Confused after last visit to Pediatricians

[deleted account] ( 28 moms have responded )

Yesterday we took our 7-month-old son to his pediatrician. According to our pediatrician my son is not gaining enough weight. According to his growth chart my son jumped from the 25% line to the 5 % line. But I have been charting at home because my son was tiny when born and I want to make sure he is growing fine. According to my chart he has pretty much stayed on the 10% line. My question is why on earth even though we are using the same numbers are both our charts different. Should I be concerned about my son’s growth?

The pediatrician told me to give my son butter and real cream to fatten him up, I am allergic to dairy and the few times I had dairy, my son reacted with a rash all over his torso. I have also studied nutrition and I know that dairy is really not all that good for humans especially infants and children. I did not want to mention the dairy allergy, as I know this doctor does not believe in dairy allergies even though it’s the most common food allergy and least diagnosed food allergy.

I also know that an infant can sustain off of only breast milk for the first 9 months of life, so I have introduced food but not made it a priority as I know my breast milk is enough. So I am now concerned my son is not getting enough breast milk.

We started a partial night wean as he was keeping me up all night feeding constantly. We started to space it out to every 3 hours, now I am concerned that this is what the problem is if there is a problem.

I am so confused and feel like a total failure as a mother and as someone who should know better. Is there even a problem, my son gains 1-2 lbs a month I was thought that this was normal, I am so confused. Help!


[deleted account]

First off, those charts at the doctors office are based on info from the 1970's that looked at the average weight of caucasian, formula fed, full term babies, so if you are breastfeeding he won't fit into the parameters of the chart. Second, I would get a new doctor because dairy allergies are very real. Doctors don't get any nutritional training in med school. My 16 mo old weighs a whopping 19.5 lbs and is 32 inches long, he still nurses about 6 to 8 times a day and eats almost continually, he is a healthy snack eating machine. I am sure that my son has dropped in percentiles, but because I chose not to vaccinate him the doctor said he didn't have to come back for nine months unless I had a concern, so IMO, all those charts and numbers aren't really that important anyway. You could also try to find an ND who specializes in kids.

Sharril - posted on 03/08/2010




You aren't a failure! All the medical training in the world doesn't mean your doctor knows more then you do. You know your baby better than anyone! It sounds like your not confident in your doctors advice, you have the right to get a 2nd opinion. I've never heard of giving a baby any dairy until they are a year old or more. Trust you're judgement. Mom's know their babies best!

Dyan - posted on 03/08/2010




Is there a midwife you could take him to? They may be glad to help give you advice. As far as foods...avocado is high in "good" fat and is really good for babies, even as a first food. Don't second guess yourself...if your baby starts to act listless and does not progress in milestones then I think you would have reason to be concerned.

Nikki - posted on 03/05/2010




there are two different charts out there, one for formula fed babies and one based on breastfed ones. docs generally have the formula fed chart because they are given it free from the pharm. companies. and it's normal for breastfed babies to drop percentiles at that age, my daughter went from 50 to 15 at that age range, my doc wasn't concerned at all, they start moving around a lot more and getting taller. basically the doc said it would be a problem if she kept falling like at the nest appointment, but i bet your little one will stay right on track with where he is. next time you go just take your chart with you and show your doc if he's even concerned


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Monika - posted on 03/10/2010




I have heard this from other Canadians too about finding a good established doctor who is accepting patients. I live in Saskatchewan and I have an excellent pediatrician/family doctor but I had my doctor for years though I thought it was sort of weird since I never had kids but my sister had her add me to her patient list when my old doctor turned into a crack-pot. My new doctor is a delivery doctor too lol.. Anyhow I find that is the best way to get a good doctor, have an already existing patient talk to their doctor about adding you. Even if they are not accepting new patients they do take on new patients this way.

My fiance just moved here from the U.S. last year and even though my doctor has not been accepting new patients for years and I talked to her and she took him on as a patient.

Yuki - posted on 03/10/2010




I concur with everyone. If your baby is more active, chances are he's just not going to gain weight as fast. Both my kids dropped in their weight percentile a little when they started crawling and a lot when they started walking. If he seems fine, there's usually nothing to worry about. Milk allergies are common and it's odd that your ped doesn't "believe" in them. Honestly, I would look into getting a second opinion from another doctor.

