6 month old child is underweight. Need help.

Louvie - posted on 01/30/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My peditrician says that my child is underweight. She went down from 25% to 10% and is a growing concern to the doctor. The doctor had recommended giving her 1 teaspoon of corn oil or mix margarine with her food until she gains weight. I am wondering if there are other ways to use beside those things recommended. My child breastfeeds and is eating solids for a month now. She is a good eater.

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Vicki - posted on 02/05/2010

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25 percentile is not underweight! It means that she is heavier than about a quarter of the normal population of her age. Obviously I don't know your daughter and there may have been other health issues happening, but this is one reason why I think the charts are dangerous. 50th percentile isn't something to aim for, it just happens to be in the middle.

Erica - posted on 02/02/2010

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My daughter is 6 months she's 14 pounds and 24 inches long. I've been told that she's small but that I shouldn't worry. She eats well, reaching milestones, generally happy, and wets/soils as she should. If I were you I would try extra breast feeding, adding a small amount of cereal to fruits and veggie servings. I wouldn't give her margirine or oil they aren't good for us how can they be good for our babies?!?!?! You might want to ask other dr.'s what they suggest. Going straight to marg. and/or oil seems very drastic especially if she's recently become more active. Don't give butter!! it contains cows milk which your little one shouldn't get until about 1 year.

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my 6 month old daughter is also on the small side the dr isnt concerned yet but she dropped from the 48th percentile to the 29th. the dr gave me some suggestions that really seem to be working. i put cereal in her bottles i switched from rice to oatmeal because the oatmeal is thicker. if she has a 4 or 6 oz bottle i add 1 tablespoon if it is an 8 oz bottle then i do 2 table spoons. she was also only eating 1 jar of food in a day the dr recommended i up her to 2 jars it was difficult to get her to eat that much at first but the dr said that i could make her bottles smaller so that she would eat more food. the calories are in the food. she seems to be porking up quite nicely i cant wait to see how much she weighs now. so good luck

Casey - posted on 01/30/2010

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In all honesty Louvie, I wouldnt worry too much about it. I know it was a doctor that told you, and I am certainly not, but kids will be kids. They will grow in their own time and in their own way. As long as you know in your heart that she is eating frequently, eating healthy, and eating well, then you should have nothing to worry about. And as a bonus, you are still breastfeeding, so I think you are doing everything right, and your daughter will be absolutely fine...in her own time :D

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POORNIMA - posted on 04/08/2013

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My child is underweight, 1 year 4 months baby just 6.5 kg.Her intake is good but I don't know why she is not gaining the weight.She often get cough and fever.under the doctor's
suggestion now my child blood test had been given that is serum electrolytes, T4, TSH,
ALBUMIN SUGAR DEPOSIT(urine test).The results will come today evening. I am observing her from 5months and now she is 1 y 6months. But her weight and health condition is not improved.Now I am very much worried about her health condition.

Tanya - posted on 02/05/2010

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My son Logan is almost 7 months & at his last checkup was just under the low weight range. He was born 7lb 15oz & now weighs 13lb 5oz butis meeting all his milestones. He is so active almost crawling already. He doesnt stay still these days. He is breastfed & eats 2 meals a day. His older brother who is 4 is small in weight size as well. I think they get this from their father who has been the same size like forever (im extremly jealous about that lol). I think all babies are different & grow their own way. As long as she is eating normally & doing everything she is suposed to thats all you can ask for. My little Logan is going for another weight check at 8 months to see if he has put on any weight or not. He is averaging about 1lb every 2 months. It worrisome but i tell myself that im doing everything i can to get him to put on the weight its just his genetics.

Krissy - posted on 02/05/2010

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i was just saying that she was small but we got her problem undercontrol. i'm not aiming for the 50% as she will look over weight, this ped we are going to is unhapy with her weight for some reason but my GP is fine with it. i'm seirously concidering leaving this doc as he says the weirdest things to do to get her to put on weight but tells me the Government doesnt like overweight babys, try figuring that out i don't know what pounds she is but she is just under 6 kgs. for three months she was stuck on 4 kgs and going down in weight as she was getting older what ever that is supposed to mean.

