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Weighing in…

One of the greatest sources of anxiety for any new mother is her baby’s weight gain. Anyone who has been through it can attest to that. I always found it amazing how personally invested I was in fattening up my kids. When my baby gained weight, I was flooded with joy and an acute sense of accomplishment, and when she didn’t, I was devastated.

I remember when I went to the first meeting of a new mom’s group after I had my first baby. The woman running the program mentioned that she would have a baby scale available at each session, and a ripple of excitement tore through the room. But she also warned us not to become obsessive. The new Healthometer Convertible Baby/Toddler scale is a brilliant idea, but has the potential to be a Pandora’s Box, especially for new moms coping with slow weight gain.

The design is revolutionary. The teddy-bear shaped scale comes with an infant insert, so it can be used from birth and up to 60 lbs (23 kilograms), weighing in 1/2 ounce increments. There is even a calibration feature that allows parents to factor in the weight of a diaper or clothing. The package includes a growth chart that tracks your child’s height and weight against national averages*.

I love the longevity of the scale, but I worry about it promoting obsessive behavior, especially in the early weeks. There’s something nice about relegating the stress of the weigh-in to the doctor’s office, so you can at least try to put it out of your head most of the time. If the scale is in the next room, I imagine it would be a much more omnipresent concern.

With all this in mind, I do recommend this product. I think it’s a great piece of equipment, and if used with a good sense of perspective, it could be really useful over a nice, long time period.

*For breastfeeding moms, keep in mind that the national averages listed in this (or any) growth chart include data from infants who were not exclusively breastfed, and breastfed babies grow at a different rate than babies who are formula-fed. You can find really helpful information about this at

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