Does Baby Fat Predict Obesity?

Amy Jo Jones

Baby 3 Months OldWhen you see a baby with rolls on their legs, don't you just want to nibble on those meaty thighs? 

Mothers everywhere are quick to squeal in delight when they see a chubby baby. I'm sure that somewhere in our primitive brains, we recognize that the child is well fed and well equipped to survive.

We may not be able to help it, and we all agree that big babies are adorable, but mothers need to know that a baby with too much baby fat can be at risk for serious health disorders, including obesity, later in life. 

Physicians suggest that you avoid using formula, breastfeeding, or food as a pacifier. That sounds like perfectly reasonable advice, but doesn't that sound like something that is easier said than done? When you have a baby, they can't tell you if they are legitimately hungry or just want your attention. They don't even know!

To find out if your feeding is on track, the most important thing you can do is keep your regular well baby appointments with your pediatrician so they can track your baby's height and weight on a growth chart. Growth charts track how your baby measures up against other children of the same age in height, weight, and head size and will tell you if your baby is gaining weight at an appropriate rate -- or not. 

And don't fear. Even if your baby is tipping the scales a little higher than you want them to be, with proper guidance from your doctor, you can make small adjustments to how much and how often you feed your baby. As long as you're paying attention and keeping track of weight gain, there is never a need to withhold feedings or cut back on calories for a baby. 

Do you ever give into pacifier-type feedings? Do you worry about overfeeding your baby or baby weight?


Image via jencu/Flickr

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