Why do we care how much newborn babies weigh? 2021-01-16 15:52:52

I don't have kids, but I have certainly been exposed to the stages of life through family members. Every baby announcement I have seen has a minimum of two components: gender and weight.

I can understand gender. If a mother has had nine girls and the tenth baby is a boy, that is significant. Although, I'm not sure how much longer we'll even have this component considering the culture wars around gender. Anway, gender I get.

Why do we need to know the weight of a baby in pounds and ounces? Those numbers don't mean anything to me. If it's a healthy baby, who cares how much it weighs? Who cares if the baby was 8 pounds, 10 oz or 9 pounds 4 oz. Maybe this is for mothers who have given birth and are able to compare the weight of someone else's baby to theirs? So they can say, "Oh wow, that's a big baby!" Okay, now what? Again, what purpose does the specific weight serve in the announcement to the world?

Why not announce if the baby was born in a breech position? Or whether it was a natural birth or Cesarean delivery, which has implications for the baby's microbiome development? Or how about the full APGAR score? What if it's a black baby born to ostensibly two white parents? That should definitely be on the announcement. 

Brandon Wilson

Life Hacks: Cures and Solutions What's for dinner?
Why do people obsess over pre IPO startup valuations? I think people take pride in how great their baby might be by indexing on really tangible and more importantly compareable attributes.
2021-01-16 15:55:44
When I hear others speak about their baby weight stories, I always trump them with the story of me and my twin brother, both of us weighed nearly nine pounds, and we were both born breach. My poor mother.
2021-01-17 06:39:26
My guess it's for a similar reason some people care to know about the specific movement in their watch or the number of cylinders in their car engine. That isn't to say babies are watches, or watches are engines - rather, I think we are inclined to forage for information on things that are dear to us. On that same note though, to not know the weight of one's baby doesn't necessarily mean that we don't care - as you say, we can decide at any point that some facts are just not that relevant. The answers to all the questions are definitely worth noting and I would have to believe that knowing how much your baby weighs would preclude you from storing that info. 
2021-01-17 18:43:14
Haha wow that's a savage way of positioning Brandon as a person lacking empathy of parents and empowering the perspective of said parents! I can't wait for future Brandonian Doctrines so that you can come chime in in this manner.

BTW brandon has a whole series of these doctrines. He'll share them with you one day : )
2021-01-17 18:55:06
I still have yet to hear an answer that makes sense. Ok fine, if new parents want to know the weight of their babies, fine by me. Why does it need to be announced to everyone else? 
abrahamKim
Oh I bet some of my episodes will definitely get a rise out of 
williamliao
2021-01-17 20:24:18
abrahamKim
Haha, no savagery intended at all. The details we choose to focus on for the things we care about often vary and that's perfectly okay. I look forward to future 
therealbrandonwilson
onian doctrines!
2021-01-18 01:14:25
Another thought, there is perhaps an element of cultural convention w.r.t sharing the weight of a baby. Both in the context of America and/or medical practice. It's a long shot, but there could be a neurophysiological component as well: if the weight of your baby is among the first things you hear shortly after deliver when a unique composition of neurotransmitters commensurate to the occasion, you may be inclined to encode that information as more valuable than you otherwise would. 
2021-01-18 01:24:28