Helping baby gain weight

Kristen - posted on 07/16/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My 17 month old daughter has always been petite, but I am trying to help her gain weight. She weighed 18 pounds at her last checkup (16 mos) and we have another checkup in Aug. The docs say she is very healthy, just petite. She has started to be a really picky eater, only drinking her milk, chocolate whole milk, yougurt smoothies, fruits and veggies. She doesn't eat a lot of the solids, and while fruits and veggies are great, they won't make her gain weight. At this point her 3 month old baby sister is only 8 pounds behind her!! Thinking of trying kids Ensure or Boost to help put weight on...any suggestions?

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Karen - posted on 11/14/2012

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My little girl has been suffering from reflux the last two years. She was not gaining weight and always had flu like symptoms. We are still struggeling with the eating as she may only eat purity untill 8 weeks after the operation (nissen repair ) and she associates eating with pain.The pedi also recommended pediasure and I was using it for several weeks untill I compared the nutrition towards formula milk. It was the same. The calories, protein nearly everthing. In fact some on the formula milks has more nutrition .pediasure only has probiotics added. Just give your child a good multi vitamine and add a little vitamin B to her diet. Zinplex also helped alot. It helped me alot. Vitamin B assists with gaining weight and giving the baby a appetite naturally. My baby is still in the process of recovery and I discovered that making mealtimes fun helped alot. Dont force at all. Make fingerfoods in different shapes and sizes. Put buckets of food around the house, they will grab a piece. (no one is around to force them or see them) It works!!! Don't worry your baby will eat before he/she starves to death.

Kristen - posted on 08/25/2010

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Ok, so here is my update. We went to the doc today and she has gained only a couple of ounces since her last appt. We go for a weight check in 2 mos and if still no real progress, then we may be doing some pediasure to help. Avery did have a little mass in her abdomen as well, so we had to go have an ultrasound to check it out....came back inconclusive due to gas in the stomach, so going back on Friday to check and see if it's still there (they said it could be gas bubbles or poop) and if it is we do another ultrasound. The 4 month old did awesome today as she weighs in at a little over 11 lbs and she is only 6 inches shorter than her sister!!! Avery better watch out cause soon Mara may be able to beat on her for a change!!! Thanks for all your ideas and well wishes. I am still going to push as much healthy food as I can and hope she just decides to be a pig one of these days.

Siobhain - posted on 07/25/2010

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A healthy child will not starve....thats what my child health nurse told me when my first daughter slowed down her eating.

Bethany - posted on 07/23/2010

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Charlotte is 19 lbs, 8.6kgs, (DOB 8 Feb 09) and my health nurse agrees, she's petite (which isn't that bad a thing for a girl IMHO). After many many months of "trying to help her gain weight" we've resigned ourselves to the fact she's a light eater and a slight figure just like her daddy.



I give her a Toddler milk drink suppliment (Bellamy's Organic Follow-on Formula", one cup a day, and the rest of the day whole milk and water, and a little bit of diluted juice once or twice a week or if she hasn't pooed all day. She also gets Pentavite with Iron with her breakfast each day, which is a liquid multivitamin for toddlers and kids.



It's barely worth the time to prepare anything for her as she eats half a dozen bits then it's off to play again, so I just chop up little bits of this and that and put it in a plate and she takes what she wants. Bit of a birdy style eater. And that's just her.



She was breastfed using the sleep-eat-activity routine (Tracy Hogg) so food has always just been sustinance to her, never comfort, or whatever, so she only eats what she needs. This is good, and a healthy habit to instil, I think.



She lost weight the last couple of months, then when I put her on the formula, she gained over a pound, half a kilo, in two weeks. So I eased off to just one cup a day.



I make sure every thing that goes into her mouth is nutrient dense so she's not filling her belly space with useless bulk. So, wholemeal everything, from bread to rice and pasta. Porridge with fruit, I've eased off on the wheat just in case there was an intolerance there, which can affect weight gain. In Australia, we tend towards alot of wheat products. Weeties for bfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner, that's alot of gluten. So more oats, rice, corn choices.



