Failure to Thrive?/Slow Height Gain - Mothering Forums
December 2009 > Failure to Thrive?/Slow Height Gain
Cybercere's Avatar Cybercere 06:40 PM 03-10-2010
So, Nola had her two month checkup this week (a bit late as she was born 12/28) and she is currently 10 pounds, 3 ounces (was 7 lb, 15 ounces at birth) and just over 21 1/2" (I think she was 20 1/2" at birth). The pediatrician said he was concerned about her lack of growth but not "worried" yet and didn't recommend supplementing. She's about 95% breastfeed and has probably had no more than 5 3-ounce bottles of formula since she was born (including a bit early on in the NICU). But now I can't stop worrying. I am especially concerned that she isn't gaining height - anyone have the same experience and have any suggestions? I cried last night because I obviously feel like it's my fault. Her pediatrician attributed it to her 10-day NICU stay with pneumonia from meconium aspiration at birth and a cold she had last month where she wasn't very hungry for a couple of days. But I'm still worried. She seems happy and healthy -- gets hungry a lot at night but we co-sleep so I am feeding on demand.

carmel23's Avatar carmel23 07:57 PM 03-10-2010

I did have a friend whose baby wasn't growing.. they were giving her double-strength formula and baby still wasn't growing... eventually they discovered something internal wasn't working right (sorry I don't remember all the details, now their baby is 5 years-old, and perfectly healthy and happy!) and had to operate.

As long as she is eating, now, I wouldn't worry.

Typical weight gain is 2 lbs per month-- so she isn't too far off, as far as weight goes. But if something really feels off, ask the ped. and don't hesitate to ask another ped., too... a second opinion is always helpful. trust your mama instinct. again-- you've been through a lot!
Tattooed Hand's Avatar Tattooed Hand 08:42 PM 03-10-2010

hugs, it's so hard not to stress! sounds like the stressful start and the cold are likely the reason, but you aren't too far off.

aren't you suppose to count from lowest weight, not weight at birth?
evinmom's Avatar evinmom 10:45 PM 03-10-2010
Wow, what a stressful situation. I'm glad you have a good ped who is keeping an eye on things, but not panicking just yet. How is she milestone wise? Does she seem to be not eating enough? Shaky? Dehydrated? Although I guess the doctor would have noticed. There was a woman in my old LLL group who had a baby with a really rare eating disorder. By the time she was 6 months old, she was still tiny like a 1 month old. They ordered her mother to supplement first with formula and then when she still wasn't gaining, they put in a feeding tube. Unfortunately she still didn't gain with the feeding tube. The parents took her to Johns Hopkins children's hospital where they ran dozens of tests on her. I heard from another friend that in the end they were able to diagnose and find a solution. I moved before she got any real answers though so I haven't been in touch. I hope in your case she is just meant to be small, but is doing well.
doclegs's Avatar doclegs 11:27 PM 03-10-2010
Originally Posted by Cybercere View Post
I cried last night because I obviously feel like it's my fault.
Momma.... just

Height is SO hard to get on a squirmy baby. They said my LO was 20 inches at birth and I swear she wasn't.... there's no way. And if they stretch baby out a little more, they can get an extra half inch. It's entirely possible the LO is doing just fine, and will have a height growth spurt soon.
lalemma's Avatar lalemma 11:36 PM 03-10-2010

Our guy was of course a 33-week preemie born at under 4 pounds, so I tend to obsess over his dimensions. Our ped, who I believe to be extremely well-informed on the latest thinking in infant development, has explained that he's mostly interested in consistent growth in head size and weight, and less in height (and in fact has pointed out that babies are scrunchy, and that it's really hard to get an accurate read on length). As long as you're seeing consistent growth and baby is developing within the normal range of variation, I would try not to borrow trouble.

But I really feel for you. It's so hard not to obsess.
evinmom's Avatar evinmom 12:42 AM 03-11-2010
Definitely listen to your instincts.

FWIW I have two close friends with babies who could still wear size 3-6 months at 1 year. Their babies were happy and healthy despite slow weight gain. They met or exceeded all milestones so the mothers trusted that everything was as it was meant to be. Now those kids are healthy 8, 7 and 4 year olds.

On the flip side, one of my friends whose son I'm donating milk to stopped growing due to allergies. He was born weighing 9 lbs 11 oz (so almost 10 lbs). At 3 months he was still hovering at around 11 lbs. She had a breast reduction and cannot make a full supply so she relies on donor milk and formula as supplementation. He started getting sick on even a tiny bit of formula. She started to suspect allergies since they have a family history. Once she got rid of all the donor milk that contained allergens, went on an elimination diet and got donor milk from me since I was also on an elimination diet, he started to gain rapidly. He's been gaining around 4 oz a week since 4 weeks ago. Other than slow weight gain, he seemed happy and healthy, but she just had a sense he wasn't gaining as he should. Her other kids gained much faster at the same age and they were all born similar weights.

ETA: I have another local good friend whose son was posteriorly tongue-tied and didn't gain much weight the first 3 months despite nursing all the time. She was finally encouraged to take him to an ENT who diagnosed the tongue tie and clipped it. He is now 7 months and doing remarkedly well. He started gaining weight right away and got chunky within a month. Before then, his mother had no idea anything was wrong. His latch never hurt so she didn't think it was a bad latch.
DCMama01's Avatar DCMama01 09:20 AM 03-11-2010
Height is really subjective. At 2.5 months, one pediatrician checked my LO's height as 23.5 inches. 2 weeks later, her regular pediatrician said she was 22 in and 5% height. So either she shrank over a 2 week span or one or both of them are wrong!
ears73's Avatar ears73 08:54 PM 03-11-2010
Originally Posted by DCMama01 View Post
Height is really subjective. At 2.5 months, one pediatrician checked my LO's height as 23.5 inches. 2 weeks later, her regular pediatrician said she was 22 in and 5% height. So either she shrank over a 2 week span or one or both of them are wrong!

I had the same issue last month. I decided not to pay attention to height. But it sounds like you might have another issue w/weight - I say if she eats, goes through diapers regularly and sleeps without causing you concern than perhaps she really is ok? I hope so!!