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Underweight Baby, ideas, support JAWM


Cecropia
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My little guy turned 9 months old this week.  At his last appointment, he had dropped down to the 2nd percentile for weight I think -- that was about 2 months ago.  His height was about 30 or 40%?  The weight gain had been on the low side of average from birth but didn't fall off a cliff until somewhere between 3-6 months.

 

I don't have a great scale here at home and it only measures in increments of 0.2 lb, but I can tell he's off the charts by a bit now and he hasn't gained anything at all since I started daily weighing about 2 weeks ago.  Every day I feel more anxious over the weight, but he looks healthy to me and is very active (cruising) and happy.  He is thin but not gaunt or peaked, and his diaper output is good.  I do NOT want to go into the next appointment, which is a month from now, and be run through the FTT gauntlet.  My 3rd baby was also underweight and was diagnosed FTT, although when he was a newborn, and I will do whatever I can to avoid that experience with a ped again.  If I can just get him back on the chart, and we can avoid all that unpleasantness!!

 

He is breastfed and eating solid food.  At the last appointment the ped said to push solids like expressed milk mixed with rice cereal, but this baby would have none of that.  He is not tolerant of spooned food in general.  The first food he would eat with some regularity was cheerios that he would feed himself, but solids had been slow going until very recently.  When I panicked about all this a couple of weeks ago, this is what we tried:

 

- a nurse-a-thon for a few days, but the scale didn't move.  I am nursing on demand at least every 1-2 hours.  He nurses every 2-3 hours in the night.  I am offering often even when he is not acting hungry.

- formula from a lactation aid, but I felt like he was in danger of a nursing strike!  He was upset and took a while to nurse with a normal latch again.

- formula from a cup, not interested.  I think he doesn't like the taste of it.

- increasing variety of solid foods and adding calories where I can.

 

So he has gotten much better with solid foods over the past week, it really is amazing!  He went from eating a handful of cheerios a day to:

 

- sometimes as much as an ounce at a time of finely ground beef & cooked onions or chicken that I give him in lumps on my fingertip (no spoons, you know)

- 1/4 to 1/3 of a banana in one sitting, served in little chunks from my fingers

- more cheerios, self feeding, loves them

- yogurt melts, self feeding, loves them even more

- gnawing/grating on the end of a big cucumber, closely supervised of course

- sometimes a little shredded cheese will make it into his mouth

 

He still refuses liquidy food like applesauce, rice cereal, baby food, anything having to do with formula...  Right now I am trying to add calories to the foods he likes, but he's hard to fool.  Unsalted butter or olive oil?  Forget it!  I am having good success with coconut oil that has been refined to be no-taste and no-smell.  I know it is not as healthy as virgin coconut oil, but I have to go with what works.  I just started adding coconut oil to the beef and chicken and banana.  Maybe I should slather some on the end of the cucumber.  I am starting to feel like I did with #3, where all of my day revolves around constantly feeding the baby.

 

I am feeling scared.  I have to muster up my courage to weigh him and then when I see the number it feels so crushing. :sad: If he doesn't gain anything in the next few days, I guess I'll have to call the ped (cue: feeling of dread). I hope she would see us as proactive and not come down like a ton of bricks.

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I tend to have lean nurslings and they don't plump up until we switch over to solids and formula or cow's milk. There isn't much for it, really, except pushing calories where you can (cream into puréed pumpkin is very popular here, but might be too liquidy for your kid?).

 

Some kids just run smaller and if he is otherwise healthy and diapers look good I would try not to stress too much.

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How about avacado, sweet potatos roasted with oil, full fat yogurt (it's thick, maybe he'll eat it off your fingers?), well cooked beans he could self feed (a la baby led weaning)

Can he do a sippy cup? Try something other than formula in it- smoothie?

 

Those cucumbers aren't going to push up his weight, but it's still good to learn those eating skills.

 

You're not a first timer at this, so you should have more pull at the pediatricians to tell them "I got this, not my first rodeo with a FTT kid". Also, do you need a new ped? You should not be afraid of the ped

 

Kid msy just be small. Kids who aren't getting enough, look it.

Edited by Hilltopmom
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My second baby was FTT until I switched him to formula. He's been chubby ever since. He has a dairy allergy that was part of that. Honestly, I would just switch to formula. It sounds like both of you would be better off. Is there a reason you don't want to?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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ETA: I'm not a doctor, I'm not telling OP what she should do, just my experience.

