The National Parenting Center

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Preventing Overweight Babies

A fat baby is not necessarily a healthy baby. From the beginning, try to teach your child to stop eating before she reaches a point of satiation. By that I mean a sense of complete fullness and reluctance to eat another bite. If your family has a problem with easy weight gain, you can try to prevent you baby from becoming a roly-poly.

• First, don’t assume that a crying baby is always hungry. Most crying babies simply want to be held and cuddled.

• Second, don’t assume a sucking baby is hungry. Your baby may just want a pacifier or help in finding her thumb.

• Third, don’t assume your baby is hungry every time she fusses in hot weather. Your baby may just be thirsty and need some extra water.

• Fourth, don’t insist that your baby finish every bottle, finish each jar of baby food, or even that she cleans her plate.

• Fifth, don’t give your baby food to distract her. Instead, offer toys when you need some free time.

From the beginning, help your infant distinguish hunger from her other needs. Eating habits are hard to change.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.


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