I have ongoing concerns about my 3-month-old daughter’s weight.
She was born full term at 8 lb 7, 20 in, which is something like 85th percentile for both weight and height. Her height and head circumference have stayed at around 85th percentile, but she’s been steadily losing ground on the weight percentile. At 12 weeks she’s 11 lb 6 oz, around 30th percentile.
The pediatrician was worried at first and had us come in for a million weight checks in the first two months. He says he’s no longer worried and that if she had some kind of metabolic disorder, it would most likely be obvious by now.
We’ve seen two different lactation consultants; one said she has a posterior tongue tie (went to an ENT who said he didn’t see anything that should be affecting her feeding.) The second one said she had a high palate. One recommended laid-back feeding; the second recommended cross-cradle hold. These days we mostly nurse lying down.
Except for the first few days, nursing has not been painful. Latch seems okay. We did a pre-and-post feed weigh at eight weeks and she took 2.5 oz in 20 minutes.
We started pumping at two weeks. She’s gone through times when she preferred the bottle, times when she preferred the breast, and times when she didn’t seem to want either.
We supplemented with formula for a little while, but never in significant quantities (currently making maybe two bottles a week of formula if I’m asleep and husband runs out of pumped milk). At this point my supply is fine - I pump off more than she drinks because we throw away so many half-finished bottles. She’ll pull off even if I’m still squirting milk, so I don’t think supply is the issue.
She seems generally well. She’s meeting milestones, and she has a decent amount of time during the day when she is alert, smiling or just lying and looking around. She’s always had plenty of wet and dirty diapers. Stool is yellow with curds in it, sometimes pretty wet. She’s never been sick except for a head cold once. She rarely spits up.
She has never been a great eater - early on she would fall asleep all the time during nursing, and now she doesn’t fall asleep but will rarely nurse for more than about 15 minutes. She will take at most 3.5 oz from a bottle. We probably attempt around 10 feedings a day, but she refuses a lot.
Mostly she refuses bottles and cries if you offer it to her. She’ll often drink 1-3 oz from a bottle if she’s just woken up. At night she nurses well without fussing (she sleeps in a cosleeper beside me and wakes every 1-3 hours for 5-15 minute feedings). But during the day she fusses maybe half the time I offer her the breast. She doesn’t want to be horizontal, only to be held upright.
Her father and I are both slim and were slim children, so I wouldn’t expect her to be chunky. But I worry that 85% for height and 30% for weight is too slim. If she were getting plenty of food I would just figure she has a fast metabolism and is burning it off, but I don’t actually think she’s getting that much.
We’ll be traveling for three weeks soon (planned before we knew the realities of life with baby!) and I’m scared that with everything disrupted she won’t eat much. Most of our feeds are side-lying on a bed or couch at this point, and when we’re out she’ll take some from breast or bottle but not enough to satisfy her, so she ends up hungry and crying, at which point I get her to sleep and go home so we can feed lying down.
I feel like my life revolves around coaxing her to eat. I’m afraid that she’s not getting enough. And I do also hope to someday sleep more than 3 hours at a stretch, which won’t happen if she’s always talking such small feeds.
I don’t know how concerned to be about any of this.