September 10, 2008,
S.S. asks from Attica, NY on September 07, 2008
12 Mo Old "Underweight"
Hello everyone! We took our 12 mo old to her 1 year check up and said they were concerned about her weight. That her height was fine but her weight was in the 15th percentile. I am a SAH mom and I have only breastfed her and still am breastfeeding. I just don't know what I am doing wrong. I told them I would let her nurse whenever she wanted to. They told me not to do that and set up more scheduled meals. I am doing that now and she was doing GREAT but now is beening a VERY picky eater. Usally for breakfast I give her cheerios or some sort of cereal, fruit and toast. I also will make french toast or pancakes during the week. Then usually she will have a snack in the middle of the day and lunch before her nap. Then again more snacks like cheese, yogurt, fruit there are many diffrent options for snacks. I was also advised to start trying to feed her whole milk. So I have been trying to pump just breastmilk into a bottle and feed that to her and she will not take it. She has a terrible time taking a sippy cup or bottle. The sippy works better than the bottle but she will not drink breast or whole milk from a sippy or bottle. Does anyone have any advice? Any meal plans? Anything. If you looked at my daughter she just looks very petite. You would not see bones sticking out or anything. My fiances side of the family does not think she is underweight but my mom just makes me feel like a horrible mom. Please! thank you to whomever response
L.W. answers from New York on September 09, 2008
Hello I am young mom with 2 boys ages 4 years and 2years old and have learned that putting baby cereal like the gerber flaky cereal with bananas or apples into their formulas help them gain weight and helps with sleep time. My 4 year old underwent a operation a while back and had his tonsils and anoids removed due to that he lost weight so I tried the cereal and milk drink and now he's above his weight for his age. -Try it and let me know the outcome.
M.S. answers from Syracuse on September 08, 2008
I see you've gotten some great responses so far. My son was in 85th+ percentile at 9 months and before, but at 12, 15, and 18 months he's been under the 20th%. He's always been 75th+ for height. The doctor normally wouldn't be concerned but it was a big dip for him to take (basically he didn't gain weight from 9 to 18 months). I wasn't breastfeeding anymore at 12 months (was 7 months+ pregnant with #2), but the doc said to offer him meals more often, ignore his pickiness and just let him eat healthy foods that I offer, offer him lots of choices so he actually eats something (we can't do the "if you don't eat, you starve" route and he's extremely picky), and at bedtime, give him a sippy cup of milk and a snack. When we first took away bottles at 10 months, he went on a drinking strike but after 4 days he easily took milk from a sippy. It could just take some getting used to for her.
I'm happy to say that since 15 months, my little guy has gained 2 pounds! He's 20 months now. He got taller but he's also eating better.
It's awesome that you're still breastfeeding and you're doing great. You might just have a thinner daughter. I asked my mom to please help me make good choices for my kids by not criticizing my parenting choices and remember that times have changed since she did this. I remind her that I learned from the best and am doing my best. My stepsister who eats more than most, is 5'2" and weighs maybe 85 pounds. She's just always been a little person.
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A.S. answers from Rochester on September 08, 2008
Oh, don't worry...
I'm small.petite. Both my daughters are teeny - but they are NEVER SICK! :) So, my doctor has no cause for concern.
Yes, people say they're small, but that's ok...
One suggestion - when my girls started walking, I had a little tray table set up in the kitchen and I put snacks out for them. They get SO busy and distracted...but having snacks out all the time allows them to take a moment and eat something, then go play...and then go back...you get my drift...
You're fine. :)
D.Z. answers from Binghamton on September 08, 2008
My daughters have low weights for their age. My 22 month old weighs 19 pounds and my almost 4 year old weighs barely 30 pounds. They are healthy...just small. No one would look at them and say they look malnourished, and that is because they are not. Somebody has to fall on the smaller end of the percentile charts, that doesn't mean there is something wrong with them. Both of my daughters fall below the 10th percentile for weight. It's no biggie. I'm sure your baby is fine.
I breastfed my first daughter for 13 months and this last one for 17 months. Did that play a role in their weight....maybe...but since when is being small a bad thing? Aren't we a country of fat people compared to other countries? I thought breastfed babies end up being thinner as they grow than formula fed babies...I see that as a good thing.
mother to 5
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E.C. answers from New York on September 08, 2008
You are NOT a horrible mom! Those charts are based on formula fed babies, and there's nothing wrong with 15%. Breastfeeding on demand is a wonderful thing to do, and I would consider finding a pediatrician who is well educated about breastfeeding, which it sounds like yours is not.
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K.D. answers from Albany on September 08, 2008
Wow. You've got some great advocates here. My own thoughts - KEEP BREASTFEEDING. It is the single best source for nutrition for children up to 2 years old. Don't be alarmed by fanatics who rave about the "low" levels of vitamin K or other nutrients. Breastmilk has EXACTLY what your daughter needs to thrive (assuming, of course, that your diet is balanced and varied). Enough said.
Consider that your daughter may be due for a growth spurt next week, or maybe she had one right before her last check up. You also didn't mention your body type, or her father's - petite people often have petite children. It sounds like your fiance's side of the family are used to small babies.
Also remember that YOU know your child best. If your pediatrician's advice doesn't feel right for your child, get a second opinion. Change pediatrician's if necessary. Talk to a nutritionist if you really are worried. You're doing a great job.