 

3/4 of my kids have done exactly this at exactly the same age. The ped freaks (relatively speaking). I don't particularly worry because they meet or exceed milestones, aren't dehydrated or constipated, and they are NOT FTT. So we go on with life, maybe with me adding butter, oil, whole milk, etc to food and keeping an eye on development.

 

If I was going to weigh everyday (which would make me insane) I would get a baby scale that was extremely accurate. But I would not weigh everyday if my baby was otherwise fine.

 

And that is what I ask the ped if they get on my case: what do you think this slow weight gain is a symptom of and what other symptoms do you see?

 

My kids have all slowly climbed back up the curve. They just plateau when nursing becomes less interesting than moving around and exploring.

Edited by EmseB
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My child who dropped off the growth curve at 9 months turned out to be gluten intolerant. I would ask the pediatrician to run the extended celiac panel and the extended wheat allergy panel (since you need that testing done prior to going gluten-free) and then try a GF diet.

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Sounds like my first. $2K in blood tests to find a cause of FTT and no answers. He grew out of it by age 2 and is tall/slim for his age now.

 

Are the height and head circumference following an upward trend? If so, I wouldn't worry.

 

He may just be burning >avg. calories now that he's so mobile...how is he sleeping? Is he on the low end of typical hours per day at his age?

 

Whole milk yogurt and those Babybell cheeses were helpful for my tiny guy who resisted sleep. Calorie-dense is good since eating is so boring compared to exploring :)

 

Best of luck!

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That is such a rough age for little guys because all they want to do is crawl and explore, which burns tons of calories. How much is he moving around? I wonder if you could set up some fun little "food stations" in his play area. Maybe he could "discover" a small container of Cheerios by his blocks in one corner, and some chopped up fruits in another corner. If he is pulling to stand, definitely leave out a small tray of snacks (crackers, cheese cubes, cut up grapes) on the table he is standing at so that he can have a cruise-by buffet.

 

Do you co sleep? Would you be willing to for a few months so that he could have a nightly nurseathon? No judgment if that is not the right decision for your family. My thought was just maybe if the milk is right there, when he's sleepy, maybe he will take more rather than being distracted during the day.

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I had a very similar weight/height baby and very similar stress over the threat of FTT - I would dip her pieces of dry cereal in full-fat cream cheese and stand them like a little forest on her high chair tray...she would self-feed (fun for her!) and get more fat and calories than just dry cereal alone. Maybe your little guy would go for that?

 

She is still tiny, and finally made it back onto the chart at age six.  

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Avocado might be your friend if you can puree it with a little cream and flavored yogurt. That's what I did to bring up the weight of both of my shrimps. They liked the texture. I also would looking into "smoothie" recipe's with nut butters and other fattening ingredients. 

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One of mine was long and lean. In retrospect I'm surprised and  so thankful our fancy pediatrician carefully watched and never said anything until she was two. At that point she was something like 60% in weight and 90%plus in height. She just nursed enough to survive and then was off with her pacifier and on the go. She slept 6 plus hours at night from day three. She had some cheerios around ten months, stopped nursing and was on to food at a year. I do remember sneaking a spoonful of something in her mouth between whatever she could feed herself. If you've been through this before and he's healthy talk to the doctor about giving it some more time. His food interests should increase soon.

Edited by Starr
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My second baby was FTT until I switched him to formula. He's been chubby ever since. He has a dairy allergy that was part of that. Honestly, I would just switch to formula. It sounds like both of you would be better off. Is there a reason you don't want to?

 

 

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But if he doesn't like the formula, you have a angry hungry baby that you know you could make happy with nursing. Which sounds miserable. I mean, worth it if nothing else works, but still miserable.

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But if he doesn't like the formula, you have a angry hungry baby that you know you could make happy with nursing. Which sounds miserable. I mean, worth it if nothing else works, but still miserable.

Yes. I had to wean cold turkey and it was a bad two days. But after that he was like a new baby. While losing weight he was very lethargic, it's different if they're happy and learning. I would much rather have a grumpy hungry baby for two days than obsess over feedings for months, which it sounds like OP is on the verge of doing.