Krissy - posted on 02/05/2010

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my doc told me at my girls 3 month checkup to give her butter in her solids as she needed it i found this kinda weird as i had never heard about it at this stage she was well undr the 10th percentile and i was breast feeding her but i couldnt no matter what supply her demand,i was told by some other mothers and a couple of nurses that i was one of many mothers that nomatter what i did it was always going to be lacking, i also have a oler son who has a minor dissability but played a big part in my not being able to supply..i did use margarine as it was non dairy and i also gave her avocardo as it is a natural oil and heathy fatening agent. i also know use a olive oil margarine but very sparingly even though it is heart foundation approved. in the end at 4 months i had no choise and had to give her the bottle. my girl is still underweight in the 25%ile but she is much happier. i hope all goes well for you ,and try some other peds if you don't trust this one.

Louise - posted on 02/03/2010

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My daughter has been underweight since birth but she is always going to be small. No babies are the same and doctors just use an average. She may just be petite, im sure she will do great x

Karen - posted on 02/03/2010

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Well, it looks like you have gotten some great advice from all of these moms. I have a 6 month old as well. He is a happy, healthy and well "rounded" baby. But he is still only 25% for his weight. I do think that the percentile thing should only be a guide for how much they may go up and down. Also, breastfed babies tend to be on the smaller side. Thus, the reason why breastfed babies tend to not grow up to be obese adults. There have been studies to show that formula fed babies tend to grow into adults that have weight issues. Paying attention to how your baby is acting is the best scale to go by. If she is happy and content, then you probably have nothing to worry about. Also, be careful about supplementing with formula. It has it's place, some babies truly do need to have formula to supplement the breast milk. But breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. If you take away the demand, your body will take away the supply. It's all a balancing act. Good luck and whatever you do and whatever advice you decide to listen to, have confidence in mother's instinct! We know what our babies need better than anyone else.

Kendra - posted on 02/02/2010

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My son has dropped quite a bit as well since his last visit. He is 26 inches long, which is above average, but only 15 pounds. He is 6 1/2 months old. My doctor told me he is a bit light, BUT it isn't a concern. He told me that because every baby is diffrent, you get all shapes and sizes. Nicholas is just built more like his Dad, tall and lean. My doctor also told me that around the 6 month mark, they usually see a bit of a drop in thier percentiles as well.

Kate - posted on 02/02/2010

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I agree, stick to more breast feedings (to encourage more milk supply & add calories to your babies daily intake) -and make sure you are eating a well balanced diet to produce a good/healthy milk supply. I would stay clear of formula, it can interfere with your milk supply. Breast milk will be more nutritious and satisfying -but will not make your baby feel over stuffed. When babies are over stuffed with cereals and formulas it can make them go longer between feedings, which in your case would not be productive since you are trying to get more feedings in for the day. Stimulate more milk production with more frequent feedings. I would also agree with not getting caught up on numbers and percentiles - you know your baby best! As long as they are energetic, actively learning new developmental milestones, eating well, diaper duty is normal - I wouldn't worry too much. Just keep an eye on things and breast feed more. (Stay away from the oil and margarine idea from your doctor - not good advice!) Good-luck!

Sarah - posted on 02/02/2010

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It's not where you lie on the growth chart that matters, it's the pattern over time. If your baby has always been 10th %ile weight and 90th height, then that is just your baby, as long as they follow the same line or better, that's OK. But if your baby falls significantly off their growth 'line' and keeps falling (over two lines), then it is important that the doctor checks things out. Most of them time it will just be an imbalance of calories in, and calories burned by a more active baby. But sometimes it is something more serious (I'm not saying your child's case is 'serious' at all, but I just wanted to put that out there for people saying "don't listen to your doctor, it's fine".) Yes, usually it is fine. But sometimes it requires some testing and a watchful eye. For older kids, mixing butter with food is a common (and perfectly healthy) way to add some calories. Obviously long term, it would be better for them to just eat more of the usual food groups, but to get over that spurt, a lot of peds will advise butter. But if avocado and yogurt work, all the better.

Anuradha - posted on 02/02/2010

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i second on Vicky's post...Please don't go completey on Doctor's advice and growth charts...my baby falls on 50th percentile weight wise but height falls under 90th percentile...so every baby has their own growth pattern....as long as u see ur baby is a good and a regular eater...is pooping well...active and hitting the milestones on time...sufficient wet nappies..you need not worry...

