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Thread: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    17

    Default 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    My 4-month-old EBF baby only gained a few ounces from 3 to 4 months. This is, of course, worrying me greatly. He had previously been gaining close to a pound a week and he doubled his birthweight by 3 months (went from 8lbs at birth to 16lbs at 3 months... now he's 16lbs 2oz at 4 months).

    A few other things happened shortly after he turned 3 months. He went from nursing for 10-15 minutes to around 5 minutes. A few weeks after that started, I got my period. In hindsight, I probably should have been pumping after feedings, but I thought he was just becoming more efficient. He also started waking up 3-4 times a night, whereas before he was only up once or rarely twice.

    I'm trying to feed him every two hours during the day to increase my supply and get some calories into him. But often, he just doesn't seem interested. He'll suck for a minute or two and then pull off. So our feedings during the day rarely last longer than 5 minutes and I feel like he can't be getting that much milk. Any ideas? I can't figure out if he's distracted or just not hungry. Should I try spacing the feedings out longer?

    I'm pumping after each feeding to up my supply, and I can usually get at least an ounce after he's fed, so I know there's still some milk left in there. Any other tips for increasing my supply? Please help... any advice you could give would be much appreciated. I'm just a bundle of stress right now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,878

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    My first instinct in this situation is to ask the following questions:
    1. Are you sure if the scale was correct?
    2. Was baby weighed on the same scale as last time?
    3. Has baby been sick in the last month or so?
    4. Has baby all of a sudden become a lot more mobile?
    5. How has your baby's diaper output been in the last month?

    Generally speaking, if a mom is not pregnant, not taking a new form of hormonal contraception, and the baby seems satisfied after nursing, is making the right number of wet diapers, and is feeding on demand, there's no reason to suspect low supply or need to pump after feedings. Your baby gained so quickly in the first 3 months that it seems likely that nothing is wrong, and that what you're seeing is an error of measurement (there can be big differences in calibration between scales) or is merely a temporary dip.

    It is normal for weight gain to slow around the 6 month mark, the baby becomes more mobile and puts his calories into action instead of packing them on as fat. Some extremely active babies will start to slow down earlier than 6 months- so if your baby has recently started doing lots of reaching and rolling, that could account for some of the decline in the rate of weight gain.

    Can you post a full weight history for us? That can sometimes really help.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    17

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    The scale was not the same, but same doctor's office. I also have a scale at home and the numbers jive. Baby hasn't been sick and there has been no change in mobility (he's not rolling yet). He was born 8 lbs, 7lbs 5 oz at 1 week, 8lbs 2 oz at 2 weeks, 12 lbs 4 oz at 2 months, 16 lbs at 3 months, 16 lbs 2 oz at 4 months.

    Thanks for all your input. I really appreciate it. I wouldn't be concerned if I felt he was eating well during the day, but he's just not. I fed him at 3 p.m. and he ate for about 5 minutes on one breast. Tried again at 5 p.m. and he sucked for a minute or two before repeatedly pulling off (not fussy, just not interested). Just tried to feed him before bed at 6:45 p.m. and he ate for two minutes before pulling off and crying. Switched breasts and it was the same on the other side. I only had 1 oz in the fridge and I tried to give it to him in a bottle... he ate about 3/4ths of it before pulling off and crying. So I just put him to bed. I pumped afterwards and got 2 oz, so I know he wasn't getting frustrated because I was "empty." I just can't figure out why he's doing this. He does eat well overnight (usually 15 minutes total), but that's about the only time.

    Edited to add: His diaper output is good. 7-8 wet and 3-4 dirty per day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Murray, UT
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    63

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    With the good diaper output I would say that your supply is just fine. I am one of the few who did have a low supply and the number of wed diapers definitely dropped, and his urine had a stronger smell. It could just be that he's not feeling as hungry, or there could be something else going on. Are you headed back to the doctor soon?

