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Thread: Petite 14 month losing weight

  1. #1
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    Default Petite 14 month losing weight

    I know it can be common for babies around 1 year old to lose weight, but it's making me freak out a little.

    My 14 month old boy has always been teeny. 5lbs 15oz at full term birth.

    At his 12 month appointment he was 17lbs exactly and .07th percentile for weight (below the first percentile). Today at nearly 14months old he is 16.8lbs on my home scale (which normally runs about 1lb heavier than the doctors scale). He is about 2lbs below the 3rd percentile on the WHO charts now if I go off this measurement and has lost approximately one pound since he turned one.

    He is growing tall and looking very thin to me. He does not walk yet. He is also below the 3rd percentile for height at 27.5". He is only nursing 4-5 times per day and I no longer pump for him (he drinks about 12oz of whole cows milk at daycare) and he eats solids extremely well. I'm not sure when I could add in extra nursing sessions, he nurses when he wakes in the morning before breakfast, when we get home from daycare, before bed and 1-2 times overnight.

    I don't know what else I can do to help him gain weight or if I should just chalk it up to genetics. I feel like he's totally healthy, but occasionally I look at the charts (mostly to predict his weight/height when deciding which car seat to buy him).....but it just makes my stomach drop when I look and see he would be in the 50th percentile IF HE WERE 6 MONTHS OLD and makes me feel crappy.

    People are constantly commenting on how skinny he is and how I "need to feed him" and how he is "smaller than their (4, 5, or 6) month old". Which, whatever. I constantly remind myself that he's just small, but part of me wonders if I should be doing more...

    His pediatrician obviously tracks his weight and tells me he is "petite" and asks me if I am worried. I always tell him no, and he drops the subject and tells me that since my husband and I are small (5'1" and 5'8") it's ok. I don't want to worry, but I wonder what he would say/do if I told him that I do worry about his size occasionally and sometimes I obsess over it.

    It's not like his dad and I are out of the realm of normal, but putting my son in the .07th percentile at his most recent doctors visit does suggest that he is so far off the charts that it can't be "normal".....and now he's older AND skinnier than he was then!

    Sometimes I am fine with it and sometimes (like now) I am totally stressed about it!! Maybe I just need some reassurance....
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    So many things here say "normal" to me. He's been small since birth. You and your husband are on the small side. He is otherwise healthy. He eats a good diet. He nurses 3-4 times/day. All of that has me leaning toward telling you that you have nothing to worry about.

    Being .07%ile is not off the chart. It is on the very low end of normal. The key word there being normal. Anywhere on the chart is considered normal.

    All that said, I would also be concerned if my child was actually losing weight. I would probably call the doc and have a weight check done.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    Because the charts work off of a percentage, is it really possible to be "off the chart". He is 2lbs below the lowest curve that the charts show. Wouldn't that classify him as being "off the chart" - I'm confused.
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    It is possible to be off the chart. I was just saying anywhere ON the chart is considered normal because the percentiles are based on normal healthy babies. I may be wrong about the .07%ile thing; it may be only down to 1%ile that's considered normal. Still, my concern wouldn't necessarily be where he is on the chart so much as the fact that he's lost weight.

    My daughter is 6 and has hovered between 1-3%ile since she was 2 mos old, but because it has been so consistent and she's quite healthy neither her doc nor I have been concerned. Though I get the comments all.the.time- she's so tiny! don't you feed her? My son, on the other hand, fell completely off the chart and started losing weight at 9 months old and that was cause for concern. At that point he was considered failure to thrive.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    From my understanding it is mathematically impossible to be "off" of a percentile based chart. I know it is a term that is used a lot when measuring small or large children, but I guess I'm wondering from your understanding how your son could be "off the chart" but my son isn't?

    I should probably take him for a weight check just to be certain that he IS indeed losing weight. If he is, what can you do about it? (We have a high deductible insurance, but if it seems necessary to take him for a non-preventative check-up, I will)
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kevins-mom View Post
    At his 12 month appointment he was 17lbs exactly and .07th percentile for weight (below the first percentile). Today at nearly 14months old he is 16.8lbs on my home scale (which normally runs about 1lb heavier than the doctors scale). He is about 2lbs below the 3rd percentile on the WHO charts now if I go off this measurement and has lost approximately one pound since he turned one.
    I'm willing to bet that part of the issue here is the home scale. If you want an accurate measurement, I think you need to stop by the doctor's office and weigh your baby on that scale. Your home scale isn't calibrated the same as the doc's scale, and home scales often drift with time. For example, it might have been a +1 lb error in the past and a -1 lb error now.

    If the measurement is accurate, then I think it makes sense to talk to the pediatrician about tests that might need to be done and about what you need to do to get your LO back on track. Maybe you need to focus on feeding him higher-calorie solids. Or give him a vitamin supplement- I have heard of low iron impacting growth. And nursing more is always an option! Are you pumping at all? If you are, you could potentially make your LO bottles of "double cream" breastmilk, by allowing a bottle to settle in the fridge and then pouring the cream off into a second bottle, which is then fed to the baby.

    I think you are correct that there is not really such a thing as "off the charts" with a percentile chart based on a normal distribution- at the ends of the distribution things get asymptotic. Right?
    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!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    Thanks! I'll take him on Thursday and have him weighed on the scale in his office. I stopped pumping at 12.5months and he drinks approximately 8oz of whole cows milk at daycare, but on weekends he nurses instead. I don't usually give him cows milk if I am home with him. His iron was checked at his 12 month appointment and it was great.
    Nursling: Kevin (March 2012)

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*still.here View Post
    It is possible to be off the chart. I was just saying anywhere ON the chart is considered normal because the percentiles are based on normal healthy babies. I may be wrong about the .07%ile thing; it may be only down to 1%ile that's considered normal. Still, my concern wouldn't necessarily be where he is on the chart so much as the fact that he's lost weight.
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kevins-mom View Post
    From my understanding it is mathematically impossible to be "off" of a percentile based chart. I know it is a term that is used a lot when measuring small or large children, but I guess I'm wondering from your understanding how your son could be "off the chart" but my son isn't?
    I think you misunderstood me. I said it IS possible to be off the chart. I don't know whether your son is off or not, you'd want to ask a doctor about that. It sounds like you're all set up to do so. I hope you get some positive news.

    The only reason I knew my son was off the chart was because the doctors told me he was, but they didn't give me a percentile. When I asked what percentile he was they said 'he's not on the chart.' Meaning he was not in the range of 'normal.' I assumed since you had an actual number (which I assumed had been given to you by a doctor, but maybe I was wrong about that) that you were still in the range of 'normal'.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Petite 14 month losing weight

    The WHO chart publishes curves ranging from 3rd percentile through 97th percentile, so colloquially being "off the chart" means falling either below 3rd percentile or above 97th percentile.

    Statistically, it's mathematically impossible to be off a norms chart because, by definition, it's an ordinal population chart. There is always someone in the (0 + mu) percentile, where "mu" is infinitesimally small. For many of those babies, that is a healthy, normal outcome given their genetics, but I'd want to see a paed with lots of experience with breastfed babies to ascertain that my DC fell in the thriving <3%ile group.
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; May 28th, 2013 at 10:44 AM.

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