When Albie had barely put on an ounce in the run up to the festive season, the health visitor said: “Don’t worry, just give him a big Christmas dinner.”
So we did.
There’s no tricks to this photo; it’s an adult plate with an adult-sized Christmas dinner. I’ve yet to show it to someone who isn’t totally shocked at how he polished off every single morsel.
But just days later – and following his usual routine of hearty meals – we were as surprised as the people viewing that photo when we learned he had put on absolutely nothing. Zilch. A grand total of two ounces in around ten weeks.
There was little point looking at the graph in his red book any more. He was somewhere near rock bottom and showing no signs of a growth spurt.
The weekly weigh-ins were usually pretty depressing. Watching babies twice his weight and half his age piling on the pounds, while Albie stayed the same – or even lost weight – was among the most testing times of early parenthood.
We’re now more relaxed about it. If he’s happy and eating plenty, he’ll be fine in the end.
This week, however, it was lovely to get a rare boost and find out he had put on seven ounces in three weeks. For Albie, that’s like transforming from a Persian cat to a Puma!
Our advice to parents going through a similar thing is to not get too caught up graph watching. Sure, it’s important to have an indication of where you’re baby’s at but you also need to look at the bigger picture: if they’re well in themselves, there’s probably not too much to worry about.
While lots of people remark on how tiny he is, or think he’s six months old, they also comment on how smiley he is. No wonder – if people were telling me I was way younger than I looked, I’d be delighted, too!
One possible explanation for slow weight gain at this age is that babies are starting to become more active.
Albie’s nigh-on sprinting along the sofa these days and he loves his swimming and park days.
We’ll just need to remember to feed him up on McDonald’s Happy Meals after the exercise…