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My 15-mo-old is tiny- ped says to wean.


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My 15-month-old had her checkup today and she only weighed 17 lb 2 oz, fully clothed with shoes on! She's actually lost a bit of weight since 12 months (she was 17 lb 14 oz then). She has fallen off the bottom of the weight chart, and the ped thinks that my still breastfeeding her has something to do with it. I've nursed 3 of my other children past a year, but those children cut back to just twice a day pretty quickly. My 15-month-old nurses at least 4 times a day still. She was 9 lb 5 oz at birth, and her weights were pretty consistent with what the other children weighed up through 4 months old. After that she really slowed down her weight gain. She is learning new words and climbing, so she's meeting other milestones. She's just tiny. The doctor checked her iron and it's fine. He told me to start giving her those liquid multivitamins with iron in them anyway, and work on weaning her once she's feeling better (she's teething and running a fever). I suppose if she doesn't gain by the time we go back for her 18 month appointment, he'll start looking for reasons.

 

Any opinions on this? Will cutting back on the nursing and making her hungrier for solid food help? She does eat food, and drinks a small amount of cow's milk (like an ounce a day, so not much at all!). Of course, she doesn't eat as much as her brothers who were 24-25 lb at this age, but I thought she was eating a decent amount. Should I be concerned that there's more going on here? I personally am taking my vitamins and eat a ton; is it possible my milk isn't "as good" as it was?

 

Anyway, in case it helps/matters, here are her weights:

birth 9 lb 5 oz

2 months 12 lb 10 oz

4 months 15 lb 4 oz

6 months 15 lb 10 oz

9 months 16 lb 14 oz

12 months 17 lb 14 oz

15 months 17 lb 2 oz

ETA- she has grown in height, and is pretty consistently somewhere between the 10% and 25% curves.

 

Thanks for any advice you all can give me!

 

On the bright side, we are really getting our money's worth out of the infant carseat....

Edited by lotsofpumpkins
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I can't imagine that nursing 4x a day is what's holding your dd's weight back. I think adding cow's milk on top of the nursing could mean she's getting too many calories from liquids. I would keep nursing but not tell my ped. I would up dd's consumption of high calorie, high nutrient foods and not worry too much as long as she's meeting those milestones and, as you said, consistent in the curves.

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If she's not getting enough nutrition, it's a bad idea to remove from her diet what amounts to the only perfect multivitamin in existence.

 

ITA I don't see how removing that would help at all. If it were my child, I would keep on bfing and try to add calories from other sources in addition to what she's getting from me. But that's just my 2 cents.

Edited by Wyndie
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My kids were tiny, I nursed them until they were 2 1/2. They didn't magically start gaining weight once they weaned and they're still at the bottom of the growth chart. I have a friend who has one kid who takes after his dad and is at the top of the growth chart, the other 3 kids take after her and are at the bottom of the growth chart.

 

Size is largely genetic.

 

I cannot tell you how frustrated I get when it comes to this topic. All 3 of my kids have been to the pediatric gastroenterologist, a geneticist and a nutritionist because of their size. Once we get the expert they tell us what we already know-there's nothing wrong with them, they are just small. That doesn't stop the pediatricians from sending us to experts. :glare:

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Do you have any reason to suspect that she might be intolerant to anything you or she might be eating? Dairy, wheat, and soy are the major culprits generally, I think, and can have an impact on nutrient absorption. I absolutely wouldn't wean her either, but I'd probably start investigating why she was still a cutie peanut :D

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She doesn't seem to have any problems with allergies. It's probably genetics, coupled with her increased physical activity lately (climbing on EVERYTHING).

 

Get this- we are applying for new health insurance. My 6 year old weighed 36 lb at his checkup a few months ago. The insurance company denied him insurance because he was under their minimum build requirements for his age. We took him to pizza hut's buffet and stuffed him and took him to the doctor to be weighed last week, and he was 40 lb (he's really about 38 lb; the 36 lb was a little low). We submitted the new number to the insurance and now we're fine.

 

So, this child is probably going to be like her brother- small. Then on the other extreme, I have two boys who are tall for their ages and look to be taking after my 6'6" grandfather. None of the other children are quite so skinny as the 6 year old and the 15 month old though!

 

The ped has never been concerned about her size before. But now that she actually lost weight, he is. She had on more clothing this time than last time too since it's colder, so the amount lost is probably a bit more than the 12 oz. The nurse even re-weighed her today, saying, she's supposed to gain weight, not lose it!

Edited by lotsofpumpkins
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I agree, cutting back on the breastfeeding will do little to increase appetite. Your milk is a wonderful part of her diet. Breastfeeding is just an easy thing to blame, when the Ped doesn't know what else to do.

 

I'd explore foods which are packed with good fat & protein (nut butters, lean meats). Also try whole fat Greek yogurt with berries. There is a reason we have a bell curve, not everyone is at 90%. :smash:

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She doesn't seem to have any problems with allergies. It's probably genetics, coupled with her increased physical activity lately (climbing on EVERYTHING).

 

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it then. If something was wrong, you'd be seeing other indicators. I definitely would NOT wean her.

