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Thread: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

  1. #1
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    Post seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    My daughter Ava turned 1 year old on 1/26 and is still a consummate nurser, refusing most solids most of the time. She has a good pediatrician who is not putting pressure on me, but who is concerned nevertheless, because Ava is such a featherweight. She weighed in at only 15 lb. 4 oz. when she had her 1-year check-up. Her other values are good (29" long and 44 cm head circumference). She is also reaching her milestones - she is walking and seriously trying to produce her first words. She is also perpetually in motion, taking everything apart she can get her little fingers on.

    Her pediatrician still thinks that Ava needs to gain some weight - she actually suggested that I should put her on a diet of chocolate and ice cream and soak the cheerios, one of the few foods she nibbles on, in butter. I am not having any success with this diet. Ava is also refusing Pediasure and to try to get her to take a vitamin supplement would be a two-person endeavor - not counting Ava!

    So, I continue nursing her as much as she wants. Starving her to motivate her to eat won't work, I am convinced of that. I returned to work 3x per week when she was 5 months old and Ava stays home with her dad and refuses to eat for him. She now drinks a little bit of soymilk when I am gone, but refuses everything else, including formula and whole milk. (BTW, she refused to drink anything from bottles scince she was 2 1/2 months old.)

    I am wondering how worried I should be. My gut tells me that she's okay, but it would be nice on many levels if she would start eating. But mostly, I want to make sure that she gets adequate nutrition. I guess this is the essential question that the pediatrician is concerned about. Is it possible that a mother's breast milk is not adequate? I am very skinny (5'5", about 105 lb.) - can my weight affect the quality of my breast milk? My diet is good, I eat like a horse with lots of rich and nutricious foods to make sure there are all the ingredients to make rich and nutricious breast milk.

    My mother actually faced a similar issue when I was a baby: she was told to stop nursing and feed me formula since obviously her breastmilk was no good, because I was not gaining enough weight. It did not work.

    I have another question: Does anyone know if is there any correlation between when a baby's teeth come in and when they get into solids? Ava didn't get her first teeth until she was 11 months old ...

    Any thoughts and advice on what I should/could do are much appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Heike
    Last edited by Heike; February 14th, 2006 at 01:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    Just out of curiosity... have you told your pediatrician that your mother experienced the same thing with you as a baby???

    My DH and I are both fairly small people... so when DD has been small (she's always in the 10th - 15th percentile on the growth charts), our pediatrician hasn't made a big deal of it saying that he doesn't expect her to be big since DH and I are both smaller people. So long as she's healthy and progressing in developmental milestones, he's not worried about her...

    Is it possible that your daughter is just small like you are? She might just be petite with a metabolism that goes very quickly...

    Have you asked your doctor if this is possible?

    Jacqui

  3. #3
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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    Yes, I did tell Ava's pediatrician and she did take it into consideration. She said she'd be happy if Ava followed the growth curve at a lower rate, but Ava's curve is flattening relative to the 'official' curve. She started out around the 50th percentile around 3 months, dropped to the 25th by 6 months and now is almost 1 1/2 pounds below the 5th percentile! How can one tell if this is normal for her?

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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    But the growth charts are based on data from the 1950s when basically all the babies were formula fed. So I should think they won't tell you anything useful about your sweet petite girl's health and development.

    I wouldn't worry. Breastmilk, ounce for ounce, is more nutrient-dense than any solid food. Chocolate and ice cream? Is your doctor TRYING to give your child Type II diabetes???

    I have heard anecdotally of babies refusing solids until they have enough teeth to handle table foods. So perhaps there is a correlation between late eruption of teeth and late interest in solids.

    For me, the clincher is your own body type and your mother's experiences with you as a baby. Your daughter is growing as her genetic make-up programs her growth -- and she is thriving on your breastmilk. Sometime over the next year, she will surely develop more interest in solids. Keep nursing her on cue, and make sure the solid foods you offer are also wholesome and nutrient-dense, and you can't go wrong.