I give her her big protien meal for lunch, with meat and vege options, then a mostly carb dinner, which I've read helps them sleep better.



More good fats, like avacado (bit pricy, but so worth it if you're serious about her health), olive oil, fresh, not cooked, stirred through pasta or spread under something else like cheese spread on toast or bread, canned tuna chunks with full fat cheese cubes. Full fat yoghurt. This all gives good fats, without them needing to eat much of it.



Nutrient dense foods mean the portion doesn't need to be as big as normal or wasteful foods would need, to give their bodies what they need to grow. Eating alot is not necessarily what's needed. White bread, white pasta, white rice, things you buy crumbed (so easy to crumb things with just egg and milk and breadcrumbs), added sugar in anything, these are so easy to substitute, and then not worry so much about the portion eaten, because you know that what they have eaten is all good, and no wasted space taken up. The toddler formula and multi fills in any gaps that day. I tend to look at her diet across a week rather than a day, too, as far as variety is concerned.



Parties are for lollies and sweets and frivolous foods, and that's fine because God knows there are enough parties with playgroup friends and friends kids and cousins in a year.



Anyway, unless she's continually losing weight, and if she's well, and active and generally a happy kid, and sleeping ok (ok for a 1 year old that is) then, yeah, I'd just watch what I was puting in her mouth, and let her be who she's going to be. Charlotte has never been sick, ever, so I'm more inclined to go by that rather than her weight.



If I didn't do that, I'd be insane by now : )

Jenny - posted on 07/21/2010

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My son is 17 months and is tiny and for the most part only eats veggies, but things that he will eat and help him gain weight are whole fat yogurt mixed with baby oatmeal cereal (for extra iron), scrambled eggs mixed with refried beans (I buy the taco bell brand because there are no hydrogenated oils ie hidden trans fat which the body cannot digest properly) also try putting some beef, pork, or chicken in a small crockpot and slowcooking it all night and mix it in with beans, yogurt, or pureed veggies (that's the only way my son will eat meat). Other than that don't worry too much about your little one being petite as long as there is consistent weight gain. If your dr thought it was a problem they would have told you. Just keep feeding her healthy and she'll appreciate it when she's older and has a fast metabolism. Too many kids get "fattened up" at this age and then start on a life leading to diabetes and obesity.

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Jessica - posted on 06/01/2013

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Wow, reading all these comments made me feel a whole lot better. I have been stressing for months because my 17 month old is such a picky eater and wasn't putting on a lot of weight, she was even hospitalized which made me feel worse, but the doctors did a bunch of tests and exams etc and didn't find anything wrong with her, she is very active she doesn't take naps during the day most of the time, so I think she probably just burns it off, It still worries me though that the doctors do not see this, I guess there are a lot of children her age that weight the same but my doctor seems to have a big issue with it especially since she hospitalized my baby. I want my daughter to gain more weight I have tried pediasure and it did not work. Any suggestions?

Shanna - posted on 09/08/2010

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what about her protein any meats in her diet? my now 19 mo old doesn't gain weight either and she was a bigger baby,she is now 21 lbs. my oldest (4)finaly gained weight and is now in the 50th percentile for age not height. but it all depends on her weight when she was born and if her parents are bigger or smaller people? does she eat healthy then she is going to be smaller then the average 17month old look what they all eat these days . lol good luck just keep up the good work with healthy food. make sure you get all the food groups in there and make sure she gets snacks too.

Stacy - posted on 08/02/2010

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My son has always been on the small side and it never concerned me! If the doctor says they are healthy, I don't see a reason to "help" them gain weight. In the end, you could be hurting your child by encouraging them to eat when they are not hungry. If you are just concerned about nutrients, I recommend recording specifically what your child eats for a week then consult your doctor.

Ann Marie - posted on 07/30/2010

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my son be 18month on 5th aug he only just over 18ls he was 8 weeks early still only wearing 6-9 months clothes he eats and eats thou

Alysha - posted on 07/30/2010

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blueberry pancakes! My girl is little too and she will tons of blueberry pancakes, they have very little sugar in them and the carbs are really filling. Pasta with tomato sauce is a good one too. Make sure you are getting at least 4% yogurt as well.

