My Little Man :: Raising a Smaller Than Average Son

My sweet son is tiny … really tiny.

He’ll be three in February and is just starting to outgrow his 12 month sized clothing that he’s been wearing for over a year. His height and weight measurements don’t even fall on the growth chart, but he his growing slowly but surely. Really his small stature should come as no shock. I’m only 5”2’ and have mostly shopped in the petite section my entire adult life. My husband is only 5’5” and still has to have his pants hemmed despite buying the shortest inseam available. There is no denying that my son isn’t genetically destined to be a large guy.

People always ask if he was a preemie. Weighing 7lbs 1oz at birth, he was an average size newborn and stayed the course until about six months of age. He never had any problems with feeding and nursed with ease until a little over one year. At some point between his six and nine month check-ups, his growth slowed and his pediatrician became concerned that my milk supply was to blame. We began returning to our pediatrician every two weeks for weight checks, none of which resulted in the rapid growth an infant should be experiencing. Adding formula to his diet was mentioned but overruled when during one visit to the doctor, he was weighed before and after a feeding and gained nine ounces. Clearly, my milk supply wasn’t the issue. It was suggested that we add healthy fats to his baby food, and I began to get very creative with how to sneak in lots of fat and protein to his diet.

A few months later at his one-year check-up, he still hadn’t grown much but had been sick quite frequently since six months of age. We attributed his slow growth to his frequent illnesses. We booked an appointment with an ENT for a consultation for tubes and scheduled an appointment with an immunologist (almost a five month wait). Meanwhile, following placement of his tubes and an appointment with a pulmonologist who resolved my boy’s issue with chronic wheezing, our little man was a happy, healthy toddler who was meeting all of his milestones. I wasn’t overly worried, but our pediatrician still seemed concerned.

Here were are a year and a half later, and our journey for answers regarding our son’s slow growth has also included appointments with an endocrinologist, nutritionist and a geneticist. Ultimately, all of his blood work has been normal, and every doctor has assured us that our sweet boy is simply on the low end of the normal range and is setting his own pace when it comes to his growth.

I’m not sure why I was so worried about his size for so long. Maybe it’s society’s obsessions with size and the excessive number of comments or questions we get daily about his age and size, or maybe it was a side-effect of my pediatrician voicing concern, but either way I take comfort in knowing he is healthy and has developed normally. Despite his petite statue, he’s an active, happy and hilarious toddler. He keeps us and his teachers on our toes. Once, when I picked him up from daycare, I expressed my concern about his size resulting in him being bullied when he was older. His teacher assured me that I shouldn’t worry; he holds his own amongst his peers. Now, at two and half years of age, he’s about the size of a one-year old. I haven’t purchased new clothes for him in over a year, and I can really enjoy toting him around like he’s my baby for a while longer.

While physically he’s tiny, his personality is not and he wins hearts over every where we go. I don’t worry anymore about him being tiny anymore; I appreciate that it’s a part of who he is and makes him even that much cuter.  

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