[deleted account]

Bobie, I am in Sudbury or Greater Sudbury where the mining strike mess with Vale Inco is happening.

Bobie - posted on 03/09/2010



2 sons pedia said during our visit last month that a wt gain of 1kg every 2 months is ideal...& so far that has been what my son is gaining so far...
dana, if u dont mind my asking...where in ontario are u from? im from ontario too.

[deleted account]

My son (9 months old) has dropped from 50th percentile (not sure to what as my chart is too small) since he has started getting mobile, he is extremely active. Our child health nurse has been fantastic and has kept reassuring me he's doing fine and it's normal for this to happen when they get more active. Apparently, the main thing is that they don't get dehydrated.

He does eat 3 meals a day, including meat, chicken and fish, as well as his milk. The nurse basically told me to be guided by what he wants, so offer milk, meals and snacks as well as water, and allow his body to regulate what he needs. I just try to make sure when I offer snacks that they are high calory and nutrient rich, such as avocado or banana. And I always make his meals balance, so include protein, carbohydrates and vegetables, and make it a rainbow of food throughout the day

Caitlin - posted on 03/09/2010




I agree, Deborah, check your sources. In canada at least, dairy allergies are the MOST common allergy in children, and though it can be outgrown, that doesn't mean it's not real. My daughter has had 2 anaphylactic reactions to dairy, which left her life in danger, we almost lost her the first time (she lost conciousness and stopped breathing), so they are VERY real.

[deleted account]

Megan, I was just thinking the same thing, I am covered for an ND and I was thinking of calling all the ND's in town to see which one specializes in children. A friend of mine is going to school as an ND and will be specializing in infants and children but he wont be done school in quite awhile.

Deborah as someone who as studied nutriton and medicine I can tell you Dairy Allergies are quite common and is the top of food allergies in children and adults and the least diagnosed do how the symptoms show up and the fact that allergy test don't often work when diagnosing cow milk allergies. Not to mention humans are not designed to consume high amounts of casein but high amounts of whey. So I have no idea where you got your information from but you may want to check the source of that, even dairy companies admit to it. 70 to 80 % of humans over the age of 2 are lactose intolerant also.

[deleted account]

dairy allergies are ACTUALLY very rare in Children. Most of the time it's a misdiagnosis (by the parents) and is just a sensitivity to milk, which 2 - 3% of infants have and will likely outgrow it by the time they are a toddler. There is a LOT of mythical and misinformation out there about allergies, and a lot of parents that self diagnosis instead of letting a trained doctor make the decision. With that said, you shouldn't give your child Cow's milk until he/she is 1 year old.

Dyan - posted on 03/09/2010




Too bad about the son was only under their care until 1 week but they were still willing to assure me that he was fine. I had a problem with the pediatrician when my son first went to see him at 3 days old because he had lost some weight. He made a stink about the birthing center/midwives because they sent us home when he was 5 hours old. (midwives aren't as common in this area) The pediatrician wanted me to supplement my son with formula and threatened him with the hospital but my milk had come in so I just fed him almost nonstop until the weight check next morning. After this appointment I called my midwife and they said I could bring him in anytime and they would weigh him and chart him, not to worry too much about the doc. I considered a new pediatrician but when I asked all my parent and medical field friends they all recommended him...he is the best in town. I take his advice with a grain of salt...he sees him for 5-10 minutes, I see him all day. My son is also very active, moving nonstop when he is awake, and he is long and thin. Everyone that sees him says he is so tiny...

Enjoy your baby and know you are doing fine with him!

[deleted account]


It is common in certain areas of Canada do to doctor shortages.


I can't take him to our midwives as baby's only stay in their care for the first 6 weeks postpartum after that you have find a doctor. I miss my midwives so much!


Thanks for your support and encouragement, avocado’s was mentioned a lot and it happens to be one of the first foods I gave him because I new it was height in good fats for him it is also something I have been eating a lot of also. Tristan is also a very active baby and was small and tall from the get go (the midwives had a good laugh when they where cleaning him up and weighing and measuring him because of how long he was and how skinny he was). My mom and grandmother where shocked when I told them what our ped said and commented on how healthy and strong my son was and that the doctor had to be blind because he is so healthy looking.