 

Get this- we are applying for new health insurance. My 6 year old weighed 36 lb at his checkup a few months ago. The insurance company denied him insurance because he was under their minimum build requirements for his age. We took him to pizza hut's buffet and stuffed him and took him to the doctor to be weighed last week, and he was 40 lb (he's really about 38 lb; the 36 lb was a little low). We submitted the new number to the insurance and now we're fine.

 

And you know, this is not the first time I've heard this, only the first time was over a friend of a friend's 6-month-old infant who was TOO FAT :banghead: The whole thing makes my head spin around and pea soup fly from my mouth. It's absolutely CRIMINAL that insurance companies can do this. Maybe after the kids are grown, I'll go to law school and make it my job to nail health care execs' arses to the wall :cursing:

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If she's not getting enough nutrition, it's a bad idea to remove from her diet what amounts to the only perfect multivitamin in existence.

 

I agree with this.

In addition, it's good for the child to continue nursing. My 28 month old NEVER got sick until I stopped nursing him a few months ago. Last January every member of our family except him came down with the flu.

 

EBF children get immunity boosters, extra nutrition, avert allergies, comfort, and psychological well being. I can't see how stopping nursing would benefit your child.

 

You can introduce cow's milk and introduce/encourage more solid foods, but I wouldn't give up nursing. Some kids are just small. Mine we are all considered "short", and reasonably so since all family members on both sides are short.

 

Kids go through phases, while she may seem underweight right now, she could be chubby in a few months.

 

One thing I did do with my youngest after his first birthday was offer him table food first. I didn't want him to fill up on breast milk and have no room for real food. He was allowed to nurse after he had solid foods. If I had left it up to him he would have nursed full time and never eaten solid foods.

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I'd look on http://kellymom.com/ before I stopped nursing..... Nursing is the most perfect food.... (unless there's some type of weird allergy thing going on...) You might add some fat... like coconut oil... into smoothie type drinks, if you're worried. I'd cut juice or sugary drinks.... and nurse for as much liquid as you can. Of course, I'm of the persuasion that nursing until your child is ready to stop..... is the best. I nursed way past 2 with my children. One was chubby... the other a string bean... same milk:-) different little bodies:-)

Just remember... Drs practice.... they aren't gods.... they don't know everything... they are useful for the purpose that you have for them.... I don't really like to ask them how to discipline... or feed.. my child. I need them for prescriptions and such... OF course, I'd love to have a Dr who is a Mama who I agreed with.. and then maybe I'd be able to use their advice more...

PS... I wouldn't introduce milk from a cow... unless I wasn't able to give them milk... Another story altogether... but cow's milk has little value... in comparison to a mama's milk... and it's really not "better".. just a substitute... and why sub when you can give the real thing?? Cow's milk is pretty ...dead.... so when thinking "real" food.... I would be thinking ... "whole food" like oatmeal and such...

Carrie:-)

Edited by NayfiesMama
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Breastfeeding doesn't cause FTT unless it's restricted or exclusive. Since you're already giving her other nutrients, there is no reason to expect that weaning her will help. You might want to think about the foremilk vs. hindmilk issue, and make sure that you nurse a little longer each time, actually. If she is just nursing when she's thirsty, and not really satisfying her hunger with the fattier hind milk, you should be able to correct that by nursing longer, avoiding distracting environments to help her stay focussed, and maybe pumping out of the opposite side when she is nursing to get your supply up. You should have plenty of supply if she is nursing 4X daily, though; it's the moms who drop to once a day who sometimes lose their supply.

 

Also, if she is actually going backwards in weight, barring a recent cold or the teething stopping her from eating, she might have a more serious problem, and you don't want to wait to find that out. I'm really, really sorry to put that on the table, but I think you should seek out further testing. I have a niece who had one lung not connected to her heart, and this is how they found it. She had FTT at 15 months or maybe 12 months, and they did some tests, found that her heart was enlarged, and then that she was missing a major vein or artery or both (I don't remember which). Her heart was working so hard to keep going on half of the normal amount of air that she was sedentary and not growing. She had open heart surgery at 1 1/2, and is perfectly normal now, at 11. She has to see a pediatric cardiologist annually, and will have to have a bigger artificial blood vessel put in when she is older, but this operation has lasted a very long time so far. The doctors said that if they had not caught this she would have died of a heart attack, probably at age 5 or 6.

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Also, if she is actually going backwards in weight, barring a recent cold or the teething stopping her from eating, she might have a more serious problem, and you don't want to wait to find that out. I'm really, really sorry to put that on the table, but I think you should seek out further testing. I have a niece who had one lung not connected to her heart, and this is how they found it. She had FTT at 15 months or maybe 12 months, and they did some tests, found that her heart was enlarged, and then that she was missing a major vein or artery or both (I don't remember which). Her heart was working so hard to keep going on half of the normal amount of air that she was sedentary and not growing. She had open heart surgery at 1 1/2, and is perfectly normal now, at 11. She has to see a pediatric cardiologist annually, and will have to have a bigger artificial blood vessel put in when she is older, but this operation has lasted a very long time so far. The doctors said that if they had not caught this she would have died of a heart attack, probably at age 5 or 6.

