Worried About Failure To Thrive

12 Replies
Kimmer23 - February 9

My son is now 6 weeks old, and he is barely over 8 lbs (weighed on our home scale with clothes on) He was born 6lbs., 10oz, but lost 11oz by the time we left the hospital. At almost 2 weeks he weighed 6lbs, 8 oz. So, I know he was born a little small, but he just doesn't seem to be gaining enough. He is exclusively br___tfed, as of now, so it's hard to know what he's eating. I feed him on demand (about every 2 hours during the day and ever 3-4 at night). But, he is generally a content baby and he has several wet/stool diapers a day. He's just really tiny. He's in the 3rd percentile right now (and he was born around the 20th). I called the doc's office, and hey said that he sounds ok, but I'm still worried. What do you think?


clindholm - February 9

Of course I'm no professional, but it sounds like you are doing everything right. He is fed on demand which is all you really can do. There is a way to mix your b___stmilk (if you pump) to a 22 calorie formula which may be a good idea. I forget what the ratio is (like 1/2 tsp Neosure to an ounce of b___stmilk?) your pedi can advise you. Also pumping (which I did for awhile) also gave me a better idea of how much my lo was taking. You can also base it on his "ouput" at least 6-8 wet diapers a day is normal. Keep in mind that if you and your dh are smaller people, your lol will not be a giant. Both my lo's are about the 5th-10th percentile too, but I am small & they were preemies. I agree with you in being concerned that he was in the 20th percentile and has moved to the 3rd. I wonder why your pedi is not concerned, that seems like a pretty big drop.


Kimmer23 - February 9

Thanks for saying I'm doing everything right. Even though I feel like I am (or tryiing to), I'm still worried that I'm missing something. I'm not a huge person, but I'm pretty tall, so I'd think he would be bigger. And, it really bothers me that my ped. doesn't seem to care. My ped.'s office doesn't do 1 month appts., so they don't see los from 2 weeks until 2 months...that seems too long. Maybe I should call another ped around here and see what they think and maybe chage docs...


jessb - February 9

I do think you are doing fine. Its kind of too early to early for a doctor to diagnose failure to thrive. They would have to chart his growth for a while longer. It he is consistanly in the 1-5% they may say failure to thrive. But it sounds like your little guy is growing, he is just on the small side for now. I bet he will catch up soon!! I would continue to call your doc if you are concerned. Or find another doctor if you are not comfortable with the one you are using.


amanda17 - February 9

Hi kimmer. My daughter is in the same situation. When she was born she was 6lbs 4 ounces (she was born full term), now she is 8 months old and only 14lbs 3oz. She's in perfect health, ahead in her development, and very bright. There is nothing to worry about. Your son is gaining more weight than my daughter had at his age.


Justine1 - February 9

I'ld keep an eye on his weight but wouldn't be overly concerned as long as he appears otherwise healthy. My DD was born at 37 weeks exactly and was 5lbs 5oz which put her in the 9th percentile. She then went to the 2nd percentile after she was born for a few months before she became really tall so then went up to the 25th. She's never had any health issues - she's just tall and thin, like me and DH. One problem was they base the 9th percentile on her being born at 37 weeks but the one after birth on her being born at 40 weeks so it looked like she'ld dropped percentiles when actually she hadn't - at her weight at 40 weeks she'ld have been in about the 2nd percentile. If you're worried I'ld go to the doctor and ask for his advice or change docs to one you feel happier with. Hope everything is fine.


babeedust2all - February 9

Hi Kimmer! I know it's hard not to worry. I've given birth to two small babies. My ds was 5 lbs. 5 oz. at birth, and gained weight steadily, but never as much as other babies. I was always so worried, but the nurse at my pediatrician's office made a good point: "even if he is small, all you can do is continue to feed him". Also, generally speaking, failure to thrive is when the baby isn't gaining any weight at all (or very little), or is actually losing weight. With Makayla, because she was small at birth (5 lbs. 7 oz.), the nurses had wanted me to top up my feedings with formula. I know it was only supposed to be for a few days until my milk came in, but I've continued to feed her formula once a day before bedtime. This ensures that she's getting a few extra calories which helps with her weight gain. Speak to your pediatrician, and he or she may also suggest the same thing. As someone else also pointed out, the growth charts are based on babies born at term. Brady was 3 weeks early, so his age would need to be adjusted accordingly in order to get the accurate percentile. I hope this helps!


austynsmommy - February 10

I think he's doing good. My son Aj is almost 8 weeks and I think he's about 9 pounds. He was 5 pounds 4 ounces at birth. Looks like he's feeding good with all the wet diapers and all.


Kimmer23 - February 12

Thank you all for our comments. I actually took Brady to the doc's office to get weighed, and he was smaller than I thought...he's only 7lbs, 12oz. But, the doc. still says that he's fine and gaining enough. He did suggest that I could top off feedings with formula if he wants it. He said that I didn't have to, but if I wanted to, that could make me feel better and give him a few extra calories. So, I might try that. I do feel better after getting your comments and seeing the doc. 'm also trying to pump a little more after feedings to get my supply up. Anything else you would suggest? Thanks again!


clindholm - February 12

Kimmer- thats great that your doctor is not concerned as long as you trust your doctor. If you still have reservations, a second opinion may help you feel better. When I was bf'ing my first lo I also topped off with formula b/c she was such a tiny preemie. She turned out fine and is a bratty little 2 year old. Always listen to your mothers intuition, you know best! Oh yea- one other thing that may not apply but depending on how long your lo nurses will determine how much of the more fatty hind milk he is getting which can give him more calories. How long does he nurse each time?


Kimmer23 - February 12

Colleen - thanks for the advice. I think I might try supplementing like once a day. I don't know...I keep going back and forth about it. But, when he nurses, he usually nurses for 30 min or more, so I'd think he was geting the hindmilk. I think the problem might be how much comes back up...he spits up a lot. I asked the doc about that too, and they suggested zantac if I want. They said that he doesn't necessarily need it, because he's gaining, but that it could help. I don't know how I feel about medicating him...the docs aid the side effects can be kinda bad at times. But, he's had a few VERY scary spit up episodes where he was choking and gagging and the spit up came out of his mouth and nose. And, his back was arched and he couldn't really breathe. My doc said that that isn't uncommon, and suggested the zantac again for reflux. Has that happened to anyone else? And, anyone's little ones on zantac? We're probably going to start it soon (more because of the choking because it's so scary), but I'm nervous about medicating him...


Malica - February 12

He's putting on weight at a good rate even if he is small. Gaining weight at a healthy rate is more important than their actual weight. A word of warning though that the growth charts are normally based off of bottle fed babies which put on weight at different rates at different times in their development. So some variance from that is to be expected from a b___stfed baby. If he's eating when he's hungry and seem satisfied when he's finished eating, then you're doing everything you need to. As for the spit up, I'm so glad that's behind us. DD was spitting up all the time -- not just immediately after eating. She had a bib on at all times for the first 7 months. Of course if they spit up while their lying on their back they're going to gag on it. Coughing is the natural way (and only way) for them to clear the spit up out of their way. Try to keep your son upright (or at least not flat on his back) for 20-30 minutes after each feeding.


Kimmer23 - February 20

Thanks everyone for your advice! I do try to keep him upright after feedings. The choking episodes were not right after eating...it was a half-hour to and hour later. It hasn't happened in a while, so I'm going to try to keep im off of the meds for now, but if it gets worse, than I'll call the doc and get some zantac. Thanks.



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