Everywhere you look there are images of chunky babies, beautiful leg rolls, cheeky bums and double chins. But what about when your baby is skinny? Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have to defend my baby for being “too” skinny.
When I first gave birth, my little boy was chunky. Very quickly he stopped gaining weight and people began giving me advice on what to do to help him gain weight. My husband and I went to countless doctor and paediatrician appointments trying to figure out what was wrong – in the end the answer was, nothing. We had a healthy, happy and skinny baby boy.
At our first paediatrician appointment, we were told that we should stop breastfeeding altogether and supplement with formula and solids. I went away feeling as though my baby wasn’t thriving because I had done something wrong. I made the decision, somewhat against my husbands judgement, to continue exclusively breastfeeding. In some cases I’m sure this doesn’t work but, in my case, our little boy started gaining weight all on his own. In a few short weeks he moved from <1% to around the 18% for his age.
After months of worry, upset, tears and frustration I saw that my instinct as a mother had proven correct. Of all the things I endured throughout my pregnancy and the early days of motherhood, this was the hardest. My baby was just skinny. There was nothing wrong with him.
People told me I could have chosen to stop breastfeeding altogether but my instinct was to stick to the plan my husband and I had discussed prior to our sons arrival. For some parents that’s not the right call, but in my case, I couldn’t be more happy that I continued down this path. In my opinion it doesn’t matter if you breastfeed or formula feed, as long as baby is happy. However, I am grateful to have the ability to breastfeed and I appreciate the fact that I know exactly what is in my sons food.
For all the mom’s that are struggling, it gets better. The first months will be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, you’ll question yourself more than you ever thought you could but your instincts will kick in because that’s what you’re made to do.