 

That's the one thing that has me slightly concerned- what if there is something wrong with her? I don't want to seem paranoid and ask for all sorts of testing just yet though. I'm going to make sure she's eating and nursing well over Christmas, and then stop by sometime next month to weigh her (it's a small practice and super easy to just drop in for things like that). I do want to make sure the weight loss doesn't continue.

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I actually just experienced this at my ped office, and I am not returning. Actually it was the second time for me, but on the other extreme.

 

DD is tall and really really thin. She is 5, 34lbs, 43" tall. She has always been very thin. Dr. complained that I didnt give cow milk at a year old because she felt it would fatten her up. She throws up with dairy...so really wouldnt help with the weight gain!

 

DS1 is my chunk. He is NOT overweight, his is just a football player build. Tall and thick and strong. He is 3yo, 37lbs, and 39" tall. When he was just 4mos and exclusivly breastfed the Dr asked me to stop nursing between 7pm and 8am and to give him water in a bottle. This was the Drs idea of a baby "diet" because he was too big in his opinion. I refused and continued to nurse.

 

Now DS1 takes after DD, but even smaller. He is 1yo, 31" and 17lbs. He is also long and lean. Dr. just told me to wean him at his 10mo appointment to get him to eat more solids and gain more weight. She was also convinced that his iron would prove to be to low. She was wrong, it was just fine. He is turning 1 next week, and I am taking him elsewhere for his next appointment. I think many ped's know nothing about breastfeeding at this point!

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Some kids are just small. I wouldn't worry if she's healthy and active. Is her hair shiny? Does her skin look healthy? Does she have energy? Is she driving you batty getting into things?

 

FWIW, my oldest was 19 pounds at 9 months. It took him until he was 15 or so months to crack 20 pounds. He's still small at 10--he just broke 50 pounds in the last couple of weeks.

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Don't wean her but consider possible allergies. Dairy and Wheat allergies could mean that she iw working os hard to get rid of the toxins that she isn't able to put as much into growth. Nursing has nothing to do with it and I certainly wouldn't take away such a good source of nutrition from a child who is extra tiny.

 

She eats lots of wheat (I grind our own flour, so it's healthy wholegrain stuff!) and some dairy (like I said, a tiny amount of milk, but when we have ice cream she gobbles it up). She hasn't had any symptoms of allergies, so I don't think that's it. I am very familiar with elimination dieting from when I was nursing ds1 and ds3; they both had sensitivities (not true allergies); I am not sure I could go through that again! Is allergy testing accurate in 15-month-olds?

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Some kids are just small. I wouldn't worry if she's healthy and active. Is her hair shiny? Does her skin look healthy? Does she have energy? Is she driving you batty getting into things?

 

 

 

Yes, she looks healthy and beautiful, AND she does drive me absolutely batty getting into everything! She climbs onto the chairs and scribbles on her siblings' workbooks. She climbs onto stools to reach things on the kitchen counter.

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Just throwing my 2 cents in too. All of my dc were tiny. They were all over 8 lbs at birth but once they started moving around, they dropped off the weight charts. Like everyone else said, just continue to add more food. I added foods that were nutrient- and calorie-dense like cheese, avocados, eggs. Now that our oldest is almost 12, he never stops eating and we have to hold him back! :) I didn't know a child could eat so much food!

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No need at all to wean... that is ridiculous! I'd be looking for a better Pedi.

 

I nursed mine all different lengths of time and here is proof that all children are made differently (and that nursing doesn't cause low weight):

 

DS- 8lb 3oz birthweight - 50% weight, 75% height - weaned at 15 mos.

DD- 6lb 5oz birthweight - 15% weight, 25% height - weaned at 29 mos.

DS- 7lb 5oz birthweight - 60% weight, 50% height - weaned at 39 mos.

DS- 7lb 2oz birthweight - 25% weight, 25% height - still nursing at 30 mos.

 

Have you tried feeding first, nursing after?

Edited by babysparkler
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Grr. This sort of thinking makes me so angry. (We have been through this with a doctor also.) Breastfeeding is NOT the problem. On the breastfeeding board I used to read, many people would post this same kind of question, and the advice that usually came back (besides don't stop breastfeeding) is consider finding a doctor who is more friendly towards extended breastfeeding.

 

 

DS also weighed around 17 pounds at 15 months, and he was and is perfectly fine. We also got into a huge, horrible thing with the doctor when he was 18 months with his weight following a week of sickness (throwing up) etc, which I won't get into here, but it was awful. I *knew* he would be fine after he got done being sick, and he was, but the doctors wanted weekly weighins, etc.

 

Anyway, DS was still getting a good portion of his nutrition through breastfeeding up until 18 months (and nursed even longer), because while he did eat some solids, he just wasn't very interested all the time. Taking away breastfeeding was not the answer and would have been horrible for him.

 

DS was always small, too. Maybe 50% for height, but usually no more than 5-10% for weight, and for a long time he wasn't even on the weight charts... he was off the charts at the bottom. Other people told me to look at other things.. was he meeting milestones? Did the hair, nails, and skin look healthy? Was he healthy? Was he active? Was he growing taller? Usually kids grow taller first, then put on weight.

 

*I* knew he was fine, and he was, but the doctors sure stressed me out with the weight checks anyway.

 

If you suspect something may be wrong, like allergies or whatever, sure, get that checked out, or if you want to increase her calorie intake from other sources then do it, but there's no reason to take away the most perfect form of nutrition she's getting, like other people have said.

