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overweight older nursling- help needed.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Help needed- 4.5 years old has gained allot of weight since the birth of her sister 8 months ago. they are tandem nursing. 


She is now showing up as obese on the growth chart, 40percentile for height and 95 for weight. She was thinner/long prior to the birth of her sister. I think my milk may have contributed. 


She eats ok, and doesn't watch tv. She is a reading/crafting type, not inclined naturally to sport (although she enjoys some activity). She seems generally clumsy and unfit now. She drags her feet even on short walks, looking around slowly daydreaming. At the playground she has a difficult time doing things her peers can. 




How do I address this issue at this age? I know she is getting allot of calories from nursing but she is NOT ready to wean. I really don't want her to head down this road so young....i just want her to be happy/healthy.


I should note here that I ADORE this child. I dont mean to come off harsh or hard on her. I love every inch of her inside and out. She has many wonderful traits. 

post #2 of 12

hmmm...maybe see if she would be interested in joining a dance class, or karate *whatever she is interested in*  and if she is drinking sugary drinks, replace that with water =)

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

yes- i had thought of the class. she is very shy, so we do go to the pool a couple times a week where she likes to swim and play in the water. I am trying to work her up to doing a class with other kids, for now we are just watching the class...



she doesnt drink any juice/soda. Just water, some skim milk, thats it! 


NO candy in our house. 


NO chips. 


Ok....so i do like cookies but only the ones i make and that means not to often maybe once a week. 


I really am not sure where the weight is coming from other than from nursing? she doesnt eat junk, but she doesnt love greens either. She eats like a 4 year old (spuds, pasta, cheese, and the fruits and vegis she chooses like bananas/corn/apples)

post #4 of 12

Maybe you could do a 3 day food diary for her and share it with us?

post #5 of 12
Any chance there might be a mommy-kiddo yoga class or something that might help her overcome the shyness of a kids only class? For a while we took karate at a rec centre with limited space and they had kids and adults in the same class. If something like that exists, would you be willing/able to join for a while to get her over the hump?
Another thought: does she ride a bike? That could be a nice way for her to get some exercise while you wear the baby or use a stroller.
Just some ideas, sorry if they are not helpful
post #6 of 12

I soo know where you are coming from! I've written a post very similar to yours about a year ago when I stayed home with my 2.5 y/o nursling and she gained a lot of weight. I was doing everything *right*, by the book. No soda, no sweets other than the odd homemade cookie, no processed food, (almost) everything was homemade. My dd was 90 percentile for height and over 97 for height. I was watching in horror how my dd climbed in percentiles and kept nagging her to eat her vegetables and limited her portions.


My advice to you is: have faith in your dd that she is eating the right foods and amounts to grow and get the body she is supposed to have. Being a chubby kid doesn't mean she'll be an obese person. Most overweight adults were not overweight as children. I looked at the kids I know and all the chubby kids I know among friends and family have grown to become normal teenagers.

My personal opinion is that one hour a week of structured activity doesn't make any difference in slimming down a child. If you turn off the TV and limit computer time the kids *will* move. Of course, registering her in a class is great, my kids also do a variety of sports, but I don't actually think that it keeps them in shape. My 3 y/o dd spends a lot more energy building a snowman in the backyard than singing "humpty-dumpty" in the pool at her swimming lesson.


The single most harmful thing that we can do to limit their weight gain is to actually focus too much on food, limit their portions, count calories or insist they fill up on vegetables before offering high calorie foods. BTDT, and I wouldn't recommend it.

post #7 of 12
How is she on protein? I notice that most kids, mine included, eat a larger volume of food if it is all or mostly carbs. Add in more protein and it fixes itself in some cases. Not sure if this is applicable to your daughter but thought I'd throw it out there. :-)

And congrats on tandem nursing and your new baby! I have tandem nursed twice but just have one nursing now who also happens to be 4 1/2. It's a fun age. :-)
post #8 of 12

potatoes, pasta and cheese ARE all fattening foods. 


that said, i would not obsess about her weight at 4.5 years old.


look at your own body type, and your husband's body type. how is your own weight (both of you)? this is probably the biggest indicator of her future size and shape.

post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by tropicana View Post

potatoes, pasta and cheese ARE all fattening foods. 


They are fattening only if you overeat them.

There are nations raised on potatoes or pasta for parts of their history that don't have an obesity problem historically.


OP, just wanted to add that your dd looks adorable and not overweight in the slightest. If you look at vintage pictures of kids (1900s) most look like her; my dd is like that too.

post #10 of 12

My daughter gained a lot of extra pudge while tandem nursing. I think it was the extra creamy younger baby milk. But my oldest was still nursing as much as my newborn until I forcefully weaned her at three because I couldn't handle it any more. 


Breast milk is incredibly dense calorically. It will make them pudge up. I get out and move with my kids. We go on 2-5 mile walks several times a week and my kids are 2.5 and 4.5. The 4 year old can walk 5 miles without a problem as long as we move slow and stop to enjoy the beautiful flowers on the way. My 2 year old only needs a little bit of carrying at this point. She can handle 2 miles by herself.


It's taken a lot of work to get us all here. I was always very sedentary before I had kids. I decided that the only way they would become active people is if I do it in front of them. I made a really serious commitment to myself to walk to do every errand we can do within walking distance (we have some small grocery stores, a farmers market, a thrift store, a home depot, an REI (for shoes!) and a decent park within a 2 mile radius of our house). It has been a slow process through my 4 year old's life. When she was six months old I couldn't walk a mile without sitting down to rest while panting. Last year I ran a marathon.


So in short my attitude is: I give my kids the most nutritious food possible (including breast milk) and if they get pudgy that's fine with my. I think that the most important part is remembering that we are grazing animals. We were designed to walk ~12 miles a day slowly. That is what we evolved to do. I'm trying to help my kids be active enough that their bodies learn what being strong feels like. I care about strength rather than about how someone looks. :)

post #11 of 12

I think she is naturally going to slim down as your younger child grows and your milk adjusts. Her diet has changed because your milk has changed. So if she is going to maintain or slim down, she needs to move more, or your milk needs to change, which it will over time. I agree with PPs that the best way to get her moving is for your whole little family to get moving, go walking, dance in the living room, keep up the swimming pool, go sledding, build that snowman with baby in the carrier, etc. It is super hard to have enough energy to jump around alot with the baby on you, but basically the more you move, the more your little girl will. And if it is not a happening, don't worry so much about it. She will slim down when your milk changes or she grows out of nursing. You love her just like she is. Don't think of her as fat and she won't either.

Also, as far as toddler favorite foods go: cheese, pasta, potatoes, etc., why not feel free to offer a wide variety of healthy foods, since you know calories aren't what she needs, offer a wide variety of whole grains, veggies, etc. If she chooses not to eat them, no big deal, a banana or a quick bowl of oatmeal is easy to offer instead. She's clearly getting plenty of calories, so if she only eats a little bit of other stuff, she'll be fine, right? Sometimes we are tempted to just give our kids what they will eat, but with your milk , you have the opportunity to be as creative and varied as you choose with what you offer, and she can take it or leave it and not starve, eh?

post #12 of 12

I would talk to a pediatrician. A child who over the course of eight months goes from normal to



She seems generally clumsy and unfit now. She drags her feet even on short walks, looking around slowly daydreaming. At the playground she has a difficult time doing things her peers can.

I would want to have checked to make sure something else isn't going on to cause the developmental delay. It may be tricky to find a ped who doesn't blame the nursing, but it would be good to rule out something bigger going on. Or just something different.

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