Peanut

Julian: 46 Weeks Old

“He’s a little peanut!”

Those words were spoken by Julian’s new pediatrician, shortly after she breezed into the exam room for our son’s first visit. Apparently, at a little over 18.5 lbs. and 28 inches long, our little guy is, well, little for his age.

I expected to be shocked by the numbers at this visit, but this was not at all what I was prepared for. Mike and I have been talking for weeks about how heavy and solid Julian feels when we pick him up and carry him around, how he seems to be stretching out before our eyes, so much longer/taller than before. So to find that he’s now in the lower end of the percentile range for his height and weight (though above the curve for head circumference) was startling. The doctor didn’t seem at all concerned, though Mike and I are going to work on giving him more frequent meals of solids, and increasing the amounts of the things we offer him (though we won’t ever force him to eat if he’s truly not hungry).

Julian’s appetite is great, he loves to eat and demands to try anything he sees us eating, and he’s got so much energy… so why am I worried that we’re doing this all wrong? I know that every baby is different, that breastfed infants tend to have a different growth pattern than formula-fed babies, and that as long as he’s healthy and happy and otherwise developing normally and well, we shouldn’t be too concerned, but I’m feeling more than a little frustrated and disappointed in my parenting skills in the wake of yesterday’s appointment.

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13 responses to “Peanut

  1. Oh, I would not worry, not one bit. You’re not doing anything wrong. Emelia was at a low percentile for both height and weight for her first year and a half. She wasn’t 18.5lbs at a year! She is still low on the weight end but has shot up in height. At almost three, she’s over 3′ tall, which is higher than average height (I think)!. Kids grow up and out at their own rate. I wouldn’t worry at all as long as, like you say, he’s happy and healthy :)

  2. mjm

    You and M are doing amazing. Don’t you worry. Your feelings are so normal – at least, I had them, too, with both kids. Oliver was always a little shrimp, Maddie was always in the 99th percentile. I always questioned my parenting (okay, still do) at those pediatrician visits.

    All of this is to say that I understand what you’re feeling. You are a great mother, no matter where those dots on the curves are.

  3. Nonsense – Julian is a healthy, happy guy. I hate when docs do this kind of stuff…

    • kathy k.

      The doctor isn’t concerned – it’s simply a measurement against an ‘average’ chart.

  4. kathy k.

    My youngest was always above the height / weight lines, and it had nothing to do with my parenting skills and everything to do with genetics. That’s why, at 15, he’s 6’4″. Neither of you guys are giants, so it is perfectly reasonable for him to be at the lower end of the average scale. If your doctor is unconcerned, you really shouldn’t be either – honest :)

  5. Nothing to worry about! (Easier said than done, huh?) One way to look at it… There’s a bell curve for a reason; not everyone can land smack dab in the center. It doesn’t make a child abnormal to be at the upper or lower end of that bell curve. You’re doing just fine, mama! :)

  6. akaellen

    no worries! You are dong great. He’s perfect!

  7. Tamar

    Jenn, please don’t freak out, I did enough of that with my first daughter for both of us. So consider yourself covered… Also breast fed, she was at the 5th percentile weight for years (until she was 4 or so – she’s now 6). In contrast to Julian, she ate very little (although she ate widely and tried everything – the quantities were tiny). I was wondering if she’s growing on sunshine and air. My pediatrician assured me that with her energy levels she must be fine. Kids that do not get enough nutrition show physical delays – and Julian is ahead, if anything. They also wake up at night to demand food. I remember a teacher in her day care telling me that in 13 years she’s been in that position she’s never seen a kid eat that little. I lost many nights of sleep over it, but the pediatrician was right – she is perfect. Now, at 6, she took on swimming, gymnastics, and martial arts, has the figure of a super model (she packed on some muscle!) and is eating non-stop and everything. Our pediatrician keeps telling us how happy he is that with our kids (she and her 2 year old brother) he doesn’t have to worry about obesity. Julian is happy and healthy, his motor development is ahead of the curve, you just need to find away to relax and enjoy him. He’s perfectly fine!!

  8. Your feelings are normal and so is Julian. Have you seen photos of my little one? She’s barely cracking 22 lbs. at 2.5 years and pediatrician saw her the other day, no problems. People are different shapes, right? No frustration or disappointment. He seems happy!

  9. I know in my heart we’re doing right by our little guy, but man, parenthood really brings out the self-doubt and second-guessing in a person, doesn’t it? Thanks so much for all the votes of confidence, you guys – it means a lot, and I really appreciate it :)

  10. Enjoy your still very wearable boy! I love my chunky monkey to death, but hoisting the lump and hauling him places has been a challenge for quite some time. And with (over)weight problems running in both Todd and my families I was always concerned with the fact that my kid despite being breastfed was gigantor. The doctors however have never expressed concern, so there’s that. Perhaps Julian will just be small, petite (does one call boys petite?). If the doctor’s not concerned, and he’s still growing and reaching other milestones- the fact that he’s smaller than my kid was at his age is neither here nor there.

    • Lauren, I am soooooooo grateful we can still comfortably wear him around. Seriously, not having to haul a stroller up and down subway stairs? Awesome. And thanks again for the pediatrician recommendation – everyone at the office was just lovely.

  11. Alison

    My son was an elf. He was in the bottom 5th for the longest time and I worried he would be a really little man. Now? 6 feet tall, enormous shoes, and has to worry about overweight. Just saying.

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