When Tezra Finn-Johnston, 31, and girlfriend Emily Derrick, 23, left hospital with their new baby, she could already support her own head.
She was born on January 31 and weighed just 5lbs 9oz, which was on the 5th percentile, meaning she weighed less than 5% of other babies her age.
But now 15-weeks-old, Lula is able to stand unassisted, supporting her own weight and her parents thing she might have been inspired by the strongman clips they watch on Youtube.
Tezra, from Kingswood, Bristol said: ‘When she was about a month old, she was having a tantrum and I tried to sit her on my knee to calm her.
‘Instead of sitting down, she just stood on my knee and wouldn’t bend her legs.
‘She did it a few more times later on in the weeks – eventually, I thought well if she can do it while she’s annoyed, maybe she can do it when she’s happy.
‘I tried to hold her and supported her, and she managed to take her own weight.’
Anecdotally, the pair don’t know anyone with a baby who was able to do any of those things so early.
Tezra added: ‘Everyone seems to think that it’s unusual that she can hold herself up, even just sitting, let alone standing.
‘I asked my mum – I’m one of four, and none of my siblings could hold their weight at her age.
‘From everything I’m reading, it should be about nine months to a year that they should be able to support their own weight.’
The pair first noticed this when they brought Lula home from the hospital, five days after she was born.
Tezra said: ‘Pretty much from the day we left hospital she was able to support her head a little bit more than we thought she should be able to.
‘She was holding it up for a few seconds and that shouldn’t be for a few weeks, but pretty much straight away she was able to do that.’
The pair watched the Babies documentary on Netflix and learned that babies are inherently programmed to crawl from birth, so they thought Lula might be able to.
Her dad added: ‘I put her down on the mat and she was trying to crawl a bit.
‘Then I put my arm behind her and she was able to push herself up the mat – propelling herself from my hand with her legs.
‘She can also do it lying on her front as well.
‘We noticed that and she was able to do that first time, so that was impressive.
‘I’m just assisting her in doing what she likes doing – the first time we did it, she smiled at me.
‘It’s like she’s showing off – she looks at you and smiles, it’s like she’s trying to be a big girl!’
Tezra is a big fan of strongman competitions, regularly watching videos on Youtube.
He claims Lula looks engaged when they watch the videos together – he jokes she might have been inspired by these to train herself.
Tezra thinks another reason for her strength might be a good muscle-to-weight ratio, based on the fact she was a small baby at birth.
One more might be her genes – Tezra stated that he’s always been able to build muscle quickly.
Tezra said: ‘I don’t advise other people to try this with their baby, but I watched Babies on Netflix and in there I just got a few ideas from that really.
‘I’ve just always enjoyed being strong.
‘When I was about 13, I started doing weight training and arm-wrestling – I was able to beat adults.
‘Since then I just took up the weights.
‘I just really enjoy being strong – not so much fit, but more the strength side of it.
‘I’ve always been interested in lifting as heavy as I can.
‘Only recently, since they’ve had Youtube, I’ve started watching some of the strong men on their private channels.
‘Eddie Hall, they call him The Beast – he was the World’s strongest man 2017 and he’s got his own Youtube channel, so I’ve been watching that.
‘Lula sits on my knee and we both watch that, so I like to think she is training herself.’
She isn’t walking just yet but with the leaps she has made so far, they think she might be able to do it earlier too.
Postwoman Emily said: ‘When I give her rattles and stuff to play with, she doesn’t seem young enough to want them.
‘She just seems a lot older than she actually is.
‘I’m just like, “oh don’t grow up yet!”‘
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