Margaret - posted on 07/30/2010

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My 17 month old is only 20 lbs as well. The doctor recommended PediaSure for my little man. He is 100% healthy. He is just SOOOOO tall, that he looks like skin & bones. The WIC office recommended protein shakes.

Stephanie - posted on 07/30/2010

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My son is 17 months and isn't eating anything. He won't take a bottle or sippy, won't swallow solids and refuses to accept being fed with a spoon. He's nursing only. He's only gained 3 pounds in the past 15 months. A lot of it is his Leukemia and chemo treatments, but he's skin and bones and it's very frustrating that he's not even interested. So if they're eating, feel very fortunate! They'll get there. My oldest was a picky eater at this age but he eventually went through a growth spurt and chunked up. :)

Joy - posted on 07/29/2010

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My daughter is 17 months and right at 19 pounds. She has been petite since her 6 month check-up which is also around the time she became mobile. She is a VERY active child so I am sure she is just burning off the calories she eats. I have addressed this with my pediatrician who is not concerned at all. He says she is healthy and to just feed her when she's hungry. He also suggested giving her healthy snacks between meals to pack on a few calories. The older she gets the less worried I am. I now think that she is just going to be a petit little girl with a small build. If that is the case then, I want to encourage good eating habits more than packing on the pounds. Trust your pediatrician and maybe ask him at the visit in August what he thinks about the supplements.

Lisa - posted on 07/27/2010

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Hi there, seems to be a lot of little girls in the petite category here. Well, my 17 m.o. son is 20.5lbs but he's taller than the kids his age. So that makes him a lean little man. He's not big on meat either and will only have it if it's minced and mixed in with his rice or porridge or pasta. Same with vegies (used to love them as finger food, now it's down to just carrots and everything else needs to be cut up and mixed). He loves bananas, yoghurts, cheeses (for now) so I guess that's a bit of saving grace. BUT. He can like one thing today and hate it the next!

Everybody comments on how skinny he is but as his mum, I know if he's healthy and eating enough because (1) the calories seem to go to just one place - his cheeks, so if he's eating enough, he has fluffy cheeks (2) i look at my hubby and myself and realise we have very long torsos, not the sort that put on weight easily. I know how all the mums here feel because we just can't seem to stop worrying if we don't see them eat much. Yet it's impossible to get kids to do one thing - eat - if they don't want to.

The only advice I would have is to TRY not to worry since her paed isn't. Take her to see the paed again a month from now for a re-assessment. Otherwise, try Pediasure if she continues just eating veg/fruit and drinking milk and yoghurt, just to make sure she's got enough nutrients. But personally, I'd say she's getting loads of nutrients from all the vegies and fruit she's eating. Just losing out on carbs which you might try mixing some rice cereal with her favourite fruits, mashed up together. For starters anyway. Take care and all the best.

Shadi - posted on 07/27/2010

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Hi there, I don't think you should worry!! It may just be her build! My 17 month old, Bethany now weighs 25lbs!! But so does my 3 year old, Annabelle. both girls and both VERY different! They are even in the same clothes! I was told my eldest needed to put on weight when she was younger but I am very resigned to fill her full of fat and then get a taste fot it! So I never forced fed her but always gave her something proper to eat and gave her puds after, she is still bit picky with foods but eats a lot more different foods than she ever did. She has always been lively and healthy so unless that changes please don't worry not all children conform to national average!! Little and often could also work. Just enjoy her while shes this age.
Hope that helps
Shadi

BRITTNEY - posted on 07/26/2010

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My daughter is 17 months and wasonly 18 pounds at her last apointment so our doctor put her on Pediasure

Heidi - posted on 07/26/2010

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My daughter is the same she only weighs 8kg well that was at her last check up. So Iam in the same boat as you don't know what to do. The doctor I saw said what ever I give her in food won't put the weight on. But she is a healthy baby so I think the doctor was happy about that so all we can is to try our best.