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It might be worth finding a ped that understands thin babies. My ds was below the 3rd percentile from 3 months-2 years. I was a little freaked about his weight at a couple points (he weighed about 16lbs at a year) but his ped would find a little fat roll on his thigh and say, "see this? He's fine".

When I started him on solids at 7 months, I would give him at least 1 avocado a day. I don't think it made a difference in his weight, his body was just going to do what it was going to do.

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Formula does taste bad. I remember the look on DS's face when I tried to give him some when he was having trouble nursing. (It was the same kind he'd had in the hospital, but he was truly disgusted.)

 

Some possibilities for you:

  • If you're not already block feeding (keep offering same side over the course of 4 hours), do that to make sure he's getting hindmilk, which is fattier.
  • Pump some of your milk and offer that in a little glass (not the same cup you offered formula in).
  • Go on an elimination diet to remove at least wheat, soy and dairy from your diet for a week or two to see if he does better.

Also, if your child is genetically likely to be small, keep in mind that 50th percentile is not what you're going for. 10th might be your family's normal.

Edited by whitehawk
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I would not just switch to formula and abandon breastfeeding. Just not gaining weight according to a chart is not an emergency that warrants that (i.e., the benefits would not outweigh the loss of benefits of breastfeeding) when there are no signs that height, head circumference, milestones, etc. are being affected. 

 

Rice cereal is vitamin-fortified starch. There are much healthier and more calorie dense foods you can feed a 9 month old!

 

I would make sure that the solids you give are healthy-calorie packed. Avocadoes, coconut oil, whole fat dairy, meat, etc. along with bananas, whole grain carbs, and so on. I would prioritize fats over carbs, baby is still growing brain!

 

 

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Also just my experience:

 

Ds was born 9+lbs and then quickly fell to 20th-, then 10th-, then 3rd-%ile. At one point, he was 0.7%ile weight and 11%ile height. He was never officially ftt because he was healthy and meeting all of his milestones and his doctor was just calm about it. Except she sent us to breastfeeding experts, an endo, you name it, and everyone thought he was fine, see you again in 6 months. But bf lady did say keep on, keep on breastfeeding, so I never supplemented him.

 

Everyone was sure he would gain when he started eating food. At 6 months we started avocado and plain full-fat yogurt with berries. Moved on to quinoa and lentils with olive/coconut oil. I consciously fed him as many fats as I could get into him, and nothing. Still barely to not gaining weight. A recheck at the endo had him exactly on the same (albeit low) %ile line as 6 months before and showed the classic step-wise growth pattern and everyone stopped worrying. Except WIC. They told me to feed him more meat. Which I haven't yet, at all :p oh! And to add powdered milk to things.

 

So we were seeing him gain virtually nothing on a daily basis, but overall, he was still growing relative to his low percentile. He was not 20 pounds until he was nearly 16 months old and somewhere since then, he has shot up in H/W to 35%ile.

 

I'm definitely not saying not to rule out problems, I'm just sharing. I am really, really lucky he will eat anything, any where, any time and nurses really well. His cousin is fairly small and they add protein supplements to his food and formula, so that may be a thing?

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My babies have all been small but we never fell off the growth charts because they were never on the growth charts. I would look at your older child as the pattern setter- what was the outcome with him? Did he turn out to be just a slow grower or was there a reason for his slow weight gain that needed intervention? If intervention was needed, I would suspect new DS has a similar issue and start doing whatever helped then. If he was "just" a slow grower, I'd tell the Dr that this is normal for your family and you aren't going to pursue testing as long as he's active and healthy looking. Maybe you need a 2nd opinion about your baby's growth. I've heard that some babies who start off large will fall off the growth charts because they are meant to be average to small kids- not everyone is born big and stays big or is born small and stays small. So much other things influence birth weights. 

 

My youngest was the smallest and only 14lbs at 1 yr; not a preemie and no medical issues. She was really little. Nobody ever mentioned FTT to me because of how active she was and she had good muscle and skin tone. She also was a picky eater and would not drink milk when weaned- she's never accepted it and its fine. I think 9months is a typical time for weight to plateau because babies start getting more physically active. They are crawling, sometimes walking, and maybe creeping now instead of sitting on their butts like lumps. 

