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Starting solids because of weights

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, this is my first post :)  I hope that it is in the right section.  I have 6.5 month old twin girls who weigh 10.5 # and 11#.  They just had their 6 month check up today and I discovered that they aren't on "the charts" at all.  Well below.  I knew that they were thin, but I didn't know how much.  My ped suggested that I go ahead and start solids.  I was planning on trying BLW though.  The girls aren't sitting up on their own, but do show interest in foods.  I am a little hesitant as to what to do.  The ped thinks that I need to go ahead and start to get their weights up.  If I start BLW, it could be months before they actually get anything in their bodies.

 

Right now, they are EBF.  Any suggestions?  Should I really be concerned about their weights?  I really, really wanted to wait for solids, but it seems that they just aren't getting enough calories from me.  I don't have a supply problem, or at least I don't think I do :) 

 

Thank in advance,

Jenn

post #2 of 10

As you rightly point out, starting solids does not mean they will actually eat solids!

 

My pediatrician said that milk (breastmilk or formula) has a higher concentration of calories than solids so more bang for your buck.

 

I would continue to breastfeed them until they show readiness for solids.  Starting solids at 6 months is just a guideline.

 

Also, was your peds concerned about their actual weight?  My son has always been around the 5th percentile for weight, and the peds has always said it's more important that he stays on his own curve, rather than the actual amount he weights.

 

Are your girls gaining weight steadily?  Are they healthy and meeting their milestones?  Do they have good diaper output?  Do they seem well hydrated?

 

Remember that food under 1 is just for fun, and should add to rather than replace breastmilk. If you start soilds, be sure to continue to breastfeed them as you normally would, then offer solids.

 

They may just be genetically destined to be thin, or their weight might take a while to catch up to kids their own age.

 

FWIW, when I started my son on solids, he didn't eat a whole lot...and still doesn't at 18 months, on the other hand he loves breastfeeding.

post #3 of 10

A couple questions first:  Were they full term?  What were their weights?

 

As Redmom pointed out, most foods (especially common "first foods") are lower in fat and calories than breastmilk.  If you do decide to start solids, I would encourage you to go with something high fat like avacado versus rice cereal or bananas.

 

How are the twins growing compared to your older children at the same age.  If not for the doctors comments, would have have concerns about their growth (are they not getting taller, heads getting better, not meeting developmental milestones; do they have brittle hair; is their skin loose or off-colored?

 

I looked at the WHO growth chart (recommended for kids under 2) and they are definatelly "off the charts":

http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=355613721178013&set=a.125766564162731.24153.122133834526004&type=1&theater

That said, if they were very small at birth OR need to be age adjusted that would make a huge difference!

post #4 of 10

I wouldn't start solids either until they're showing more signs of being ready. Just a thought...maybe you could increase YOUR intake of fats??

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, the twins were of good size when they were born, 6# 7oz and 6# 3 oz.  But, they did not gain weight steadily.  They lost quite a bit and I had a hard time getting them to latch and suck strong enough to get any breast milk.  At the recommendation of my midwife and lactation consultant, I used bottles of breast milk and supplemented until they gained enough to cut out the bottles all together. That was a hard time :(  At about 10 weeks, I just decided to stop the bottles after talking with a LLL leader. 

 

They were born at 37 weeks, 4 days.

 

Their growth curve is gaining, but not enough.  I think they only gained about 1/2 pound since their 4 month visit.  That just doesn't seem like enough to me.

 

They seem healthy to me.  And they are very active and seem to be meeting their milestones.  They do not sit up yet or show interest.  They love their exersaucers, but do not use their legs for standing on much.  They have great neck strength though.  Their hair is not brittle and their skin is fine.  They just seem tiny :)  My first child, DS8, was also thin and was very low on the "charts."  But, he was always ON them, just low.  My second child, DD4, was 9# 5oz at birth, so she never had this problem!  The girls are on the charts as far as their heights.  They are both 25".
 

What could I do to increase my intake of fat to make it more fatty?  I already eat a lot of avocados and take fish oils daily.  I feel like my body is just not keeping up with the metabolic needs of breastfeeding my twins :(  I knew that they were smallish, but after seeing the ped. I feel like I am failing them a little.  I worked so hard to get my supply up and now I don't have to do that as much that my body is regulated.  Breastfeeding twins is WAY different than my singletons!

 

I asked the ped if he honestly thought that starting solids would get them on "the charts" and he said yes.  Whatever.  I am not AGAINST starting solids now, I really just wanted to wait later.

 

Jenn

post #6 of 10

Why not offer them some avocado (cut into tiny bites) and see if they like it?  Might turn out that they are really ready and eager.  If not, then wait awhile... 

 

I've had two tiny babes (off the charts tiny).  I know how hard it is.  Hugs.

post #7 of 10

I agree with Redmom 100%. 

 

We went through the same thing with our little boy and his pediatrician encouraged us to start solids when he was almost 6 months old and he had shown interest in food for at least two months, had been sitting since he was 17 weeks old, and was all over the place on his exersaucer, but solids were a nightmare for us nonetheless. He was 6lbs 13 ounces at birth. He clearly wasn't ready and in our case, it did some damage to his gut that we spent a long time healing. We started him on organic brown rice cereal first ( big mistake ) and then carrots, bananas, and sweet potatoes. All things most pediatricians says are easy first foods. If you really feel like you should pursue solids, I would suggest reading about the Weston A. Price Foundation and their recommendation of baby's first solid foods. I wish we had done it differently. 

 

Has anyone really given them a thorough clinical evaluation for a tongue or lip tie? Our son will be 2 in two weeks and I just found out he has both three months ago. This helps explain his latch issues and slow weight gain. It was missed by our midwife, lactation consultant, and a la leche league member, but was recently diagnosed by three dentists and two lactation consultants. There's a tongue tie support group on facebook and you can post photos and get feedback. We're going for laser revision in 3 weeks. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi, fwiw, I did offer a little mashed avocado mixed with breast milk.  The bigger twin, took it just fine.  The smaller twin, unfortunately, did not. She hasn't lost her reflex yet. I guess I will keep trying for a day or so.  If she doesn't get any better, I will wait a bit. 

 

 

Thanks for all your support,

Jenn
 

post #9 of 10

Hey Jenn

 

Please don't beat yourself or feel that you have failed your twins.  On the contrary, it takes a lot of effort and commitment to breastfeed twins, and especially given that you had some challenges initially. 

 

I just had another thought - maybe reach out to other moms of twins....because I wonder if it's common for twins to take a while to "catch up"?  I have a friend with twins, and she says they have always been off the charts but have grown steadily, because they started off smaller than most babies.

 

I know a couple of moms whose kids were having trouble gaining weight, and they supplemented with a product like Pediasure - but please check with your peds first since I believe it's quite concentrated in calories.

 

Good luck and great job giving your kids the best start in life.

post #10 of 10

I think six months is a very reasonable age to start, regardless of weight. And you know, whatever you do, babies will *choose* to eat or not eat solids, *choose* to eat or not eat purees, *choose* to eat or not eat small pieces/more traditional blw. Don't stress about it. Offer some nutritious options like avocado, sweet potato etc. and see how it goes. It isn't jumping off a cliff. Starting solids can be slow and find and is very much appropriate at this age. One of my kids loved homemade puree and one kid wouldn't touch it. 

 

And you know, you rock and all for ebf twins. It is normal for twins to have slightly weight gain for awhile.

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