Lynn - posted on 07/25/2010

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My daughter is also 17mnths old and "under weight". People are always amazed when I tell them how old she is. She is still wearing her 9 and 12mnth clothing. Her doctor had me go to a nutritionist who told me that along with the whole milk I need to be adding fats like cheese and butter into her diet. Unlike your daughter, mine is a PIG, so this was a bit easier for me. I do buy and give her Pediasure, which is baby Ensure. The down side is that it's a little more expensive than I'd like, but if it's important for her health and growth I'll spend any amount! She's up to 19lbs now and her next weigh in is in the next couple weeks: )

Amanda - posted on 07/24/2010

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My daughter is 17 mo and 19lbs. 1st percentile. My pediatrician advised me to add carnation instant breakfast to her milk once a day. Also try too add a little more of what she does like. Is she likes mac n cheese, add some shredded cheese to it. If she likes pb&j sandwiches add extra pb. Goodluck!

Jen - posted on 07/24/2010

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Try adding some good fats -- like avocado to smoothies etc. You could also add other protein like tofu to smoothies?

Ingrid - posted on 07/23/2010

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Dont get me wrong BUT I'm relief to hear your babies are on the same range as mine. Keeping on mind that Lucas was 10 weeks earlier. Born Feb20 at 29w4d and at his last checked up (15m) height 31 weight 20lbs. This kid will everything and anything ALL day long. I had come to the conclusion that this will be the way he will be.... skinny, flaco :D ...

Kathleen - posted on 07/23/2010

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I would like to say you are not alone. I have a three year old who has been pretty petite and a picky eater. She started off liking certain foods and now won't eat them at all. What gets me is her sister is only 17 months and they weigh the same thing. Her sister looks like she is bigger than her and she eats a lot more than she does. I admit it bothers me to. I would have to agree with the mom(s) that said to try pediasure. I have noticed that it gives my daughter an appetite and she is gaining weight. I let her have one in the morning and another one at night. I know its hard not to stress because I do the same thing but it will be ok.

Holly - posted on 07/23/2010

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Our daughter is also very petite and the doctor told us to give her Pediasure. To our surprise our daughter seems to love it, gives her a ton of vitamins/nutrients and it's helped her gain weight in the past month and a half. Definitely would recommend Pedisure!

Aleks - posted on 07/22/2010

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My Little 17mth old is just under 18lbs mark!!! Has been termed petite by everybody. Her pediatrician also wanted her to "put on weight". She has been a picky eater though, and isn't easy to feed - she is always on the go and run, doesn't sit still long enough to feed. I have to chase her around. I pretty much gave up cooking 'baby food" for her out of shear frustration, as she was picky about it and most of it ended up in the bin. She now gets served what we eat and she is pretty happy with it. I gave up getting her "to put more weight on" after she had a whole week where she would only eat 1 meal for the whole day (later we figured out that she had a sore throat and wasn't up for swallowing....)!!! So once she started to eat again 3 times a day, I was pretty happy with that and have left it at that. Also, my attempts at "fattening up her meals" with olive oil, avocado, etc went thwarted. I am just happy that she IS putting on weight, is growing, is happy and meets her developmental milestones.
Though, I must say that my lo's weight issues stemmed from undiagnosed soy intolerance/allergy, once that was eliminated she improved greatly. She also has dairy intolerance too. Given that I have breastfed her from day dot and still am breastfeeding her I feel confident enough that she gets all the nutrients she needs in the day, even if she hasn't had as much solids as she is capable of having on other days!!!

Also, I have noticed that she seems to regulate her calorie intake. For example, if she has had a relatively high calorie meal, she will either want to skip the next meal or just wants a smaller one instead. So even if I did want to sneak in extra calories for her to gain weight, her body knows better and wont allow it!!!