 

DS continued to grow being his tiny self. I was happy once he got into the sizes where I could buy the jeans and pants that have adjustable waists, because things always (and still) fit for length, but would not stay up without a belt or the adjustable waist.

 

I think the whole year he was 3, he really didn't gain weight, maybe a pound or two. He did, however, grow a few inches. This year is he 4 and has getting a bit taller but has also put on a few pounds. I buy size 4 slim pants, and still use the adjustable waist on them for him. :tongue_smilie: I just checked, and it looks like he is still about 50% for height, and maybe up to 25% for weight now.

 

Kids are so many different sizes, and some of them are just small! The size difference is so noticeable in his tae kwon do class. There are twins there who are 5 years old (9 months older than DS), but are a whole head taller than DS, and there is another 5 year old (a full year older than DS) there who is just the same size as DS or possibly smaller.

 

Anyway, all that to say, don't stop breastfeeding, and trust your mommy instincts. They usually tell you if something is wrong or not.

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Have you tried feeding first, nursing after?

 

She nurses at around 5-6 am then goes back to sleep. When she gets up again she has breakfast (solid food) at about 8 am. Her two nap nursings are to settle down for naps, so not before meals anyway. Her bedtime nursing is after she's had supper. So, I don't think any of the nursing sessions individually are affecting her appetite.

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She nurses at around 5-6 am then goes back to sleep. When she gets up again she has breakfast (solid food) at about 8 am. Her two nap nursings are to settle down for naps, so not before meals anyway. Her bedtime nursing is after she's had supper. So, I don't think any of the nursing sessions individually are affecting her appetite.

 

That sounds just perfect to me. She may just be a skinny girl like my dd. She fits 4T/5T skirts and shorts (not pants due to length) and she is nearly 8. Our pedi has never been concerned and says that he does a 2 step check: (1) Do they look like they have enough "meat" on their bones and (2) are they staying "consistent" in their percentages (no big spikes or dips). If both of these are "yes", then there is nothing to worry about.

 

ETA: Your mention of her gain "slowing" after 4 months is normal for bf babies. They nurse for comfort much more than bottle fed babies early on. They SHOULD slow in their weight gain, but it should be a gradual slowing, while still gaining weight. The 15 month dip could be due to increased activity... so I wouldn't worry too much about it until your next weigh-in.

Edited by babysparkler
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I'll be one of the lone horses here....

 

I'm all for breastfeeding, but us moms must remember the GOAL of raising a child is to get enough nutrition in their bodies. Sometimes our bodies allow enough milk to be produced for this to happen - sometimes it DOESN'T. It's not our faults one way or another.

 

Don't be so dedicated to breastfeeding that you are ignoring all other options. This modern day adherence to all things breast influenced my mothering skills far too long - and I'm very glad I finally started ignoring them. You must do what's best for your child, even if it means giving up breastfeeding before YOU are ready. Her body may just be yelling out that it's ready for a lot more substantial "meat" than what you are giving her.

 

I just went through this with my son. He's 19 months old and I breastfed from day 1. I blindly followed the mantra of "under one, table food just for fun" and had always assumed I would breastfeed until after 24 months at least and my goal was to wean when I saw he was ready. Shoot, my cousin's son is over 3 and he still breastfeeds occassionally. I guess I also felt a heavy burden that I MUST "breastfeed" or I wasn't a good momma.

 

I did introduce various foods to him regularly (4 months = rice cereal, 6 months = veggies, fruits, 9 months = meats, 12 months = whole milk) but because he was breastfed on demand and a co-sleeper, his "food of choice" was always the breast. He never cared for table food.

 

By 9 months of age he started going down in his growth curve. My pedi is not pro-breastfeeding and she had suggested considering weaning him way back at 6 months!! I decided not to listen because I *thought* breast was best.

 

By 12 months he had hit 5th percentile for his weight. The pediatrician suggested again to wean. She wasn't rude about it at all...she just wanted to be sure he was staying healthy. His pedi had a follow up at 15 months because of the sudden weight-curve drop...he was still in the 5th percentile at 15 months. AND by this time I had to admit to myself something was wrong somewhere.

 

I noticed that even at 15 months, after nearly a year of having been introduced to solids, he still did NOT connect his hunger signals to "food". His hunger signals told him to breastfeed - and nothing else. No matter what we did, he would NOT accept more than 1-2 tablespoons of food per day. He refused to drink whole milk. He refused to drink a bottle. He had been using a sippy cup since 6 months but would not touch it if milk was in it.

 

I also noticed that my milk supply was NOT what it use to be. If I'm honest with myself, I'd say that my milk supply had been tapering off slowly for months.

 

At 16 months (beginning of September) I began weaning him from daytime feedings. I was kind of lackadaisical about it though until mid-september when we learned I was pregnant with #2. I also noticed my milk supply had severely decreased over that last 8 weeks. My body was giving out and I just could not produce what my son needed!

