I am the first to admit that Baby B had some serious cheeks a couple of months ago. Honestly, I loved those cheeks! They were absolutely satisfying to kiss. Also, absolutely adorable. (Her cheeks have thinned out but are still wonderful for kissing!) I, however, am still so bothered by the remarks people would make about her.
Although she is a little tiny human, she is still a human. With feelings. She may not yet understand but maybe she does? I’m continually surprised by how much she does understand. How can we know that on some level these comments aren’t affecting her? With so many young people being affected with body insecurities, why would we start putting these ideas into our children’s heads as infants?
Now, let’s suppose that Baby B, at just eight months old, was not affected by these comments. Her big sister, however, was affected. I know, because Little A called her baby sister “chunky” many times. I had to explain to her what chunky meant and also that it is not a nice word to use.
In pointing out Baby B’s “cute little rolls” or her “chunkiness” or stating “my kids were chunky but not THAT chunky” you are pointing out the differences in her body from the others in the room. And, again, if Baby B doesn’t understand this, Little A at three does understand it. Perhaps she now sees that her sister’s body is shaped differently than hers or she may be wondering if you are going to also point out the rolls on her little body? Either way, I have been fighting to keep these types of concerns from her innocent mind.
Thankfully Baby B’s weight was not a health issue and not something that I was concerned with. However, for some families those comments about weight could also bring up health worries. Also, I’m positive that comments about weight with my first child would have made me concerned enough to ask Dr Google. As a new parent there are so many new things to worry about and unfortunately, other’s comments turn into big worries even when that is not how they are intended.
I am not denying that Baby B had full cheeks and more rolls than many babies. I am just concerned with the ways that are thought to be acceptable to talk about these cute little children. Even if our sweet babies don’t understand our words, our older children may.