October 26, 2007 / 4:20 PM / 10 years ago

The world's fattest baby, Siberia and beetroot soup

ALEISK, Russia (Reuters Life!) - Looking after the possibly the world’s fattest baby is not easy -- especially when you live in a cramped apartment in Siberia and have 11 other children to care for.

Tatyana Khalina gave birth on September 17 to Nadia, who weighed a whopping 7.75 kg (17.1 lb) at birth. A month later Nadia was finally able to go home from hospital to the family’s three-bedroom apartment in Aleisk, a town in Russia’s Far East.

“We aren’t planning any more kids,” Tatyana told Reuters as she cradled Nadia in her apartment. “From now on we are hoping only for grandchildren.”

Behind her the floral wallpaper peeled at the corners, baby clothes hung on a line slung across the room and a lace curtain covered the window.

The air was thick with the shouts and laughter of Tatyana’s children playing in the apartment -- she now has nine daughters and three sons. The oldest is 12 years old.

Tatiana’s husband is Viktor, a driver in the Russian army.

“For the kids I receive 3,500 rubles ($141.3) a month and Viktor’s salary is 10,000 rubles,” she said, scratching her arm. “That’s only enough for food.”

That works out at a monthly income of around $545 for the family of 14.

The family eats four loaves of bread and six liters of traditional Russian beetroot soup everyday as well as vegetables. Meat is served on holidays.

“Clothes, toys, shoes are all brought by our neighbors. We just have old clothes,” Tatyana said.

Nadia Khalina lies in a pram next to her mother Tatyana (L) as her brothers and sisters look on in their apartment in the Siberian city of Aleisk October 26, 2007. Khalina gave birth on September 17 to Nadia, who weighed a whopping 7.75 kg (17.1 lb) at birth. The heaviest baby ever born weighed 10.8 kg in the United States in 1879 but it died within 11 days. The latest edition of the Guinness Book of Records notes a Brazilian baby born this year weighed 7.57 kg. Nadia was heavier. REUTERS/Andrei Kasprishin

Tatyana placed Nadia gently back in an old pram. It is also her cot.

Nadia has lost a bit of weight and the doctors say she could have heart problems, Tatyana said. But today her daughter smiled gently when one of her sisters kissed her on the forehead and rocked her in her arms.

In the kitchen Viktor played with the other children.

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“I promised my father that we would have an entire football team,” he said grinning. “But we never got there as we mostly had girls, so we’ve ended up with a volleyball team instead.”

Buying a mini-van for family trips to the countryside is Tatyana’s dream.

“We also want to get Nadia in to the Guinness Book of Records, but we don’t know how to get in touch with the record keepers,” Tatyana said.

Simply apply via the internet or write a letter, Guinness World Records told Reuters by telephone from their headquarters in London.

The heaviest baby ever born weighed 10.8 kg in the United States in 1879 but it died within 11 days. The latest edition of the Guinness Book of Records notes a Brazilian baby born this year weighed 7.57 kg. Nadia was heavier.

“If there is such an outstanding claim we encourage the family to apply,” Guinness World Records said.

A certificate from Guinness World Records could soon be hanging on wall of the family’s cluttered, cramped and youthful apartment.

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