    Also, the waking up more at night is pretty normal around 4-6 months when they start to get teeth (or the teeth start to move toward the gums)
    -Arin

    Sealed for time and eternity to Chris on 08/26/10
    Mom to Ezra 06/24/11
    and Rebekah 12/27/13
    Proudly

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    77

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    How long have you noticed him not nursing long? When my daughter was about 5 months old she wasn't nursing well and it turned out she had an ear infection.
    Mommy to
    Ava 9.24.08 self weaned at 2.5
    August 8.19.11 still nursing, trying to wean gently
    Abram 9.12.13

  6. #6

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    Yes from what you report it sounds like your supply is fine, and with that kind of output it also sounds like baby is getting enough. If that is the case, maybe something else is causing a slowing of weight gain. Is your pediatrician concerned? What did they say to do? While of course weight gain is very important, there is more to overall health than weight gain. How does your baby look, overall? Is he meeting developmental milestones? Has baby grown alot in length (height) maybe? Is head circumference growing normally?
    The fussiness and not wanting to nurse as much could be teething, earache, or something else causing discomfort when nursing. You could try techniques for enticing baby back to the breast suggested in this article: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...to-breast.html Or it could just be the "four month fussies" which is described in the latest The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding as basically unexplained weird breastfeeding behavior that crops up in some babies around four months & goes away on its own.

    Also this is prime age for distractability, which may explain why baby is nursing better at night. Removing distractions during the day may help him nurse more happily during the day.

    Pumping after every feeding is likely exhausting to you, and I doubt it is neccesary. I am not sure how much you should pump or if you even need to pump at all, but I would suggest you cut back to a manageable amount.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    17

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Is your pediatrician concerned? What did they say to do?
    He wants me to supplement with formula and start rice cereal. And he is pro-BFing, so that's what got me freaked out in the first place. However, he's been absolutely refusing the bottle lately (whether with formula or breastmilk), so I couldn't supplement even if I wanted to.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post

    How does your baby look, overall? Is he meeting developmental milestones? Has baby grown alot in length (height) maybe? Is head circumference growing normally?
    I think he looks nice and chubby! He is meeting all developmental milestones, although he hasn't rolled yet. Pedi says that is normal at 4 months. He has grown a lot in length... he was 21.5 inches long at birth and 27.25 inches at his 4 month appointment. Head circumference is normal.

    Thanks for your suggestions! I really wish I could figure this out. To the previous poster who asked about ear infections, they checked his ears at his 4 month appointment on Monday and they were fine. The only thing I can think of is teething pain... he is drooling/chewing on his hands a lot, but his gums look normal and are not swollen. He also is pretty happy during the day... I would think if he was in enough pain to not want to eat that he would be fussier during the day?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    I would insist on reweighing the baby on the same scale, no diaper. There is almost a half pound difference between scales at my ped's office.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    278

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    I would insist on reweighing the baby on the same scale, no diaper. There is almost a half pound difference between scales at my ped's office.
    Yes this. It doesn't make sense with his diaper output gaining just a few ounces in a month. It's not your supply. Also he would be fussy if he wasn't getting enough...
    Mama to five beautiful kids- 9, 8, 3, 2 and currently nursing our new baby girl born 1/20/2013


    "It should not be necessary to tell reasonably intelligent mammals to suckle and not dismember their neonates." ~Susan Blustein

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
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    83

    Default Re: 4 Month Old Stopped Gaining

    Everything sounds fine to me! His weight gain was so rapid in the first few months, it does not shock me to see his weight gain slow down. The waking up in the middle of the night is not really that abnormal..my 20 mo dd still eats in the middle of the night and rarely during the day. (In fact, she has always done the majority of her feedings during the night.) I would say if he is meeting his developmental milestones and his output is good, he is great and your supply is great! He might not be rolling just yet because he is a little more on the chunky side That is totally normal. In my opinion, it is not necessary to supplement with formula or begin cereal. I would just keep doing what you are currently doing and see how things are at his 6 month visit!

    Just to add...I am impressed that he has already doubled his weight...my ds was 16 lbs. 8 oz and dd was under 16 lbs at 6 months. They both weighed just under 8 lbs at birth. Hope this helps encourage you a bit!
    ~Sarah

    Married to the love of my life, Jordan

    SAHM to Caleb (4/14/08) nursed for 19 months.
    Phoebe Grace (4/20/10), and 20 mths and counting!
    with #3, due May 2012

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