal" to my family. Annoying though.
like poster said above i think people do tend to say this sort of thing about babies and maybe you're taking it abit personally. My DS was really chubby around that age, he was on the 90th centile for weight, then since he got more mobile he's really thinned down, in fact now i'm abit worried he might be underweight!! Well not too worried, as i think he's on the 9th centile for weight for his age now, he is 4.5 and 2 and a half stone.
I think yabu and just a bit too sensitive. He's 18 months and comments like that come more from affection rather than mean intentions.
I agree with the last few posters, it's a compliment at that age - people are admiring how gorgeous and munchable he is. You are then projecting your issues onto what are well meant comments and compliments about your LO.
I do think most people mean it as a compliment, I absolutely love chubby baby! Just wait til hes an age when he cant start commenting on their food ;)
We had the opposite problem when DS was 18 months - trying to get MIL to not feed him crap! Although he was only 7lbs when he was born, but the time he was 18months, he also had a huuuuge pot belly, a lovely round chubby face and was an all-over solid looking little chap, but also on the 50th centile for height and weight.
He is now 13.5, 5 foot 10 or 11 (98th centile for height), very broad and muscular (mans size M), but not an ounce of fat on him.
Try not to let them worry you - he sounds perfect
Oh OP I can sympathise, I had this for the first year of my DS's life and it irritated the hell out of me. He was on the 50th centile from day 1 and I got so sick of people telling me how huge he was. My inlaws used to tell me I fed him too much and that he ate too much junk. He didn't, he hated all food (still does) and just hardly ate from one day to the next.
Now I get comments about how tall he is, I wonder what they think I did to be blamed for that one too? Stupid. I know it's hard but you really have to avoid thinking about it or reacting to it. People comment on how upset I used to get, it makes them think that there is an issue there rather than them being completely out of order. I'd ignore them if I could go back, I'd not say anything so they'd realise it's not up for discussion.
My baby was tiny. All the babies in our family are tiny because we are all tiny. DH's family are massive in height and stance in comparison.
So from my side, I got comments about his fat cheeks.
From DH's side, I was told he needed some carnation milk to fatten him up.
And yet throughout all of this he was on the 25th centile. No change ever. Its all perception.
Oh your son is fine! Ignore them. I have to ignore comments about my son all the time. He is 15 months and is only on the 25th percentile line. Some days it's a real battle to get him to eat and others he won't stop. He just does not put weight on easily but people comment as if I starve him. It really upsets me some times because his dad is really slim and had problems because of it and I don't want my son being unhealthy and underweight.
I always get told "ooooooh, I do love a chubby baby" about DD, who's nearly 8 months and at 24lbs, very high in the centiles. That bit doesn't bother me. I also get the questions about what I'm feeding her. That bit really gets my hackles up. She eats precisely the amount that's recommended for her age, but is a late mover, being very content staying fairly still but chatting, and is rarely sick. If someone commented on an item I was feeding her at the time, they'd want to make sure they had their flame retardant pants on.
Agreed with everyone else, it's perception, and YWNBU to do everything to avoid issues over eating, and not just that but issues over personal image, and that includes your family not contributing to those possible insecurities.
You said that your DS is 50th percentile for both height and weight, so is very much average and in proportion, and that he has chubby cheeks and a pot belly, so that is to do with his shape at this age rather than weight. Undoubtedly over the years that will change but having people calling you 'big' when you're average sized, because of your shape or features, is equally potentially hurtful. I had that experience (average weight, healthy diet, but curvy from a young age due to hitting puberty when very young), it took me years to move past that.
What are people like?! That must be SO annoying! I did used to get ridiculous comments from some people because my Dd was so small when she was younger....it drove me mad after a while. "She's so small" "Why is she so small?" "Does she eat?" "You're not that small, why is she so small?" Aaaaargh! In the end I just used to sigh and say "Well, we're all different aren't we?"!
There's a difference between cooing at a baby's chubby cheeks and making comments like 'should he be eating that'. I think there's so much emotion connected to a child's weight and eating habits because our first instinct as mothers is to feed our children. My DD is a fussy eater and tall for her weight but she's stronger than me, whilst we all have a giggle at her big bum (think mini J-Lo) I'm always worrying about what she is and isn't eating. A couple of weeks ago she caught a bug and was off her food and you just know that if she had lost any weight all fingers would have pointed at me. People need to give mums a break, as long as their children aren't starving or obese they're doing fine.
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