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    have you talked to a nutritionist?
    I learned when my dd had low lron that I had to figure it out on my own, even the specialist was no help. We got the just give her the iron drops advice too..ugg and I know what you mean about it being a 3 person job..
    I finaly talked to one of the other moms at lll whos hubby is a ciropractor and asked her what they were doing for their dd and I got some herbal stuff at the health food store that at least she would take.
    Have you tried 1/2 a chewable vitiman? The can take them at one year old at least thats what the doctor told me.
    the pedisure I would not use! I have heard some real horror stories about it, kids bet to the point where they will just eat it and not any foods at all.
    IS she picky? or just not eating.. there is a good book in the llll library
    called
    My Child Won’t Eat!
    by Carlos González,

    Parents everywhere worry when their baby or toddler doesn’t seem to eat as much as they think he should. Carlos González, a pediatrician and father, sets those fears to rest as he explores the reasons why a child refuses food, the pitfalls of growth charts, and the ways that growth and activity affect a child’s caloric needs. He reassures parents that children know how much they need to eat and it’s the parents’ job to provide healthful food choices. Forcing a child to eat more than what he needs can only lead to tears, tantrums, and eventually, obesity.Softcover, 183 pages. No. 1716-12 Retail Price: $12.95

    dr sears also has a good nuriton book, maybe you can check out at the library
    I think its called the family nutrition book. It has list of what foods kids should be eating..
    I would also start keeping track of what she is eating each day. measure maybe she is not getting the callories that she needs.
    you could then add more high callorie foods.
    good luck!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    I almost forgot! your milk is the best, don't wean her.

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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    My DD started in the 95%, then dropped to 50%, and now is consistently around the 15% and has been since she was about a year old... it's like when she started moving, she dropped considerably...

    Is your DD healthy otherwise?

    Jacqui

  8. #8
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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    My dd, 17 mths, is a VERY picky eater. She too had dropped into lower weight percentiles...from 35% at 9 mths to 7% at 15 mths. She just doesn't like to eat very much. She certainly loves to nurse, so I nurse on demand when at home. I too am on the smaller side, so I think it is just genetic. As long as your baby seems healthy and happy, I wouldn't worry about it. There are all different shapes and sizes of people in this world and I bet babies are no different to that end. Best of luck!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    A question... do you have a history of allergies in your family? Sometimes babies who are prone to food sensitivities will put off eating solids.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: seeking EBF advice: skinny baby refusing solids

    First of all, thank you for all the kind advice and feedback and the experience that you have shared ! This is very helpful, both emotionally and intellectually.

    At this point, I cannot really tell the difference whether Ava is a picky eater or just not eating. She samples foods and then she might eat it again the next day - or not. There is not much of a pattern that I have been able to discern. She has eaten a range of things, including spicy indian spinach (Palak Paneer without the paneer (cheese) part), bean burrito, avocado, New England Clam chowder (but only from Legal Seafood in Boston - which makes some of the best - served at Presidential Inaugurations :-) ), chicken soup with rice, Moo Shu shrimp without the shrimp, Broccoli with spicy garlic sauce, pizza (but she spits out most of the cheese), whole grain cranberry bread with cream cheese, sardines ... . The good thing is, she hasn't reacted to anything, even the clam chowder! There are no food allergies in either my or my husband's family, so we seem to be in good shape here. With repect to other allergies, my father has asthma, my husband developed mild asthma about 5 years ago after a bout with pneumonia, I have minor seasonal allergies (they were bad when we lived in Indiana, but hardly bother me in CT).

    Ava also has been incredibly healthy. She doesn't go to daycare, which I believe makes a big difference. She had a couple of 1-day colds when she was less than 6 weeks old. Her dad got them, passed them to me, etc. She hadn't had anything until 4 days after her 1-year check-up: a child coughed in her direction at close range in the waiting area at the pediatrician's :-( . She got over this cold within a couple of days, except for some residual snot. I have not overly pampered her either. Ava and I go out to walk the dog every day for at least 30 minutes, rain/snow or shine, no matter what the temperature and we have been doing this scince she was 10 days old. If Ava was sick a lot, I think I'd be much more worried about her eating than I already am.

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