 

Daytime weaning DID show to "work" as once he realized mommy wouldn't let him "nurse" he began accepting table food because he recognized it eased the hunger. By the end of September I had noticed a remarkable change in him - he was now associating hunger with REAL FOOD. For the first time he was eating more than 2 tablespoons per day of food. His attitude changed as well (going from always semi-hungry to feeling full will do that to a kid I suppose). At the beginning of October (he was 17 months), I also weaned him from co-sleeping because that was the only way we could make a final break from night time breastfeeding. We introduced a bottle with whole milk, and he accepted it just fine. It was the first time ever that he accepted whole milk.

 

By the 2nd week of October he was weaned completely and he was eating like a champ! It just sent my mommy instincts of "Hey, I'm doing the RIGHT thing finally".

 

On his Nov. 4 checkup (18 months), he had finally passed 20 lbs for the first time and he made it to the 10th percentile - his growth curve was finally back on track

 

Please don't let the modern adherence to breastfeeding cause you to keep table food nutrition from reaching your child. She may be like my son and has never learned to associate hunger with "food". Weaning my DS was the only thing that worked in getting him to eat properly. After my experience, I am in no way convinced that breastfeeding past 12 months is best for EVERY child out there!

 

 

P.S. Again, I wanted to reiterate - your goal is to do what SHOWS to work for your child. Don't keep plodding along with breastfeeding if it is NOT doing good for YOUR child. It's NOT worth it.

Edited by Coleroo
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Please don't let the modern adherence to breastfeeding cause you to keep table food nutrition from reaching your child. She may be like my son and has never learned to associate hunger with "food". Weaning my DS was the only thing that worked in getting him to eat properly. After my experience, I am in no way convinced that breastfeeding past 12 months is best for EVERY child out there!

 

1. In no way is extended breastfeeding a modern invention.

 

2. In no way does extended breastfeeding preclude feeding plenty of solids.

 

3. Why would you give a child over a year a bottle? They can drink from a cup just fine.

 

4. Weaning will not necessarily mean that your child gets more nutrition and could mean that they take less. Breastmilk is dense with regards to nutrition and calories. As I said before, weaning did not magically put my children back on the growth chart, they are genetically small, active and well ahead developmentally.

Edited by Mrs Mungo
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Just so you know, with infant car seats kids usually outgrow them by height before they outgrow them on weight.

 

Her weight itself doesn't worry me, given that she's active, meeting milestones, and healthy. The weight loss is a *little* concerning, unless she is just getting over some sort of bug.

 

I would NOT wean. Breastmilk not only has perfect vitamins and immunities, but it's full of healthy fats. If anything, I might encourage her to nurse more often, or at least not limit her. I know when mine were that age they were so wiggly and so wanting to do things that they often didn't stay still long enough to really get the hind milk or to sate their hunger, either at the table or at the breast.

 

I would probably encourage more solids. My kids liked a little ice cube tray that I filled with various snacks (apple slices, cheese, baby carrots, crackers, etc) and allowed them to graze on. Some kids really benefit from grazing, or at least eating smaller meals more often. But for other kids, it keeps them from getting hungry enough to eat well at meals. You sort of have to experiment with that, I think. Coconut oil is great stuff. I babysit for a family where they give the kids a couple teaspoonfuls by itself as a snack. Great healthy fats. Does she like avocado? Whole milk yogurt? If there are no allergy concerns, I might try feeding her nut butters. I know the general recommendation is to wait on peanut butter, but if there is no family history of allergies, I might try it carefully anyway.

 

But while I would encourage more solids, I would not stop nursing. But I would probably try to have her weight checked pretty regularly for a couple months. If she kept losing weight, or even didn't regain up to where she was at the last appointment, I would consider asking for some extra testing. But I would be firm on my committment to nursing and why. I would even bring in a nutritionist/ lactation consultant as back up if necessary.

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There's nothing in your breastmilk that would be preventing her from growing. Keep breastfeeding, offer lots of nutrient dense foods. (does she like nuts? Almonds? Eggs? Here's an article with some tips & lists of nutrient rich foods: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T030800.asp - tip #15)

 

Breastfeeding is ALWAYS worth it. Your child is getting valuable antibodies which protect her from viral & bacterial infections, & continued protection from developing allergies. Brain development is also linked to breastfeeding duration.

 

As well, breastmilk continues to provide significant amounts of protein, fat & numerous vitamins and minerals in her diet.

 

Breastfeeding until the 24 mos & beyond is biologically appropriate.

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We've had similar experiences of dropping off the weight chart. I won't go into it here.

 

My advice is to not stop nursing right away, but definitely encourage high quality high calorie foods. Do the tests your pediatrician wants you to to ensure that your child is indeed getting appropriate nutrition (malnutrition can show up on a blood test). There may be a reason that she's not absorbing what she needs (like others have said, sensitivities, etc). Appropriate "tests" would be QBCs, a urinalysis, a consultation with a pediatric GI (who hopefully won't be a complete jerk like ours was) and a hand x-ray (to determine if her bones are developing appropriately for her age). It's scary to think about, but worth it.

 

My daughters are TINY: one is 32 pounds at 5.5 years old and the other is 28 pounds at 4 years. My son (who had the most difficulty growing as an infant) is 26 pounds at 22 months...so every kid is different!

 

Keep calm, think clearly and keep loving them so much that you'd endure posts from us strangers!

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1. In no way is extended breastfeeding a modern invention.

