I am exclusively breastfeeding my 26 weeker. He is 11 months now, but 8 months adjusted. We were supplementing until 2 months adjusted, but got the greenlight to exclusively breastfeed at 2 months adjusted.
He has always been in the 35th percentile for height (adjusted age), but only the 10th percentile for weight (adjusted age) ever since we stopped supplementing. I'm going by the WHO guidelines, so it takes the breastfeeding babies into account, from what I understand. My very supportive mother keeps reminding me that I was always in the 10th percentile for weight, too, and I wasn't a preemie. My doctor kept wanting to supplement, but I followed my instincts and told her that I was always in the 10th percentile, so I really didn't see reason for concern. Plus, he is in the 35th for height, and growing consistently on both curves, and meeting or exceeding all milestones.
We started solids 2 months ago, and it turns out he is going to have to get feeding therapy. His muscle tone is a little low, so they are concerned he isn't using his tongue correctly when eating solids. Right now, he only gets solids twice a day and then he breastfeeds after.
I'm starting to get a lot of conflicting info from various healthcare workers as to how much he should eat and how often and it's making me really anxious! Plus he seems to have dropped on the weight scale a bit (down to 6th percentile for adjusted age, but still at 35th for height) in the last 2 weeks. The nurse that came to the home today was very concerned about that and says we should call the doctor and ask for a referral to a GI specialist.
First of all, he just had the flu He's better now, but I think that slowed down his weight gain a little bit (he doesn't seem to have gained in the last 2 weeks as of today). He's also EXTREMELY active. He's crawling, pulling up to stand (started 2 weeks ago), cruising everywhere and just the biggest wiggle worm imaginable. There is no question that he uses a lot of calories for all that.
Now, I've just been told by the feeding specialist that he shouldn't be eating every 2.5-3 hours during the day, like he likes to, but that he should be eating every 4 hours if possible because she says that eating smaller amounts more often will mean that he doesn't gain as much weight as if he ate less often but larger amounts. I tried to stretch it to 4 hours and he either gets really fussy or it just means he wakes up more often at night to eat...clearly he wants to eat more often.
Another nurse told me today that he should no longer be waking up more than once a night to eat (he typically wakes up 2-3 times a night still...and more when I was trying to feed him less often during the day!). That simply doesn't make sense to me. Why should I discourage him from eating at night if everyone is so concerned that he isn't gaining weight fast enough? Should he really only be waking one time at night at this point? It doesn't bother me to wake to feed him if that is what he needs.
I'm totally stressed about all this now. Both my mom and my sister say I should just relax, trust my instincts and keep doing what I am doing. He is clearly thriving on all developmental levels, he just happens to be on the skinnier side. If he wasn't a (micro)preemie and being monitored so closely, I probably wouldn't think twice about any of this at all...
Any advice on how often he should be eating during the day and night, considering that he is 8 months adjusted age now? Or should I just relax?