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Thread: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

  1. #1

    Default 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    Hi everyone,
    My last post was when my daughter was 4 months and had some slow growth. We
    began nursing more frequently and her growth started up again.

    Now she is 9 months, crawling, pulling up to stand, and very active, but her weight
    gain has dropped off again. She has always been in the 5th percentile, but now she has dropped off the chart, hence the "failure to thrive" diagnosis.

    Dr. is not too concerned since she is happy and meeting milestones. He wants us to back off of solids because perhaps she was eating too much "food" and filling up on empty calories. He also wants me to pump to make sure I am making 2oz every two hours, and if not, supplement with formula so that she gets approximately 24 oz of milk each day.

    I feel like we have a good plan and just need to keep on it, but I am very stressed out over her weight gain and have been for months. I feel like I am not enjoying her as much as I could be because I look at her and think, "why aren't you bigger?"
    I feel like it's my fault that she hasn't gained more and I am constantly comparing her to other babies who are all bigger than she is, even if they are months younger.

    I could really use some support from other moms who have gone through this, and/or advice from the wonderful LLL women. Thank you.

    Here's her weight gain history:
    She was 6.11 at birth, was up to 7.4 at two weeks, 9.0 at two months, 10.15 at three months, 11.2 at four months, 13.0 at 6 months, 14.4 at 8 months, and 14.10 at nine months.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    Pumping is NOT a good indicator of supply. If you can pump 2 oz after nursing on demand, you are making enough

    I would back off on solids, and when you offer solids, make sure they are good solids. Avocado, yogurt, all kinds of healthy food.

    My second kid fell off the chart at his 9 month check up too. And I learned yesterday that our 12 month old dropped from the 10% to like the 2%.

    Some children are just thin. My second son is so thin, but he is so healthy.

    Does your doc use the BF baby chart? If not, check it out...your baby may be bigger than you think
    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!

  3. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    what is HER growth curve like? If you plot it does it resemble the breastfed WHO growth chart (not the numbers, but the actual shape of the curve)?

    I personally wouldn't be too concerned with the actual numbers. Milestones, energy level, and diaper output are a good indicator that baby is getting enough food (and nutrition).

    It's hard not to stress about it it's our instinct as mothers to "fix" things for our children, but when you look at your baby girl pulling up on furniture, laughing, and developing, you know deep down that she is doing just fine Some babies are just small.

    Take the cue from your doctor. He doesn't seem concerned and you shouldn't be either. I think backing off of solids is a good idea. Make sure you always nurse first and only use solids to "top up" until your baby is over a year. Much more fat and nutrients in breastmilk The advice about pumping can go either way though. Pumping isn't a true indicator of supply because babies are much more efficient at getting milk out than a pump is. Stressing over the number of ounces you are pumping may make things worse, ya know? I would nurse first, offer solids after baby is full from nursing, and count diapers. Actually, I think I would do a three day nursing only trial to ensure that you are making enough milk (which I'm sure you are ). When you nurse only, you can count wet diapers (5-6 in a 24 hours period is a good indicator that you are making enough) and once you're satisfied that you are indeed making enough, then you can bring back solids - after a nursing session of course so that baby gets all that good breastmilk.

    Hang in there mama
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    NAK here. I just wanted to share that my neighbors children were also smaller -- her bf daughter was your dd's size at a year, but perfectly healthy. She is also a small 7 y o at about 40 lbs -- small and incredibly bright, agile, confident (um, bossy), and joyful. We like to joke that it's lucky for her that shes small, bc if she had a body to match the size of her personality, no one else would be able to fit in a room with her. When my friend was worried at about the same stage you are, the doc said, "relax, some children are just naturally scrawny" -- hm. Not the best bedside manner, but it is good to keep in mind that there are always goingto be statistical outliers; it's how we get those charts. I dont understand why the doc would call her "failure to thrive" though, since she sounds fine. Lots of bf babies slow weight gain when they start crawling, and she sounds very active.

    And dont let other people influence your feelings about this. If you feel shes healthy and cheerful, trust yourself. We have a statistical outlier on the other end of the chart, and I can tell you it isnt any easier socially to be big (thanks annoying ladies at the park, he is not ff and does not have diabetes).

    We love babies of all sizes!
    Kate

    Mother to a sweet boy, born at 34 weeks on 2/11/11.
    Proud that I grew 26 lbs of baby before solids, and still counting...

    We received banked milk in the NICU. Thank you, donors!!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katmar View Post
    NAK here. I just wanted to share that my neighbors children were also smaller -- her bf daughter was your dd's size at a year, but perfectly healthy. She is also a small 7 y o at about 40 lbs -- small and incredibly bright, agile, confident (um, bossy), and joyful. We like to joke that it's lucky for her that shes small, bc if she had a body to match the size of her personality, no one else would be able to fit in a room with her. When my friend was worried at about the same stage you are, the doc said, "relax, some children are just naturally scrawny" -- hm. Not the best bedside manner, but it is good to keep in mind that there are always goingto be statistical outliers; it's how we get those charts. I dont understand why the doc would call her "failure to thrive" though, since she sounds fine. Lots of bf babies slow weight gain when they start crawling, and she sounds very active.

