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Thread: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

  1. #1
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    Question Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    Hi all, I have read the many post about cereal but I have another question to add. We just had out 4 month appointment yesterday and her Pedi-doc said she is doing great but still too small so we should start adding in formula or cereal (into the breastmilk).

    Here are her stats:
    Born 6.2lbs, 18 inches. (not nursing, too sleepy, being fed by oral syringe and cup, dropped to 5.2lbs at her 2 week checkup so we started bottle feeding - she started nursing at 3 weeks of age)
    4 months old - 13 pounds even, 26 inches long.

    She makes plenty of wet diapers (screams if we do not changer her after every pee so we always know!) and has recently decreased to 1 poopy diaper per day (but it is a lot).

    Her height is in the 90% and weight is in the 30% for her age. Her weight is much better than when she was small but he insist we need to add cereal into a bottle to fatten her up. She attends daycare so she does take 2 or 3 bottles a day (3oz each). He also said I need to put a larger nipple in the bottle so she can drink faster but I have read not to do this is breastfeeding.

    Sorry this is so long and thanks in advance!!
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    Sounds like your daughter is growing beautifully!

    Some questions ... is your doctor using the "regular" growth charts or the ones for breastfed babies?

    http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gro...ight-gain.html
    http://kellymom.com/babyconcerns/gro...wthcharts.html

    Is your daughter continuing to grow well between doctor visits in length, weight & head circumfrence?

    Is your doctor worried that she isn't growing enough for who she is? Or more focused on where she is on the growth charts?

    My baby is 6 mo old and just weighed in at 13lbs 8oz (!!) which is probably something like 5% on the growth charts and he's 25 inches long. He started at 6lbs 6oz 18.75 inches and at 4 mo was 11lbs 11oz. What our pedi has been telling us from the beginning is that (a) the growth charts they have are for formula fed babies, (b) that the growth charts don't matter until baby is 2 years old anyways, and (c) the most important thing is that our son continues to grow well on his "personal growth curve". All of which sounds like the exact opposite of what your pedi is telling you.

    How long is baby at day care? Right now she's taking 6 to 9 oz? The rule of thumb that I've learned is that baby needs about 1 to 1.5 oz milk for every hour away from mom. Here's a calculator:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

    If she just started day care she may still be adjusting to the new environment and people. Is she cluster feeding at night when she's with you? If so she's getting enough food for the whole day based on the good wet diapers. Typically after a few weeks in day care babies settle in to the new routine and may eat more at day care.

    I would most definitely NOT switch to a faster flow nipple! Baby needs to work at the bottle some to get milk to better mimic feeding at the breast. If the bottle is too easy then you run a risk of baby not liking the breast any more.

    If your pedi is worried about weight gain - ask if you can do a weight check appointment between now and her 6 mo visit.

    Lots of rambling answers - hope this helps!

    Lynn
    Lynn
    DS1: bf 7/2006 -> 4/2009; multiple food allergies
    DS2: bf 9/2009 -> ???
    ; multiple food allergies
    Breastmilk Donor - http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk
    Click HERE to learn about baby led solids (BLS) / baby led weaning (BLW)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    your milk has more calories then cereal!
    your doctor has out dated info about solids.
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/solids.html

    kelly moms breastfeeding site seams to be down, there are some realy good links there about starting solid foods.
    Giving cereal isn't going to make your baby gain any more weight.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    You are confused about advice you received from your pediatrician and are now wondering what you should do. You feel like dd is growing well, but according to the ped. she should be bigger, right?

    According to my sources (The 3rd Revised Edition of the Breastfeeding Answer Book, LLLI) average weight gain for a BF baby is 6 oz. per week during the first 3 to 4 months, though some healthy babies may gain more slowly.

    If my math is correct, your dd went from 5-2 to 13 pounds even in 14 weeks (from 2 weeks of age to 16 weeks of age), which is a total of 126 oz. during that time, or 9 oz. per week average.

    As you can see, she is *well* above average in weight gain. Sounds like you all are doing a great job! Way to go momma!

    As far as the cereal in the bottle technique, as Andrea said, that is a common, but outdated method. First of all, cereal in the bottle has been known to be a choking hazard for babies. (I am looking for the reference on this.) But, it also does not have as many calories, ounce per ounce, as BM. See this chart for caloric values of common baby foods. http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi...dcalories.html (not LLL source)

    I would suggest that if you are still confused and concerned that you voice these concerns again with your ped. Ask him more about the weight gain issue, and what exactly concerns him about dd's growth. Is it her overall growth or where she falls on the "charts". As a PP stated, there are other charts out there, particularly by the WHO, which are based on BF babies. I can link if needed, but I think the link is there through the KellyMom site.

    If you are happy with how dd is doing at daycare, then I would suggest not changing anything. You might wish to pose this question on the working/BF forum. I'm sure those moms would be very supportive about that situation.

    I hope this helps! Keep up the good work!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    Your baby gained almost 8 pounds in 3 1/2 months, correct? That's ABOVE average growth. Weight gain should always be calculated from the lowest weight, not birth weight. BUT, even if you just went from her birth weight, she'd STILL be in the average range for weight gain. The 30th percentile is not that small. I'm really not sure why your ped is concerned. It sounds like you had a bit of a rough start, but that everything is going great now!

  6. #6
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    Smile Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    Wow, thank you everyone for the quick replies!

    We are looking for a new Pedi now because the office we go to had 2 difference docs (one very pro breastfeeding and the other pro formula). The Pro breastfeeding doc retired because she is having her 3rd baby and wants to take a few years off (lucky her ). I think I just started to panic because my little girl was such a runt early on.

    Clearly the Bad Pedi-doc is using the formula charts based on the readings you all posted for me!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    Her weight gain is remarkable! In my opinion, and I'm not a doc, she's doing just fine! My 4 mos old girl weighed in at 8 lbs 6 oz and 20" at birth. She's been nursing just fine this whole time but only weighs 11 lbs 6 oz and is 24". Pedi Doc wanted me to give her formula at every other feeding, but only after the WIC office called him. I said okay, but didn't, and instead called my local LLL. LLL suggested increasing the number of feedings and that it sounded like she was simply a slow gainer and that she'll be petite. I told my doc all of this and he said that it all sounded great, especially since she's reaching all of her milestones ahead of schedule. She's only in the 10th percentile for weight and he said "She's a little light but we're finding out now that that's okay. Grandma's don't like it but it's better for your girl." So I wouldn't worry because your girl has 2+ lbs on my girl and 2" and mine weighed more at birth! Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    My 4 month old is 24 5/8 in long and 12.13 lbs. She was a slow gainer, but the docs say her weight is fine now. So, if your babe weighs more and is longer than that, and is meeting developmental milestones, I say more power to ya!

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    Thanks you All for the help!! I shared all of the info with my DH and he now agrees with you all that we should wait! He was also once again amazed at how helpful you all are!! Thanks for being so great!!!
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cereal for weight gain? (4 month old)

    That's great that DH takes the time to listen, read and communicate about this with you! Lucky you, lucky him, and definitely, *lucky baby*!!

    I'm glad you and he have found our site helpful and supportive!

    By the way, I know it's a little late, but I did find that reference on cereal in the bottle. It is from a study cited in the BAB, pg. 48. It states that adding cereal to "thicken feeds may also endanger the baby by making it possible for solids to regurgitated, which is irritating to the body's tissues and can be aspirated into the baby's lungs."
    Last edited by LLLKate; February 3rd, 2007 at 07:01 PM. Reason: add citation

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