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My 3rd was 9 pounds at birth and by 4 months had fallen off the charts. I was the one who freaked out a bit but my pediatrician wasnt worried at all. She said his growth chart was steady, even if it was going down and not up. She noticed that his little feet never stopped moving and said he was just burning a lot of calories. She had us start him on solids earlier than normal to get more calories and we did full fat everything. Noodles, add butter. Toast add butter and full fat cream cheese. Everywhere we could add calories we did, but she never stressed about it. Eventually he got back on the chart and slowley went to 20-30% where he remains today at 9.

 

Unless they aren't meeting milestones I wouldnt worry.

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My 6th kid was FTT (so was my 3rd put I just added powdered formula-not reconsitituted to all her solid foods and that was enough to get the extra calories she needed) and it was so very discouraging.  We were 24 hours from being hospitalized for monitoring when he finally gained an ounce after several months of almost no gain and they gave us some space.  Turns out DS had low level allergies to milk and eggs.  But I had no clue, he had no rashes, he wasn't fussy, he didn't cry, no spitup, no weird stools, he had no symptoms of allergies.  But out of lack of what else to try, my doctor sent us for allergy testing.  Allergy doctor said his allergan levels were so low that they usually try to add them back into someone's diet at that point not take them away.  But within 3 days of removing those things from MY diet (he was nursing almost exclusively since he pretty much refused everything we tried), he started gaining.  He stayed off those things till 2 and then we reintroduced them without any issue.  But those were the only changes we made and then he starting gaining.  

 

But for more calories I would try the avocados, oil wherever you can.  At one point I fed DS coconut oil from the spoon (in solid form) because he would actually eat a spoon or two a day of that.

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I'm sorry, I know how scary that is!  It seems like if your 3rd baby was underweight too, then maybe it's just a family thing?  Did you have to do anything major with that one, or did he just eventually pull out of it on his own?

 

My #5 was FTT.  It was kind of the same thing.  She was low birth weight from the start, and gradually fell off the charts completely.  By 3 months I believe she was off the charts completely.  The thing is, she was still growing and putting on weight, but very, very slowly.  (If I'm remembering correctly, she was just 14 pounds at one year.)  I was terrified.  I was getting up every 2 hours all night to feed her, and was exhausted and so worried.  She was a sort of picky eater and it was really hard to sneak in extra calories, but I'd put Pediasure and lots of butter in her eggs, and fed her fatty, buttery hash browns at breakfast.  I even gave her Reeeses cups for snacks!  I was pretty desperate.  This was when she was about a year old, so she was able to tolerate more.

 

She was also slow in walking, and was not hitting physical milestones due to just being tiny and not very strong.  She was receiving her care at a big University hospital where they specialized in pediatric care, and she saw all the various specialists.  They were checking her over for everything and were certain there was something major going on.  At about 14 months they decided they wanted to insert a feeding tube, so that's when I went to get a second opinion at Mayo.

 

Mayo, amazingly, concluded everything was fine, that she was just tiny with a petite bone structure.  She was always happy, looked healthy (even though she was so petite), and her hair was always thick and glossy (something everyone commented on).  In the end, they gave me a different growth chart altogether (I believe they said it's one they often used for some Asian babies, who are often more petite).  They told me to stop getting up during the night, and not to worry anymore.  I was so happy I cried!  She is now 22 and is still very petite framed, but is 5'5" and very healthy!  My mother has a very petite frame and is about 5'5" too, so I guess in the end, it was all in the family.  (Even though none of my previous four children were like that!)

 

 

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My youngest dropped in the chart between six and nine months. We were told to push the solids, adding high fat and calorie foods wherever we could, and try to increase my milk supply. I've never had an issue with my milk, but I made lactation cookies and added brewers yeast to any foods that I could hide it well enough. By the next month, he came up enough on the chart that the doctor was comfortable letting us go without further testing. He's still tiny, but he's strong and very active. We have his 18 month checkup next week, so I'm curious to see if he's finally broken 20lbs. He did have two bouts of stomach flu a few weeks apart so that set him back a bit. The foods we added for him are salted Kerrygold butter to anything we could, dipping Cheerios in full fat yogurt or tiny amounts of peanut butter, and lots of cheese, among other things. He's a great eater now, but also very active.

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My kids (breastfed) had a tendency toward "scrawny chickens"  and so did my sister's kids (also breastfed.) And looking back at pictures of myself and my sisters at babies, we were sort of scrawny - no rolls, very active.

 

It is scary when the ped start grilling you about how much you are feeding your baby... But I think maybe those charts are not made for exactly every kid. Yes, keep an eye on it, and do push high calorie food, but as long as he seems healthy and active, don't freak out!!

 

It sounds like you are really making amazing progress. I hope the weigh in goes well!

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Going through responses and adding some more details...

 

Older brother (#3) was intervened/hospitalized/heavily supplemented at <2 weeks by an overbearing ped, not the ped I have now.  I don't think he ever went below 5%.  From that experience (I trusted the doc and suddenly he turned on me and was threatening CPS) I have a knee-jerk fear of peds.  I don't know what the child's normal would have been.  He had some kind of physical trouble eating no matter from the breast, bottle, syringe, cup, SNS or anything else.  I have fragmented memories of that time because of the extreme exhaustion of feeding him very slowly 24/7.  Somewhere between a year and 18 months he figured out how to eat efficiently (solid food), and now he's a machine.  He recently turned 3 and is about 35 lbs.  That looks close to 50%.

 

Although I am an advocate of exclusive breastfeeding, I'm pleased to have made it 9 months and would be at peace with supplementing now, even weaning, if it helps.  This baby is not interested in switching, he's definitely not lethargic and is meeting milestones early.  I don't have momma-intuition-red-flags popping up, except that the cute clothes I have for the summer just sit there and wait for him to grow bigger!  I believe his height/head circumference growth are positive and within normal.

 

Baby sleeps 2-3 hours at a time at night and then nurses both sides.  He's a night owl like me so we go to bed 11 or midnight and wake up for the day at 8, and he gets in 3 or 4 good naps.  We do a modified bed-share with a side-car crib.  None of my children have been the magical babies of lore who sleep for 6+ hours at a time...

 

Thanks for all the food ideas!

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One of mine was very thin - at one point, he was 90th percentile height and 10th percentile weight. Our doctor started him on milk at 9 months (he continued to comfort nurse, but it wasn't his primary food source). We did full fat yogurt, sausage and egg every morning for breakfast (sausage patties are crumbly and easy to eat, I'd cut the egg into squares), avocado, cheese cubes, bits of fruit from canned fruit cocktail when I was on the go, yogurt smoothies/drinkable yogurt/kefir...he also liked frozen foods like blueberries and green peas. He wasn't a fan of carbs in general, but pancakes, muffins, roasted potatoes, even french fries or chicken nuggets would help add pounds (they certainly do when I eat them).

 

These days he's 11, can eat 1/2 of a large pizza or a pound of meat in a sitting sometimes, and still is in the 90th percentile in high but is up to the 45th in weight. Keeping him fed, especially during sports seasons or growth spurts, is a full time job. And, you have my sympathies with the doctor thing. We had some crazy experiences with doctors before we left the hospital - sometimes I wonder what they could possibly be thinking.

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I don't have any ideas or suggestions...but, we've been there.  Does ethnicity have anything to do with this?  Our family is Asian and some of my kids are tiny.  DD9 was diagnosed with "under 5% BMI" and hovers consistently around the 9th percentile.  DD12 is really tiny, too - to the point where I worry about their safety as they start going out in the world to do stuff.  They are just going to be really tiny women!

 

DS2 had a growth delay when he hit 9 months.  He literally stopped growing.  It was terrifying.  They started doing a bunch of blood tests, checked his thyroid, etc.  He didn't grow for several check-ups and then finally, he had a growth spurt.  He's at the 17th percentile right now.

 

I was scared of pediatricians about 5 years ago, because we had a check-up and the doctor told me "we'd have to have a talk" if DD9 fell below the 10th percentile.   :confused:   Um...someone has to be in the 10th percentile...that's how percentiles WORK!  He suggested I feed her more McDonalds and other fattening foods (we've had some doozies for pediatricians).  Anyway, another doctor (who was Asian) was shaking his head when I mentioned their sizes and he said those growth charts we use are NOT the norm for Asian kids.  He said even the femur lengths during ultrasounds are different for Asian kids.

 

Another thing that I suspect is changing growth expectations/percentiles...and this sounds mean, but I don't intend it to be...some of the kids now are HUGE.  DD12 has a friend who is over 200 pounds.  He's taller than I am.  He's only in 6th grade (and of course he plays football).   :svengo:  My 54 pound kid is like the size of his leg.  We have another friend whose kid is 6'4"...I mean, he can touch our ceiling!  Just saying, kids seem to be getting a lot bigger and heavier earlier now.  I don't remember kids reaching sizes like that until we were in high school.  