 

2. In no way does extended breastfeeding preclude feeding plenty of solids.

 

3. Why would you give a child over a year a bottle? They can drink from a cup just fine.

 

4. Weaning will not necessarily mean that your child gets more nutrition and could mean that they take less. Breastmilk is dense with regards to nutrition and calories. As I said before, weaning did not magically put my children back on the growth chart, they are genetically small, active and well ahead developmentally.

 

 

1. I never said it was a modern invention. Bottles and formula are a "modern invention". BUT ithe "trend" to breastfeed every single child without thought to the individual child's needs is modern. People who do not breastfeed in 2009 are looked down upon as "bad". Pediatricians are given terrible names if they have different views. Heavy proponents of extended breastfeeding are very rabid about their views. THAT is something that IS modern.

 

2. As in my son's case, "feeding plenty of solids" just DID NOT HAPPEN because he would NOT accept them. What are parents to do in that case? FORCE them down the child's throat? I think not. I could have sat there and "fed him plenty of solids" 24/7 - but he would have fought me every inch of the way and spit it right back out (which is what I battled with from 6 months of age till I weaned him.

 

3. I am in no way against giving a child over 1 year a bottle, just as I am in no way against breastfeeding a child over 1 year. It simply is a method of delivery for a particular drink. My son would not accept milk in a sippy cup and he still needed night time "milk comforting" which I could not give. He needed milk, and a tall skinny cup with a nipple (which we call a bottle) provided that for him.

 

4. Of course it doesn't necessarily mean that. BUT in my son's case it worked. AND I'm sure we're not abnormal. To ignore all other options when breastfeeding begins to break down is good for neither the child nor the parent.

 

If breastfeeding works, fine. If the mother is producing loads of milk, fine. If the child is following his OWN growth curve, regardless of how low (my son had dropped from his curve), then fine. There's nothing wrong with breastfeeding for however many years it works out for you.

 

It's this rabid "you must, you must, you must!!" thinking that I dislike. That kind of thinking can do far more harm than the suggestion of "hey, you may be one case that weaning would help" would do.

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We've had similar experiences of dropping off the weight chart. I won't go into it here.

 

My advice is to not stop nursing right away, but definitely encourage high quality high calorie foods. Do the tests your pediatrician wants you to to ensure that your child is indeed getting appropriate nutrition (malnutrition can show up on a blood test). There may be a reason that she's not absorbing what she needs (like others have said, sensitivities, etc). Appropriate "tests" would be QBCs, a urinalysis, a consultation with a pediatric GI (who hopefully won't be a complete jerk like ours was) and a hand x-ray (to determine if her bones are developing appropriately for her age). It's scary to think about, but worth it.

 

My daughters are TINY: one is 32 pounds at 5.5 years old and the other is 28 pounds at 4 years. My son (who had the most difficulty growing as an infant) is 26 pounds at 22 months...so every kid is different!

 

Keep calm, think clearly and keep loving them so much that you'd endure posts from us strangers!

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

Quitting breastfeeding cold-turkey is not good.

 

Finding a solution, without ignoring all other options, is best. :) There are many, many things that could be going on behind the scenes. My problem just happened to be a.) my milk supply was not meeting my son's demand, and b.) he had never learned to associate food with "hunger". Weaning was what was best for US. It worked for him and brought his weight curve back up. (We're genetically little too - it was the drop in his personal weight curve that finally had me convinced that something wasn't working).

 

The love you have for your child will help you find the answer! Always do what is best in YOUR particular situation. NOT anyone elses. You are the parent and your child looks to you to provide all she needs. Strive to understand how her body is working, what is not working, and what you can do better.

 

"Keep calm, think clearly and keep loving them". I couldn't have said it better. :)

Edited by Coleroo
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Pediatricians are given terrible names if they have different views. Heavy proponents of extended breastfeeding are very rabid about their views. THAT is something that IS modern.

 

Pediatricians frequently give extremely bad breastfeeding advice based on opinion, not science. I once had a pediatrician tell me that it was not possible to get a yeast infection in your breast. That is just stupid and I told him so.

 

As in my son's case, "feeding plenty of solids" just DID NOT HAPPEN because he would NOT accept them. What are parents to do in that case? FORCE them down the child's throat? I think not. I could have sat there and "fed him plenty of solids" 24/7 - but he would have fought me every inch of the way and spit it right back out (which is what I battled with from 6 months of age till I weaned him.

 

Were there other options? Did your pediatrician suggest an occupational therapist?

 

I am in no way against giving a child over 1 year a bottle, just as I am in no way against breastfeeding a child over 1 year. It simply is a method of delivery for a particular drink. My son would not accept milk in a sippy cup and he still needed night time "milk comforting" which I could not give. He needed milk, and a tall skinny cup with a nipple (which we call a bottle) provided that for him.

 

The breast does not damage tooth or jaw development, bottles do. It is not the same thing.

 

Of course it doesn't necessarily mean that. BUT in my son's case it worked. AND I'm sure we're not abnormal.

 

BUT if you had a pediatrician who offered you more options something else also may have worked.

 

It's this rabid "you must, you must, you must!!" thinking that I dislike. That kind of thinking can do far more harm than the suggestion of "hey, you may be one case that weaning would help" would do.