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A.M. answers from New York on September 08, 2008
your pediatrician is not giving you the best advice. first, make sure your baby is being compared on a breastfed baby chart. but more importantly, make sure you see the old charts. why are they concerned? did she dramatically fall from the 75% to the 15%, or was she always on the lower end like less than 50%. just being in the 15% is NOT UNDERWEIGHT. as adults, we are all different shapes and sizes. some short and fat, some tall and thin. some short and skinny, some tall and big built. the chart goes from 1-100. someone always has to be towards the bottom or else how could you compare. my aunts daughter was in the 5th percent even though her other children were around 75th. now she is 4 1/2. she is completely normal and not the tallest, but not supertiny either. someone has to be in the lower percent and it should not be looked upon negatively, there is always the smallest kid in the class(not that 15% is smallest, that means there are 14 out of 100 kids smaller).
now whether there is a dip or she has always been on the lower half, the advice regarding whole milk is completely wrong. most health organizations recommend breastfeeding for 2 YEARS and none of them say not too!!!! the best benefits are clearly shown by breastfeeding for that duration, although there is absolutely no reason to think the benefits stop at 2 years. no matter what anyone tells you, breastmilk is better nutritionally than cows milk could ever be. breastmilk is full of good fats and calories. to switch to whole milk is outragous in terms of nutrition. if you are concerned, you should be nursing.
up to a year, the babys diet is breastmilk or formula but solids compliment it and are mostly to get used to. after a year, you can switch to whole foods with breastmilk complimenting them. i would suggest keep trying the foods over and over, kids are often picky and sometimes have to try something 15 times before they like it. if you find something healthy she likes, offer other things but you can keep giving her the favorite as well. cows milk in no way is NEEDED to thrive. you can give cheese, yogurts, ect for calcium. brocolli for iron. and the teensiest amount of sunlight for vitamin d(which is not a real vitamin). keep giving her the cup with water in it to get used to it and to drinking water.
remember, babies stomachs are the size of their fist. i think what you are doing with offering food thruout the day is better to keep her metabolism going than force her to eat 3 big meals. any dietician will say its better to have 3 meals and 3 snacks. you can feed her prior to nursing, to try and get the food in, but then nurse to make sure she is full.
america as a whole is overweight. to sit there and say she is underweight at this age is ridiculous. and the breastmilk is helping her, not hurting her. if she continues to fall in % or drop weight, i would then think it was a medical problem and begin tests. but if the only concern is she is and has been petite, she is fine. no matter what the case, you are an excellent mother and it sounds like you are doing 200% of what you can. good luck to you. and please read this position paper on breastfeeding from the american academy of family physicians. although this is their recommendations, they admit doctors and hospitals DO NOT encourage breastfeeding enough.
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C.B. answers from New York on September 08, 2008
My DD is only 5.5 months, so i'm not speaking from experience, but don't panic! My sister's nursed until their babies were 3 years old- no need to pump or stop - especially if she doesn't like a sippy cup or bottle. There are books about why children are picky eaters, including the safety of white foods in the wild -etc. Let her eat and nurse whatever and whenever she likes - and take a deep breath and smile at your mother. You're NOT a horrible mom!!! You're doing great because you're home! And your daugher is beautiful "very smart". If your fiances family doesn't think she's under weight, maybe she's not. Maybe you should find a ped. who supports breastfeeding too? I hope someone can help you with the weight gain. I just wanted to support what i think you're doing right!
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L.L. answers from Syracuse on September 08, 2008
My youngest fell off the growth curve while I was breast feeding. It does feel like it is "our fault" and " we're not feeding them." Try not to worry, but in the meantime high calorie snacks are gerat- maybe she'd like avacado? My son never tok to it, but his cousin did at about the same age. Schedualed meals can "work", as then they are hungry instead of simply snacking. Maybe a sippy without the valve? My son never used the valves and still doesn't like sport bottles. It would give her something to experiment with at her high chair. I wouldn't do it with breast milk as its so valuable rather the milk.
Try not to worry as sometimes its just a phase, or dip in growth.
J.H. answers from New York on September 08, 2008
I as well have an "underweight" child he is just 19lbs and is 22 months old. I was freaking out everytime he went to the dr. because the peditrician kept telling me he is to underweight. I fed him everything and anything under the sun. We even took him to a gastroantrologist and tested him for everything. Turns out he has a high metobolism and is just a picky eater....he is perfectly healthy. So dont worry your not a bad mom, maybe she is the same way. All will catch up in time. I finally put my mind at ease and believe me, children will not let themselves starve, when she is hungry you will know it. Hope that helped a little bit.
N.B. answers from Jamestown on September 08, 2008
As long as her ribs aren't poking out, she's fine.
I have had three petitie children out of four. The doctor's told me the same thing about them being small for their age. Pish Posh! I'm 5'2" and 105lbs...I'm gonna have small kids.
If you are that concerned about it, try feeding her Pediasure for kids. Mix it with milk three tims a day to get the extra pounds on and extra nutritian.
My daughter went through a growth spirt last week and she looked thinner than normal...turned out her bones grew and strectched out the little belly she had prior. She still weighs the same, just a little taller now.