24 answers

9 Month Old Not Growing

I took my seemingly happy and healthy 9 month old to his well baby check up yesterday and discovered he hasn't grown since his 6 month check up. I was shocked because I feel like he eats all the time. The doctor is concerned that he fell from the 75th percentiles in both height and weight (where he's been since birth) to below the 20th. She suggested I try supplementing with formula after he breastfeeds.
Now that I'm home and have had time to think, I'm quite worried and have some questions- like maybe he's breast feeding so often because I'm not producing enough milk? (I'd really like to continue b.f.) But even if I feed him more, why hasn't he grown taller? The problem isn't that he's small, it's that he's dropped in the charts. Has anyone experienced this and what did you do/ how did it turn out? He's not a great finger-food eater. He eats mushed up food (Gerber and bananas, avocado, etc.) and Cheerios, but tends to gag on anything bigger. Perhaps he's just going to be short, but at least his ratio is good? Do you think I should be concerned? I read other posts about baby weight gain, but they all addressed babies who had always been small.... Your advice/ thoughts are appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, I can't say "what happened" yet, but thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses. I was hoping you'd all say not to worry about it, but at least now I know that this is not normal! I certainly plan to continue breastfeeding but also adding formula. He has been feeding on demand, so it seems he should be getting enough but it's hard to say how much. But now that it's been brought to my attention, I realize I may have been replacing too many milk calories with purees. I called to schedule a follow-up to talk more with the dr, and I made a list of all your great concerns/suggestions to bring up. I just wasn't prepared to discuss his growth and eating issue at the last appointment because I had no idea there was a problem- he'd been growing so well! Hopefully he'll just measure bigger in a month and I won't need to worry any more. And I liked the comment about the measuring- it could easily have had an inaccurate one.

Featured Answers

Increase you milk production by feeding him as often and as long as he wants to. Don't succumb to the stereotyping.
Good Luck
V.

1 mom found this helpful

Right now I would go with supplementing him with formula and then go
back to doc. What is his height and weight? Has he lost weight or just
not gained. I would supplement for two weeks and then go back. Definitely
would not wait any longer.

1 mom found this helpful

Do you do a lot of rice cereal and baby foods? I would add in lots more of that. Also, don't be afraid to supplement with formula- I don't think I kept up with my daughter but the rice cereal and baby foods were great. It is somewhat concerning, but it isn't anything that you can't change!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

When you start wanting to breast feed for emotional reason, then it is time to consider what is best for the health of your child. You can still breast feed and supplement. I think you should also seek an appointment with an endocrine doctor to check his growth. Do not wait until next check up - take the lead and get more information and another doctor’s opinion. An endocrinologist specializes in growth. I know my son goes to one.

2 moms found this helpful

K., I would talk to a feeding specialist. Do you have a children's hospital near you? That would be a good place to look - if you don't, your ped can help you find a feeding specialist. The reason I think of this is because you mention that he isn't much into finger-food, eats mushed up foods and gags. This could be a sensory issue.

I know there are tests they can do to rule out endocrnology problems or some other issues. But your ped doesn't do this. A children's hospital has developmental peds who can start the process of figuring this out.

I do agree with the idea to start supplementing. But you need to work on his eating so that in the coming months as he is supposed to be eating more, he won't just be getting his calories from formula/breastmilk/milk.

Best of luck,
D.

1 mom found this helpful

Years ago, my friend discovered that her daughter wasn't growing at a check up. Her daughter wasn't a 9 month old baby like you have, (I think she was around 5 years old), but after they ran some tests, their doctor told her that her daughter's trigliceride level was off the charts. Once she started feeding her daughter the right kind of foods for her, she started growing. Are there any cholesterol/trigliceride problems in your or your husband's family? Worth checking into. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Not growing is definately a concern. My doc always explained that they watch the child on their own chart and as long as there is growth then the percentile doesn't matter. I would be very concerned if there was no change in height/weight over a 3 month period.

I didn't have enough breast milk and supplemented my twins with formula. You can keep breastfeeding and then just offer a bottle or sippy cup of formula after you finish. Then he gets the best of both worlds. Breast milk from you and extra calories from the formula.

You can also give him more pureed food - maybe an entire container or more 3X per day. Make sure you feed until he is full. He will turn his head away or close his mouth when he is done. I was often surprised by how much my girls wanted to eat and the doctor said that they will not over eat at this age unless you force them to eat when they refuse.

good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My oldest did this and in the end was determined to have a growth hormone deficiency. It's is treatable and he has no developmental delays. And honestly, it kept him extra baby adorable for a little longer.

Anyway, you may want to talk with a pediatric endocrinologist if he hasn't grown at all. If his growth has just SLOWED, he may just be leveling out to where he'll be for awhile.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you still feeding him purees? My son at purees up until his first birthday, when he refused to eat them anymore. He also ate some finger foods starting around 9 months.

