Weight Gain Charts and Breastfed Babies

Kathy - posted on 11/02/2008 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hello ladies. I have a six-and-a-half month-old baby boy. He is very active, right on target for development (if not a bit ahead), and is in the 50th percentile for height. However, we cannot seem to keep his weight up in a good percentile (right now we're in the 3rd). Last weekend, our birthing class had a reunion and as I looked around, I realized that all the breastfed babes were leaner than the formula fed ones. I wonder if this is just coincidence? I'm also kind of curious how his weight gain stacks up against breastfed babies only, instead of the stats that include formula-fed babes. So, what is your opinion on this topic, and also, how big was your baby at 6 months?

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Lindsey - posted on 11/03/2008

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I have a similar problem with my little girl who is now 9 months old, for the last 3/4 months I have very stressed and worried about her weight as she was not putting on any and losing it most weeks too. I had the health visitor telling me she was going to refer me to a dietian, pediatrician - I had the community nursery nurse phone up wanting to come round and watch mealtimes. She is developing she is crawling, furniture cruising and is very happy and healthy.

Then about 3 weeks ago she put on 6oz in a week, then 4oz two weeks after. She is more petite then my friends babies of similar age, but no adult is the same weight, height etc.

I think I got to involved in the charts, percentiles and caused myself and little girl unnecessarily stress, since she put on weight I've stopped worrying and I'm only taking her to the clinic once a month to be weighed our of curiosty now.

As long as your son is happy and healthy and developing, I wouldn't worry too much, he'll put on weight when he's ready or he may just stay petite.

Jayne - posted on 11/03/2008

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My son is just over 7 months and the last time I had him weighed and measured (26 September to be precise) he was above 50th percentile for height as he always has been and on 2nd percentile for weight, up to around 3.5 months he was on the 9th percentile for weight but same for height. I don't worry one bit, Health Visitors say I will have a tall slim boy and I'm happy with that as reckon he is just following in his dad's footsteps :)

Deb - posted on 11/03/2008

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im sure everything is fine. if your doc isnt worried, then dont drive yourself nuts. they look more at progress over time rather than comparing him to other babies. if he stays on the same curve, that is really what you are looking for. just one thing i want to mention... do you always finish the first breast first when nursing? be sure the baby empties a breast before you switch, the hindmilk is what he gets at the end of the feeding, and that has all the fat which not only will help him gain but is crucial for brain development. plus, at 6 mos, he should be starting solids, right? he will start to gain more, then he will start crawling more and will start to lose again. if your gut tells you he is ok and healthy, and your doc tells you the same, dont worry so much about comparing to others, and especially not to formula fed babies. you are doing the very best for your baby by breastfeeding, keep it up :)

Michele - posted on 11/03/2008

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formula does tend to make babies fuller and more stocky but do not be discouraged! it does not mean that your baby is less healthy. all research still continues to support that breastfeeding is by far better for your baby than formula. as long as your baby is gaining weight....slow and steady they are totally fine. they are developing a better metabolism as well which controls there weight! keep up the good work with breastfeeding! it is well worth it! and remember...weight and height etc... is in your baby's genes. don't compared them to the charts or to other babies! that are all different! if your doc isn't concerned, don't worry about it!

[deleted account]

I have also noticed that. All my friends seem to have formula fed babies, I am the only one breastfeeding. My daughter is a lot thinner than all of them, but at the same height or taller. At her 2 month check up she was in the 50th % tile in weight and 110th % in height. She was born 9lbs 7 oz. 21.25 inches. We go next week for her 4 month check up, so I find out if she is still on track then. But I feel that there seems to be a big difference in weight between formula and breast fed babies.

[deleted account]

My daughter was originally on the charts in the 15-20% for both height and weight. At her 6 month check-up, she was a healthy 13 lbs 8 oz. Two weeks before her 9 month checkup, she was 12 lbs 12 oz and by her 9 mo checkup, she was down to 12 lb 8 oz. After extensive testing by a Ped Gastro, they determined that she had a severe case of Silent Reflux. She never "vomited", but it was still coming up and eroding the lining of her esophagus. Thankfully, we had a proactive doctor who got her on some medication and the reflux was under control in a few months. Food is still an issue for her (she's 5) and the specialists tell me it's a behavioral issue based on her negative association with food during the reflux period. Either way, it's made life a struggle! My daughter was exclusively breast fed for 13 months of her life, so I thought it was something I was doing. Not saying this is the case with your baby, but something to think about! Good luck!!

Kathy - posted on 11/03/2008

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Thanks for the responses! The pediatrician is worried because he started out in the 25th percentile for both weight and height, and now his height has gone up in percentiles but his weight has gone way down. Since she was so worried, I took the next five days after his appointment and fed him every hour or two. If my home infant scale is right, he gain about half a pound in a week after I did that! I just wonder if I needed to be so freaked or if I'm just wigging out for no reason.

[deleted account]

Well, my guy is only 12 weeks old, and he was also 7 weeks premature, but for his adjusted age he is in the 75-percentile right now. The nurse told me to be aware that he will likely drop to below the 50-percentile as most breastfed babies do. I'm happy with his steady gains, even if they are a few ounces below the formula babies.

Cassondra - posted on 11/02/2008

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my breastfed baby at age 6 months was the same as your son.

yanno, i dont ever look at charts for percentiles. is your son happy and healthy? is yes, dont worry! who cares if he just doesnt have a ton of weight on him. we're all not perfect. let it slide.

i'd worry though that if the next appointment, your son's weight is like, spratic across the charts, but his ped. will obviously catch that.

and also, i'd worry if your son was super fussy and irritated. at that point, he may need to be upped in his food intake.

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