21-month DD is now "Failure to Thrive"! :( I need help to figure this out ): - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-26-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been forever since I logged on, but I am so desperate to get to the bottom of this. My once chunky and healthy DD, who just turned 21 months, has now been classified as "Failure to Thrive" by the pediatrician.

 

Her weight gain has gradually and slowly been declining since shortly after a year old.

 

She is very bright, energetic, developing well, and seems to actually be thriving, but hasn't put on any weight in the past month or two. In the months before that, her weight gain started slowing down drastically. It doesn't seem like she is rapidly gaining in height either, although it hasn't plateaued like the weight has.

 

She still breastfeeds for most of her caloric intake. She is not a big eater, but is eating a bit more and more over time. She is picky. She has trouble chewing. She hardly ever drinks water. She has started drinking a lot of half & half (organic) and eating butter (also organic).

 

I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but she also is constantly constipated, and it takes daily stool softeners for her to have a bowel movement every day, and whenever she does poo, it is extremely painful for her. Since she's a picky eater, she won't eat a lot of green veggies or fruits. She'll eat oats, beans, and sometimes apples. They don't seem to help much though. She used to eat a lot of prunes and drink the juice, but she refuses it now.

 

She also doesn't have a lot of hair, not as much as other girls her age seem to have, and her teeth are getting a bit yellow... we never had so many health problems with her in her first year.

 

If anyone can offer some help, I would be so happy to hear it. Thank you!


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Old 11-26-2012, 05:47 PM
 
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Have you considered food allergies?

The constipation, not gaining weight, pickiness could all be related.

You could try taking out some of the big ones like dairy, soy and wheat and see if that helps....and then reintroduce them one by one to see if only one was the culprit.

You would probably have to quit them all yourself too, at least until you figure out if any of them seem to be bothering her.

Good luck mama!

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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My daughter was preemie and had a lot of digestion issues all her life...lots of acid and tummy aches. Weird x-rays at birth showed a mass which they thought was air and it eventually disappeared. It was in the area of her esophogus behind her heart. To this day, major tummy aches and pukes in her mouth. She is 6. Only thing they came up with was IBS (which I don't really buy). Did the invasive testing...didn't show any allergies or chronic GERD or anything. I am going to try an elimination diet if it continues much longer. On anti-acid now, but we always forget to take the second dose at night, and she isn't improved enough in my opinion. She also had no hair for a long time. Finally started getting hair around age three. Has lots of it now. I asked the nurse of the gastro doc if there was any correlation...maybe some sort of digestion/malabsorption issue due to digestive problems...she thought I was nuts for even suggesting that the hair could be related. I could tell in her voice. I think you may be on to something with the hair...that and the yellow teeth. My son's teeth are super yellow. His 6 yr molars came in very brittle too...crowns already. Dentist told me it is a sign that he was very sick as a baby around the age when those teeth are developing (0-6 mos) which makes sense. I think it's all related. I hope you can get to the bottom of it. I am so dreading doing an elimination diet with my daughter but it's getting to that point. Let us know what you find out please! Good luck.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:40 PM
 
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I think constipation might make a person less hungry, especially a baby.  If the baby is focusing on the uncomfortable sensation of being constipated, she is less likely to pay attention to hunger cues, and less likely to eat enough. 

 

Have you tried making healthy popsicles with smoothies?  You can mix lots of fruits (and possibly vegetables) with a little juice in the blender and then freeze them into popsicle shapes.  I found a tray which has 12 tiny bear moulds at the hobby shop.  I think it's supposed to be for candy, but I freeze juice and smoothies in it.  My toddler will eat anything shaped like a bear. 

 

On another note, my son used to have similar digestive problems which surfaced around the same time as your daughter's.  What finally helped him was time and possibly a probiotic powder.  The problems worked themselves out by the time he was around 7.  He's still small, but he's catching up to his friends now in growth (he's 9 now.)

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Old 11-27-2012, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckypirahna View Post

Have you considered food allergies?

The constipation, not gaining weight, pickiness could all be related.

You could try taking out some of the big ones like dairy, soy and wheat and see if that helps....and then reintroduce them one by one to see if only one was the culprit.

You would probably have to quit them all yourself too, at least until you figure out if any of them seem to be bothering her.

Good luck mama!

This is a good hint. Hadn't thought of it, but could totally make sense. Especially since I have a nut sensitivity, and did actually consume nuts a handful of times since I got preggy. I probably have a gluten allergy too.

 

Thank you, will try the elimination on those three big ones, and let you know how it goes...