Celeste - posted on 03/08/2010




It's pretty common for breastfed babies to level out weight wise at that age. All of my kids dropped percentiles around that age. They finally picked back up about 18 months or so. If he's meeting milestones, getting enough diapers (around 6 or so), you're doing fine.

Here is a really great article by Dr. Jay Gordon, called "Look at the Baby, Not the Scale"

[deleted account]

I am so sorry you aren't able to get a new pediatrician... he sounds like an idiot. If he doesn't even believe dairy allergies exist, I wouldn't take too much stock of what he is saying and trust my own (your) instincts. You sound like a smart momma, don't be down on yourself! I would say keep breastfeeding him as much as you can for as long as you can, and supplement with avocado, it's high in good fats as well.

Kacy - posted on 03/08/2010




YOU ARE DOING FINE. Your pediatrician however is an idiot. (sorry if it's your cousin or something)
I too am allergic to cow's milk, and have one child who is at least milk sensitive.
I also have three children under four in our household,(Two kiddos and a grand-baby) all are in the 40% or below. My pediatrician is awsome about it. When we weighed my daughter for the first time, he said "she isn't going to win any prizes for being the biggest" and never said anything else about it. (and she is not even ON the chart for weight)
The pediatrician my eldest was taking her son to gave the same type of advice as you are getting, and went so far as to send home HUGE tubs of formula on two occasions. You would think they get payed by the pound, the way she obsessed about his weight. Needless to say, we don't see her anymore.
Which brings me to my next suggestion: Find a new pediatrician. They should never make you feel bad about yourself or undermine your parenting. Plus I would worry SERIOUSLY about any pediatrician who doesn't believe in dairy allergy. Find a pediatrician who is comfortable wth your child's size and your commitment to breast-feeding.
As long as they are growing a little every month or two, and on target developmentally, I wouldn't worry, and neither should your pediatrician.
(and remember, someone has to be in the bottom 50%, thats why it's a %)
Best of luck to you and your guy.

April - posted on 03/08/2010




who needs numbers? just look at your baby. does he look healthy and happy? numbers and charts are subjective...people can make the charts say what they want them to say just by toying with it!

Angela - posted on 03/08/2010




My kids NEVER stay in the same percentile! They always start really really high up and drop down to closer to a "normal" range when they are around 2 years old. So going down a bit is pretty normal just like someone else said about being mobile. If my doctors were worried about it I wouldn't worry because my kids always so this and I'm pretty sure it's normal not to stay in the same range for forever. Anyways, I'm sorry you can't switch drs but you could tell him about the breastfed baby chart and see if he'll even look at that one. I have no idea why else his chart would be different. Hope you get something figured out. Good luck.

Nicole - posted on 03/08/2010




I know this is off topic, but this is like the third time I have seen a mom with a problem in Canada and lacking options with health care for her child. Is this common???? If so, that is pretty scary! Especially since my recommendation as a Lactation Counselor would have been to switch health care providors, as well. In the states, if I don't like what my pediatrician is telling me about the health of my family, I can just get a second opinion and then make an educated decision. I guess you don't have that option. So, I guess, I suggest to just ignore him. Babies can start dropping off the chart some when they become more mobile and/or active (especially since those charts are usually for formula fed infants-breastfed infants gain more weight in the beginning, while formula fed babies tend to pick it up later, usually more than they should). I second everything Sara Dodson said.

He doesn't believe in dairy allergies??? This guy is a quack! I am so sorry that you can't find another health care providor who is more supportive to what you feel is right with your baby.

Good luck and I am sorry that I rambled.

Alicia - posted on 03/07/2010




I would talk to your doctor and show them your chart, it could be that they made a mistake and charted wrong.

Caitlin - posted on 03/07/2010




I'd try to talk to the health nurse about the allergies. The possibility for an allergy is there for sure, my daughter has a severe dairy allergy, she's gone into anaphylaxis twice due to her allergy though she never reacted to my breastmilk when I ate dairy products. She is allergic apparently to lactose/casein/whey proteins and it confuses the doctors why she never reacted to my milk (incidentaly she reacts now to my breastmilk, I put a drop on her shoulder because i'm feeding my new baby and she broke out in welts on her shoulder, neck and arm, it's the oddest thing). Maybe if you talk to the nurse about the reactions you've seen, they'd refer you to an allergist or a doctor who is familiar with allergies, because even if docs out there don't see healthy babies, i'd consider a child with a potential allergy to be "unhealthy" (not because they're sick, but because they're at risk).

