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Thread: Was I starving my son?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    71

    Default Was I starving my son?

    Let me begin with an apology. This might be long.

    My son is an active, intelligent, all-around wonderful 19 month old who loves solids and still nurses 2 times per day. But we had a rough start to breastfeeding. For the first 4 months of his life, he was a sleepy nurser. He was born into the 5th percentile, and despite frequent feedings and co-sleeping, he always gained a little less than he should have. I resisted supplementing with anything but breastmilk and refused to give rice cereal or 6 oz bottles at 4 months like the pediatrician suggested. I found a better pediatrician who was ok with his size, even though he fell off the weight charts by 6 months. By 12 months, he was happily nursing 7 or 8 times per day and loving solids. He'd also made it back up the 5th percentile. Fast forward to his 18 month check where he actually made it up to the 15th percentile!! (I'm totally done with worrying about his weight, but I was excited to hear this.) I'm sure it's because of all the solids he eats. He eats healthy food, but he can put it away!

    So, my concern is that I was starving him in the beginning. I'm probably over-thinking things. I worry too much about stuff. But I can't help but wonder if I did the right thing. Was I starving him prior to a year by not giving solids early or formula ever? He always had plenty of wet and BM diapers. He's always met milestones. The current pediatrician believes he's just meant to be small...but since he jumped "all the way" up to the 15th percentile after he switched to mostly solids, I can't help but worry that he really wasn't getting enough calories from me. I might have another child in the future, and I'd love some feedback on whether I did the right thing, incase I have another sleepy nurser/slow gainer in the future

    For anyone who is still with me after this not-so-short post...any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,371

    Default Re: Was I starving my son?

    I think you're overthinking. I know it's hard not to. Believe me, every mom has something that she's beating herself up over, some mistake that she thinks she made. But I don't think you would have found a pediatrician who was okay with your child's low weight if your child wasn't basically healthy. And I don't think that you should take your child's shifting position on the charts as an indicator of anything but a normal growth pattern. The charts make it look like all kids should be "following a curve"- but remember that those curves are based on averages of hundreds of kids. If you look at any single child, that kid will sometimes be up on the charts, sometimes down. For example, my first baby: at birth she was in the 20th percentile for weight, by 4 months she was in the 95-99th, by 8 months she was down to the 75-80th, and over the 5 years since she has bounced around between the 75th and 90th. You can expect big fluctuations in percentiles, no matter what the charts seem to imply.
    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
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Was I starving my son?

    I agree, a starving baby does not meet milestones, does not pee and poop normally etc. You're lucky you found a pediatrician who was willing to accept that your son is just small and didn't insist on formula! As for solids, breastmilk has a lot more calories than rice cereal, so there's no reason to think that introducing solids earlier would have made him bigger. You've given him a wonderful start on life by breastfeeding him!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
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    71

    Default Re: Was I starving my son?

    Thanks for your feedback. I guess, in my heart, I know I did the right thing, but it's so easy to second-guess yourself, especially where breastfeeding is concerned. I really appreciate both of you taking the time to read my post and respond.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Was I starving my son?

    Thank you for asking about this. My baby is going through a very similar situation. He's a very slow weight gain baby but he's happy, meeting milestones early, and his doctor isn't worried about him. It's really helpful to hear someone else who went through this, because I worry about him a lot too, even though I seem to be the only one. So thanks for making me feel a little better !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Was I starving my son?

    I feel that people really need to take a step back and look at the overall picture. You wouldn't walk up to the Mona Lisa and only look at her hands. You'd look at the whole picture! Just as you should your child.

    Weight, height, head circumference, diaper output, reaching milestones, overall demeanor....

    A sleepy, small baby with poor output, missing milestones that cries a lot - I'd be concerned.
    One or two of these things behind but all of the others being met? No concern at all!
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Was I starving my son?

    Thanks, amysmom. I like your comparison to the Mona Lisa! My son has always been a happy, laid-back kind of guy who was small but met milestones, sometimes early. He was just small until he started eating solids...and now he's almost normal size!


    k9companions, I'm so glad this thread helped you some. It's so easy to worry about a small baby, even if he/she is meeting milestones. You are lucky to have a doctor who isn't worried about your baby. I had to actively seek out one who didn't want to shove formula and rice cereal into my son when he fell off the charts. Best of luck on not worrying about his size!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Was I starving my son?

    Way to go you for not giving in to the pressure! It's so tough to throw constant "is this normal?" second guessing out the window and go with your gut! Sounds like you did exactly the right thing for your son.
    Mom to daughter C (10/30/11) delivered by midwives in unmedicated birth. EBF after breast augmentation, CD, baby wearing, part time co-sleeping, WOHM.

    SAVED by LLL meeting in week one. (no milk for first SEVEN days!)

    Weaned DD at 20 months.

    Next one due in Feburary 2014!

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