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Old 11-27-2012, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jmarroq View Post

My daughter was preemie and had a lot of digestion issues all her life...lots of acid and tummy aches. Weird x-rays at birth showed a mass which they thought was air and it eventually disappeared. It was in the area of her esophogus behind her heart. To this day, major tummy aches and pukes in her mouth. She is 6. Only thing they came up with was IBS (which I don't really buy). Did the invasive testing...didn't show any allergies or chronic GERD or anything. I am going to try an elimination diet if it continues much longer. On anti-acid now, but we always forget to take the second dose at night, and she isn't improved enough in my opinion. She also had no hair for a long time. Finally started getting hair around age three. Has lots of it now. I asked the nurse of the gastro doc if there was any correlation...maybe some sort of digestion/malabsorption issue due to digestive problems...she thought I was nuts for even suggesting that the hair could be related. I could tell in her voice. I think you may be on to something with the hair...that and the yellow teeth. My son's teeth are super yellow. His 6 yr molars came in very brittle too...crowns already. Dentist told me it is a sign that he was very sick as a baby around the age when those teeth are developing (0-6 mos) which makes sense. I think it's all related. I hope you can get to the bottom of it. I am so dreading doing an elimination diet with my daughter but it's getting to that point. Let us know what you find out please! Good luck.

I know, I too feel like the hair and the teeth have to be related. I had forgotten to mention, she already has a cavity, and I've been so good about not feeding her sugar! But, I wasn't so good about cleaning her teeth at first... :(

 

So as far as all that, I have quit my daily cup of coffee, and even anything remotely caffeinated to see if that helps (on most days. still need a little something every once in a while). And, I think it is helping her mood if nothing else. Also, I am going to try being healthier myself, and see how that helps. Try to drink more water, exercise more, consume more fruits and veggies.

 

Another thought I've had is getting her some more exercise. What if she's not eating because she's not hungry because she's not moving as much as she should? The movement could also help with the constipation.

 

Thank you, and will definitely keep you posted. Good luck to you as well, hope those little ones start feeling better! Feel free to update me on the elimination diet.


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Old 11-28-2012, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dovey View Post

I think constipation might make a person less hungry, especially a baby.  If the baby is focusing on the uncomfortable sensation of being constipated, she is less likely to pay attention to hunger cues, and less likely to eat enough. 

 

Have you tried making healthy popsicles with smoothies?  You can mix lots of fruits (and possibly vegetables) with a little juice in the blender and then freeze them into popsicle shapes.  I found a tray which has 12 tiny bear moulds at the hobby shop.  I think it's supposed to be for candy, but I freeze juice and smoothies in it.  My toddler will eat anything shaped like a bear. 

 

On another note, my son used to have similar digestive problems which surfaced around the same time as your daughter's.  What finally helped him was time and possibly a probiotic powder.  The problems worked themselves out by the time he was around 7.  He's still small, but he's catching up to his friends now in growth (he's 9 now.)

 

Constipation affecting hunger totally makes sense. So, maybe if I work on the constipation, she'll eat more.

 

I will attempt the smoothies, although our house stays so cold now, I hate making her even more cold by feeding her frozen stuff. It would be great for summer. 

 

I had been giving her probiotic powder... need to get back into it again.


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Old 11-28-2012, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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By the way, forgot to ask, WTH does "Failure to Thrive" really mean anyway? Is it self-explanatory, or is there more to it? How strict of a definition does it have? Should I be afraid? I am already pretty worried, but trying to not be scared that my baby is going to waste away, but is that what it really means?

 

She seems so happy and healthy otherwise...


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Old 11-28-2012, 06:51 AM
 
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It does sound like there are some medical issues going on - possibly allergies or whatever. However, I did want to point out that many peds are still not using the correct weight gain charts for breastfed babies (as recommended by the CDC). They are HERE and THIS is the specific one for a girl your daughter's age.. If you have a record (or can call and get a record) of her weights, you can plot them yourself and make sure that you're really dealing with a weight-gain issue. Breastfed children naturally have more of a pronounced plateau than formula-fed children do, so plotting the same points on the two different graphs will show a very different picture of a child's health.

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Old 12-15-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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This is only my opinion, but I believe your daughter has gut issues that is interfering with her desire to eat and her ability to absorb nutrients. At her age, she does need a significant intake of nutrient dense foods, including fat (so good job on the half and half and butter...just switch to organic heavy cream for the half and half). I don't know you at all or what you're able to take on, but she needs some gut healing in the form of probiotics and bone broth, and even a small amount of digestive enzymes.  Has she had antibiotics?  Did you have any during the birth or during pregnancy? Have you had a history of antibiotics or digestive issues?

 

The lack of desire to eat, her slowed growth and her constipation are all red flags to me. There is a diet called the GAPS diet that perhaps you'd want to read about and see if there are aspects of it that might be appropriate for her.  Little ones heal quickly - if you can get her on a regimen of good probiotics (Bio kult from amazon, it'll go a long way for her) and get more nutrient dense foods into her, she may respond quite well. There is a lot of online support for GAPS whether you do part of it or all of it. The main site is www.gaps.me.

 

Egg yolks (from a good source) is a good food for her for gaining weight, blend it up raw with heavy cream if she'll drink something like that. Put a little vanilla in. Whatever animal fats you can give her will also heal her digestive system.


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Old 12-24-2012, 01:34 PM
 
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What is her nursing pattern?

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