Why do we need to know what new babies weigh?

I got the lovely news this morning that one of my old work friends had a baby last night.  Well, actually his wife had the baby last night, but you know what I mean.  I ogled the little picture of the newborn that he’d sent me, then wrote back a message of congratulations.  I asked how the mum was, whether they’d chosen a name, and I almost asked what weight he was.  Then I stopped myself.  I really don’t need to know what weight he is – as long as he’s here and he’s healthy, what does it matter?  7 months ago when Littler B was born, I started to get a bit incensed at all the comments on her weight.  She was a perfectly healthy 7lbs 10, but long, so complete strangers would ask her weight, then say things like “No, there’s no way she’s over 7lbs! She’s so small!”, or “Really?  She looks about 5lbs, are you sure?”  And, being a polite and well-brought-up sort, I would smile or shrug, whilst thinking to myself “Well of course I’m sure you idiot,  she’s my bloody baby and I’ve checked the red book 10 times now because of people like you being so rude, questioning me, and commenting on how small/big/fat/thin my daughter is!  I’m completely knackered and traumatised after the 11 hours of painful labour,  have had no sleep for 3 days because the baby thinks night is day and I can’t sleep while she sleeps because I have an older child who’s nose is completely put out due to the arrival of her sibling , but thanks for making me question my sanity about the one thing that I actually do know about this baby. ”

So next time you’re about to ask the weight of a newborn baby, stop and think about whether you really need to know…

And to C and O, proud new parents, congratulations, he’s an absolute stunner.  Welcome to the confusing, challenging, wonderful world of parenthood.

 

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