    And dont let other people influence your feelings about this. If you feel shes healthy and cheerful, trust yourself. We have a statistical outlier on the other end of the chart, and I can tell you it isnt any easier socially to be big (thanks annoying ladies at the park, he is not ff and does not have diabetes).

    We love babies of all sizes!
    Did they ask you that??
    (sorry for the hijack)
    I am Lea (middle name)
    Mama to Dominic born on 3/23/09
    Wife to G 4/27/07
    We're blessed to have been for 3 years and counting! Proud to with our squirmy worm

    "My home is not a place, it is people."
    -Lois McMaster Bujold

  6. #6

    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    I just wanted to give you some encouragement and

    My DS was a FTT baby, I was *ordered* to use F.supps (whole nother topic) He too was low low low on FF charts (fell off too) I worked HARD to get my supply up and DS OFF F.supps. It took alomost 6 months, but we did it. Durring that time I also learned (mostly through these LLL mommas) to look at more than just DS weight, ie: lenghth, milestones, HIM in general. That being said my DS is 11.5 mo has been formula free for 6+ months is thriving at 20+ lbs and 30inch. not all babys grow the same and I learned to except that. DS is my 5th child and still I worried. Looking back I wish I would of went with my *mom* gut and less with the *chats, other babys, ILs* ect.
    I thought my DS would always need F. supps and that I had *failed* WRONG WRONG WRONG
    We tend to blame ourselves when things dont go like we think they should. but sometimes we need to just take a step back, go with our gut and do the best we can with what we got. I hope things get better, but it does sound like your LO is right on track with everything else.

    jenn
    Im Jenn
    Mamma To:
    Kelsey BF 3 months
    Kenneth BF 3 months
    Blaze BF 3.5 years (tandem)
    Bristol BF 3.5 years (tandem)
    Raiden BF 15months & counting


    We
    NIP BLS

    In need of some

    LACTIVIST

  7. #7
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    Jan 2012
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    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    I want to offer you encouragement and understanding. I am going thru a similar experience with my little one's weight gain. He was 7.6 at birth and now 11.5 at 4 months. As we speak I am pumping and giving him bottles for a solid week so that the pediatrician can see how much he gains. He is small and petite yet happy and healthy and I am so fed up with the dr telling me he is falling off the charts. She even wants me to feed him rice cereal which I refuse bc he is clearly not ready. I'm so upset about the whole thing because I know there is nothing wrong with him. Unfortunately doctors will be doctors and they seem to always find something to "fix". Seems like when u go to the dr for a routine checkup you leave with a handful of ailments. The thing is.. You don't walk into a classroom of kids and say "every one of these children looks exactly the same". People come in all shapes and sizes. Thats the beauty of things. I think you are doing a great job.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    My understanding is that "failure to thrive" is not something that is diagnosed based exclusively on weight gain or lack thereof. There has to be more to it- failure to grow in length, failure to meet milestones, failure to maintain growth in head circumference, stuff like that. A skinny kid isn't necessarily an unhealthy kid, even if they are below some line on a chart. FWIW, it is very, very normal for breastfed babies to sink down some percentiles after the middle of the first year, as they become increasingly mobile and put their calories into action instead of packing them on as fat. My pediatrician says that breastfed babies always lean out "because they can't walk around with a bottle hanging out of their mouth all day", unlike their formula-fed peers.

    I am that pumping will not tell you what you need to know. If you want to really know how much milk your baby consumes in a day, rent a professional scale and weigh the baby before and after every nursing session. Subtracting the before from the after will give you the exact amount of milk your baby took in while feeding.

    I know it must be hard to look at your LO and wonder why she isn't bigger. But remember that it is not a bad thing to be slender! I know your doc is giving you a hard time about your baby's weight right now, but I predict that in a few years he'll be congratulating you on your child being slender and not another grim statistic in the childhood obesity epidemic.
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Dec 2011
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    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    My son is 5 mo now and at 4 mo he was addmitted to the hospital for faulaire to thrive , after4 longgg days they came up with he is allergic to all dairy and. That is why his weight gain has been so slow.I am not on a dairy free diet and began supplementing with dairy free percription formula.he is doing much better and really getting chubbby . Mabey he is allergic to something . They explained to me that breastmilk is so easy to digest that is why it never showed to be making him sick . I felt kike it was my faukt as well you are not alone hope it gets better

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 9 month old "failure to thrive"

    Hi mama. My DS2 was FTT by our first pedi. He hovers around the 5 percentile, 18 lbs at 10 months...born at 9 lbs 14 oz so even slower weight gain than your LO. Anyway I took him to an amazing doctor who has over 50 years of experience. He told me flat out that if a baby is meeting development milestones, he will not diagnose FTT. He noted that my son is interactive and bright and FINE. Also noted that we are obsessed with being thin and yet me think fat babies are the only way a baby can be healthy and that's just not right! Once I confirmed what I believed I my heart I felt so much better. I nursed a lot and offered healthy fats in solids, avocado, coconut oil, flax, etc. He's my little string bean and he is healthy! Hang in there mama
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

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