Failing to thrive advice

User - posted on 01/17/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My son is 4 months old and is exclusively breastfed. Recently he has "fallen off" the growth curve (and has been deemed "not thriving")and we're trying everything we can to get him to gain weight while still continuing to breastfeed. One doctor suggested giving him safflower oil (1 tsp. a day). I'm concerned this upsets his stomach, though. Anyone else had experience with this or have other suggestions? So far he has not liked the SNS tube or bottles. Thank you!

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Emily - posted on 01/18/2012

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FIrst off find a breast feeding growth curve chart online and chart his growth on that. The charts they use at the dr's office are based on formula fed babies who gain at a much faster and different rate than bf babies do. Take this in to your doc and odds are your son does not actually hve failure to thrive :) Second any foods you feed need to be at least 20 cal/oz to be better than breast milk. My son has true failure to thrive due to severe reflux and a condition that stopped his stomach growth. At 9 months he can still only eat or drink 4-5 oz at a time max! If you give expressed bottles of milk, they make a formula called NeoSure that you can add to your milk to boost the calories up to 22 cal/oz. They use it for preemies to help then catch up on weight. If you're interisted in trying this let me know and I will give you the ammounts you need to add based on bottle size. There is a whole chart we were given from the NICU. As a last resort they is also a powder called DuoCal that you can add to anything moist or into a bottle of liquid. It adds 42 cals/TBSP but you need a Rx from your doc for this because they have to calculate how much a day the child needs. It's pure carbs and fat and since my son has been on it he has finaly gotten back on the growth curve!! (the breast feeding one)

Iridescent - posted on 01/17/2012

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Also, foods add bulk but not calories. They take longer to empty from the stomach by about twice as long, and for the same calories, this is not adequate. Also, foods are lower calorie than breast milk in general, although there are some good high calorie foods. For example - 2 ounces of a fruit or vegetable is around 20 calories and takes around 40 minutes to empty from the stomach. 2 ounces of breast milk is around 50 calories and takes about 20 minutes to empty from the stomach. If you're trying to prevent or curb failure to thrive, it's essential to hold off on foods unless they are high calorie.

Iridescent - posted on 01/17/2012

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Any MCT oil should help. Some other good choices are Coconut oil, Canola oil, and Olive oil. He's not prescribed enough to really add much for calories (1 teaspoon is only 45 calories) so it shouldn't effect growth much, but it will very much help brain development!

User - posted on 01/17/2012

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Yes, we started him on solids a week ago. We're up to carrots and rice cereal, but that's a good idea to add avocado too. Also, i'll try the syringe. Thanks!

Amanda - posted on 01/17/2012

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Have you spoken to your doctor about starting him on solids???

I knew someone whos daughter was dropping off the growth curve and it was suggested to her that she put her daughter on a high fat diet to bulk her up. I don't mean lots of junk foods. I think she ate lots of avocado, cheese, full fat yoghurt that sort of thing.

Chrystal - posted on 01/17/2012

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Before we started using the SNS I gave my son formula from a syringe like you get with kids medicine you could try that; you should be able to buy one from your pharmacist.

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