 

There is no aura of "you must continue breastfeeding" going on in this thread. People are supporting the mom in her desire to keep breastfeeding. Sometimes, breastfeeding is not the right thing for the mother-baby relationship. BUT when a pediatrician offers bad breastfeeding advice based on junk science it does do more harm than good to put doubts in the mom's mind based on your own anecdotal evidence.

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2. As in my son's case, "feeding plenty of solids" just DID NOT HAPPEN because he would NOT accept them. What are parents to do in that case? FORCE them down the child's throat? I think not. I could have sat there and "fed him plenty of solids" 24/7 - but he would have fought me every inch of the way and spit it right back out (which is what I battled with from 6 months of age till I weaned him.

 

 

But breastmilk is *much* higher in calories and fat than the grains, fruits and vegetables that are generally in those tablespoons of baby food. It just does not make sense to wean a child (who is not gaining enough) to give them applesauce, peas, and rice flakes. Also, how did you know you weren't producing enough milk? If that was the case, then your son would have been accepting food, IMO. I can see cutting back the nursing a bit to get them interested in other foods, but weaning is counter-intuitive to me.

 

My 2nd dd didn't hit 20 lb until she was 2 years old. Her curve looks similar to the OP's dc's. I weaned her at 20 months. She is fine. She also slowed her weight gain when she got active. I think that's totally normal. I can't imagine that 4 nursings a day would keep her from eating other things. If you were still nursing her all night and all day, I think it would be reasonable to cut back. But 4x a day is appropriate for a 15 month old IMO.

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Just so you know, with infant car seats kids usually outgrow them by height before they outgrow them on weight.

 

 

 

Her seat goes up to 29", and she is 29" now, so I'm going to let her keep using it for a while. The seat we had with the other 4 children only went up to 26", so they all outgrew that one much earlier. Just wanted to let you know that I did check on that! :)

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I talked to dh and we aren't going to do anything drastic. We are going to make sure she's eating healthy foods and I'm going to keep nursing her. She loves peanut butter and sunbutter (she licks it off the bread and asks for more!). I need to buy avocados- I haven't for a while because they went back up in price here. She likes eggs too. So, she does enjoy several of the foods posters mentioned. Dh and I are going to pay attention to what she generally enjoys and make sure we offer those foods more.

 

She has been my most strong-willed, demanding baby; I'd hate to think that it's because she's hungry all the time. But I'd have to think that if she were hungry, she'd be eating more when she is in her highchair. She knows sign language for more, all done, etc. She makes her desires clearly known!

 

I need to leave for church; thanks for all the great responses!!! Normally I agree with what the ped recommends, but this time I think I'm going to have to ignore him. I will check her weight periodically though, to make sure she starts gaining again.

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I would look at wheat intolerance. One study shows that 1 in 3 of us is "intolerant" rather than allergic or celiac.

Usually people start to introduce wheat cereals and such around the time that your dd started to slow down.

If she is intolerant, but not allergic or celiac, she could have damage to her intestines that interferes with her ability to absorb nutrients. This could cause her weight gain to drop off even if she is reaching other milestones.

 

I wouldn't cut out breastfeeding strictly because of her weight. If she nurses after she eats, it shouldn't be interfering with her appetite.

 

I would look into other reasons that your pediatrician thinks that you should wean. As a pediatric nurse I see docs all the time that just don't get why a woman would nurse past 6 months much less past a year.

If it is something that you and your daughter want to continue then that is a personal decision. If your doc doesn't agree, find a new doc who will look at why your daughter is losing weight, and it is NOT because you are still nursing. If anything, it is MORE important that you nurse now than ever before.

 

I know it can be hard, especially when you are "unconventional" in the medical community, but I would look for other reasons that she would be losing weight.

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The weight loss is concerning to me too, but I don't see how that has anything to do with bfing. *scratching head smilie here* lol. Did he say no cows milk either? I can understand if she is filling up on liquids, but bfing 4 times a day does not seem excessive in the liquid dept. unless she drinks alot of water and juice on top of that in which case I would cut down on those before BM to encourage more table food. Is she otherwise healthy? Overly cranky, sleeping alot more, anything?

 

If your mommy radar is not telling you that anything is wrong then let it go, but if you feel something is not right find a doctor who will get answers. FWIW my dd finally reached 20lbs at 15 months after stuffing her full of high protein foods for a couple of months. She was the only little one of the bunch.

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**Edited to remove bulky post***

Got way too emotionally involved in this one b/c of what we went through with my son at 15 months old. :) Gist of post was just that yes, we were offered other options and were 4 weeks away from going to the specialist. We didn't walk into weaning with a blind eye....I dislike doctors to begin with and seeing a specialist (perhaps 2 or 3 based on what our doctor said) didn't set well with us...we didn't want our son becoming another "diagnosis" to be put on "medication" when the solution was obvious to my mommy instincts - I wasn't producing enough milk supply to meet my son's nutritional demands, he was constantly hungry / cranky, yet he was refusing to eat solid foods (even when he WAS hungry) because he apparently never learned to associate hunger with solid food. It took a long time for me to wise up to the situation. Weaning him worked for us and improved his overall health & attitude. Anyone else's mileage may vary.

 

:) Good night all!

