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Urgent BLW advice needed!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys

Today I took my four month old son to his well baby visit. Everything looked great, thank god. We had a brief little chat about whether I'd started solids yet, I said I intended to persue baby led weaning and thus far he's had no more than a tiny lick of peach and banana he stole out of my hand. They were really supportive and said it was fine to skip rice cereal, wait to six months and breastfeed for two years as I intend to.

Then we took him to be weighed. Well, so much for my plans! He dropped from the 60th to the 20th percentile in two months. He's only gained a pound. I missed it entirely. He's totally proportionate, so he still looks like a chubby little baby to me, but I guess he really hasn't grown much at all.

He's already fed on demand and he's already combination fed due to breastfeeding issues. There's very little I can do to boost calories with milk at this point. The dr suggested rethinking my aversion to baby cereals and starting solids now.

I guess my question is, if I do start solids now at four months to help get some extra calories in him is it necessary to ONLY spoon feed cereals? He is extremely interested in bringing foods to his mouth on his own, my older child wasn't this interested in food until much later. Is there anything else I can give him at this age that's a bit more in line with my whole 'food is a fun, exploratory thing' philosophy. If not I'm happy to try cereal, I just thought I'd ask if there are any safe alternatives for a baby as young as my boy.

And just for fun, here's his chubby little nursing face smile.gif http://instagram.com/p/dFrhRWp8_8/
post #2 of 12
But isn't breastmilk the highest calorie, fattiest food there one would ever feed a baby? Aren't there way more calories in breastmilk than rice cereal?

I don't know enough about how much bit matters that your baby dropped in the percentiles -- that's a medical question and I don't know if your pediatrician is making too big a deal out of it or whether there's real reason to worry. But I know I had friends whose pediatricians were pushing them to introduce solid foods b/c their infant was skinny, and when they did the research and pointed out that introducing solids would reduce his caloric intake, not increase it, the ped backed off and agreed with them. He is a tall, strong, healthy, still skinny, elementary-age boy today.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
See this was my thinking too. I told the dr I didn't understand how he could be missing out if I'm feeding on demand at every hunger cue. She said I'm doing everything right (it's a very pro bf practice and very supportive of more APish practices) and she wouldn't suggest I wean per say, just consider offering a solid after feedings and see how it goes.

My understanding with percentiles is that it's not a huge thing unless they get below the 5th. However my son in particular was 9lbs 6 oz at birth, stayed at or above the 60th percentile at every weigh in, and is now only 14 pounds and 20th for both height and weight. Both height and weight have gone way off track all of a sudden. The dr did suggest he may just be a small baby, and I could get away with waiting till 6 months so I can offer foods in line with BLW, the risk would just be if he continued to fall through percentiles over the next two months.

I don't know, I'm super conflicted. I feed on demand, I give supplemental feeds, he is constantly hungry and even dream nurses throughout the night in his sleep. I wanted to skip the cereal phase, but I just don't know.
post #4 of 12
Could you try increasing BFing & supplementing some and maybe come back in 2 weeks or so for a weight check before starting cereal? A lot of times you don't even need an appointment for that, just verify with your pediatrician. Maybe he's going through a phase where he is more interested in looking around or whatever than eating so he's not quite eating as much as he should? I do know my DD was kind of bouncing around in the percentiles for awhile before she settled in. I dunno, I wouldn't want to jump on cereal first, I'd want to try upping his liquid diet first some and see how that went.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's the part that I've been confused about. He's on the breast all. day. long. He nurses nonstop and gets a bottle every couple of hours during the day when we're at home. He's a very content baby who barely ever cries, so I try to nurse at even the smallest of hunger cues. It's very difficult to get any extra formula into him, he's not a big fan. Since asking this question I've tried letting him gum a bit of steamed carrot and banana, which he tolerated. He swallows food, holds his head well and can sit in a highchair. I just can't get past how little he is. A 4.5 month old eating solids just doesn't fit.

I took this pic today http://instagram.com/p/de9wDsp85-/
Maybe I'm crazy, but that looks like a healthy chubby little 4.5 month old baby. I still don't get when and how he dropped off his growth track so drastically.
post #6 of 12
Maybe I am confused or reading the chart wrong but at 14 pounds/ 4 months of age he is 50% for weight.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Really? That's crazy! They showed me the chart and he was plotted at 60th percentile for every weigh in and then suddenly dropped off to 20th, and he's definitely 14 pounds. I watched them weigh him. I don't know if it makes a difference, but he was 10 pounds at birth. Perhaps having only gained 4 pounds in 4 months is the problem. But that doesnt explain them specifically saying he had dropped down in the chart. Hmm...curiouser and curiouser.

ETA - just looked at the chart, and you're right. That does say 50th. But the chart at the drs said 20th. I'm going to call them and see what the problem is here.
post #8 of 12

They could be using the old chart that was based off white, middle-class, formula fed babies in the 50's.  But, to me, your son seems just fine.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh my god, that never occurred to me! That would explain why a 10 pound newborn was only considered 60th percentile from the get go. That makes so much sense. Not only is he breastfed, but my jack has had some health problems to work with. Of course he'd seem small on the old charts. Man is that a relief. Thank all of you so much for helping me figure this out. I'll still call the drs office and let them know that their chart is inconsistent with the newer one.
post #10 of 12

Make sure your ped is using the charts for breastfed babies (WHO).  Honestly, the risks of introducing solids much too soon and taking up space that should be filled with nice calorie-rich, fatty milk is a bigger problem, imo, than falling a few points on the charts.  (And they miscalculated, that shows as 50th percentile on CDC charts.)  Often when you have a very big newborn, you will fall off a bit over the next few months.  As long as there are no other signs- dehydration, not meeting milestones, inadequate milk transfer etc- just keep plugging along. 

post #11 of 12

From Kellymom:






The 1977 growth charts for babies under 2 years old were based on a study conducted in Ohio from 1929 to 1975. The babies in this study:


  • were primarily fed formula or a combination of breastmilk and formula
  • often started solids before 4 months


As a result, the 1977 growth charts are not a reliable indicator of the growth of children who:


  • are breastfed only
  • delay solids until around six months, as is now recommended by many health organizations
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
This is such fantastic news. No more fretting over weaning for me! Food is officially going back to the status of a fun, exploratory thing we'll get to in 6 weeks.
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