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September 17, 2010


Deb Lamborn

I solute you and agree! And dang it! I'll add that at 47 and having had 5 kids, I don't have to be the size I was when I got married! Pregnancy changes the body! As does age.

(You go girl!)


I LOVE chubby babies. I love little babies with rolls of fat and cheeks that are just begging to be smacked on. And I SO needed to hear this today. Our weight does not define us--and a little extra body fat can be good--specially if you're preggo! :-)


Let me just say, you are awesome.

Enna Isilee

I'm going to have to concur with Melody. This was a great post for ALL people, not just the preggers and babies. :)

Jaclyn Weist

I love chubby babies and I think when you read chubby babies or whatever in books it helps you see that baby a little better.

I think weight is a funny thing. I'm 40 pounds more than I was in high school but 25 pounds less than when I was pregnant. So I look big to those I grew up with but great to those that have known me pregnant. I like having curves I didn't have before and could lose others.


Aw..my babies are scrawny little things despite my best breastfeeding efforts. I always feel self conscious because yes, babies are supposed to be fat. But it makes me feel bad when people go on and on about how cute chubby babies are, while I'm trotting mine off to the nutritionist twice a week.

But I shall pray yours are nice and dimply, with those wonderful little wrist rolls.

Debbie (Celes)

I've always loved that line in Goose Girl. I think chubby babies are incredibly adorable, and I love what you point out about pregnancy! We get so caught up in thinking about keeping weight off, that we forget when it's necessary.

Abby Minard

What a great post! I think you are totally right- friends of mine with babies always use that sort of ashamed tone of voice when they say their baby is chunky, chubby or fat. I never really noticed it, and would just nod along, but you are so right about it.


Absolutely!!! Tell it like it is, brood mother! ;)



Jennifer Kartchner

Shannon! You make me smile… what a force you are for keeping our "perseptions" correctly aligned!

Laura Z M

I loved living in Latin America where the words gorda (fat) and hermosa (beautiful) are often used in the same sentence.

Espero que des a luz a dos bebés muy gorditas y hermosas.

Melissa (Book Nut)

You're wonderful, Shannon. Just wanted to say that.

Samantha Stewart

This is awesome. It makes me feel good about calling the 9 month old "my little fatty" and "my sweet little fatling." I love his roundness!


I agree! I love fat baby legs in particular; one of my favorite baby features next their soft little feet!

Fat bottom babies, they make the rockin' world go round!


Amen! What more can I say. Poetry, beauty, art. Thank you for posting that.


Usually if I want to comment on a baby's chubby cuteness, I say "those cheeks!" or something a little more general.

But I do see where the offended parties are coming from. If you call a baby fat, a parent might think that you mean "Your baby is overweight! You're doing a bad job raising her!" So they try to defend themselves.

Karen Adair

You go girl!!! I gained almost 50 pounds with each of my seven pregnancies and by the second month of nursing half of that weight was gone. My children are healthy as am I. Weight has its purposes and is not something to be ashamed of. On the flip side I'm trying to drop a few pounds earned through writing on the computer, and there are a few people who look at me like I'm passing judgment on overweight people because I want to lose weight. There's no winning sometimes. :) Enjoy that weight!!! And the wait. :) It will all be worth it in the end.


Yes! I just reread The Goose Girl and smiled at that line from the nurse. Of COURSE babies are supposed to be fat and dimply and delightful. And I hope you and your babies BOTH continue to gain healthy weight.


I totally understood the parasite line. I just had a nine pound baby, and in the last six weeks of pregnancy I lost six pounds. Since I'm underweight to begin with, I hated it! I wanted my pounds to be climbing! Maybe I'll come over and bring some awesomely filling foods and we can work on our weight gain together.

Dr. Sallie N. Cheinsteen

Amen, sister!


