So, long story (hopefully) short, my son is a peanut. He has been a slow gainer since birth. His weight started in the 5th percentile, dropped to the 3rd around 3 months, and now he's in the 2nd. (He's always been around the 25% for height.) I've always worried about the amount he eats because he's always been a sleepy eater. Even now, at 4.5 months, 75% of the time I can't do anything while feeding him because my free hand has to be used to mess with him to keep him awake. I've consulted an IBCLC (who I found to be a little lacking, but we don't really have the money to see another). I've tried switch nursing, co-sleeping, different holds, more bottles of EBM (at the LC's suggestion - but son had less interest in nursing then), fewer bottles of EBM, finger feeding, walking around while nursing, offering more often, offering less often, dark rooms, light rooms...Ok, you get the point that I've tried all kinds of things! I feel like nursing is still consuming my life...yet my son is still having trouble gaining weight. Am I doing it wrong? Am I hurting him by being stubborn and refusing to give formula? He is a happy, active guy. He rarely cries to eat. He's never done cluster feeding. He's just really laid back (which I blame on his father's genes! ). I pay attention to diaper output, but it's hard to tell what exactly is a great diaper, especially since we use a few different kinds. It seems like his output always meets the minimum.
ANYWAY, on to the real questions! We had his 4 month check up yesterday with a new pediatrician (because his old one moved out of state). Her basic assessment of him is that he's healthy and developmentally right where he should be. She even said that I should try to worry less about his size. (She obviously doesn't know me well if she thinks I'm capable of worrying less!) However, she suggested we think about starting him on rice cereal for three reasons: 1. weight gain 2. iron 3. to help him sleep longer. I didn't tell her that I'm fine with him "only" sleeping one five-hour stretch at night. Then again, I didn't tell her we co-sleep for the other part of the night, either! So, what's the deal? I thought I'd read that rice cereal will not help with weight gain more than BM. I've also read that it doesn't help with sleep necessarily. My real question is about iron, though. She seemed to think he needs the boost of iron to help grow faster. Is this true? I was considering skipping rice cereal all together for various reasons.
I'm feeling lost. Everywhere I turn, I find conflicting information. I want to do what's right for my son. Any thoughts on rice cereal or iron consumption in bf babies? Any more suggestions on how to get him to gain weight? Any thoughts on how I could RELAX a little more about his weight?! I'll include a weight history just for fun.
Oh, finally, the LC suggested not offering the breast as often so he'll be hungrier when I do offer. (She suggested every 2.5 hours but earlier if he seemed really hungry.) Any thoughts on that?
Thanks for any help or support you can give!
Weight history for my son:
Birth: 6 lbs 4 oz
5 days old: 5 lbs 10 oz
2 weeks: 6 lbs
4 weeks: 7 lbs (weighed on produce scale )
6 weeks: 8 lbs 4 oz
2 months, 1 week: 9 lbs 10 oz
3 months: 10 lbs 10 oz (weighed with onesie on and with diaper that should have been changed first!)
3 months, 2 weeks: 10 lbs 13 oz
3 months, 2.5 weeks: 11 lbs (on LC scale)
3 months, 3.5 weeks: 11 lbs 4 oz (LC scale)
4 months, 3 days: 11 lbs 9 oz (LC scale)
4 months, 1.5 weeks: 11 lbs 11.5 oz (new pediatrician's scale)