1 mom found this helpful

This same exact thing happened with my (breastfed) son (and I never thought of myself as a huge milk producer). Instead of supplementing with formula which just didn't seem good to me, I supplemented with higher calorie foods. For example, instead of just serving fruit, I would mix in some cereal to up the caloric intake. My doctor did not suggest supplementing with formula. She just said we would monitor it to see what happened over the next few weeks and we brought him in for an extra weight check. The extra boost of food helped and he has been fine ever since.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't worry too much about numbers.. maybe he had just gone through a huge growth spurt right before his previous check up and is getting ready for another. As long as he seems happy and healthy, don't worry too much. My second started out in the 90th percent and by her check up around 10 months she was in the bottom 7 for weight and 20 for height- she's almost 4 now and very healthy and normal height. Her weight is still below average, but she eats well and we are just lucky we don't have to worry about her weight! Keep breastfeeding and let him nurse often too keep up your supply- also drink lots of water :) as long as he seems content after feedings, you are doing fine!

1 mom found this helpful

I would check his height and weight on the WHO charts first (http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/who_charts.htm). Most peds use charts supplied by formula companies that expect chunkier babies. Definitely do not stop the breast feeding in favor of formula. Your milk is far superior! Make sure you're not giving water in place of breastmilk when he's thirsty.

My daughter was "off the charts" from 6-18 months and was still little for her age at 3. She was a great eater and nurser and met all over her developmental milestones PLUS. She is now a very healthy 10 year old and right in the middle of height for her class.

1 mom found this helpful

It may be that you are not producing as much milk. Have you tried using a breast pump to see how much you get? Your baby should be getting about 5-8 oz. per feeding.
I had a low supply and my little guy ended up being an awful sleeper because he was chronically hungry. So, I ended up pumping and then supplementing the breast milk with a little formula. About 75% of his milk supply is breast milk and the other 25% is formula.
Also, at nine months he's old enough to have more protein in his diet. Some suggestions would be beans, eggs, quinoa, or even lentils which are easy to mash up and feed to your little one in a mesh feeder, or you can just let him gum them. More protein will help to bulk him up and give his little body what it needs so he can grow.

1 mom found this helpful

All of my kids were born at healthy weights. But, then slowly seemed to slow down and were all in the 10th percentile in weight, but 50th-75th in height. I was VERY conscious of what and how much they ate, every bit had to be nutritious and calorie rich. In fact, with my youngest, they asked me to stop BF or at least supplement with formula in order to get more calories in her. AND, the dr didn't let me feed her ANY food til she was a year old because solids fill them up faster with less, so they end up not getting enough calories and nutrients.

But, it all worked out in the end. They are all healthy - with good weight and heights now.

Just listen to your dr and do what they recommend at this important developmental time and it will all work out.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi! All babies grow differently, so try not to stress. I know it is very hard not to! My daughter is 2 years 8 months and just last week at dr weighed 21.6 lbs fully dressed! At 6 months she was as well in the 75 % and steadily decreased to being off the charts in height and weight. At her 1 year old check up she weighed 16.15 lbs and at two gained exactly 3 lbs... tiny she is, with a huge personality, vocabulary out of this world, running, jumping, swimming, bike riding and so much more! She was breast fed for her first year and refused a bottle of anything. She would drink water out of a sippy cup and started finger foods around 6-7 months as well. She eats really well and a lot of fruits, veggies, chicken, eda mama beans, yogurts, peanuts, eggs and much more! Thank goodness no food allergies. I am 5 feet tall and my hubby is 5'10" so she is on the petite side, which is so opposite of our 15 and 11 year old boys. But mostly she is HEALTHLY and HAPPY and we adore her like no other!!

1 mom found this helpful

I nursed my Son for 7 months he was a normal size. He was 7lbs 17 inch long when born, when i stopped nursing he just stop growing. At his 6 month check up he was 17 lbs at his 1 year he was 18 lbs. He didn't grow much after that. I freaked out- i'm paying more attention to his eating habits he is with my Mom full time now while my husband and I work. So the Dr wasn't concerned said his gene's were just kicking in (my husband is Vietnamese). now at 14 months he gained 4 lbs in 2 months.. Just pay attention to her eating, and give her things she likes among with the good stuff! My baby loves Gogarts :) and anything cheesy! He loves his cerios and strawberries/ watermelon :) Good luck Mommy!

1 mom found this helpful

I had that happen at my baby's 6 month check. Well sort of, he had jumped in length but dropped in weight. So that is what I did, I continued to nurse but I just added formula to his cereal morning and night. Then I started doing a bottle of formula if we are out, I am just in the throws of dinner or if company is over. It works out to around one formula bottle a day, and there are days when he doesn't get any formula, but he is still doing great. His weight has gone up and he is great health. So maybe try the formula with cereal thing. I know he is nine months, but mine is now eight months and loves it!!! Good luck:)

1 mom found this helpful

Do you do a lot of rice cereal and baby foods? I would add in lots more of that. Also, don't be afraid to supplement with formula- I don't think I kept up with my daughter but the rice cereal and baby foods were great. It is somewhat concerning, but it isn't anything that you can't change!