I'm pregnant with my 7th baby (no twins).
I start skinny and gain 5 pounds whenever i go to the doctor... once a month- 5 lbs. once every two weeks-5 lbs. once a week-5 lbs. (I often notice the nurse double checking my chart just to be sure she has the right person.) At the beginning, people say they can't even tell i'm pregnat. I tell them... just wait. Once, a girl at church commented, "My, your lips don't look as swollen this week as last week."
I like to say... i'm flat chested so nobody wonders if i've had a boob job. And, i show woman everywhere what a REAL pregnant momma looks like.

And, i completely agree. NOTHING is better than a fat baby. bum rolls, wrist rolls, ankle rolls, sweat stuck under their neck... oh how i LOVE chubby babies.
(I'm not even sure how to hold a skinny baby.)

So, here's hoping you have two chubbers. For fun, you can watch TLC "I didn't know i was pregnant" and yell at the absolute unrealistic idea that someone could gestate 9 months and NOT KNOW they have another human being inside them.

Mrs. Mordecai

I have a friend who says you need to gain 5 pounds every decade of your adulthood to look normal.

Je Reve

I always call babies I like (whether they are flesh endowed or not) fat. It is the only time in their lives where it is a term of affection. Baby thighs are supposed to jiggle, and their faces are supposed to have cheeks a mile wide. They're not ever walking yet, so no way to punch the pounds!

T. Thomas

I completely agree about babies and pregnant moms! I AGREE most definitely! You've said this in a way that put voice to my thoughts. Thank you!


My niece was so perfectly fat when she was little, she had permanent wrinkles around her wrists. She was the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. (Her sister, too.) Fat babies are the best! If I see a skinny baby I worry.


I still call my 17-month-old my "chubby baby" and I only realized like a week ago that she's actually NOT anymore, she's gone and stretched out and gotten tall, and I thought I should probably stop calling her that. But yeah, baby fat=good! I don't understand how anyone could think otherwise. But then, I don't understand society's obsession with weight in general: even if you're looking at it from a health (instead of a looks) perspective, the real issue isn't WEIGHT, it's proper nutrition and exercise. Just because excess weight is OFTEN associated with poor eating habits and lack of exercise, there are plenty of naturally skinny people who don't eat right or exercise enough, and that's having a bad effect on THEIR health too, even without the excess weight. And someone who's genetically bigger around could be doing everything RIGHT in their diet and exercise, and just because they don't look as SKINNY as some people, they could actually be much healthier!


One of my old teachers adopted her daughter just because she didn't want to ruin her body. I think that's one of the vainest, most selfish things I have ever heard.


Chubby babies are adorable. I don't see anything wrong with them other than they're too cute for words. :D


Squeetus needs a facebook/twitter 'like' button! :) Amen to all of your post! ;-)


My 3 month old has taken her time in chunking up. She's finally gotten some cute rolls on her thighs, though, so I'm less worried. My oldest daughter was chu-uh-uh-uh-uhnky and it was a weird experience because I wasn't worried about it but sometimes I felt like I should be with some of the things people said. And then sometimes people would think they needed to make me feel better that my daughter was chubby. Weird. And weirdest of all is sometimes I find myself worrying about what people think after all. CRAZY! It's that Gaze those feminists talk about all over again!


Fat babies are probably the cutest things on earth!!!

melissa @ 1lbr

Around here, we refer to them as "plumptuous" - I don't know if that is more acceptable, but it sure sounds fun :) And we certainly prefer our babies that way!


Yes, yes, yes!

I'm due in a little more than 2 weeks, and it makes me so sad to hear other pregnant women worry SO much about the weight they're gaining. If you're eating mostly vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and your body is craving pizza and ice cream...eat!! It's telling you you need more fat!

I've been gaining fairly slowly so far, and am carrying in such a way that I haven't shown nearly as much as people expect me to by certain times. However, to a pregnant woman, "You're tiny!" or "You barely look pregnant!" is really not a compliment. I WANT to look pregnant, dang it. I'm working hard for this belly!


