Underweight baby?

Elisa - posted on 03/04/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )




I was wondering if anyone has experience with an underweight baby? My instinct is that my son is perfectly fine. He's healthy, intelligent, happy. Before I got pregnant I heard about pediatricians handing out percentiles to kids stats, and I told myself I would never pay attention to them. My son was born 20.5 inches long, 7 lbs 15 oz. Now at a year old the doctor is telling us we really need to work at putting weight on him because 99% of kids his age weigh more than him. She recommended I cut back on breastfeeding as a way of encouraging him to get more calories from food during the day, and to offer him lots of fatty (yet healthy) things like cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, etc. It seems like we are always trying to push food on him now, which is fine, if he doesn't want it he won't eat it. But my issue is more that I do Not feel ready to deny him my breast if he is asking for it. Any advice?


Minnie - posted on 03/05/2010




I can understand the worries when pediatricians and nurses tell you that your baby is underweight. It makes you feel like you're doing something wrong, or that something is wrong with your baby. But those growth charts are based on formula-fed babies. Breastfed babies grow as they are designed to.

Both of my girls were in the 50th percentile for weight at birth. Come six months they almost immediately plummeted to the third percentile. I weaned my first at 12 months and I can tell you, weaning did not improve her weight gain. At nearly four years old she weighs 28lb. My nearly 17 month old weighs 18lb. And she's a bottomless pit. She nurses every hour, several times during the night, and eats full meals and snacks with the family. It is genetics.

Both of my girls are happy, healthy, active little people who meet their developmental milestones just fine. My 17 month old I can barely keep up with- she's constantly clambering on everything, and is speaking in sentences and has been for the last few months. But I've had many uneducated busy-bodies look at their ribs on their torsoes and slim arms and say that they're malnourished. No- when they are 17 they will thank their genetics that they can down a pizza pie and not gain!

Many doctors are uniformed about the normal course of breastfeeding. Ounce for ounce your milk is more caloric than most solids. To ensure proper weight gain for your baby (what is normal for HIM) nurse frequently- offer your breast- do not deny your milk.

Nikki - posted on 03/05/2010




my daughter weighed 18 lbs at one year.... and no one said anything about her being so small that i needed to put weight on her. i don't see the purpose of "fattening up" kids if they are eating and putting weight on in the first place. her first doc told us she wasn't gaining enough and wanted me to supllement her when she was maybe a month of so, but i never did, then she sent me to a specialist to have her "checked out" becuase she was a "slow gainer" (she gained about 4 oz a week, which is fine, just on the low side) the specialist said there was nothing wrong with her and to not listen to the doc and just listen to my lactation consultant....

basically, she's just a small kid, and always has been. some kids have to be at the bottom of the curve, some at the tops, not all of them can be in the 90 percentile of weight because that wouldn't make sense.

just follow your gut. you can't make kids eat more than they want, and if you do, i think they'll have a higher chance of have eating problems when they get older


View replies by

Sarah - posted on 03/05/2010




The percentile chart my doctor uses is the AAP growth chart, and it says my daughter is in the 5th percentile, and the WHO growth chart states she is in the 15th. She was 9lbs, 6oz at birth, and at one year she's 17lbs and 6oz. My husband's mom says three out of her six kids were skinny and slow gainers and the doctors constantly worried and wanted to do tests and they turned out just fine. They were healthy, active kids.

I wonder if some of the difference in the growth charts is because of the formula fed kids throwing off the charts?

Elisa - posted on 03/05/2010




Thanks guys. He is 13 months and is up to 17.5 lbs. We go for a 'weigh in/ recheck' next week to see if the Dr is happy with that.

Hannah - posted on 03/05/2010




I would not deny his boobie either! My daughter was 18 1/2 lbs at her one year check up. The doctors didn't even bat an eye. Just keep feeding him solids, as well as all the boobie he wants.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms