Failure to Thrive, anyone else have a toddler diagnosed with this??

Crystal - posted on 09/28/2009 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My son eats every 2 hours has seen the Pediatrician for extra weight check visits and they have always told me not to worry. Now at his 18 month appointment they did a whole work up of blood tests checking his thyroid and trying to find out why he is so small. They say it is failure to thrive, but I did some research and I do not agree. He is simply small (my husband and I are too) and he has a great metabolism, plus he never quits running around. He eats quite a bit considering he is picky and is constantly offered snacks and foods to make sure he is getting enough. The Pediatrician wanted him off of milk and on PediaSure but he hated that as well. Does anyone else have a situation like this? I feel like a failure for not being able to help him grow better but I do not know how to help him gain weight other than what we already do.

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Becky - posted on 10/09/2009

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Hi Crystal, I don't have much info on the subject, but my son was 9 mos old and just over 9 pounds. He was diagnosed with failure to thrive. Now he is an extremely fit and healthy, average sized 16 yr old. Don't settle for a label and don't be discouraged. Love your son, feed him well and pray for him always. God has a plan for him :o)

Melissa - posted on 09/29/2009

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I have that same problem.

My son is 14 months who learned to walk at 8 months. His pediatrician tried putting him in the hospital to fatten him (which I disagreed to), sent us for blood work and the to a dietician. The Dietician told me not worry that I have an over active child that doesn't stop moving...he eats what he's supposed to and more. He's constanly snaking on something all day.



I totally understand what your feeling, i felt like a truck hit me everytime I left the doctors the feeling like I'm not nourishing my child and that I was a horrible mother.



What I'm trying to say is don't kill yourself over this, if all the tests came back normal and you yourself know that your son is eating and that he is very active you really have nothing to worry about!!!

Hope all goes well

Lorraine - posted on 09/28/2009

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what percentile is he in? Has he stayed on his growth curve? If he is following a curve and has been since birth he is probably normal but if he started out high and dropped bellow the 5th percentile than he is not normal and that is classified as FTT Your doctor needs to find out what is wrong with him so let them run the tests. Sometimes a high calorie diet does nothing. How are your sons BM? are they normal or does he have lots of runny poops ? If they are runny he could have an allergy to something he is eating.

Have they checked him for Cystic fibrosis? It sounds like your son is unable to absorb calories properly which is a sign of celiac disease (wheat allergy) check with his doctor to make sure he runs a complete blood, a scratch test, a stool and urine sample and a sweat test. it is best to correct these things before it is to late. Poor absorption of calories and nutrients can lead to brain damage.

Jessica - posted on 06/11/2012

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i have a 14 month old that simply will not eat most of the time you may get 3 to 4 bites in him but no more the only reason he is even gaining anything is the n-g tube we have to take home when we leave the hospitsl

Jodi - posted on 09/29/2009

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My daughter was only 102cm (40") and around 14kg (approx 31lb) at age 4. She has been in the 3rd percentile most of her life. She was 3rd percentile when she was born. I don't worry. She is happy, never gets sick (or very rarely, much less than most kids her age), she is in proportion. At her 4 year old check up I was given 20 questions because of her very slight weight, but I just shrugged it off. I was always quite thin as a child (it runs in the family), so I think it is her 'normal' .

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Randi - posted on 09/30/2009

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i would try the different flavors of pediasure until you find one he likes my daughter was diagnosed with failure to thrive at 12 months she only weighed 16 lbs once she started on prdiasure she gained weight steadily and thrived she didn't get sick as often either-it was a god send-she is now 4 and weighs 50lbs-we stopped pediasure when she was 3

Mel - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Amanda :

When my son was born he was diagnosed w/ failure to thrive because he wouldn't eat and didn't have a suck reflex. Failure to thrive isn't really a "diagnosis"....its actually a symptom of another prob. My son actually needed to have a feeding tube for 3 1/2 yrs. and now just recently got it removed. He is still undiagosed and physically behind at the age of 4 not walking. Every child is different and you being the mother knows when their is a prob or not......the doc are not with them 24/7 like we are. Good luck....always remember "mothers know best".



