The baby and I went for her nine-month check-up yesterday. She did great (except for a naptime fit). She got one shot and barely flinched. Me? I didn’t do so well.
She’s always been a tall, skinny baby. She comes from tall, skinny people, so it shouldn’t be any kind of surprise. At her six month check-up she was something like 90th percentile in height and 50th in weight.
This time she was about 50th in height – so, not so tall anymore — and fifth in weight. FIFTH.
The doctor showed me two growth charts. The first, the one we’d been using since she was born, was the one that had her at fifth for weight. But he said that one was a little outdated, so he showed me a new one that the World Health Organization has come up with. On that one she’s 20th for weight and 50th for height.
So when you factor in babies from third-world countries she shoots right up to the top of the bottom quartile. Great.
OK, I don’t actually know if it factors in babies from developing nations. The doctor did tell me that it factors in more breast-fed babies.
The doctor isn’t worried, and he told me not to either. (He’s very calming. The friend who recommended him to us said that he really understands that when you’re caring for babies and children, the real patients are their parents. So true.) He said she’s healthy and developing well, she’s wetting and dirtying diapers (that’s code for “peeing” and “pooping”), and she’s got a good appetite. She’s just petite.
That’s not the first time I’ve been told she’s petite. I hear it all the time.
Stranger: “She’s beautiful! How old is she?”
Me: “Almost nine months.”
Stranger: “Oh wow, she’s tiny!”
Until yesterday I always replied, “Actually, she’s really tall.” As if saying it made it true.
It’s not that I need her to be tall. I mean, I’m tall and always registered in the 90th percentile for height, but my husband isn’t excessively tall, and so far she really seems to be built like him and his side of the family. One of his sisters is so petite that when she was a baby the doctor thought she might have failure to thrive. But she’s fine! She’s short, but she’s perfectly healthy! THIS IS GOING TO BE FINE!
My paranoia comes from breastfeeding. I’m constantly worrying about my milk supply, even though all indications are that it’s fine. Plus, the baby eats actual food now. But when you can’t see the milk in the bottle and measure exactly how much she’s getting, any indication that the baby isn’t going to be Paul Bunyan (no, Word, I don’t mean “bunion”) can be a test. This is one of the myriad reasons women don’t breastfeed, and I totally get it.
The doctor also suggested she might have a growth spurt in another week and get right back on track. So as I take deep breaths to calm down, that’s the hope I’m secretly clinging to.
Please, moms, tell me about your tiny children and how they’re perfectly healthy.