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Thread: Low appetite?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default Low appetite?

    My daughter will be 4 months old on the 21st and I've always worried a bit about how laid back she is about nursing. She very rarely shows any cues at all, so I offer far more often than she asks. Many times, she will arch back and very obviously not want to nurse. I'm successfully feeding her about 9-10 times a day, although some of those are pretty short snacks and, honestly, some of those are persevering through a lot of fussing (I've felt like I'm forcing her at times). I don't like feeling that way, but I know that if I only fed her when she asked and happily nursed, she'd almost never eat.

    Her weight gain is ok - it was around 7oz per week until around week 8, then it has averaged 5oz per week since then. Her diapers are ok - sometimes I wonder if they're wet enough. But I've done the Kellymom 4-6 tbs of water trick and they're at least that heavy.

    I haven't done pre and post weights and do have a scale I can use for a couple days next weekend, so I'm considering that to set my mind at ease (or make me worry more, depending on what I find.)


    Are there any common issues that could cause low appetite in an otherwise healthy baby?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    I should add, she sleeps next to me in a cosleeper and I still have to dreamfeed her a few times overnight because she doesn't wake to eat.

    She never seems fussy after short feedings (as though she's hungry) or between feedings. Her fussiest times are definitely during feedings when she doesn't want to eat.
    Last edited by @llli*3kidsmama; October 11th, 2012 at 07:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    Her weight gain seems right on target, in fact, it's on the higher end of the range. What percentile is she on?

    She could just be a mellow baby. My sister's first was like this. Is she using a pacifier or sucking her thumb?

    Is she developing normally otherwise? You can always run your concerns by your doctor.

    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/weight-gain/
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, her weight gain was at the higher end of normal for those first 8 weeks...it's been since then that's my concern. Some weeks it's very low and other weeks higher (which I'm sure is normal), but has averaged around 5. It seems to have slowed down quicker than most babies do (around 2 months instead of 4?)

    She was at the 35% for weight at 2 months and will likely be closer to 25th at 4 month checkup next week. I'm hoping her ped isn't concerned by that.

    No pacifier or thumb sucking, although she adores her hands and has those in her mouth all the time.

    Otherwise she's developing great. Very alert, bright eyed, trying to sit up and roll, starting to laugh, etc.

    I wish I could stop worrying about her feeding and growth...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    One thing to be aware of is the breastfed babies have a different growth curve than formula fed babies.

    Breastfed babies tend to have a faster gain at the beginning. So it would be quite normal for them to appear to 'fall' down a bit on the percentiles, only because the data used for the chart was for formula fed babies.

    My doctor was aware of this, maybe yours is too, which is why they may not be worried.

    The average weight gain is what you want to watch. I wouldn't worry about a low week if the next week is higher. The average weight gain for her age is 4-5 ounces/week, sounds like she's right on track.

    Are you getting out and meeting other moms? It can really help to pass the time and share your worries. I know babies can be really nerve-wracking especially if it's your 1st.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    Here's an example: I dreamfed her at 5:45 this morning. Took my kids to school at 8:00 and offered her to nurse at a coffee shop at 8:30. She very vocally refused. She was tired and fell asleep there and woke up at 10:00. Still no feeding cues - happy as a clam, smiling at my friend. At this point it had been almost 5 hours since she'd eaten (I'm trying very hard to listen to her and not force her to eat). I started to get very anxious and had to leave the coffee shop and home, thinking she'd definitely be hungry once the distractions were gone. Still no cues. I went ahead and offered anyway and she latched right on (hurray!), but only nursed a very short time without much swallowing and pulled off and fussed if I tried again. So, now it's 11:00 and she's had so vert little since 5:45 this morning. How can this be okay?! I have plenty of milk, but she just doesn't seem to want it. Please help.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    I tried different positions, both sides, different rooms, etc, but she just cries if I try to feed her any more. She's fussing now and chewing on her hands, but refuses to nurse any more.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    I'm sure other mamas will chime in too, but I just wanted to say that my DD started acting like this around 2.5 months old. She is my second and my first (DS) was happy to eat anytime, all the time, so it really freaked me out! I eventually ended up just dreamfeeding her almost all of the time. It was like when she was hungry and tired, she would always choose sleep over food! So I'd get her to sleep (which was usually pretty easy to do), then dreamfeed her once she was asleep. Shortly after this "phase" started, I went back to work so she transitioned to bottles of EBM at daycare so our situation is a little different, but I do still essentially dreamfeed her in the evenings. I don't know why she is like this, but she is!

    So, I guess as a suggestion to follow-up from your example this morning at the coffee shop - would it have been possible to dreamfeed here there at the coffee shop once she fell asleep? Just a thought. Again, perhaps others will chime in too, with some advice. I just wanted to share that it seems there are other babies like this too! It's a strange little quirk but it sounds like your DD is developing well and perhaps this is just a phase that she will outgrow...
    Last edited by @llli*worknpump; October 16th, 2012 at 01:00 PM. Reason: type
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Low appetite?

    Bump.

    Anybody else got any ideas? Maybe she's just one of those babies that nurses tons at night and not so much during the day. She's managing to gain the right amount of weight so you must be doing something right.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

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