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I had this kid. I remember being excited when he temporarily hit the 8th percentile!  Now he's still skinny, 5'5" and ~80 lbs. His current BMI is I think 13. He eats very healthy foods and good quantity and exercises 6 days/week. He's strong too. So have hope!

 

The four things that helped him when he was the same age as yours were homemade bone broth, homemade kefir, liquid fish oil, and egg yolks. The yolks were runny, and he ate them off my finger.

 

The doctor also pointed out to me that percentiles are related to the current population, which is currently suffering from an obesity problem, and DS would have been in a higher percentile if he were born a couple of generations ago. That made me feel better.

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With my older girls, they were tiny too- 15lbs at 1 year. The Dr did want to put weight on them because she was concerned that being premature they were more susceptible to respiratory infections and thought they could handle it better if they were a bit bigger. She suggested mixing powdered milk into all of their food. They were pretty picky, but powdered milk was tasteless and they never noticed. I don't know if it made them gain weight but they were bigger than my other DD. 

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My kids start out at the top of the chart when born, then ease down until they start crawling, at which point they fall way down. Basically they are little chubby babies who slim down when they start moving around. Not a huge deal and my ped knows that is what my kids do. It helps that I'm so short, they can see that the genetics are there to be small. 

 

FTT doesn't just mean low on the chart (my oldest was 5th percentile at his highest when a toddler) but not growing, lacking in health, etc. Skinny but healthy I wouldn't even worry about, not if there are no other issues (GI issues, etc)

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One of mine was very thin - at one point, he was 90th percentile height and 10th percentile weight. Our doctor started him on milk at 9 months (he continued to comfort nurse, but it wasn't his primary food source). We did full fat yogurt, sausage and egg every morning for breakfast (sausage patties are crumbly and easy to eat, I'd cut the egg into squares), avocado, cheese cubes, bits of fruit from canned fruit cocktail when I was on the go, yogurt smoothies/drinkable yogurt/kefir...he also liked frozen foods like blueberries and green peas. He wasn't a fan of carbs in general, but pancakes, muffins, roasted potatoes, even french fries or chicken nuggets would help add pounds (they certainly do when I eat them).

.

It's interesting how much things can vary among doctors. 90th percentile in height and 10th percentile in weight were my son's regular stats at check-ups for many, many years, and no doctor was ever concerned. They usually said something about him being thin like his parents and asked about his eating habits. After they heard that he was not remotely picky and ate large quantities of varied food every day, they were all satisfied. Things I remember him eating in large quantities at 9 months were bananas, avocado, scrambled eggs, and whole wheat toast strips.

 

As a young adult, he is still tall and thin, but very fit and healthy. It's still not easy for him to gain weight, but that is probably at least partly due to him having absolutely no sweet tooth, eating virtually no refined carbs or junk food, and exercising regularly.

Edited by Frances
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..some of the kids now are HUGE... I don't remember kids reaching sizes like that until we were in high school.

I say thay every week I'm dealing with middle schoolers at the museum, and nearly every time I say that, my dad reminds me of the family I was with in middle school whose 3 boys were 6', 6'1", and 6'6" in 6th, 8th and 9th grades. And I had a friend in 8th grade who always told people she was 5'12". So maybe we just didn't really notice it back then? I don't know :p

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It IS scary, because you (general) don't want to go through unnecessary medical intervention, but you don't want to miss a real problem, but you don't want to stuff a kid that doesn't need stuffing!

 

I haven't dealt with FTT issues at that age.  I have had scrawny babies and one dangerously FTT (MSPI), but that was in early infancy.  I also have a scrawny 10yo, but he very clearly takes after his father.

 

At 9 months, yes, I would continue to focus on adding healthy fats/calories.  But I'd also remain open to doctor input (with lots and lots of questions!)  It took me several years to be able to rest assured that ds's serious lack of growth/nutrition in early infancy didn't have any lasting effects.  Had I ignored the doctor's concern and continued on the assumption that he was just like my other babies (which, honestly, I did for a couple of weeks)... well, I don't want to think about how that could have gone.

