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Thread: Big percentile dip - how worried?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Washington
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    105

    Default Big percentile dip - how worried?

    DS just went in for his 6 month check up. At his 4th month he was in the 25-50% for weight, 75% for height. This time he actually dropped all the way down to the 5% for weight, only gaining about a pound. He actually dropped in all his percentiles, but the weight one most drastically.

    Our pediatrician didn't really seem worried at all, which surprised me given how often I've heard posters here talk about their peds freaking out at percentile drops. He mentioned it, said that it's not uncommon if you have an active child (our baby is what we always describe as "extremely kicky" ), and didn't schedule any special appointments before his next regular one, which is at 9 months.

    So I feel like I shouldn't be worried but I totally am, of course. How concerned should we be? He's in full-time daycare and actually up until now we were worried they were OVER feeding him (I send 5 3.5 oz bottles with him every day, and nurse him at lunch, and he goes through all the bottles). That's a LOT of milk, and he's been in full time daycare for about a month, so I'm really surprised at that percentile drop.

    Is it possible he's just that active? Just a skinny kid? He's totally happy and healthy otherwise. Should I be trying to bulk him up a bit more by trying to up production and increasing his bottles? We haven't started solids in any meaningful way yet (just a little rice cereal now and then for fun) because he's not really ready for it.

    By the way, I know you can't overfeed a breastfed baby as far as nursing goes; can you overfeed a breastfed baby if the bulk of their milk is taken by bottle?
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,341

    Default Re: Big percentile dip - how worried?

    If your doc isn't concerned, I wouldn't be, either. Looking at your avi, you look like you're a slender mama. Slender parents often produce slender babies. And active babies tend to drop down the percentiles more rapidly than their sedentary peers, with big drops often occurring at around the 6 month mark, as baby starts doing a lot of energy-intensive things like rolling, reaching, sitting, pre-crawling, or crawling.

    You can definitely overfeed a breastfed baby using bottled breastmilk. It's the mechanics of bottle-feeding that are to blame, in that situation, because a baby will continue to get a rapid flow of milk from the bottle even after he's graduated to sucking for pleasure, and because even the most sensitive caregiver can try to get a baby to drink just a little more and finish the bottle.

    It does sound like you are sending quite a lot of milk to daycare. Do the providers think he needs more? If they think he's satisfied with what you're sending, they are probably right. So unless they're clamoring for more milk, I wouldn't go nuts trying to pump up the volume on your supply. But since you're starting solids, I think that you can feel pretty free to feed him plenty of high-calorie solids- meats, beans, whole milk yogurt, avocado- and even add some olive oil to his low-cal solids (cereals, veggies, etc.).

    The only thing I'd wonder about is his iron status. Sometimes a breastfed baby will be iron-deficient (usually because mom is anemic or because the baby was born a bit premature), and that sometimes leads to problems with weight gain.

    ETA: totally forgot what may be the most important point- what chart was your doc using? Breastfed babies have a very diffent growth trajectory from formula-fed babies. Measure a breastfed baby on a formula chart, and the baby tends to look relatively fat in the first half of the fist year and relatively lean in the second half of the first year. 5th %ile on the formula chart is different from 5th %ile on the breastfed chart.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Big percentile dip - how worried?

    DS2 has totally dropped over time. He was 97th percentile when he was 2/4/6 months or so, but he has gradually dropped and at 2 years old he was only in the 15th or so. I was pretty worried, but he has seen a few specialists because of reflux, and has had a few different pediatricians since we have moved a lot, but none of them have really been that worried. His current ped just wants to keep an eye on it and see him at 2.5 years for a weigh in, but she didn't seem alarmed. I was also surprised at the lack of worry from them because when DS1 was a toddler the doctor we were seeing in Georgia was alarmed when he dropped from the 50th to 25th percentile and ready to call in a team of specialists. I have a friend with 18 month old twins who were born prematurely, and her doctor is freaking out about their weights and she spends all of her time following them around and trying to shove food in their mouths. They are both healthy and meeting milestones. I really think that's what matters, and I would say if your doctor isn't freaking out, take it as a blessing.
    Beth

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
    Nursed until just before he turned 3 Levi Oct 09

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Big percentile dip - how worried?

    Thanks, ladies! mommal, my profile pic is actually deceiving: I'm not actually slender, I'm usually very pear-shaped. But my little guy is a calorie vampire these days so I've dropped a lot of weight and I'm having to eat a lot just to maintain! LOL

    Your mention of iron piqued my interest, though. I have a history of iron deficiency and haven't had my own iron checked in a while. Perhaps I should have him checked?

    As for charts, our ped is using the breastfed baby chart, and we actually checked it ourselves as well to confirm.

    Daycare milk: they're not clamoring for more, and what I'm sending now is actually a slight increase after they said he was always hungry after a bottle. I'm having to work hard pumping what I'm already pumping him (not that it isn't inherently hard) so I'm not anxious to try increasing it since I'm already kinda maxing out there.

    Otherwise, honestly, he seems healthy, super happy, super active all the time. I suspect that, unless there's an iron issue as you mention, perhaps I do have no need to worry.
    First-time mom to Markus, August 17, 2011.

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