‘Bringing Up Bates’ Stars Josie & Kelton Balka Welcome First Child

“Well…almost time to get started on Baby Number 2!”

Another Bates baby is on the scene!

Josie Bates, the 19-year-old daughter of Bates Family patriarch and matriarch Gil and Kelly, welcomed her first child with new husband Kelton Balka on Friday, July 19.

The couple gave their daughter the name Willow Kristy. (The baby’s middle name, Kristy, is in honor of Kelton’s mother, who died giving birth to her fifth child in 2009.)

Josie announced the baby’s arrival on Instagram on Friday.

“Our hearts are so full! Willow Kristy Balka was born July 19, 2019 at 2:23 a.m. weighing 6lbs, 10 oz and 19 inches long,” she captioned a photo of her and Kelton with their daughter. “We are so thankful to God for this little blessing and can’t wait to start our life as a family of three.”

The Bringing Up Bates stars certainly wasted no time expanding their family. Josie quickly went from teen bride to teen mom, announcing her pregnancy just four months after their wedding in October 2018.

“We are already so in love with our little one and so very thankful to God for his blessing on our life as we start our little family,” Josie told In Touch Weekly in February.

Like their slightly more famous pals, the Duggar Family, the Bates clan does not use birth control methods and leaves the number of children they have “up to God.” The Bates Family has been close to the Duggars for years, and the super-sized families continue to get together for celebrations.

Anna Duggar posted a congratulatory message to the new parents.

“Congratulations! Willow Kristy is adorable! Can’t wait to meet her,” Anna wrote on Instagram.

Josie’s brother and sister-in-law, Zach and Whitney Bates, also posted a congratulatory message on Instagram.

“Congratulations. Willow is perfect! The kids have not stopped talking about her since we met her!”

Josie’s mom and dad also posted about the birth of Willow on their family’s Instagram account.

“Long hours of labor always seem discouraging until that first glimpse of a tiny little face, and then everything in the world seems to disappear except for that precious little blessing that somehow steals your heart forever,” they captioned photos of the couple with Willow. “So grateful for a safe birth, wonderful hospital staff & midwife, loving family, and especially grateful for God’s gift of little Willow! Willow, you’ve already been prayed over and loved for these past months and now we can’t wait to actually cuddle you and watch you grow!”

RELATED STORY: More Duggar Girls! Josiah & Lauren Duggar Are Expecting A Baby Girl, As Are Joseph & Kendra Duggar

(Photos: Instagram)


  1. 19 years old and married with a child already?! How sad. Poor girl can’t even have a taste of life and adulting before being committed to a marriage and a child!

    1. Did you ever think that this was what she wanted?? The last I checked this is a free country and anyone of age can do as they want!!

    1. It’s a free country!!! At least she isn’t of Duggar blood!!!! The girls decide for themselves and aren’t controlled by their father or husbands!! Have you ever noticed that Gil cries whenever he has to give one of his daughters away. I see that as a mark of a truly loving father who only wants happiness for his children how/when that happens.

  2. She didn’t break out of the young marriage and baby requirements but at least she wears normal clothes. I was pretty shocked to see shoulders, shorts, pants and cute dresses. Seems like the Bates have broken out of the handmaiden only modest clothing. Best they may even be able to wear bathing suits!

  3. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    Kristy is for Kelton’s mom, who died in childbirth of her fifth child.

  4. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (comment token failure) *]
    Why are these people in such a hurry to have kids??? I’d wait a few years and travel with my new husband and do things together without kids yet….just saying

  5. Ugh, she’s so young. I wish she had a choice about when she will have her first child, not less than a year of being married because “it’s the right thing to do.”

    And I’m still sure her sister Michaela is hurting seeing all her siblings have babies so quickly while she is struggling to have her own. (They will be married for 4 years in August)

  6. Can’t imagine having a baby as a teenager, but it seems like with her upbringing she didn’t have another option. Good luck to all these Duggars and Bates and the families like them who just don’t have their TLC paychecks.

    1. She was brought up to follow her dreams and live her life as she wants. This is what she wanted, who are we to judge?? If you watch the show (which you clearly don’t), she fell in love with love with Kelton at 16 but SHE (not her father)decided to wait until she was older to grow serious about him!!!

  7. Congratulation she is so adorable can’t wait to see her on show. I love watching your family you all are so great. Best wishes to you.

    1. Hospitals aren’t a surefire safety measure. Anything can happen just as easily in a hospital as it can with a home birth via midwife!! Drs aren’t God, only He has control of the condition of a child. I was born in a hospital but I have Spina Bifida and am confined to a wheelchair.

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