How Tall is that Baby, Anyway?

Baby’s are wonderful little creatures that are unspeakably cute. They even smell pretty good, which considering all the pooping and spitting up, is nothing short of miraculous. As the parent of two former babies, I know these things to be true.

But could someone explain to me why we need to know the length of babies?

We recently got a birth announcement with beautiful pictures of the precious little newborn. Very lovely — but there under the kid’s name and weight it said “21 Inches.”

First of all, I have no idea how long a baby is supposed to be. You could tell me the kid’s 12 inches long I’d have no idea that’s small. Is a 21 inch baby tall? Can you even say tall since they don’t stand up? Am I supposed to do a mental calculation between weight and length that tells me if it’s a chubby baby? A skinny baby. A big boned baby?

When I want answers, I go to the internet:

Most full-term babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 6 pounds, 2 ounces (2,812 grams) and 9 pounds, 2 ounces (4,173 grams). Their average length ranges from 19 to 21 inches (48 to 53 centimeters).

OK, so that is a tall baby.

Weight, on the other hand, I can understand. One baby in the maternity ward may weigh seven pounds while the one right next to it weighs nine pounds. If you think that’s no big deal, pick up a two pound package of ground beef at Price Chaopper. That’s a lot of baby meat.

We have our whole lives to be judged by our height and weight. Thank God your little baby is OK and starting life healthy and sound. I suppose we could do without the baby length — unless you want to do something funny, which would be describing your baby as being 1’8″.

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