Thursday, February 16, 2012

Breastfeeding and Lack of Weight Gain

I haven't been thinking very much about Cloth diapering lately. I've been too concerned about my daughter's weight gain.

She's always been a five minute nurser, but she remained in the 25th percentile for 4 months. By 6 months she had LOST some weight, without changing any of her eating habits. She's now underweight according to the growth charts.

After a week of supplementing every nursing session with either formula or solids and PRAYING that she'd gain at least 7 oz, she only gained TWO ounces. TWO.

The doctor looked at the computer screen and mournfully turned to me with the announcement that he was extremely worried about her, because if she doesn't begin to gain weight soon, she'll be small her entire life (and that would be bad because....?)

But aside from lack of weight gains (and threats by the doctor to give her the label "failure to thrive"), she seems to be excelling. Does this look like a sick baby to you? The one just below that is emptying my cloth diaper rack? 

The girl turned 8 months old today and is sitting up, crawling, "talking," standing, and starting to learn how to cruise around. She drinks from a sippy cup, eats finger foods, and takes her brother's precious monkey away from him and laughs and laughs when he gets irritated with her.

I shouldn't be worried about my baby girl, but I'm a mom. Moms worry.

Have you ever had a tiny breastfeeding baby? If so, what did you do? Supplement? Switch to formula? Ignore it?

Oh and on a happier note, I just received a Cocalo diaper in the mail to review... After I write the review, there will be a giveaway! Aren't you excited!??


  1. My little girl was really slow to gain when she was born. She dropped from the 75th percentile at birth to the 1st & 2nd in the first few months. The doctors kept telling me to switch to formula...but I refused. They never officially diagnosed her as FTT, but I know they wanted to. Other than her weight, she was great--she hit most milestones early. She is now almost 2 1/2, and she's on the high end of the weight charts now! She's about 32lbs. She nursed until she was about 20 months, my goal was til her 2nd birthday, but I was pregnant and my milk started changing and she didn't like it. Trust your mommy instincts and do what you feel is best.

  2. I completely understand what you're going through!!
    My little girl (Will be 5 months in a week) dropped a pound between her 2 month and 4 month appointments. She was 10lb 9oz at her 2 month appointment and had dropped to 9lb 9oz by 4 months.
    She went from 50th percentile weight, to less than 5 percentile.

    I had absolutely no clue there was anything even wrong. She's the happiest sweetest baby I've ever met. She was smiling all the time, laughing and giggling from time-to-time, rarely cried!

    Understandably the doctor was concerned. I was instructed to start giving formula after every nursing session. And, he also told me to make the formula "richer" by increasing the scoop:water ratio.
    I've done everything I can (from teas, to lactation cookies, to fenugreek and blessed thistle supplements, to mothers milk drops) to improve my milk supply.

    Because I'd been so blind-sided I also went out and bought a baby scale of my own, and now I monitor her weight. I don't want it to start dropping again without my even knowing.

    For the past couple of weeks she's been gaining slowly. Like your baby, she is still small. But she's beautiful. And she's such a happy little girl.

    If we didn't worry, what kind of moms would we be? :-)

    Thank-you for your blog. I love it!
    Thank-you for your honesty!
    Thank-you for all your good advice and reviews!
    Thank-you mostly for being a real mom!!

    1. You're welcome!

      For an update: She gained almost 2 pounds in two weeks. The next time she sees the doctor, it will have been over a month, but here's what she eats every day at 9 months: 2 nursing sessions (just dropped one), 1 bottle of extra-rich formula, 1-2 large servings of cereal with formula, 7 jars of fruits/veggies/meat, and any table foods that she feels like eating (and juice and ice water... she loves the ice water!).

      The doctor and I believe that her size is because of the following factors:

      1. Her metabolism is very high, just like her parents' is (are?).
      2. Her metabolism is SO high that my milk is just not enough for her. (though I produce plenty so supply isn't an issue)

      My MOM reminds me that if she's happy and has the energy to crawl around all day, then she has enough to eat. Even if she's tiny. Doctors base baby's size on average. That means that some babies are much larger, and some babies are much smaller. We've just got the smaller ones. :)

      (btw it's me-- author of blog. :)