Lindsay - posted on 02/01/2010

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I just went to my son's 6 month well baby and he has lost half a pound and only grown 1/4 on an inch. At his 2 month appt he was 97th for weight and 75th for height and then at his 4 month he was 50th for weight and 25th for height and now he is 3rd for both height and weight. The doctor told me to try offering more food and breastfeeding more often if he will take it. But said not to worry about supplementing formula or anything. He listed off a bunch of scary possibilities including cystic fibrosis! My son had to have blood work done to rule some of them out. Daddy and I are hoping he just isnt getting enough and are gonna work on trying to get him to eat more until we hear that his labs came back normal. I have done alot of internet searching to find ways to increase his calories. We started Yo Baby yogurt tonight which he loved and also plan to try and get him to eat avacado. I have read that both can help babies gain weight! We have a weight check in a week and a half! I will let you know if I learn of any other ways to increase calories. No fun.

Vicki - posted on 02/01/2010

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Watch out for advice to supplement with formula. This can mess with your supply. It's better to offer extra breastfeeds instead as this will boost your supply. Feeding on cue (on demand) is best. But like I said, the actual health of your daughter is more important than the percentile charts.

Iysha - posted on 02/01/2010

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My daughter is in the 10th percentile in her weight too. She's in the 95th percentile with her length. She has been on high calorie formula to help her gain weight.

You might want to supplement breast milk one or twice a day with some formula. We use Similac NeoSure but there are high calorie formulas in other brands. You might want to ask your baby's doctor if that would be an option for your son instead of the margerine and corn oil. I would be very uneasy about putting that into my baby and present other options to my doctor. lol

Laura - posted on 02/01/2010

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I can commisserate with you on this one!! My little girl was below the 3rd percentile at her 6 month check-up and the doctor also became concerned with her continually dropping weight percentage. Like you, I breastfeed her and she has started solids too, and she seems to eat wonderfully. She is now 7 months old, and we have a dreaded weight check appointment next week to see if she has made any progress.

My doctor told me to try to offer her an additional 2 oz. of formula after nursing her each time to see if she would take it. He thought that maybe I just wasn't producing enough milk to sustain her growth and said that this would be a means of determining whether that was true or not. I tried doing that for 3 weeks though and she wouldn't take any on most days, but would sometimes take an ounce or two total for the day on random occasions. However, I think that that at least shows that I am producing enough milk, which was reassuring to me. :) If you want to determine if milk production is the issue, you could try that to see if she'll take it I guess?

What I started doing last week (and plan to do until the appointment next Tuesday) is adding those 2 oz. of formula to her cereal when I give her the solids, thinking that maybe that will give her a bit of extra caloric intake. My biggest fear with that though is that the formula will hold her off longer than the food would otherwise and will ultimately decrease the number of times she nurses during the day. So, I just nurse her extra, even when she's not explicitly asking for it, to make sure that she is still getting most of her nutrients and whatnot from my milk. I am hoping that when we go to the doctor's he'll see that she wouldn't take the formula after nursing, and will realize that she's probably just a tiny little girl rather than under-fed.

I guess I don't have too many suggestions overall, just encouragement to offer! Do you have to go back for a weight check appointment or is the doctor planning to see her at the next well-visit?

Crystal - posted on 01/31/2010

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maybe you don't produce enough milk? Or you may not be getting enough needed calories? Was she premature? I was born a couple weeks early and always underweight. She is probably just naturally a small person. My daughters doctor said at six months a baby should eat 3 meals a day plus at least 24 oz of breast milk and/ or formula per day.

Vicki - posted on 01/31/2010

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I wrote a long reply and my computer crashed! Ok take 2:

Does she seem healthy, happy and active with plenty of wet/dirty nappies/diapers? This is more an indication of health than measurements on a chart. The charts most drs use are based on predominately formula fed babies, who have a different pattern of growth. I would stay right away from marg and corn oil, highly processed crapola non-food that shouldn't be anywhere near a baby. There's more nutrients and goodness in your breastmilk so I would stick to that and the solids that she's already eating. Has she recently started moving more? Babies tend to lean out a bit then. If in doubt get a second opinion from a different dr, one that doesn't advise feeding crap to babies. (for info, margarine is a dark grey colour when made, it's yellow because of the yellow food colouring added - revolting)

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