Does size really matter when it comes to newborns? Apparently, the answer is both yes and no. While it’s really difficult to predict if a mom will have a baby that’s on the bigger side, there’s a good chance that the doctor might know what to expect. After all, it’s part of a health professional’s job to monitor the baby’s progress every step of the way. But what a lot of first-time moms want to know is, will a bigger baby have an impact on the delivery? Will a bigger baby want to eat more? Or will it cry or sleep more? And better yet, are all of those newborn baby clothes a huge waste of money?
With that being said, here’s everything parents need to know about ‘big’ babies. There are a lot of myths about big babies, and luckily, we debunk all of them for readers. No, their appearance or newborn stats won’t make parental life any harder or easier. (But a bigger baby might end up sleeping more or better throughout the night...) A bigger baby needs just as much love, just as many cuddles from mom and dad, and just as much patience as their smaller newborn counterparts. Check out our list below!
While it’s true that you can’t predict how your baby will look like or what his or her stats will be at childbirth, you might get a good idea, thanks to your doctor. Because your doctor monitors your progress throughout your pregnancy, he or she will be able to give you a better range of how small or how big your baby might be. With that said, you might or might not be taking a gamble with newborn clothes. In some instances, there have been newborn babies who have gone home from the hospital in size 3-6 months onesies! Newborn clothes might be a waste of money, especially if you buy them in bulk.
Yes, we know you’ve heard this one before: Size doesn’t matter. But when it comes to babies, trust us when we say it doesn’t. A baby’s newborn stats have nothing to do with their health or what their appearance might look like later on in their lives. According to the University of Michigan, the medical term for a larger baby is actually called ‘macrosomia’ and it’s for any baby that is bigger than 8 pounds, 13 ounces at birth. And while this doesn’t happen very often, it might come as a surprise, especially if you don’t expect it. Doctors aren’t always accurate when it comes to birth size, which is something we will get into in just a moment.
We’ve all seen it before. Parents that are a bit on the short side end up having a child that grows up to look like an NBA baller. Parents who look like they can touch the clouds might end up having a child that is of average height. In other words, genetics really don’t make sense, now do they? When it comes to your baby’s size, it doesn’t matter what size you are, to say the least. There have been plenty of instances in which an average-sized mother or an average-sized father end up having a child that is anything but average.
By now, we all know that pregnancies come in all different kind of packages. There are the easy ones. There are the hard ones. And then there are the ones that seem to last longer than your typical nine months (by perhaps an extra day or two). Either way, having a bigger baby won’t make things any harder or easier. As a matter of fact, you might not even feel or recognize the difference until your next ultrasound appointment with your doctor. It’s not until many mothers realize that they are having a bigger baby that they begin to freak out about it!
Just because your baby might be a little on the bigger side, it doesn’t mean that he or she is looking to have a side of extra fries with that In-N-Out burger while in the womb (although if you do have one, we doubt anyone is complaining in there). If your doctor tells you that you’ve got a future mini-wrestler growing inside of you, don’t think that means you have to eat more calories throughout the day. You get the idea. Now, if you do decide on eating two In-N-Out burgers in one sitting, we are not here to judge. In fact, we might even be a little jealous.
While it’s true that a baby’s size has nothing to do with his or her due date, there is a possibility that you might end up giving birth earlier than anticipated. That’s because your doctor might want to make sure that your baby isn’t too big by the time they are ready to make their grand debut into this world. Plus, giving birth to a bigger baby might put more pressure and stress on the mom who is about to deliver the child! With that being said, if your doctor does detect a child that might be bigger than expected, he or she might schedule your delivery earlier than anticipated.
Boys aren’t any bigger or smaller than girls, and yes, girls aren’t any bigger or smaller than boys. In other words, your baby’s gender has nothing to do with their size or their stats. There have been plenty of world record holders that have been both boys and girls. There’s just no rhyme or rhythm behind it. But what we do know is that you will end up loving and adoring your baby, regardless of its gender, size, appearance, and all of the other stats in between. Plus, we love baby boys just as much as we love baby girls!
If your doctor suspects that you might have a difficult delivery because of your ‘bigger’ child, he or she might recommend a C-section. According to the Australian site Essential Baby, there’s a study that suggests large birth size forecasts are often inaccurate. This often leads to more C-sections. "Childbirth is seen as a painful process, to begin with," said Erika Cheng, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Public Health. "When you're told your baby will be large, it conjures up images of more pain, and risks and complications that might harm you and your baby. Women understandably might want to avoid that."
If a C-section is not in the cards, don’t panic. There’s a strong possibility that your doctor might look at an alternative route, or could recommend that you get induced. Sure, it might not be part of your game plan, but trust that your doctor wants what’s best for you and your new bundle of joy. Also, don’t believe the myth that getting induced will make your labor and delivery more painful. “Telling mothers their baby will be large has a profound effect and contributes to undermining women's confidence they can deliver the baby," said Eugene Declercq, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health(via Essential Baby).