failure to thrive is not a symptom of another problem, a child being underweight does not at all mean they are going to have other problems. my daughter is FTT to and she still has her feeding tube at 18 months but this doesnt mean she has other probs so please be careful as you may scare the OP. personaly i would ont have let my child be tube fed for 3.5 years if I was you I would have gotten it removed earlier so that he could eat normally because its unfair on him. but just my opinion and it is done now

Mel - posted on 09/30/2009

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Quoting Amanda :

When my son was born he was diagnosed w/ failure to thrive because he wouldn't eat and didn't have a suck reflex. Failure to thrive isn't really a "diagnosis"....its actually a symptom of another prob. My son actually needed to have a feeding tube for 3 1/2 yrs. and now just recently got it removed. He is still undiagosed and physically behind at the age of 4 not walking. Every child is different and you being the mother knows when their is a prob or not......the doc are not with them 24/7 like we are. Good luck....always remember "mothers know best".



failure to thrive is not a symptom of another problem, a child being underweight does not at all mean they are going to have other problems. my daughter is FTT to and she still has her feeding tube at 18 months but this doesnt mean she has other probs so please be careful as you may scare the OP. personaly i would ont have let my child be tube fed for 3.5 years if I was you I would have gotten it removed earlier so that he could eat normally because its unfair on him. but just my opinion and it is done now

Michelle - posted on 09/30/2009

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I have been made to feel the same way with my daughter. She is 9 months old now and weighs 15 pounds, but my doctor was not happy with that. We had to take her every month for a check up and until this appointment he's always made me feel like i was doing something wrong. She's staying on the same curve for everything though, so I think he just decided that it's just the way she is going to grow! I'm sure your doing a wonderful job! As long as your little one is happy and helathy (to your knowledge, and thoughts) then don't worry about it to much:o)

Amanda - posted on 09/30/2009

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When my son was born he was diagnosed w/ failure to thrive because he wouldn't eat and didn't have a suck reflex. Failure to thrive isn't really a "diagnosis"....its actually a symptom of another prob. My son actually needed to have a feeding tube for 3 1/2 yrs. and now just recently got it removed. He is still undiagosed and physically behind at the age of 4 not walking. Every child is different and you being the mother knows when their is a prob or not......the doc are not with them 24/7 like we are. Good luck....always remember "mothers know best".

Leslie - posted on 09/30/2009

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my daughter is 11 now she was born at 36 weeks and was consired small. well guess what she is still the smallest in her class. And with the size of my inlaws will never get very big. Doctors just worry that you are going to sue them if they don't do the right thing. you know what your kid eats and how much.

Meri - posted on 09/29/2009

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I agree with the Pediasure. As a peds nurse, that was always our first go to and if you can"t afford it - Carnation instant breakfast mixed in who;e ,ilk worls the sa,e. good calories - tiny effort to get the little one to take

Mel - posted on 09/29/2009

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i have seen some other posts so i thought i would let you know my daughter is on one milk shake a day from mcdonalds, and when shes in hospital they get me to get her hot chips and i feed her ice cream whenever i get a chance i just buy a big tub of it. when im out i buy her chocolate bars. good luck x

Jan - posted on 09/29/2009

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Argh! It makes my blood boil when mums are made to feel like failures. The Dr's are not always right, a mum knows best. If you are worried ask your GP to refer you to Great Ormond Street hospital. My daughter was referred to them many years ago, I cant fault them & the work they do. If your own GP wont refer you try writing to them, stating your concerns, they will send you an appointment. But try not to worry too much, as you said you & your husband are quite small, chances are, its in his genes to be petite! Good luck. x

Helen - posted on 09/29/2009

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It's been ages since my son was diagnosed with this. All we did was give extra love, hugs and kisses. I believe for my son it was an emotional thing. He ate what he wanted just like the rest of the kids and didn't eat what he didn't want to. I never put him on anything special. He just seemed to grow when he was emotionally happy and fulfilled. This may sound lame but kids have a way of growing all by themselves. I also have a friend from church whos son didn't gain weight for the longest time. Like you, tests were run but all they could do is wait to see what would happen. He now is growing wonderfully. Her name is Megan Bomba and I do believe she is in this mom group.

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Just remember that you are doing everything you can. You're baby is healthy and you are a good mother!

