Does My BF Baby Have Stunted Growth? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-08-2010, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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NAK. Hi all. Typical story. Uneducated doc tells me that my bf 1-yo isn't growing fast enough and I need to introduce toddler formula. I know all about the inaccurate charts STILL used in doctors offices and how the WHO charts for bf babies are more accurate.

So here's the deal. DS weighed 17 pounds at 6 months, 50th percentile per WHO charts. At 13 months, he weighs 20 pounds and is now in the 25th percentile. Is a three-pound weight gain cause for alarm? Is that what they call "falling off the curve?"

He eats 3-5 solid meals per day and still bf's frequently. He is healthy and VERY active. Just some considerations...

If anybody has some data/links for me, I'd appreciate it. TIA

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Old 10-08-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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It's normal for weight gain to slow down once babies become mobile.

Looking at the weight-for-age chart, it looks like he's actually holding pretty steady at the 20ish percentile: http://www.who.int/childgrowth/stand...boys_p_0_2.pdf

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Old 10-08-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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If your son is meeting his milestones, you shouldn't worry. Most kids do stop packing on the pounds around a year when they are more active.

How is his height? How is his feet length? Are either you or your husband petite?

I am petite and my daughter is following in my footsteps apparently. She weighs ~22 lbs. at 19 mos. and has really only gained ~3 lbs. since her 1st birthday. However, she has gained ~2.5 inches in heighth in that same time frame and her feet have grown 3 sizes. She's talking, running, full of personality. She eats when she wants to, as much as she wants to. She still breastfeeds between 6 - 8 times per 24 hours.

All this to say, she's normal, she's healthy. I bet you would notice signs/symptoms if your son were unhealthy or if something were abnormal. You are doing great, mama!

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Old 10-08-2010, 02:45 AM
 
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He sounds healthy to me. My DD was 17 lbs at age 1 and 21 lbs at age 2 so I am not one to talk. lol. FWIW she is totally healthy. At 2.5 she weight 24 lbs and is 32 inches tall. She is both slim and short, but full of energy. If it were me I would not be worried. In fact once she turned 12 months I stopped measuring her so much. I now only record her weight and height every 6 months-ish.

Dr Jay Gordon has an article called "Look at the baby and not the scale." That I really enjoyed.

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Old 10-08-2010, 03:00 AM
 
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My daughter fell on the growth chart at the same age as your son. At the time our doctor was concerned so he had me bring her in for a weight check once a month for three months by doing this we were able to establish that although she had dropped off of the original growth curve she was now following a new growth curve. Our doctor did not suggest nor did we use formula at this point although she was eating some solids at that time (fruits, vegetables and cereals for the most part.) She is now very healthy if somewhat petite almost 12 year old.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Your doctor doesn't know what he is talking about.

How is your DS's overall growth -- has he grown in height? Head circ?

If your DS is very active, of course, the growth is going to slow down. Some babies do drop percentiles as they get older. My doctor (who is very pro-bf'ing) said that most bf babies aren't really in an accurate "growth curve" until closer to a year. This has certainly been the case for DS1 and looks like DS2 is on that same path. DS1 was 50% at 6 months, 25% at 1 year and that is close to where he is at 3 years old. He was even chunkier at 4 months (80%) but that just isn't his body type. He is long and lean. His height has consistently been 85% and head around 90%. So he has grown, just not as much weight-wise.

He eats a lot of healthy fats -- avocado, olive oil, flax, salmon and calorie dense foods -- whole grain pasta, along with a lot of veggies and fruits. He does eat meat also.

The kid loves his food BUT he eats smaller meals more often. Way healthier than stuffing him big meals only. And certainly better than giving toddler formula!

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Old 10-08-2010, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS’s height has held steadily in the 80th percentile. I don’t know his head circ or feet but the doctor hasn’t expressed any concerns about it or even commented on it.

DH is 5’11.” I’m from a family of really tall people, but MIL’s side is pretty short, so there are definitely some genetics to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaeDyCo View Post

If your DS is very active, of course, the growth is going to slow down. Some babies do drop percentiles as they get older. My doctor (who is very pro-bf'ing) said that most bf babies aren't really in an accurate "growth curve" until closer to a year.
Now THAT'S good to know. It sounds like your DS and mine are both what William Sears calls "banana babies," long and lean.

I now need to call and cancel that appt...