And while this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to double your calories, it does mean that many moms should be mindful of the things that they eat. If you don’t already have a meal plan that is rich with fruits and vegetables, definitely consider your options. A lot of moms do believe that what they eat during their pregnancies do impact their children one way or another. If you end up craving a lot of meat, there’s a good chance that your child will appreciate a big juicy steak later in his or her life. Or if you like things that are on the sweet side, you might end up raising a chocolate-loving kid (meaning the two of you can share Halloween treats later in life, too).
Just because you might have a baby bump that’s on the bigger side, that doesn’t mean you have a big baby growing inside of you. And yes, just because your baby bump is small, that also doesn’t mean that you have a small child growing inside of you, either. As we’ve mentioned above, there’s really no way to predict how your baby will look like the moment you meet him or her for the very first time. And yes, we totally believe it when moms admit just how annoying it when unauthorized people like to touch, comment and give their opinions about your baby bump size. Honestly, it’s no one’s business how you look, right?
We're sorry to break it to you, but doctors aren’t always right. We trust that they have your best interest at heart, but even sometimes they might be off in their baby size predictions. Don’t fret, because that’s totally normal. According to the University of Michigan, doctors have a better idea of determining a baby’s size during the third trimester and with ultrasound detection. But, they aren’t always correct or accurate for that matter. Researchers say that “this technology can be off by as much as 20 percent, meaning a baby expected to be 10 pounds could be anywhere from 8 to 12 pounds.”
It doesn’t matter when your baby was born, how big your baby was, or what time of the day or night you gave birth: each child and their personality, along with their demands and their quirks, are different. No two babies on this planet or going to be the same. Some parents might find themselves blessed with an ‘easy’ baby. Others might find themselves pulling their hair out (because they are going crazy or the lack of sleep is getting to them) by the second month. But don’t think that an average-sized baby is more or less demanding than one that’s smaller or bigger. It’s the baby’s personality (and perhaps even the environment) that makes the difference.
Just because you have a baby that might be setting hospital records, that doesn’t mean you will be there longer than the average stage (unless, of course, there are complications). And even then, there’s a strong possibility that you will have a team of doctors that will monitor every step of the way. “The risk of complications to both mom and baby increases with a newborn’s size, but that doesn’t mean a cesarean delivery is necessary,” Dr. Marzano says adds in his study. But the truth of the matter is, scaring many moms-to-be is the last thing that any doctor would want to do. Awareness is always the key to making a better and more informed decision.
Bigger babies just might be nature’s way of throwing us off (which regularly happens, right?). A report by the University of Michigan states that women with higher sugar consumption pass that glucose through the placenta and on to their babies. As a result, the baby’s pancreas senses it and it makes more insulin to handle the higher load of sugar, thus creating a larger baby. Dr. David Marzano, M.D., an OB-GYN at the University of Michigan notes, “I’ve had these tiny women who’ve gained practically no [mass] and who exercise regularly give birth to large babies. It makes me think, hmm, nature’s weird.”
A lot of parents tend to believe the misconception that a bigger baby usually means a bigger child, a bigger teen and a bigger adult later on in their lives. But that’s not true. Many health professionals agree that a baby’s stats will fluctuate, especially during the first several weeks of their lives. They can be both positive and not so positive signs, depending on the baby’s health. Either way, parents are advised not to worry unless their child’s pediatrician gives them a concrete reason to worry. And even then, they will have a game plan to guide you in helping your baby get back on a healthy track.
Does a bigger baby mean that he or she will demand more food after birth? Not necessarily. In fact, a baby that is on the smaller side might demand just as much milk as one of their bigger counterparts. When you’re hungry, you are hungry, right folks? You are going to want that food no matter where it comes from, and yes, babies are the same way, especially when it comes to their milk supply. If you gave birth to a child that came in over 8 pounds and 13 ounces, say it loud and proud, mama! There’s nothing more beautiful in this world than a healthy, thriving child that enters this world with so much love to give (and receive!).
While we can definitely talk about the pros and some of the cons that come with having a baby (although there are very few), one thing is for certain: Moms shouldn’t feel worried. In fact, they should feel proud that they carried so much love inside their wombs for nine months. It’s something to feel great about as it is quite an accomplishment, just like all of the other pregnancies out there. When it comes to your baby’s stats, be loud and proud. Shout it from the rooftops if you need to. Remember, you made this baby, along with your partner. This is your best accomplishment yet!
According to pediatricians and health experts, there have been some stats that suggest bigger babies sleep better – and longer – throughout the night. So you know what that means for you, mamas! A bigger baby might result in more shut-eye for you. According to Baby Center, while every child’s sleeping patterns are unique, there’s more of a possibility that bigger babies throughout the night than his or her smaller counterparts. Although, keep in mind that a good night of rest is connected to the maturity of a child’s central nervous system more than anything else. Within time, every baby will sleep without interruption at night.
Let’s face it: It doesn’t matter what your baby’s stats are because, at the end of the day, you are going to love your little bundle of joy no matter what. We can almost guarantee it. While no one will tell you whether you will have a small baby, a big baby, or just an average sized baby, the love that you will have for your child will always exceed anything and everything you’d ever expect. After all, parenthood does change your life for the better. It might not be a one-size-fits-all kind of job, but it will end up being the most rewarding role of your life.
Source: Michigan State University, WebMD, NBC News, CNN