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Thread: 4 month old not gaining weight

  1. #1

    Default 4 month old not gaining weight

    hi my baby is 13 lbs at 4 months.. she is breastfed and i work 4 or 5 days a week for only a few hours, she takes pumped milk then. My baby nurses for only about 6 minutes each feeding. before i found out she wasnt gaining i was letting her do that only on one side and she acted full so i assumed everything was ok. NOW the doctor is telling me after she nurses, pump for 5 minutes and give her the little bit of hindmilk that comes out. i switched all of her bottles to the early years breastflow and am giving her both breasts then pumping, im hoping this will help her gain. my question is.... how can i get her to stay at the breast for longer than 5 or 6 minutes ?? im so worried i dont want to have to switch to formula

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Moore, Oklahoma

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining weight

    Has she just plateaued or was their weight loss?

    You don't necessarily need to get her to stay on for longer than 5 or 6 minutes. By that age usually the baby is pretty efficient and can get what they want in that amount of time. I would make sure to offer both breasts though. Sometimes if Gavyn refuses the second breast he will want more in about 15-20 minutes, so I give it to him then. Pumping after nursing will increase your supply too, so be careful with that.

    DH Mike 3/15/03

    Riley Patrik 10/30/06

    Gavyn Oliver 12/1/10

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining weight

    Excellent question from the PP. Are we talking a slower rate of weight gain, no weight gain at all, or a loss of weight? It is normal for babies to slow down their rate of weight gain after a few months. No weight gain would be a concern, but not necessarily a huge one based on other growth and development parameters. Weight loss, obviously, would be a real concern. it would be really helpful if you could post the following: your baby's birth weight, lowest weight, and weight at each subsequent checkup.

    13 lbs at 4 months isn't a scary low weight. It's just below the fiftieth percentile on this chart: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/chart3.html. And there is nothing wrong with being <50%. Healthy babies come in all shapes and sizes, and statistically speaking your baby is falling around the middle of what healthy babies her age weigh.

  4. #4

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining weight

    her birth weight was 8 lbs 14 oz... 1 month she was 10 lbs , 2 months she was almost 11 , 3 months she was almost 13 lbs... at 4 month check up she was 13, 3 .. so i guess she has never really put on weight good.. to be honest from her 1st month everytime we went to the doc i told her i was concerned about her weight and EVERYTIME the doc said " oooh shes just perfect im not worried at all her heads growing good too", just 2 weeks ago she showed me the chart and said she was fine.. then this time the doctor says " so do you remember how i told you i was really worried about weight gain?" lol umm no ! but anyways i do believe the issue is her not getting the hindmilk.. i mean i dont see what else itd be ... im such a nervous wreck right now !! i dont have any clue how to force anna to nurse longer.. i mean with a bottle its easier to do that..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: 4 month old not gaining weight

    Thanks for posting that history! Based on what you've posted, I don't see a reason for concern. Check out that chart I linked to in my previous post- your baby has been cruising up the fiftieth percentile since birth. Sometimes above it, sometimes below it, just wiggling around a curve like a very typical breastfed baby.

    If you take a look at the chart, you will notice that the curves start to flatten out as time goes on. In other words, it is normal for breastfed babies to decrease their rate of weight gain somewhere around the middle of the first year. Some kids start this process of "leaning out" a little earlier, some a little later. Both my girls started to drop percentiles at around 4-6 months. This is a different pattern of weight gain from the one typically expressed by formula-fed babies, which is why it is important to evaluate breastfed babies using the charts for breastfed babies! If your doctor was looking at a chart for formula-fed babies- and most docs are still using the formula charts- your baby is going to look too skinny because the weight gain curves for formula-fed infants do not flatten out as fast as the ones for breastfed babies do.

    I don't think I would worry too much. It would not hurt to nurse as often as possible, and to keep an eye on diaper output and weight gain, but I wouldn't go to formula or freak out about the duration of your nursing sessions.

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