Chubby Babies Are Adorable Not 'Fat'

Eye Roll 47

Is there anything more adorable than a chubby baby? Because every time I see an infant with round little chipmunk cheeks and legs that make him resemble a sumo-wrestler, I just want to reach out and squeeze him all over! Let's face it -- fat babies are way beyond cute, and the last thing that we should be concerned with is whether they are gaining too much weight, right?

Well, apparently some pediatricians are now getting parents of chubby babies all stressed out over the fact that their little one may have a little bit of extra chunk going on. Apparently if a baby gains weight too fast in the first few months of life, it could send him down a path to becoming obese. That's all well and good, but aren't babies kind of supposed to be fat? Because that's part of what makes them so irresistible. And how do you distinguish "regular" baby fat from a baby being too fat? It all kind of makes my head spin.

My own little guy was kind of a chub during the first year of his life. I actually used to have a lot of people give me a hard time because my nickname for him was "my little nugget," and some said that he more closely resembled the entire chicken. (What is wrong with people?)

He was definitely a bit of a load, but I loved that about him. It was part of what made him so ridiculously precious. In addition to being a bit on the chunky side, my little guy was also a late walker and didn't get up and moving till about 13 1/2 months or so. Of course, once his little legs did start going -- they didn't stop. And he quickly lost all of that adorable baby fat within a matter of months. He actually turns 6 years old tomorrow, and he's rail-thin as can be without a roll in sight. And I'm just so glad that I never let a little bit of extra baby fat get me all in a tizzy.

Establishing and encouraging good eating habits in babies is definitely important, but only from a nutrition and health standpoint. There's plenty of time for all of the weight gain and calorie intake stuff later on. Unless you've got a 40-pound 9-month-old on your hands or something like that, I'd say that a little excess baby fat really just isn't worth losing any sleep over.

Do you ever worry that your baby is getting too chubby?


Image via Mary Fischer

baby health, obesity


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nonmember avatar Allison

I have the opposite problem: a 16 lb, 16 month old. That will get the pediatrician in a snit also! But I feel like babies that are super chubby or very thin do deserve a proper work up to make sure that everything is medically ok.

ashjo85 ashjo85

In my experience, babies with the Michelin man rolls grow into lanky, skinny adults. My daughter was a chunky monkey, rolls everywhere! She's almost 3 now, and a perfect weight.

ebmmy... ebmmy2004

Who doesn't love a chunky baby? I worked in a daycare and had a mom that wasn't producing enough milk breast feeding but was refusing to put her son on formula because he would "get fat" like her daughter did when she was a baby (because she had the same problem with her). Forget the fact that her daughter was 3 and rail thin because of how active she was. Mind you she was military so the hospital caught on to the fact that baby was NOT gaining and weight and looked like an alien cause he was sooo thin. It also helped that a few of us reported her to a parent that worked in Pediatrics. Long story short she put him on formula, and he fattened right up and became this whole new happy child. When he was hungry and what seemed to be malnourished all the time he was miserable. Fat babies are usually happy babies so that's good to me!!

Amanda Johnson Hull

My daughter was a very chuncky, rolly-polly infant.  Then she started crawling.  When she was 4 months old, she was in the 90th precentile for weight, and was all sorts of adorable.  She's now a 17 month old muscle machine, very strong, and in the 50th percentile for weight.  I thought that's how it was supposed to go!  I bf, and I had very, very rich milk.  It's really healthy for them!  The fat is supposed to be good for their brains, I thought.  Anyway, I fed on demand through 9 months, added solids at 6 months, weaned at 13 months, and she eats 3 meals a day.  I don't force her to eat too much, and I try to provide healthy options for her.  She really seems to be thriving... so, chuncky babies FTW!

jrphelps jrphelps

My neighbor's baby is 3 months younger than my son & is bigger than my son.  She is in the 99th percentile for everything & my son is in about the 15th percentile.  The little girl's dad claims it's just cuz his daughter is from a "healthy" family (implying that because my son isn't fat he isn't healthy...GRRR).  The parents can barely walk 10 feet with out sweating & I know every time she fusses, they stick a bottle in her mouth.  So there has to be a point at when a child is gaining too much weight is unhealthy & could have serious repercussions.  I think all babies are cute!  Skinny, chunky, as long as they are healthy & that's what the medical experts are worried about.

corri... corrinacs

No, I am the other way around.  My baby is "chubby" but his weight "isn't on mark" LOL.  I don't know, I think he's just going to be a short baby.

MegTh... MegTheGem

My daughter was 7lbs. 3oz. when she was born, and she was a chubby baby right from the start; my hubby coined the term "chublet" for her, lol. She was such a little roly-poly girl! She started evening out when she started walking. She's 2 now, and at her last doc visit, they were saying she was obese (she measured just under 3 ft. and weighed in at 31lbs) and began lecturing me on how she should be fed, assuming we fill her with sweets and junk food. I stopped them and gave them a typical run-down of her day in food: a bowl of Cheerios or Chex or Life in the morning, peanut butter fold-over with raisins and Goldfish crackers for lunch (it varies, but that's her fave), and dinner is usually a meat, veggies either baked or boiled in water, and maybe a rice or pasta side dish. She drinks either water or watered-down juice during the day. She sometimes gets sweets, like gummies or a Dum-Dum, but her snacks are usually fruit and/or crackers. She LOVES her veggies, prefers them to meat and she loves cheese. Knocked the superiority out of them at the docs, that did. They failed to take into account that she is on the short side of the height scale. She has a slight, round little tummy and spends most of the day running around and playing with her little brother.

witch... witchkiss

My baby girl was chubby looking but small...only 7 lbs.  She's in the 25% now as an 11 month old but still has rolls.  Adorable thing.

MomLi... MomLily67

Pediatricians need to make up their minds. Some babies are chunky, some are not. There are obviously obese babies, and their condition is way different than chunky babies. They also make a big deal of underweight babies. Family traits must be taken into account : are the parents short and slim? or tall? or on the heavier side?. Come on, many chunky, or skinny, or obese babies are perfectly healthy, their respiratory, digestive, nervous systems working as they should,and HAPPY!! Sometimes doctors seem to work against parents, instead of as a team. ALL BABIES ARE ADORABLE , but chunky ones are specially irresistible, hehe

nursemc nursemc

Stop getting your feelings hurt every time a doctor gives you advice. If they say your baby's weight is unhealthy, it is not meant to be mean. Some babies appear chunky but their weight is normal and those are the babies that grow into thin toddlers, but if your baby is overweight to the point that they have delayed physical skills like walking, your baby is fat and you need to take precautions. This is not about meanness, discrimination, or body shaming, it's not about putting a baby or young child on a "diet". This is about recognizing that we have an obesity epidemic in this country and we all need to be aware of what is happening to our children so they don't become a statistic. Don't let your child's health suffer to spare their or your feelings.

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