Ashley - posted on 03/06/2010




babies weights start to level out after awhile. my boys didn't do a whole lot of weight gaining after about 9 months. They would get longer and gain a little and then would level. I wouldn't worry too much about it. the charts that docs use are based on primarily formula fed babies who tend to trend on the heavier side and tend to gain more weight the older they get. breastfed babies don't necessarily get more milk as they get older but the quality of milk changes to suit the needs of the child. Where as formula fed babies get increasingly more milk they older they get.

If u r truely worrying I would add a feed or two back in during the day.

good luck

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone, my husband is telling me the same,thatI should not second guess myself. I would switch ped's but he is the only one that takes healthy children in our city. In Canada most ped's only see unhealthy baby's and not healthy baby's. I have no family doc as we have a shortage in Northern Ontario so I am pretty much stuck with this one. I think I may just go and see the nurses at the health clinic though if he gives me a hard time at the next apt.

Becky - posted on 03/05/2010




My son dropped from 95th % at birth to 60% at 6 months to 40% at 12months. I thought it kind of slow growth of only 3 lbs gain from 6-12 months, but my Dr. wasn't worried. If you have allergies, then I had read that you want to be extra careful about introducing those foods... and to wait if you can until after 1 year, maybe 2yrs. Just remember, doctors are NOT the end all, they don't know everything, and have a lot of their own opinions that aren't scientifically based. (I'm a nurse in a hospital and am around them all day!!) It's okay to do your own research and do things different from what your Dr. tells you. I tend to be a lot more cautious than my ped has told me to be regarding the whole introducing foods thing. Please don't feel like a failure, you are awesome for following your instincts, and I would say that you might need to switch Peds if you feel like he is not encouraging you and you don't feel comfortable expressing your opinions. Just keep at it. You sound like a great mom!

[deleted account]

Is he mobile now? My daughter hasn't gained a whole lot of weight since he started crawling. Her pediatrician wasn't concerned about her weight gain because she said it's normal for babies to gain very slowly after they start moving. It was really hard to get my daughter to sit down and focus long enough for a full feed during the day. For a while the only time I could get her to eat well was when she was sleepy. So she woke up several times a night and I nursed her back down each time because I was having trouble getting her to eat well during the day. If you feel that that is your issue then go back to feeding him when he wakes. I had to go to a dark, quiet room during the day to get her to eat better and she's now sleeping much better at night. I wouldn't introduce those things either. A doctor that doesn't believe in dairy allergies?? Your doctor doesn't sound very encouraging and maybe you should look into switching. As Hannah said 1-2 lbs a month is pretty good. My daughter was stuck at 19 lbs for what seemd like forever when she started crawling. My lactation consultant assured me that it was because she was mobile and the pediatrician agreed. Weight loss is something to be concerned about, not gaining 1-2 lbs a month. Your pediatrician may be using the formula fed baby chart if you are coming up with different percentiles. You are not a failure. Keep feeding him breastmilk and as long as he's having several wet diapers and does not appear dehydrated I wouldn't worry. Sorry if I rambled :)

[deleted account]

I should make it clear his problem is not that he is in a low percentile category but that he droped down according to his chart two percentile categories which is not good. According to my chart my son has stayed in the same category and has not dropped. This is where I really get confused.

Hannah - posted on 03/05/2010




Dana, my daughter has been in the10th percentile for weight for as long as I can remember! And her doctors have never said anything. If you don't feel comfortable telling your ped about your history of allergies because he doesn't believe in those types, I'd say it's time to get another doctor.

Your absolutly right about an infant being able to live purely off of breastmilk, but I think they can be exclusively bf until 12 months, if I'm not mistaken.

How much does your 7month old weigh anyways? Gaining 1-2 lbs a month is pretty great! Valerie only gains about 1lb a month and probably not that much right now. I took her to the doctor the other day, and since her last weigh in 2 months ago, she has gained 1lb. No one is worried.

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