Hurrah for Shannon Hale in an amazing rebellion against the readers of her stories in...okay, I'll shut up now


My little brother was born with hugely enourmously fat thighs. Seriously! The rest of him looked like a regular chubby baby, but we had little old ladies at the supermarket walk up and exclaim, "Oh my heavens! Would you LOOK at those THIGHS!!" whilst emphatically piching them. He had fat layers upon fat layers on those things. I swear everything he ate went straight to thsoe thighs! I don't think his thunder thighs are any fatter now at three years than they were at nine months. It's just stretched out, so you can't tell. :)

On the other hand, another younger sibling of mine, a sister, was born three weeks early and she had no fat. It was scary. Mom hadn't gained much weight either, and we had a hard time upping those pounds on my sister. Fat is definitely healthy for both babies and moms.

Eat lots of ice cream and cookies!


Seriously, how could anyone not love a fat baby :)


I just want to say, my little sister was one of the fattest babies I have ever seen. She had these huge little cheeks and we used to call her "Chubby Cheeks." It was a term of endearment! :D

Princess Luna

Absolutley!!! Agree with you 100%


"One of my old teachers adopted her daughter just because she didn't want to ruin her body. I think that's one of the vainest, most selfish things I have ever heard."

Or maybe she had several reasons for adopting and just didn't care to share them all with you - and a good thing if you're going around judging her choice to give a child a loving home as "selfish"!


i love calling babies "gloriously fat"


this made me feel so much better!! I'm 22 weeks pregnant with baby #1 and of course I've gained weight. Probably around 18 lbs so far. Yipes! I hate looking at my face in the mirror because it appears I have gained ten pounds in just my cheeks.

Thank you thank you for the encouragement, Shannon!
Hooray for "healthy" chubba-lubbas! (preggies and babies)


There is nothing better than nuzzling those chubby neck rolls on a baby. Well, maybe squishing those chunky thighs.


I love fat babies, too. Mine were all so skinny and whenever I saw fat ones I just wanted to squeeze them. One reason people may be sensitive to having their babies called "fat" is that the doctor may have told them it isn't healthy. Some fat is good, of course, but evidently too much is linked to adult obesity and other long term health problems.


I can't believe someone would be offended by you complimenting a fat baby. Isn't that the point of babies? Little gorgeous bundles of fat and happiness?

Fat isn't a bad thing. Fat is not the enemy. If someone is obese, they shouldn't be angry at the fat. The fat is the RESULT of poor diet, not the CAUSE of their dissatisfaction. We have such a distorted outlook on pretty much everything in this culture, and it bugs me to death.

Good luck on gaining weight for those wonderful little chubbers in your belly! Hope it's not too miserable, dear. I am praying for you.


My son was so fat, we started calling him "Chunkboy". People constantly told me, "You better stop calling him that soon, he's not going to like that nickname when he's older." I've been ignoring them. I'm going to be writing him, "Dear Chunkboy" letters on his mission!


I was way too thin as a baby, both my sisters were fat, but everyone wondered if my mom was trying to starve me. My sisters always tease me about it...


I adore this post, well said! My baby was a absoluelty gorgeous and a complete chunkster! In fact you commented on his leg rolls at a book signing :-)


I want to apologize for my former post. I shouldn't have called the woman selfish. My intention was to illustrate how silly it is for someone to worry so much about their body, but of course I'm happy that she was able to give the child a good home.

Tiffany Schmidt

Yes, yes, a million times yes! One of the most disturbing trends I've noticed amongst my peers with babies is a need to "compete" by comparing their babies' statistics. Bragging rights seem to be associated with having a baby with a LOW weight percentile. This makes me ill & I've gotten in more than a few heated debates about the topic.

Me? I want my twins to be born as big as possible and continue to pudge up into healthy, happy babies.

*bellybump of agreement!*

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