Edited by Coleroo
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fwiw, NONE of my 5 children (who were all weaned around 12 months) would drink cow's milk in any quantity without adding something to flavor it. they just didn't like it after breast milk. i was NOT an extended bf'er BUT i don't think you should wean your baby. she needs what she is getting from you. i agree with others about making sure her diet is calorie dense and keeping her weight checked.

as far as her busyness, my third was that age the year we started hs'ing and she climbed on bookcases and tables before she ever walked, scribbling and chewing on the crayons!

bless you!

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I talked to dh and we aren't going to do anything drastic. We are going to make sure she's eating healthy foods and I'm going to keep nursing her. She loves peanut butter and sunbutter (she licks it off the bread and asks for more!). I need to buy avocados- I haven't for a while because they went back up in price here. She likes eggs too. So, she does enjoy several of the foods posters mentioned. Dh and I are going to pay attention to what she generally enjoys and make sure we offer those foods more.

 

She has been my most strong-willed, demanding baby; I'd hate to think that it's because she's hungry all the time. But I'd have to think that if she were hungry, she'd be eating more when she is in her highchair. She knows sign language for more, all done, etc. She makes her desires clearly known!

 

I need to leave for church; thanks for all the great responses!!! Normally I agree with what the ped recommends, but this time I think I'm going to have to ignore him. I will check her weight periodically though, to make sure she starts gaining again.

 

 

Good for you! She sounds so precious...keep following her cues and doing what you know is best for her. :) :) Good luck! :) :)

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I'd try adding more high-calorie foods to her diet, and forget the weaning advice.

 

I got a lot of grief from my kids' pediatricians about my kids' weight at this age range. On alternate appointments, I'm interrogated about what % fat milk I give them (I know the pediatricians group recommends non-fat or something). All of this is done with a straight face.

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I would NOT stop nursing either!!!

 

It's normal for kids to slow down gaining when they become "mobile"...she is just a little extreme in those regards.:001_huh:

 

Up the foods - high-fat, high-calorie foods. Watch out about giving her too much fiber (ummm...very little of mommy's freshly milled ww flour for her) b/c all that fiber can make it hard for her to digest what food she eats, and yet it makes her feel full. (Ask me how I know....ds6;))

 

Let her have at the sunbutter and avacadoes and eggs.:D

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this didn't happen to me but I have heard of some other mothers starting to have trouble making enough milk after long term nursing. How can you tell if the mother is producing enough milk or not to keep the child at a good weight? I'm talking about enough for a toddler, not a little infant which I do know about. If the mother doesn't produce enough milk even though the child demands it, then I can see how it would be better for the child to switch his hunger away from breastmilk to solids.

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The whole kid weight thing drives me nuts.

 

Is your child meeting milestones?

Is she generally healthy (not prone to illness)?

Does she eat a balanced diet of healthy food?

 

 

Both my kids are lightweights (3 year old is 28lbs, 5 year old is 37 pounds) and we regularly get comments on how slim they are. I thought the general consensus was that we DON'T want kids to have weight and body image issues, focusing on how they look will definitely not accomplish that.

 

My thought is that if kids are healthy and thriving their weight is not really an issue. I know my kids often prefer carrot sticks or grapes for snacks and they certainly won't be moving up on the weight charts with that diet but I am okay with it.

 

If you are really worried you could switch to nursing after a meal. Offer her some cheese, full fat yogurt, avocado, buttered whole grain toast, etc and then nurse but I certainly wouldn't wean.

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If it were me, I'd only be concerned about weight loss, not slow or no weight gain. My dc are all small. I have a great ped who appreciates the fact that dh and I are not big people, he told me we're not going to have big babies.

 

My dd is probably the tiniest. She self-weaned at 12 mos and then didn't drink anything for about 3 months. She wouldn't BF, but she also wouldn't take a cup. Ped wasn't at all concerned, said as long as she was getting plenty of liquid from her foods and didn't show signs of dehydration, not to worry. We never did and she did start using a cup and drinking milk and water. She never lost weight, but she's always been a tiny gainer. I'd have to look, but I don't think she's hit the 30lb mark at 4.5yrs.

 

If my child continued to lose weight, I'd look into all possibilities, including whether EBFing was a factor or not. I wouldn't automatically wean just because the dr said to. But I wouldn't be so adamant about BFing that I would ignore my child's health. I would consider all possible causes.

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this didn't happen to me but I have heard of some other mothers starting to have trouble making enough milk after long term nursing. How can you tell if the mother is producing enough milk or not to keep the child at a good weight? I'm talking about enough for a toddler, not a little infant which I do know about. If the mother doesn't produce enough milk even though the child demands it, then I can see how it would be better for the child to switch his hunger away from breastmilk to solids.

 

A child with no impairments or issues (GERD, food allergies or intolerances, etc.) would let a parent know that she was hungry either by fussing at the breast and expressing displeasure that more milk was not forthcoming or by eating more solids, particularly when they're readily available throughout the day.

Edited by melissel
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Don't quit BFing if you don't want to. At this age it's not the BFing that is holding her weight back. Especially since its only about 4x a day. her weight may have dropped because of her teething. Some children are very sensitive to it. With my first and my last I didn't even know until I saw a tooth but my middle child did get very sick.

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