When the birth of a baby is announced, why do they often tell you the baby’s weight? AFAIK, the only people who would be interested in that information are the parents and the pediatrician.
The best news is a healthy baby. Typically the bigger the child the better off it is. Small newborns come into the world fighting uphill.
This logic works up until about the 10 pound and above range when most people wince . . . and then express happiness about the healthy child.
Although most babies weigh somewhere between 6 and 8 pounds at birth (guessing - just that when folks hear less than 6 or more than 8, there’s more of a reaction), some don’t. And if you’re going to get a new baby outfit for them, this is important information.
For example, my son weighed in a 10 pounds, 12 ouches at birth, and was already bigger than “newborn” diapers and outfits. So, lots of returns on that one. (now, 16 years later he’s 6’1" and about 165 pounds).
Perhaps if we were Vulcans, then the printing of the birth weight would be seen as unnecessary. Actually, the whole birth announcement would be seen as unnecessary. But, as Humans, we find interest in other people’s business. Plus, we like to see our names in print.
Also, like the others said, announcing the birth weight gives an indication of the baby’s health and the parents’ birthing ordeal.
Weight, I agree because of some frame of reference concerning health, normalcy (and at the extreme - YEEOWCH!)
But I never understood length. “Wow, sounds like you got yourself a good long baby there!” Add in the inherent inaccuracy involved in measuring a baby (“Stretch him out a little more. We can make 20 inches.”) and it always struck me as a kinda stupid stat.
While you’re at it, why not compare APGAR scores? Might need those for applications to exclusive preschools.
I think the parents, whose brains are numb from the ordeal, just spill out all the information they have. It’s such an overwhelming experience they just assume everyone is interested.
Don’t know about you guys, but if I have a choice between some meaningless (to me) statistics, or being inflicted with some really gruesome pictures, give me some numbers, please. Please don’t share birth stories with the uninitiated.
We can all comment on the size of a baby. We all know the “specs” that we should start out as.
My mother gave me the ID card from the nursery at the hospital. It has my weight and length written on it, so the hospital must think it important. I started at 9 lbs 4 oz and 22", for those keeping track at home.
My mother also told me that when I was born I looked a lot bigger than the other babies and when she would look in at me at the nursery, she heard some other parents point to me and say, “Who gave birth to that thing? It looks like a boulder.”
I got real tired of people asking me “When is your wife due?” I joked that I was going to tatoo the due date on my face. I guess it is an easy way to make small talk.
Too true- the husband got lots of gory details before the birth of our son, and he REALLY didn’t need to know!
As a woman, I am curious about length/weight/length of labor. Why, you ask? Dunno, just curious, comparing to mine, etc.
FWIW, Zack was 6 lb 14 oz, 20", five good pushes & out he flew, APGAR was 9, 10, 10.
Not that I keep track, or anything!
Funny thing- my L & D nurse acted as if I was the only woman who had ever asked her what the baby’s APGAR score was.
Because it’s hard to say much about the baby’s career, education or hobbies.
Probably some truth in this. But on the other hand, after having a child, I found that other parents (of any age) seem to be very interested in such small details. Parents do a lot of comparing to other families…perhaps to provide some standard to judge their own experience against. To those without children, it may seem pointless. But becoming a parent has a way of changing your priorities.
My son cheated on his APGAR. I told him that he’d get caught – I’m sure it will keep him from getting into a good college – but there’s just no talking to them when they’re at that age.
And who’d ever believe a score of 71, anyway? That’s infants for you: willful and innumerate.
Ok, I’ll bite. What’s an “APGAR score”?
I didn’t reply before because coffeecat had already nailed my thought. But since the thread lives on, I’ll say it anyway. Having a child is a momentous event in one’s life, that you will want to share news of. But there just isn’t that much else to say about a healthy newborn.
As far as I’ve seen it’s just that it’s the only “unknown”, besides the name, that people can ask about.
They may tell you about the length of labor, and the baby’s length, just for something to say, but you can’t ask about those without being really close.
Usually even the sex no longer a conversation piece in these days of sonograms and amnio-whatsit.
When I see a new baby, I know I’m supposed to ask something, so that’s what I ask.
If you think that’s bad, you’re gonna hate MPSIMS.
What I would like to know is why almost everyone says:
she just had a baby girl or we just had a baby boy.
Isn’t it a given that what mom just had was a baby whether it be a girl or boy or babies…if mom had 2 or more babies?
Big fellow. No wonder there were so many ouches.
Actually, according to my mom, some people who heard me in the labor room later, when seeing my son said “no wonder she was swearing so much”. Mom didn’t know I knew words like that.