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Another Thread about Breastfeeding and Weight Gain in Toddlers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Sigh. I know these are common. We just came back from Muffin's 15 month well child today. Our pediatrician is actually a pediatric ARNP. Very AP and breastfeeding friendly. The deal is, Muffin was a huge 6 month old. Huge, chubby, breastfed baby. Then she started moving and hasn't stopped since. She's probably gained 3 or 4 lbs since then, and almost as many inches. She's going to be a very tall girl. At nine months, the pediatrician said "get fats in her and nurse often", at 12 months she said "nursing counts as servings of dairy, keep nursing and offer high fat snacks often", today she said "she's getting too much breast milk, it's keeping her from gaining weight, usually kids lose interest in nursing about 18 months". I don't believe in my gut that breast milk is keeping her from gaining weight. She's not terribly interested in food. Nurses about 5 or 6 times in a 24 hour period (maybe more, it's hard to keep track). I offer her a variety of higher fat, lower sugar, balanced meals and snacks. We do butter, cheese, half and half, sour cream, olive oil, and coconut oil in everything. I try to maximize the nutritional value of every bite that goes in her mouth. She'll try most anything but doesn't eat a substantial amount. Doesn't appear to have any sensitivities or allergies, she's a vibrant, active, muscular, healthy little girl with chubby legs, round cheeks, and a toddler belly. 

I'm not going to wean her, particularly not with the hope that it will make her eat more. She's very attached to nursing, and very stubborn. I don't feel that she is anywhere near ready to be done. I'm perfectly fine with nodding and smiling every time the subject comes up. But, I am a little worried about her weight gain, I know it's common for breastfed babies to plateau a little, but even on the WHO breastfed charts, she's slipping a little. And the next person who suggests avocado is going to get one thrown at them. I know what to feed her, the question is, do I worry about this at all, and if I do, how do I get her to put more in her mouth? 

post #2 of 5
Is she totally off the WHO charts? It is normal for weight gain to slow down after 9 mos. or a year. You didn't include specifics so it's difficult to say if you should be worried or not.

My first reaction is that this doesn't sound breastfeeding friendly at all. I won't offer any advice on what to feed her but I would encourage you to do your own research and go with your gut instinct on this. I'm surprised someone who is pro-breastfeeding would recommend weaning at 15 months.

She sounds healthy and happy so I would go with your gut on this one and continue nursing. It is really still the healthiest option for a 15 month old.
post #3 of 5
Breastmilk continues to be high calorie and high fat as long as she nurses. Especially if she doesn't eat in great quantity, I'd offer more nursing rather than less. FWIW my DD put on as much weight in the first six months of life as she did in the next year - and she's a good eater. I'd go with your instincts and keep offering the nutritious food you already are and let her appetite guide her as long as she has unrestricted access to nursing.
post #4 of 5

Breastmilk is 50% fat. You pediatrician doesn't know what she's talking about. "nursing counts as servings of dairy"???

 

If your toddler is falling off the charts and you are worried, I would seek a second opinion.

 

Just a word of caution: if you focus or insist on getting *more* food into your toddler (or food containing more fat) you risk to turn her off food, and make her picky. Don't count the nutritional value of her every bite, it could backfire.

 

Agree with PP, no breastfeeding-supporting doc would say that an 18 mo/old nurses too often.
 

post #5 of 5
My son is taller than 95% of his peers and only heavier than5%. My ped told me to chill and let him be. If you see a healthy vibrant child then she most likely is, especially if she eats well. The breastfeeding relationship is way more crucial to her health. If you need support check out an LLLI meeting.
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