Besides, most doctors tend to go by numbers on a chart like its the holy of the holies.... instead of seeing the child...
Hope that helps, especially knowing that there is someone out there with a smaller child... ;-)

Sherrie - posted on 07/22/2010

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I had the same problem and i had to do a few drastic cuts.And it killed me..lol because my daughter loved her chocolate milk more than any food, and yogart or any of her drinks she loved and wanted to drink ,drink, drink.I thought well if she's thirsty she needs it.Well she wouldn't eat hardly anything for a month.I finally went to the ped. and he said" take her off alot of liquids."If her tummys full with milk or juice or even water she feels full.WEll i cut down to 4 oz of milk after she eats(something, even cereal).So she knows now she has to eat first before the drink an boy is she eating,(it's tough love though) still picky and eating a little bit but trying everything.So try cutting back on some liquids first.Then if that doesn't help there is a Graduate drink box thats exactly like ensure,thats cheaper than kids Ensure. She will come around just watch her and let her know, after she eats she can get a sippy cup or ba-ba.Hope this helps!She's really pretty..; )God Bless, Sher

Stephanie - posted on 07/21/2010

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My doctor said the same thing at my daughters 15 mo. check-up. Vienna is also a petite little girl. She's a picky eater, and sometimes it seems like she doesn't eat at all! We started putting a little heavy cream in her whole milk, mixing in a little butter in her food, and I give her snacks only twice a day, usually a few crackers or cookies. Only a few, because I want her to be hungry for dinner. I found she was eating less because I would feed her too much oatmeal in the morning and then giving her too much juice during the day. I give her a little less breakfast and less juice, I give her water to drink instead. Thats great that your daughter will eat veggies! I was giving Vienna too much juice because I've resorted to V8 Fusion - veggies & fruits. Probably not as healthy as the real thing. She has finally gotten her appetite back because she started walking. BUT I'm also having a hard time introducing solids, she only eats chicken, pasta, and crackers. Glad to know I'm not the only one with these problems. Thanks!

Megan - posted on 07/21/2010

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my daughter is around 21 pounds and just turned 17 months. very picky eater and boy does she go. she is petite but appears very healthy. just wanted to let you know there are more of us out their with little little ones. :)

Amy - posted on 07/21/2010

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It took my daughter whos 17 months 5 months to put on 1kg. I have been told that as long as she is happy, has wet nappies and is healthy then its just her body type. Every child is different. My daughter loves strawberries, carrots, mangoes, bananas, etc all fruit and veg basically. she has normal meals with us. If we have lamb chops or meat or chicken i make sure she has some too. Try hot chips as a treat or custard, otherwise as long as she is happy and healthy (apart fromt he weight gain) don't panic.

Kelina - posted on 07/18/2010

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TRy hiding meat in other foods. Cut it up really small or even throw it in the blender. My nephews not big on meats and honestly doesn't weigh much more than my son. My son is 17 months, my nephew is six. Kids all have different body types and if your doctor isn't worried, you shouldn't be either! I know easier said than said than done right! I wouldn't try ensure or boost as that will fill her up and probably not help her put weight on. it will also give her the runs. if you stick meat and potatoes in the blender she probably won't even notice the meat. also try things kids like like spaghetti(one of my sons favorites) and hotdogs. Good luck!

Dawn - posted on 07/16/2010

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First, I think many toddlers get picky at this age, so don't feel like you are alone!! My son is 16 months and only 20 lbs. I was told to use Carnation Instant Breakfast instead of Ensure because it doesn't fill them up as much and they will eat more solids.Try giving peanut butter and cheese on a daily basis; try eggs a few times a week (my son likes cheese omelettes); use olive oil when cooking; try avacado (my son loves my guacamole!!). My son isn't big on meat but will eat a hotdog sometimes, so I let him have one every few weeks. i also have luck with pasta and sauce and sometimes meatballs, so I try to make that a fairly regualr meal. Funny thing about these kids is soemthing will be their favorite for a while then...poof...nada!! :) Lastly, take your doctors word for it and don't stress....if he is satisfied, so should you!! :) :)

Ash - posted on 07/16/2010

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I have the same concerns about my 17 month old! She is only 20 lbs. I don't have advice for you, but at least you're not alone.

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