[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

My daughter just turned 5 months old and she only weighs 12lbs. The doctor told me she needs to eat more but she already eats three jars of baby food mixed with cereal and I breastfeed her three times. So her day goes breastfed, food, breastfed, food, breastfed, and food. I do not know why she isn't gaining weight. Has anyone ever had this problems? They told me if she doesn't start gaining weight I will have to start giving her formula and I do NOT want that. PLEASE I NEED SOME ADVISE on what else i can give her to gain weight.


Merry - posted on 09/04/2010




Forget about the baby foods entirely and nurse her much much more. Three times a day is the BARE minimum for the calcium, really she should nurse every two or three hours in the day and two times at least at night. So much much more nursing, solids aren't recommended until 6 months anyways! She is too young for baby food especially cuz she is breastfed. She doesn't NEED baby food until 12 months! She will thrive on only your milk at least 6 months but usually thrive even the first year on just your milk.
So stop baby food, nurse way more, get a better dr!


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Maira - posted on 08/25/2011




nurse her more!!!!!!!!!! stop one of the food feeding. she needs milk to gain weight thats what she needs above everything. she shouldnt even be eating food till 6 mths old.

LaLasha - posted on 08/25/2011




breastfeed babies are different don't look at weight gain as much as milestones as long as they reach them with in the normal threshold then you are doing just fine and it might be time to get a different pedes doc. both of my girls were tiny and at a year my oldest was only 18 lbs and my second was 16 so please don't worry as long as she is developing normally

Anne Marie - posted on 06/04/2011




She probably just has a higher metabolism. Do not start feeding her when she's not hungry nor try to make her take that extra bite! Babies stop when full. I had one like that. She only weighed 13 lbs at 6 months. Some kids just have a different metabolism, pure & simple. If her development & check ups are fine, then don't worry. You may need to see a different doctor.

[deleted account]

My baby hardly touched any solids until she was ten months old and only now at twelve months she is eating a bit more. On mainly breastmilk she made it to 29 pounds! She is a large baby anyway, but still we were just so amazed how breastmilk alone could feed a baby so well for so long. Good luck with your new doctor! I know how hard it is to find someone who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding.

Celeste - posted on 09/06/2010




I had this same issue with my first daughter. I mistakenly thought by giving her solids, that she would gain more weight. But that didn't happen. Breastmilk has more calories than many solid foods. Even formula might not guarantee that she'd gain weight. Again, I tried giving my daughter formula thinking my milk wasn't "good enough". And again, I was mistaken. It didn't make her gain weight any faster.
Plus, you're only nursing her 3 x's a day? She needs to be breastfed a lot more than that! I'd cut down the solids and nurse more.

A few links I want you to take a look at:
Average weight gain for breastfed babies. Start with the *lowest* weight

Weight gain calculator:

Also, read this article, called "Look at the baby, not the scale.

April - posted on 09/05/2010




If she is a happy, healthy baby, leave it at that. My son was also a petite baby and is still a slim kid, but entirely happy and healthy. Perhaps you might seek a second opinion. By the way, if the dr. says give her formula and you don't want to, you don't have to. You are the mom, and you know your baby better than anyone!

[deleted account]

Thanks for all the advise everyone i have an apt for her next tuesday with another doctor when I told them that my doctor had me feeding her cereal three times a day they were really suprised lol I am giong to start nursing her more and maybe that will help out or maybe she is just a small baby

Jennifer - posted on 09/04/2010





Thank you for the post. We are currently experiencing the same type of issue. Nathan is 7 months old. At his 6 month wellness appointment, Nathan had dropped from the 40% for his weight to the 9th %. The doctor suggested we start offering him 3 cereal feedings a day. I think I will back off the cereal and increase the nursing. He currently nurses 4-5 times per day.

Diana - posted on 09/04/2010




There is a very good book called 'My Child Won't Eat' by a pediatrician that I respect. You will probably learn that most baby food has fewer calories per gram than breast milk, and the previously common practise of advising mothers of slow gaining children to start solids was found to often make the problem worse.

I had similar problems with my son who was off the artificially-fed baby weight charts, and barely touching the breastfed charts. I found that reading up on the topic really helped me understand which doctors to listen to and which to ignore. My course of action was to feed on demand and practise baby-led weaning (no purée of any sort) which has significant health benefits. My son was slow to gain but thriving in every way, and now at 23 months I can really see that I made the right choice for us.

Hope you find a way to deal with this. It can be hard with so much conflicting advise. Don't forget to trust your intuition and your baby's. The more we learn about infant nutrition today, the more we learn that babies' cues are the best guide! :)

Jennifer - posted on 09/04/2010




see, it sounds like your instincts are spot on, so go with them! and i think going to another doctor sounds like a great idea. sadly, not enough doctors are up to speed on breastfeeding so sometimes you have to try a couple before you find the right fit.

[deleted account]

See i taught giving her more solids wouldn't help I would rather her nurse more she was 6lb 12oz when she was born me and her father are pretty much average size. She is happy I feed her when she gets hungry I do not see the need to feed extra when she isn't hungry. She sleeps all through the night which I believe is another sign that she is getting enough food because if she wasn't she would wake up during the night to eat.. I set up an apt with another doc to see what they say because if she wasn't getting enough food she would be crying all the time because she was hungry.. I don't like formula because i believe breast milk is better for babies and I don't want her to be on formula just to gain weight.

[deleted account]

Breastmilk has way more calories than babyfood. Nurse her more and feed her less. As a side note... what is wrong w/ only weighing 12 pounds? As long as she is growing and thriving.... I don't see a problem.

[deleted account]

I agree with Jennifer. I would nurse a lot more. At 5 months my daughter was nursing 6-9 times a day and she wasn't on any solids.

Jennifer - posted on 09/04/2010




how much did she weigh at birth? has she always been petite? are you or your daughters father small? a small baby does not mean an unhealthy baby and forcing a healthy babe to gain weight can cause obesity/overweight issues down the line. if she has always been on the small side, then it is probably genetics!

calorie for calorie, breastmilk has more fat than pureed food and cereal so logic would tell us to nurse more often, and offer solid food less often. and even at 9 months, we were advised to only offer 2 (maaaybe 3 if we wanted to push it) "meals" of solid food each day.

how is her diaper count? if she's wetting 4-6 disposable diapers, or 6-8 cloth diapers, then she is getting enough milk.

i would get a second opinion before even considering switching formula. i think doctors are quick to tell mothers to use formula because it is easier to measure and to know for sure how much baby is eating, and doctors like that.

trust your gut above anything else because you know your daughter best. is she happy? does she seem healthy to you? if yes, then she is most likely fine!

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