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That was when DD stopped growing and they said FTT.   In turned out to be growth related and nothing to do with what she was eating, but food was the medical people's go-to solution until they knew what it was.  I figured out on my own that things like cheerios couldn't be allowed.  If she wanted something cheerio-like it would the higher-calorie less-empty Golden Grahams cereal for munching.  One of the first things they had us do was add whipping cream to her milk.  So, I pumped and we added the whipping cream.  All that caused was her drinking less.  Although in her case she was getting plenty of calories for her needs, so maybe that wasn't the case then the whipping cream would have helped.  

 

At one point, Children's Hospital gave me a list of foods to feed her.  At the very top of the list was refried beans.   Which is shocking at first, then you realize that is a food filled with good stuff.  If you only eat a tiny bit of food, then it would be a good thing to have.  The list had a recipe for scrambled egg.   One Tablespoon butter, melted, cook one scrambled egg, add as much cheese as you can.   That was so fat-laden that I made myself scrambled eggs on a nonstick pan with nothing else, then added her leftover egg to mine and there was still plenty(too much) of fat in there.  The doctor also had had us try this shake that was about 1000 calories in 8 oz.  She liked that well enough, but she'd drink some of that and then not eat solids.  

 

Mine had also wanted nothing to do with being spoon-fed.  Nothing.   For her it was milk (breast or cow) or self-feeding.  She would feed herself a ton of blueberries while grocery shopping.  They are a good size for little ones to feed themselves.  

 

One time I thought she had filled herself with blueberries and I was making myself a sandwich next to her while she was in a bumpo chair.   She reached over and snagged the salami.  Ate the whole slice.  So, maybe try to make yourself food within his reach.  There won't be any pressure on him to eat and if you have something interesting he might try it and you can add another thing to his food list.    

 

Before I bought a baby scale on Craigslist, I had the bright idea to go to the post office and use the electronic scale they have there.  It is accurate and in the lobby, so I thought it was brilliant.   Trouble is that it won't show you a number until the weight stays stable for longer than a little one can stay still.  I mention this in case you get the same idea.  

 

You say he'll eat shredded cheese.  Maybe put him on a clean tablecloth on the floor with a bowl of shredded cheese.  He'll get better at getting stuff into his mouth with practice.  

 

Edited by shawthorne44
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When I had an underweight baby I was advised to feed her avocado and also pudding made with cream. After the fact I realized I have too much foremilk and she probably wasn't getting enough of the fatty hindmilk. Can you pump so bit before each feeding to get to the hindmilk faster?

 

Ultimately she was developing normally, and she was happy. She also has skinny genes. When I had another baby with similar growth patterns I fired the pediatrician who gave me grief and told me to stop nursing and give formula, and found one who thought more holistically.

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I am sorry you are having to deal with this. I understand how it feels to have a ped scrutinize these things. We had to change peds when my younger one was an infant because she "didn't believe in reflux" and was making rumblings that his lack of weight gain was my fault (even though he would refuse feedings in her presence, etc.). The new ped treated the reflux plus opted to watch and wait as long as height and head circumference were good. 

 

Turns out that my child has oral motor issues that no one caught when he was an infant and that the first speech evaluation we had for him failed to notice as well. Eventually my son saw a PROMPT speech therapist who caught his issues--at 8 years old! They were so flagrant, and his history was so full of red flags, she was really angry he had not received intervention when he was little (thankfully not angry at me). PROMPT therapists are particularly good at diagnosing and treating oral motor and speech motor issues.

 

Fast forward another year or so, and he received a connective tissue disease diagnosis, which is what causes his oral motor issues. In addition, many individuals with this disease struggle to gain weight. 

 

It turns out that my son is quite average when you look at weight for height percentiles for his DIAGNOSIS. We still try our best to keep him eating, but he's doing okay being on the very slim side. He does not like fatty foods, so it is a real challenge to make substantial changes.

 

I know this is for older children, but I thought it might give you information to make good decisions if the weight issues worsen and/or persist. http://blog.marfan.org/nutrition-weight-and-quality-of-life

 

I believe the other posts in the series are actually a Q and A with a nutritionist.

 

Hang in there!

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One of the luckiest things to happen to me was that my first pediatrician was a tiny woman who had tiny babies. I shudder to think how a doctor could have made me feel about her size. That baby was a healthy, active kid who was always 5th percentile or less. She was 30 lbs at age 6. She's 20 and still hasn't hit triple digits. She thrived.

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