Debora - posted on 09/29/2009

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try going to gluetenfree diet since i have a nefew which was the same way by the time his doctor did any thing he was two since they tred different milks with him yet he still lost weight always having running stools so finally at two he said i think we need to have him checked by a specialest so off to gastro type to find out he has allergies to whole wheat,oatmeal,gluetin,msgs which a metabolism dr could have given them the same results .so his mom even has to read labels on even bubble baths since some of them have oat extract which he can not have extracts either.so you can try the gluetin free diet on your own or ask dr for tests for that allergy since they say 50% chance on both sides of family .you could also if the dr will not run these tests or refer you to help find one who will.

Jaclyn - posted on 09/29/2009

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My son is 2 and is a VERY picky eater. He was always in the 90th percentile for height AND weight until his 18 month check up. His height dropped to the 50th yet his weight was still at the 90th. This confused me, my husband and his Doctor. I started giving him Flintstones Gummi Vitamins (he thinks they are candy and didn't like the regular chewables). Also if he has a really bad eating day, I give him Carnation Instant Breakfast. It much less expensive than PediaSure and has all the same great stuff in it. My mother has been working with Cancer patients as an RN for over 35 years and said that the Doctors suggest that for those who can't afford or don't like Ensure. The Carnation comes in premeasured packets and you can get it at the grocery store in a few different flavors. My son's fav is Chocolate. What kid doesn't like chocolate milk! Peanut Butter and Jelly on anything other than white bread is great too. Peanuts are loaded with good fats and protein. Hope this helps! Good luck!

Debora - posted on 09/29/2009

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they have specialist who can run tests on him to see why he`s not growing they are called endocrinologist this is their specailty so ask your dr to refer you to one .itcould also be a allergy to wheat which these type of drs can pin point the whole cause .just ame sure its one who specailizes in children.good luck.

Minnie - posted on 09/29/2009

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My doctor wanted to class my daughter as failure to thrive. At three 1/2years old she hasn't yet hit 25 lb. My second appears to be heading that route as well.

However, my husband is thin, his entire family is thin, I am thin, as my family is. I was smaller than my girls are at their ages. Both of them are in the less than 1st percentile for weight.

But the key is- they are gaining, even if it's an ounce a month. They have never lost any weight ever and are both meeting their milestones just fine.

Pediasure- marketing- might as well give your son some good icecream.

Tabatha - posted on 09/29/2009

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Wow. My daughter has been on pediasure for a year and is has kept her at the 3rd percentile for weight and 5th for height. She is 3 1/2, but weighs about 25 lbs and she just grew to 36". She has gained 7 lbs in 2 1/2 years. The have been running test to find a reason for her Microcephaly, but I have not heard anything about why she could be so petite. My husband and I are average height, so I don't know. She does have runny poops and she never want anything but water, pediasure, and grahm crackers. I hope your son develops well, I've tried hiding different foods in her regular meal, maybe you could try that for his pickiness. Sometimes they find it though :)

Aspen - posted on 09/28/2009

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I have a somewhat similiar problem just not as severe. My son is 2 and just 25 pounds. He's in the 15 percentile. He hasn't really gained weight in 5-6 months. The doctors are starting to get a lil worried but still said everything is ok. He is growing in height but not in weight. He is crazy crazy active and does eat as well. What I started doing (on my own) is supplementing his milk with 2 scoops of formula. I got the kind for kids 9 mos to 3 years. It seems like it's helping. Also try to give him eggs they are packed with protein or the carnation instant breakfast stuff. If he doesn't like the taste you can supplement his milk with it. Another thing I started to do is give my son the kid vitamins. I hope all of this helps and good luck!

Mel - posted on 09/28/2009

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my 18 month old is on pediasure. dont worry about the weight thing they make people worry too much as long as your child has stayed roughly on the same percentile and is not losing big amounts of weight tehre is no cause for her concern. how much does he weigh? mine is 21 lbs and the wieght she has on her is due to having a feedin tube for weight gain and being fed 1,100 mills of pediasure per day. dont let them tell you your child is underweight, look at your family what they were as kids and are now and your partners family. dont stress too much they really dont have anythign better to do, the nurses told me this first hand x

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