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To wonder why people are obsessed with a new baby's weight?

57 replies

mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 16:04

Yes I understand it's important for a baby to gain weight as it's a great indicator of health, but why the weird judgement of non health professionals? "Ooh she's lost a bit I hear," said by aunts etc.

It's just irritating. Then you feel like you need to justify the stupid comment. "They do lose a bit in the first week," blah blah.

It's just weird! Why!

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Mette7 · 17/04/2013 16:48

I kind of know what you mean though OP, I have always wondered why it's so important to announce how much the baby weighed when it was born. I don't really care how much a baby weighs as long as it's healthy, and yet when DH tells me so-and-so's had a baby but he doesn't know the weight, I feel like I'm missing some vital piece of information and make him find out for me! Confused

mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 16:49

I agree actually Mette!!

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mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 16:50

I'm more on about sustained weight questions after the birth I think

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valiumredhead · 17/04/2013 16:50

It's important because it's an indicator of how well the baby is doing, if it's 3lbs it's likely to be in SCBU!

TWinklyLittleStar · 17/04/2013 16:51

But what SHOULD I say?! Otherwise I'm left standing there saying 'cute baby, er, nice outfit', then it'll turn out that the mum has been bullied into putting their baby into 'proper' clothes by their MIL so that would be wrong too!

littleducks · 17/04/2013 16:51

I always ask how much a new baby weighs, would normally ask how much they gain or anything. To me honestly its amazing to think back that mine were that size/bit bigger or smaller as new babies seem so tiny to me now.

If you said around 6/7/8 pounds I'd be satisfied I wouldn't expect an exact weight.

Goblinchild · 17/04/2013 16:51

As an oldie, I remember the days when the weight of the baby was a key to whether it was going to survive easily or not. Likewise losing weight meant that if the child got measles or flu or d&v it had a better chance of winning the fight.
So it wasn't an idle question, it showed interest and understanding.

Goblinchild · 17/04/2013 16:53

'Likewise losing weight meant that if the child got measles or flu or d&v it had a better chance of winning the fight.'

Well, that doesn't make sense, I blame the furry ginger bum that sat on my keyboard.
Fatter babies were seen as more able to fight off infections, losing weight was a worrying thing.

GreenEggsAndNichts · 17/04/2013 16:57

Honestly? There's nothing else to talk about with a little baby. It's tedious, yes, but there are only so many things people who didn't give birth to your baby can say about him or her. Ah yes, there's another tiny human, that's a lovely sleepsuit, how much does he weigh now? How nice. And how is he sleeping? blah blah blah. Next it will be teeth. Oh does he have a tooth? How exciting! Will he manage to produce an entire mouthful of them? We're all on tenterhooks! Please report back!

etc. Don't miss the newborn days at all, in that regard. :)

mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 16:58

I'm sorry - I didn't mean initial birth announcement weight (although I suppose that's a bit of a mystery too) but more 'how much now' 'how much now' week to week day to day

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formicaqueen · 17/04/2013 16:59

I think people get too obsessed with baby weight. I found it irritating too. Mine were all tiny but healthy so we had an onslaught of weight comments. It made me worry with my first but I hardly bothered weighing the next few kids as it's easy enough to see if a baby is happy past the first month.

valiumredhead · 17/04/2013 16:59

For exactly the same reason, what else would you like people to say?

GoblinGranny · 17/04/2013 17:12

Probably safer to ignore the baby altogether and stick to complimenting the buggy.
My sister could have written the book on 50 shades of poo, It never interested me as a subject of conversation. Smile

KurriKurri · 17/04/2013 17:21

Small babies are fairly dull to all but their parents and grandparents. No one really wants to know what they are up to (i.e. nothing) but they feel obliged to feign interest, hence questions about weight gain, sleeping and feeding - they want you to answer quickly and then talk about something more interesting.

mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 17:25

People can also seem weirdly outspokenly braggy about it at baby group too. "Like my DS/DD is on the 90th centile,". What about mums whose babies aren't?

I can obviously totally understand being inwardly chuffed that your baby is fit and well (and fat and thriving). Although being diabetic there were concerns that my babies were too big - so not always a 'good' thing!

But why the need to brag about it? Maybe that's just me as a person. I detest bragging in any way, shape or form. Even about gorgeous squishy newborns. Oh God I'm bloody awful aren't I?! I've just read that back. Hey ho.

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ohshutup · 17/04/2013 17:30

yanbu but people feel they have got to ask a lot about the baby , they are just trying to make polite chit chat .

mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 17:31

I know people are probably just trying to be polite.

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middleagedspread · 17/04/2013 17:34

Trouble is what else can you know the sex, you've been told its healthy, the parents are thrilled...suppose you could ask how many stitches?

MsJupiterJones · 17/04/2013 17:36

It is hard when your baby isn't putting on weight as s/he should. I know people are just making conversation and I never took offence but it was hard to have the conversation over and over. I took to lying about his birthweight and/or age to strangers who asked just to avoid the inevitable 'gosh he's small isn't he?' Sounds silly but it hurt.

The one thing that did annoy (and slightly upset) me is people saying they have 'gold top milk' when their child is putting on weight. There wasn't anything wrong with my milk, just DS's tongue.

purrpurr · 17/04/2013 17:38

Is this percentile thing a relatively new thing? My parents never talk about me being on any percentile when I was a baby. It was just, 'purr weighed xlbs'.

mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 17:53

Purr purr - it's not the birth weight thing that I think is annoying (although it is a bit odd I suppose). It's the sustained bordering on obsessive asking after weight gain of babies once they're home. I've experienced it twice now and it irks me. I said up thread that I've been present at a couple of convos when the mums not been present where people have seemed a tad sneery/gossipy about so and so's baby not putting weight on. It makes me feel very uncomfortable and I'd hate for people to be saying it about me and my DCs.

The centile thing is about out of 100 children where your child sits with its weight I suppose there's always going to be a certain amount of people using it as a bar stick.

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mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 17:54

MsJupiterJones - ooh the gold top milk thing would irk me too!

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purrpurr · 17/04/2013 18:00

Mylittle It all sounds a bit competitive to me, and the gossiping you've witnessed makes me feel cold, I'd hate that.

mylittlepuds · 17/04/2013 18:10

It is competitive. I suppose I'm not a saint though and have gossiped loads in the past. Need to try and not do really!

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DinoSnores · 17/04/2013 18:24

I think they are just trying to make conversation most of the time. I am always bemused by how offended people can get here with small talk. People really don't care that much how much the baby weighs. They are just trying to make small talk with a new mum who doesn't have anything to talk about except her new born baby.

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