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Thread: Failure to thrive???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Failure to thrive???

    Today my DS had his 9mo. checkup. His 4mo it was a fill in nurse taking measurements and they seemed overexaggerated. So at 6mo when it seemed he was falling slightly on the charts the dr. and I decided not to worry. But from 6mo. to 9 mo. he fell from just over the 25th percentile to just the 5th for both height and weight. The head circumference fell significantly in percentile too, but not as much. The dr. said he had fallen across enough growth curves to be "labelled" Failure to Thrive. DS has been meeting all the developmental milestones, typically a few weeks after the ideal. So the dr. thinks we just need to bump up his intake and increase his sleep time if we can (only 40 min nap daytime and about 10 hrs night time total most days right now), but he is having several tests run just in case.

    So other details perhaps of interest. DS was born 9lb2oz and today at 9 mo weighed in at 17lb5oz. He was breastfed only until 7 months. We started with just one rice with breastmilk feeding a day and currently up to about 1-2 feedings from jars of babyfood totalling as much as 2 full level 2 jars, 1 rice with bm totalling as much as 1/2 C., and about 1/4 C. total of cheerios throughout the day. He only nurses about 4 times during the day and then 4-5 quick nips during the night. In the first few months DS gained well but was nursing nearly every 90 minutes 24/7.

    The dr. would like us to up the # of nursings. Spoon feed 3-4 times a day, and if he drinks for it to be bm, juice, or formula (he has had a small amount of water this summer). I'm all for more nursings. But I have no intentions of giving him juice or formula. The other suggestion the dr. had was to add butter or cream to all spoon feedings, even give him ice cream or cheese sauces! I'm not so thrilled with the suggestion. I can see how that would help with weight, but I don't understand how giving him straight fat calories will help his height. I was reading on another thread about giving avacado as a high nutrition, high fat, baby safe food--I will definitely pick some up the next time to the store.

    What's my question? I guess I'm mainly looking to hear others' experiences, thoughts, suggestions? I'm torn between feeling like a failure and that he's perfectly fine and the rest of the voices need to chill out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    I don't have any experience with this but I would definitely suggest the avacado - DD loves it and could probably eat half of one at each meal, seriously!

    I know some mamas will come on here with some good links for nutritional info. - I know you can find it on Kellymom.com.

    I would get as much BM as you can whether it is straight from the tap or given in a cup!

    HTH and good luck!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    heres a great link:


    did they test babies iron?
    was baby early?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    NW OH

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    hmm, do you know what charts they use at your Drs office?
    You say baby nursed until 7 months, but you are up for more nursing during the day? So you dont nurse now, or you do? What types of things is your baby eating?
    Just wanting to be clearer about somethings so we can help you figure this out!!!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    Thanks for responses ladies!

    DS was not early, just a day or two past EDD.
    We breastfed exclusively till 7 mo, then slowly decreased # of nursings a day as we added spoon feedings. He eats rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. As for canned baby food he eats mainly peas, sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes with corn, and chicken with veges or noodles meals--all level 2s. He eats some squash, carrots, doesn't seem to like ham or fruits. We haven't tried spinach yet, haven't even seen it on the local shelves. I haven't tried doing any mashed fresh or freshly prepared foods--always nervous that I'll confuse which ones can be fresh, need preparation, special preparation, or simply shouldn't be done. Lactose sensitivities for infants are extremely frequent on both sides of the families, so we are hesitant to use butter, cream, cheese, etc. for supplication.

    I figure the charts are formula fed based. The last time I looked at a breastfed chart though it seemed to make things look even worse, which I figured was an issue of the research behind the particular chart I had found. Have a link to a good one?

    I don't remember if the doctor mentioned iron as part of the testing. I should have most test results by the end of the day tomorrow, but I won't have computer access until very late. I should have been more diligent in writing down the names of the tests and what they were testing. I know they took blood, urine, and Thursday will do a sweat test. He did specifically, and repeatedly, mentioned thyroid. As for family history I doubt thyroid, most test borderline underfunctioning rather than overfunctioning, for lack of the proper terms.

    Thanks again ladies. Appreciate the help and support.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    I don't have any experience with solids etc yet, but in my other life I'm a scientist so thought I might be able help with what you were saying about why give him fat to help with his height.
    Babies need energy, ie calories, to grow and fat is the best source of these - there are about twice as many calories in fat as proteins or sugars. We store extra calories as body fat so it's easier to put on weight eating fats, but only because they have more calories so it's easier to eat too many. It's not that they move straight from your stomach to your hips (even if it feels like it!). The dr probably suggested butter, cream, etc because it's an easy way for you to increase the calories of things he's already eating and you get the benefits of good things in dairy like calcium. And ice cream because he might enjoy it! If you have lactose problems in your family then I can understand why you'd want to avoid it.

    As an aside, if it really is a lactose, rather than dairy, sensitivity that runs in your family then he probably doesn't have it - human milk contains lactose too. Dairy sensitivities are due to the proteins specifically in cow milk.
    I hope that helps. I know how horrible and scary it is to have weight problems with your lo.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Not around here as much :(

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    Can you detail his growth for us more? Birth weight, lowest weight etc...
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    The PDF files at the bottom are the WHO growth charts. My son is 9 months, has also been falling off the CDC growth charts, but follows the curve on these charts very closely.


    Also, I second the avocado. Also, you might try some full fat yogurt and maybe some cheddar cheese. A lot of the lactose and milk proteins are broken down by the bacteria in the yogurt and the aging of the cheese. My husband is very, very sensitive to lactose but he does fine with both. My son eats a lot of cheese and yogurt as well and has done well with it.

    Oh, and if you haven't seen this site you should check it out. It has a breakdown of what foods you can give when and recipes:

    Last edited by @llli*mommyoflance; July 23rd, 2008 at 05:51 PM.

    Exclusively pumped for Lance Oct 07
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*hoping.onthird View Post
    We breastfed exclusively till 7 mo, then slowly decreased # of nursings a day as we added spoon feedings.
    This statement jumps out as the one that might be a part of the issue.

    Recommendations are that baby should be getting most of their nutrition from breastmilk (or formula) for the first 12 mos. Solids shouldn't be the majority of their nutrition until after 12 mos. because breastmilk (or formula) has more calories and nutrition per ounce than any other baby food. For the first 12 mos., it's also recommended to nurse first, before giving any solids, so baby gets the calories and nutrition they need without filling up on less caloric/nutritious foods.

    The recommendations didn't used to be this way to my knowledge, and docs used to suggest weaning as baby was eating more solid food. However, my understanding was that they found that babies could actually become malnourished if too many solids were introduced and the amount of breastmilk or formula decreased too much before the 12 mos. mark. I know that more info about that is available on www.kellymom.com

    If I had to make a suggestion, It would be to nurse as much as you can and to always nurse before giving solids of any kind. It can be tough to do that, and so with my boys, I tried to make meals quickly after nursing and try to only offer solids as soon after nursing as possible. You do notice that they take in less solids with that approach, but when you take into account that breastmilk has more calories and nutrition per ounce than the baby foods, you see that baby is actually getting more calories that way, while getting to practice at eating the solids and learn to eat a wide enough variety of them by 12 mos. that it's not such an issue to nurse first.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Failure to thrive???

    Also: It's also helpful to know that breastmilk not only has more calories, but also more good fat than even whole cow's milk per ounce.

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