1 mom found this helpful

try not to worry. My daughter was 7-10 at birth and at 9 months she was 17 pounds and at one year she was 17 pounds. She is just 'petie' in numbers, but looks like a normal child - 4 years old now. I think in that time she grew less than an inch as well. You didn't mention his birth weight or his current weight. If you are breast feeding on demand, odds are he's fine. If he were still hungry, you'd certainly know. good luck. :)

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 9mo old girl that has to go back in a week for a recheck due to growth issues as well. She is 26" and 13lb 7oz, hubby and I are both shorter so we're not surprised she's small but she hasn't grown much since her 6mo either. I am also breastfeeding and the Dr was pleased to hear that I was already giving formula in addition to bf. I want to continue bf as well but her growth is more important to me so I'm having to let go a bit because I know I'm not producing enough. She wanted to eat often but then would get really upset and frustrated during nursing. She was a happy smiling baby before but now she seems to be thriving (chasing older sister, laughing, getting into everything) since we've given her more formula and added more "good fat" (as the Dr called it) food to her diet. She too cannot eat bigger chunks...we've been slow on the changing food consistency because I make her food. I've added in yogurt, beans, avocado, olive oil (I mix a little in with her veges). If I had to guess she's probably gained about 1lb in the last 10 days!

I won't pretend to have any suggestions other than don't beat yourself up for A. not having enough milk (if this is the case) or B. having to supplement formula. Increase the solids with good fats and go for follow up for recheck and go from there.

Small question - did your son outgrow any jammies during this time frame? I know it sounds weird but my daughter did not (and I expected her too). My Dr thinks one of the measurements was incorrect at her 6mo appt. So if you're son did outgrow jammies in length maybe they measured incorrectly. Just a thought.

Good luck and go with your gut.

1 mom found this helpful

I would address it further if it were me, right away. That is a huge swing. My pediatrician always told me with my kids that it's not the percentage their concerned with as much as if they drop way below or spike up real fast. You didn't mention what the doctor's recommendations were? Did he give you any next steps? Also, buy some infant Enfamil liquid multivitamin drops. They sell them at Target and you don't need a prescription. Get on the phone with you doctor tomorrow. He also should order a CBC blood panel and check for anemia, etc. Best of luck. :-)

1 mom found this helpful

Increase you milk production by feeding him as often and as long as he wants to. Don't succumb to the stereotyping.
Good Luck
V.

1 mom found this helpful

I would pursue this. If your son didn't gain weight or didn't gain much, I'd go with the "supplement" him advice and think little more of it.

If you want to know if your producing enough, try pumping and see how much you get. Babies can always get more than a machine pump, but at least you'd now if your supply was unexpectedly low. Just multiply that "milk" times how many times he feeds a day to get an idea on how many oz you're producing. Make sure it's not just the first milk of the day as that's likely when you have the most to give.

The lack of growth height and drop in percentage is concerning me. I'd get some blood work done and check to see if his hormone levels are normal and maybe pursue the "whys" a little more. I don't think kids stop growing lengthwise simply due to "low breastmilk" or needing a little supplementation.

Best wishes

1 mom found this helpful

I have two thoughts about this:

1) My younger daughter was in the 75th percentile at first, and then fell to the 15th% at 6-9 months. We ran ALL kinds of tests on that poor child, and it turns out she's just plain little. Nothing wrong with her. (Everyone was shocked by this because I'm 6' tall and DH is giant too.) She's now a little, tiny 5 year old who I'm pretty sure will grow up and rule the known universe.

2) On the other hand, could it be an allergy? I've been watching that 19 Kids and Counting show on TLC, and their 19th child was not thriving on breastmilk (which was weird because she nursed the first 18 kids with no issues). Come to find out this baby is lactose-intolerant! So they took her off breastmilk and put her on a special formula. She started gaining weight immediately. So... it could be an allergy that your baby just developed, maybe.

I would definitely press for some further testing if formula doesn't immediately get him going in the right direction. Better safe than sorry - if there IS an issue, it's better to correct it right away than wait and let it get worse.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Right now I would go with supplementing him with formula and then go
back to doc. What is his height and weight? Has he lost weight or just
not gained. I would supplement for two weeks and then go back. Definitely
would not wait any longer.

1 mom found this helpful

My twins both did this and it was really scary. You son is older, they were only two weeks old and hadn't gained any weight since leaving the hospital. The first thing the doctor had me try b/f doing all the test to see if there were any metabolic issues was to feed like crazy from a bottle so I could measure what was going in. It didn't matter if it was breast milk or formula. I, like you was nursing and didn't know if the problem was my milk supply so I bottle fed for a week and then re-weighted them and they both had gained weight. So problem solved, my supply was too low for twins. It's the simplest explanation and easiest thing to test so why not try that b/f you see all the specialists, have blood drawn, etc. Also, pumping to check your supply will not give you accurate idea of your supply. Plenty of women can't produce much when they pump yet they can still BF just fine. Honestly, if your son was gaining weight and growing fine before, I would tend to agree with the doctor in thinking the problem is an insufficient food issue and not a metabolic one, so try the formula thing first. Best wishes for a quick and easy answer.

1 mom found this helpful

You should supplement with formula like the doctor said.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.