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Thread: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

  1. #1

    Default Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    My 6 month old DS is a very distracted nurser. He has never nursed for more than 5 mins and takes only one breast(Except when he is asleep). This has not bothered me as he made up for it at night and his diapers are good. At the 6th month appointment I realized he gained just one pound in two months and at 3% for weight. Since we started solids his nursing sessions have never been longer than 2 mins. It is not that he got more efficient as I my breast does not feel light afterward. He is just a busy body and eating is the last thing on his list. He still is nursing well at night but how can I help him gain weight. He has always been a tiny skinny baby. It hurts that he looks so small.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    Have you tried taking him into a dark, quiet room when it's time to nurse?
    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
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    Default Re: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    I agree with mommal, if you offer more or do techniques for reducing distractions during the day, will baby nurse longer or more often? His night feeding sounds normal, perhaps he prefers nursing in the nighttime positions or in darkness and quiet?

    I also wonder how much solids is he eating and when did they start? While it is often suggested that a baby start solids when their weight gain is not where it is thought it should be, Some babies actually gain more poorly after solid introduction as they are filling up on solids which tend to have less calories and fat than breastmilk. Also, if baby is getting any liquids aside from breastmilk (Juice, water) that can have an impact on appetite and thus, gain.

    Since we started solids his nursing sessions have never been longer than 2 mins. It is not that he got more efficient as I my breast does not feel light afterward
    Efficiency cannot be measured by how much milk is left in your breasts but rather how much milk baby is getting each time baby nurses. If a mom has a higher 'storage' capacity, she could have many more ounces left in her breasts than baby wants at a time. But in any case, this sounds to me as if your baby has more milk available to him, and he just does not want it. If he were truly hungry, he would nurse more, wouldn't he? Yes babies get busy and nurse less or nurse shorter, but not typically to the point they are making themselves hungry. Rarely a vitamin deficiency or iron deficiency causes poor appetite, but I am not suggesting that is the case here, it's just something to know. The point is, with a healthy baby who has a normal appetite, either baby is not getting enough overall and is thus hungry for more, or is getting enough and is not.

    Some kids are just smaller and gain more slowly than others and it is entirely normal.

    The last month of gain is a bit slow, but what is the entire weight history? One month can be a misleading unit of measure for various reasons.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    How much did your baby grow in height?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    127

    Default Re: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    As already mentioned solids can cause a decrease in weight gain. Kellymom has a good page comparing calorific values of common baby foods and breast milk.

    Try not to panic about being on the 3rd centile... This simply means 3% of babies are at this weight and healthy! Unless the drip has been greater than 2 centiles it is considered completely normal.

    Are you breastfeeding before or after solids? It may be worth starting with milk first if you aren't already. Breastmilk is enough for a baby until 1 apart from iron - which is easy for a child to get enough from a small amount of iron rich food; for example fortified baby cereal.

    Also check out 'My child won't eat' by Gonzalez. It's all about nutrition and not just about 'poor' eaters.

    Lastly don't let health professionals 'force' you to feed your baby in any way you don't feel comfortable with... Seek 2nd opinions etc where you need/want to!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    The last month of gain is a bit slow, but what is the entire weight history? One month can be a misleading unit of measure for various reasons.
    Here are some details:
    Birth weight 6lb 5oz
    2 weeks 7lb 3oz
    1 month 8lb 13oz
    2 months 10lb 15oz
    4 months 13lb
    6 months 14 lb 3oz
    Now at 8 months he weighs about 15lb and 8oz. His height I think is okay 27.5 in.

    We started solids at 4.5 months and he ate very little initially. Now he has 2-3 meals per day and he eats about 3-4oz of cereal/yogurt each meal. I stopped giving him fruit and vegetables as they have less calories. I add few drops of olive oil to the cereal to up the fats.

    Coming to his nursing, he still does not go more than 2-3 minutes. I am a SAHM so I keep offering him every hour even if its just a few sucks that he takes. Overall he nurses for about 12- 15 times in a day. I have tired dark rooms, white noise, music, rocking, walking and all positions possible. It just seems like he is a baby who wants to snack all day. I get a couple of good sessions when he is asleep.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    Birth weight 6lb 5oz
    2 weeks 7lb 3oz
    1 month 8lb 13oz
    2 months 10lb 15oz
    4 months 13lb
    6 months 14 lb 3oz
    Now at 8 months he weighs about 15lb and 8oz. His height I think is okay 27.5 in.
    Ok. I am a big believer in bigger picture when it comes to gain. So I am going to throw out the one month weight. Also, since baby was well above birth weight at two weeks, we know baby was on track then. So two week weight is out too. Here is what I see:

    First two months of life, I assume approximately 60 days, baby gained 4lbs 10 ounces, or 74 ounces. That is well above the normal average of ~one ounce per day for this age.

    Second two months of life, baby gained 2 pounds one ounce, or 33 ounces, less than half what baby gained the first two months. Ok, wow, What happened?

    Well, for one thing, that is still an average of a half ounce a day. So baby WAS gaining, just much slower than before. There was a time when that would have been considered normal gain in a newborn, but with newer charts for breastfed infants, the norm is for baby to gain more rapidly at first, again, about on ounce average each day for the first 3 months, and then about three quarters of on ounce a day until 6 months, when it typically slows again. But some babies DO gain less quickly and are entirely fine.
    Also, it is important to see that baby gained VERY well the first two months. Possibly that is causing a normal drop off in gain to look more alarming than it actually was.
    Still, What gets me is how dramatically the rate of gain seems to have dropped. This obviously had nothing to do with solids, as solids were not introduced yet. But was baby getting so distracted even at two months to not nurse normally?

    Then, between four and 6 months, baby gains about a pound. 19 ounces, again, over 60 days. So there, gain is down to an average of a quarter to a third of an ounce per day. That is pretty slow gain for that time in baby's life.

    Given that, the gain between 6 and 8 months of 21 ounces is a marked improvement in my opinion. Why? Because the total gain stayed exactly the same- stopped going down by half or more, as it did every other weight check. It stayed about the same, which is not only a break in the slowing pattern but even more remarkable, it happened after 6 months, and after 6 months is when gain normally slows down again. So it may be that what you are doing:
    Coming to his nursing, he still does not go more than 2-3 minutes. I am a SAHM so I keep offering him every hour even if its just a few sucks that he takes. Overall he nurses for about 12- 15 times in a day. I have tired dark rooms, white noise, music, rocking, walking and all positions possible. It just seems like he is a baby who wants to snack all day. I get a couple of good sessions when he is asleep.
    is exactly what baby needs at this point.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; June 7th, 2014 at 09:54 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Distracted nurser not gaining enough weight

    I definitely do not have the expertise of the women who have already helped you, but I can offer my sympathies and assurances that it will get better.

    My little boy was exactly the same, 2 months arrived and he suddenly became averse to eating. He was also very distracted and as soon as I even began to put him in cradle hold, he began crying. This was very difficult and upsetting as breastfeeding is meant to be such a bonding experience. Got lots of advice - my latch was looked at, he had tongue-tie/he didn't have tongue-tie (depending who looked). I was spending a while walking round with him whilst feeding him just to distract him from the fact he was distracted!!

    Like you, i was desperate to get milk into him so would offer fhe breast persistently during the day. Every baby is different so I would not recommend any particular schedule for feeding as, like previous post said, the amount you are feeding him seems correct, but I will say that it got better for me when I relaxed and stopped trying to get him to eat so often. I think I was annoying him by constantly stopping him from playing to get him to eat. Even now (8.5 months), he only eats for short periods of time but he has gone back on his line.

    Hugs for you and hope it gets better soon.

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