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Old 10-17-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ariatrance View Post
If your son is meeting his milestones, you shouldn't worry.
i just wanted to correct this statement, because i see it everywhere and it's untrue. if your child is failing to meet milestones, than damage has already been done, and you're in the unfortunate position of trying to do what you can to minimize any permanent effects. you certainly want to intervene BEFORE the child is so malnourished that they're failing to meet milestones.

unfortunately, it's really hard to tell if a child is under-nourished, or just growing the way his genetics have programmed him. this is where a good doctor is really important--one that doesn't push formula as soon as the kid drops a few percentiles, but doesn't write off a drop in growth entirely.

my first daughter spent her first 6 months below the 3rd percentile for height to weight ratio. she ate like a CHAMP, and was doing fine--growing like a weed really, she was very long. it was just her. my doc actually never even told me about how low her percentile was until suddenly fattened up and hit the almost 10th percentile. she just watched carefully and asked a million questions about feeding and diapers. and all that time i thought she was just being really thorough!

however, if a child starts to fall off a growth curve as an older baby, i think diapers are really far less important. and since your baby has access to all the solids he wants, he'd just eat more of those if he were hungry. plenty of babies don't get formula or breastmilk anymore once they turn 1 and they grow just fine on regular food!

so, long story short, your boy sounds just fine to me! but i wouldn't cancel that appointment. you never know if there's something you don't know about (like reflux maybe, which it turns out DD1 had but had NONE of the typical signs, and it wasn't diagnosed until she was 3). follow his growth at the doctor's office because there's always that small chance he's got some kind of allergy/swallow issue/digestive problem and that is affecting his growth.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majormajor View Post
i just wanted to correct this statement, because i see it everywhere and it's untrue. if your child is failing to meet milestones, than damage has already been done, and you're in the unfortunate position of trying to do what you can to minimize any permanent effects. you certainly want to intervene BEFORE the child is so malnourished that they're failing to meet milestones.
I don't feel that my statement is incorrect in this situation. Her son has gained three pounds. While it is a slow weight gain, it is still a gain and not a loss. Do malnourished babies still gain weight (I really don't know - real question, not being facetious.)? If there aren't signs of all over growth being effected by his weight pattern, such as milestones, than 'I' would not worry in this situation. I probably could have been clearer in my original post.

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Old 10-19-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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My doctor flipped out on me too recently for something very similar. But honestly, its *EXACTLY* what ds1 did, so I'm not worried - he too was in 50-75% till about 6-9 months, when he started to 'drop'. He's now 3.5 and weighs 31#s soaking wet. And is ~37/38" - so like 10-20%. As long as he's healthy and seems ot be meeting milestones an otherwise OK, I'd ignore them. I really, really would.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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From 6 months to a year my son also fell from the 50th to almost off the chart. He was only 18 pounds at a year. He is a perfectly normal and healthy 33 pound 4 year old who weaned at 3 years 9 months without ever haveing a drop of formula. His height to weight ratio stayed on the 50th percentile but he was just really short for his age. I find that the height to weight chart gave me confidence that this was just his genetics and not undernourishment.

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Old 10-19-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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Sounds exactly what both my older kids did. well, dd ended up short, but ds has been long and lean since about 6 months.

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Old 10-19-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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Just chiming in to say that my DD was also 17 lbs at six months and only 19 pounds at a year. Now at 18 months she is starting to gain faster and is up to 21 pounds. She is clearly just fine: healthy, happy, meeting all her milestones (early on a lot of them), and her hair, skin, and eyes are all glowing and healthy. She has continued to gain height even when she hasn't been gaining weight. Her ped always asks me what she eats but is always satisfied with my answers. The ped is not worried and has concluded this is a normal growth curve for my child, has never mentioned formula, and strongly supports continued breastfeeding.

In short, I bet your kiddo is just fine, and I'd be looking for a new ped.

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Old 10-20-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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DD was at 90th percentile height & weight steadily until around 1year. She was nursing 6-8x still plus 2-3 solid meals at this time. Then she totally dropped off to 90th percentile height but 50th percentile weight suddenly (still is at almost 2yr). My ped and I agreed to continue nursing the same, but offer more nutrient/calorie dense foods for her solids and watch her because it happened so suddenly. But she was totally fine and she probably just "settled" into her body type then. So I think it's definitely something to monitor but not a cause for alarm. I would suggest what we did, which was to keep nursing & offering more snacks/solids. Good luck!

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Old 10-20-2010, 02:48 AM
 
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according to the old charts DD was up to 50th at 3 months, then went to below the 5th by the time she was 9 months. I think she was below the 5th on the WHO charts too. She's been super healthy, eats a ton, and is a bit ahead of average on most developmental milestones. and she started gaining at a faster rate after 9 months, but at her 15 month appointment she was still below the 5th, though closer to the curve. Every child has their own growth pattern, so as long as he's healthy and still growing I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just make sure you're offering lots of nutritious foods

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