Mothers are often very much disturbed because their babies do not weigh as much as some other baby of the same age. They cannot disabuse their minds of the injurious notion that babies must be fat. When a group of mothers get together they compare the weights of their babies. The mother whose baby is the fattest is apt to feel proud of her "superior" child, while the mother of the baby that weighs the least is quite apt to worry considerably. In most cases the mother of the light-weight should rejoice, while, the mother of the baby suffering from the fat-bloat should do the worrying.

There is, of course, considerable differences in the weight and height of perfectly normal babies. Heredity is involved in this matter. Children of short parents are not likely to be as tall as children of tall parents. There is no good reason why the two babies should be any more alike than their patents are. Two babies in the same family may also, as a matter of heredity, be of different sizes, not merely in infancy, but thoroughout life.

We are often reminded that a baby that weighed five pounds at birth should not weigh as much as a baby that weighed nine pounds at birth. Usually, however, the five pound baby will be as large, except for fat, as the nine pound baby and, unless the nine pounder continues to fatten, the five pounds child will catch him in weight and may even outweigh him.

Dr. Page reasoned thus: "During the nine months of foetal growth the increase, except in the case of monstrosities, is about one-third of an ounce per day, or two and one-half ounces per week. Why it should be deemed rational for this ratio to be increased six or seven hundred per cent., directly after birth, is beyond my comprehension. In spite, or because, of this hot-house forcing during the first few months, the usual weight at, say, five years, is much less than if the rate of pre-natal growth had been continued throughout these years."

It was his thought that the pre-natal rate of growth should continue for some time after birth and that the normal infant should double its weight in about nine months. If such babies are not fattened, this is just about what takes place.

The following figures giving the average heights and weights of males and females at various ages are taken from "The Infant and Young Child," by Morse-Wyman-Hill. I have not given the weights by months as these authors do. These weights up to the age of four years are without clothes. From four years onward the clothes are included. They allow about three pounds for the weight of the clothes.

Age

BOYS
Height
inches

BOYS
Weight
pounds

GIRLS
Height
inches

GIRLS
Weight
pounds

At birth

20.6

7.6

20.5

7.2

1 year

29.4

21.4

28.9

20.8

1-1/2 year

31.8

24.6

31.1

23.4

2 years

33.8

21.1

33.4

26.4

2-1/2 years

35.4

28.5

34.9

28.3

3 years

37.1

32.8

36.8

30.5

3-1/2 years

38.6

33.8

30.8

32.5

4 years

39.5

35.9

39.0

33.8

4-1/2 years

40.6

39.2

40.4

38.0

5 years

41.7

41.2

41.3

39.8

5-1/2 years

42.8

43.1

42.3

41.6

6 years

43.9

45.2

43.3

43.4

I append the following tables showing the development of my own children down to date. Comparisons of the weight and height are possible in the cases of the two boys, and it will be noticed that both of these outstripped the average in height, although both of their parents and all four of their grandparents are short of stature, the tallest of these being only five feet and nine inches. Although Bernarr took on fat easily, we have always had greater trouble to keep Walden from getting fat than we have had with Bernarr. It will be noticed that, although Walden was the largest at birth and weighed the most at one year, yet he did not grow in height as rapidly as Bernarr. All three of these children were too heavy at birth and this I was forced to overcome after birth.

   

BERNARR

   
 

LENGTH

WEIGHT

CHEST

HEAD

At Birth 20 inches 8-3/4 lbs. 13-1/2 inches  
1 month   8-3/4 lbs.    
2 months   9 lbs.   
3 months 24-1/2 inches 11 lbs. 15-5/8 inches  
6 months 28 inches 15 lbs. 16-1/2 inches  
1 year 30 inches 19-1/2 lbs. 18-1/4 inches 18-1/2 inches
2 years 35-1/2 inches 35 lbs. 22 inches 20-1/4 inches
3 years 39-1/4 inches 41 lbs. 22-1/2 inches 20-1/2 inches
4 years 42 inches 45 lbs. 23-1/4 inches 20-3/4 inches
5 years 45-1/2 inches 49-1/2 lbs. 24-1/2 inches 21 inches
6 years 47 inches 50 lbs. 25 nches 21 inches
        
   

WALDEN

   
At Birth 21-1/2 inches 9-1/2 lbs. 14 inches 14-1/2 inches
1 month   9-1/4 lbs.    
2 months   11 lbs.   
3 months 24 inches 14 lbs. 16 inches 16 inches
6 months 26-3/4 inches 18 lbs. 17-7/8 inches 16-3/4 inches
1 year 29-3/4 inches 20 lbs, 6-3/8 oz. 19-1/4 inches 18-1/2 inches
2 years 35-1/2 inches 33 lbs. 21 inches 19-3/8 inches
3 years 38-5/8 inches 41 lbs. 22-1/2 nches 20 inches
        
   

WILLOWDEEN

   
At Birth 19 inches 7 lbs. 12-1/2 inches 13-1/4 inches
1 week   7 lbs.   
2 weeks   7-1/2 lbs.    
3 weeks   8 lbs.   
1 month 20 inches 8-1/4 lbs. 13-1/8 inches 14-1/8 inches
2 months 21-1/4 inches 10 lbs. 14-1/2 inches 15 inches
3 months 22-1/2 inches 11-1/4 lbs. 15-3/4 inches 15-5/8 inches
4 months 22-3/4 inches 12-3/4 lbs. 16-1/2 inches 16 inches
5 months 24-5/8 inches 14 lbs.   16-1/8 inches
6 months 25 inches 14-3/4 lbs. 16-3/4 inches 16-1/2 inches

Relative to the rest of the body, the head is quite large at birth, being greater in circumference than the chest. This ratio changes as the child grows and develops. If he develops as he should, thc chest will be a little larger at one year than the head. Fat babies, if the fat is not discounted, may not do this.

The lack of symmetry of the head, due to its compression in labor, soon disappears. The soft spot at the back of the head closes at about six weeks. The fontanel, or soft place on the top of the head, closes at from sixteen to eighteen months. It may even close earlier in children of superior nourishment who get an abundance of sunshine.