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Thread: 4-months-old not gaining weight

  1. #1

    Default 4-months-old not gaining weight

    Hi there,

    I have been exclusively breastfeeding my 4-months-old daughter and after a few initial difficulties (slow weight gain, latching problems/sore nipples, thrush), we finally settled into a nice rhythm. She was 7 lbs and 14 oz at birth and weighed 12 lbs by the time she was about 12 weeks old. Around that time, she suddenly seemed to go on a "partial nursing strike." Her nursing sessions were always relatively short, but suddenly she did not want to nurse more than 3-4 minutes on each side (expect for a couple of times a day, when she goes for about 15 minutes total). Since that time, she hasn't gained any weight at all. She sometimes gains a couple of ounces over 12 lbs, but then loses a couple of ounces, so she's been around 12 lbs for the last six weeks.

    I really don't know what to do! She was diagnosed with reflux, but she's been on medication and seemed to be doing fine with it. I nurse her on demand (around 10 times a day), I don't restrict our nursing sessions, I've cut dairy from my diet, tried multiple nursing positions, nursed at night, in a quiet room, etc. I just don't know how I can make her nurse longer.

    She's a very happy baby other than the lack of weight gain. She's meeting all her milestones, maybe even a bit on the early side. She's not sick, but frequently has greenish mucous in her stool.

    I've also never used a pacifier or anything else that might interfere with her nursing. We've only recently started giving her a bottle of breastmilk every evening because she just doesn't seem to eat enough.

    Do any of you have any ideas what might be happening? She was initially in the 20th percentile for weight, then went up to the 40th, and now she's in the 5th-10th percentile.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Newburyport, Ma

    Default Re: 4-months-old not gaining weight

    The greenish mucus sounds worrying to me but I have no idea what would cause it. Is her poop green and frothy? That would maybe indicate she isn't getting to the hind milk, but judging by how often you nurse, it wouldn't seem like that wouldn't be a problem. We are having major weight gain issues right now, but my daughter is much older and so solids are an option. I wonder if the reflux drugs are actually part of the problem. YOu say you've cut out dairy but have you also cut out soy? That might be worth a try too. I know a lot of babies with reflux problems who also react to soy. Perhaps the way to get her to nurse longer is to give her distractions, instead of trying to eliminate them. "The 4 month fussies" can be caused by an increase in interest in the world around and you may find that a nursing necklace would help. My daughter does NOT nurse well at night in a dark room. In fact, she throws a tantrum. Finally I realized that if I nursed her out in the living room where all the action was, she nursed happily. Then I could get her to nurse for another few minutes in the bedroom, and put her down with no trouble. If I wear a nursing necklace (we have one of those silicone teething bead necklaces that she plays with while she nurses and at other times) I can get her to pay attention just a little longer. I think the bottle of breastmilk at night is a good idea. Do you have supply enough to also give her a bottle of milk before her nap? Maybe nurse her first, and then give her a bottle? That might also help her beef up a little!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: 4-months-old not gaining weight

    about the poop: http://drjaygordon.com/pediatricks/general/poop.html basically, some green poop is totally normal, without other troubling symptoms that go along with it.

    weight: sounds like you are doing great! some babes are just smaller than others. we have had mamas here with EBF lo's who dropped off the scale altogether, and continued to EBF until starting solids at around 6 months. i wouldn't worry too much, many babies level out on the weight gain at around this age when they start to become more active/moving about. if you are still concerned here in a couple months, you can start baby out on solids with some nice fatty avocado.
    Last edited by @llli*marinaew; November 9th, 2012 at 01:10 PM.
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    lila, 11/6/08, nursed until 2yrs 10 mos, weaned during pregnancy


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