A Public Service Message About Fat Babies

Babies are like eating at Logan's.... The more rolls, the better.

Babies are like eating at Logan’s…. The more rolls, the better.

I learned something recently. I learned that not everybody in the world likes it when you comment on how fat their baby is. Who knew? And here I’ve been, walking around all this time, congratulating people on their chubby little babies. I’ve been walking up to strangers like, “Excuse me ma’am…. You probably already know this, but your child has roughly three extra folds in the skin of his forearm. I just wanted to say, ‘Well done.'” It turns out some folks don’t like it when people point things like this out to them.

I mean, I guess it makes sense. At some point in every kid’s life, you’re not allowed anymore to comment on how fat they are…. I just thought that we were allowed to compliment a baby’s chunkiness AT LEAST until the kid starts talking. No one’s telling parents what a cute little butterball their middle school daughter is. But BABIES?!? Actually, I have always felt bad about pointing out how skinny a baby was. If I noticed a skinny baby, I kept it to myself…. I didn’t want to say something and offend someone. I could never get the words to come out without them sounding disappointed. I would say, “Oh, he’s so skinny” the way one might say, “Oh, you’ve got some ketchup on your shirt.”

I like babies to look lie they have multiple rubber bands around their arms....

I like babies to look lie they have multiple rubber bands around their arms….

All it took was one person cautioning me about the mother of a chubby kid being sensitive, and now I am second-guessing myself around ALL fat babies. For example, the other day at the restaurant, a couple sat down in my section with a remarkably fat baby. His head was at least one-and-a-half times wider than it was tall. The weight of his chipmunky little cheeks and jowls seemed to have caused his neck to disappear, and he had dimples where no dimples belonged. His arms were out to his sides like Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story, but he was wearing a short-sleaved shirt. He was as cute as babies get, and everything in me wanted to squish his fat little oversized head. And, for whatever reason, I wanted to discuss his excess cheeks with his parents, but now I’m all worried about making people feel bad (It should be pointed out that his parents were both thin people. Of course, I would never have a conversation with overweight people about how plump their kids is. Everybody knows that…. That’s Fat Baby Etiquette 101).

I'm not ashamed to say that I want to eat this baby's cheeks. I want to eat them.

I’m not ashamed to say that I want to eat this baby’s cheeks. I want to eat them.

This whole thing has me very confused and a little saddened. Is there really no point in a person’s life anymore when you can vocally appreciate how fat they are without offending someone? Everyone knows that fat babies are objectively cuter than skinny babies. And many of those skinny babies are going to grow up to be a skinny adults (with all the advantages that brings)…. We’ve got the rest of people’s lives to congratulate them on how skinny they are. Can’t there just be a short period of time where we celebrate and acknowledge that a kid is chubby, and that chubbiness makes everyone around her happier?

This is one of my own little chunky babies. Notice the ample ham hocks....

This is one of my own little chunky babies. Notice the ample ham hocks….

For some people, having a fat baby makes them feel good because it’s obvious that their kids are getting enough to eat. I know that it was this way for us when my wife was breastfeeding our kids. All three of my kids had ham hocks that would test the tensile strength of their tights. The waistbands of their clothes would make noises like stressed metal. And I wore their pudginess like a medal, showing it to anyone who pay attention. If you are a parent who gets offended by people who point out how portly your kids is, please don’t. And if  you’re a person like me who thought that you were complimenting parents when you commented on their pudgy little person, be aware…. Sadly, some people don’t like it.

 

In closing, please look at this fat baby’s face:

The way that this baby feels about having to wear this hat is the way that I feel about finding out I'm not allowed to complement people's fat babies anymore.

The way that this baby feels about having to wear this hat is the way that I feel about finding out I’m not allowed to complement people’s fat babies anymore.

Can we all just agree that fat babies are awesome?

 

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8 Responses to A Public Service Message About Fat Babies

  1. Tempest Rose says:

    Fat babies ARE awesome.

  2. Underdaddy says:

    If the parents get offended who cares. Fat babies are a biological goal! They will be skinnier adults lots of the time. Chubby cheeks and an animal themed knit hat is pure gold.

  3. Hope says:

    Little babies with chubby legs just make me so happy. I just want to squeeze them and kiss their fat little cheeks! I just can’t stop myself from telling their moms how fat their babies are… and immediately try to explain how much I love that and hope they aren’t offended.

  4. copugchick says:

    I’m the proud mama of a baby with deliciously chunky thighs. I don’t mind people commenting on his chub in a cute baby context. But I’ve had plenty of “he doesn’t miss many meals” or “is he unusually large for his age?” comments that have made me extra sensitive.

  5. Doniel says:

    I agree completely!! The best compliment I’ve ever gotten was from our pediatrician. Both my boys were breastfed and so fat they looked like baby hippos! He said “you must be putting out straight cream!” I almost cried. Also, my left arm, the baby-holster side, looks like a He-Man arm on a tiny Barbi.

  6. Mary Linda says:

    When my oldest was a baby, a stranger in a store said he had “biscuit jowls” which I was thrilled to hear! My middle son was the Sta-Puffed Marshmallow baby. I give you this link to a photo of my youngest at his plump prime. (You can tell Sadie this is Finn from Nashville Friends Meeting.) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=948581865156604&l=45373777b1

  7. Hope says:

    I like your point about the chub being a point of pride for breastfeeding babies. I thought I was being a little weird when I experienced a glow of pride every time I squeezed my daughter’s chubby cheeks and thighs. But I’m happy to see other people feel that way.

  8. Leslie says:

    I just love this article and the captions on the pictures are priceless! I could not agree more.

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