35 answers

Breast-fed Baby Dropping on the Weight/height Charts

We just took our son in for his 9-month well-baby dr. visit. We were surprised to see that he has dropped from being in the 75th-85th percentile on height and weight to the 30th percentile. Our doctor says that he is very healthy and that we should not worry about for this two reasons: 1. His height and weight are still proportionate to each other and 2. It's common for breast-fed babies to drop like this in the 2nd half of the the first year. (He is eating solid foods 3 times/day, and nursing 4 times/day.) Has anyone else experienced this?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you, everyone, for your responses! I wasn't too worried since my son is active, healthy, and most importantly, happy, but I really appreciate hearing that this is, indeed, a common situation. Thank you so much for all the advice and comments!

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I experienced a very similar thing with my exclusively breast fed, now very healthy 9 year old. Doctors in general tend to be a bit alarmist about these thing so if the doc isn't worried I would say it's a pretty normal pattern.

K.

I recall that my son also had a slight drop in his weight/height chart at around nine months. My doctor told me the same thing you did. He went on to grow at a normal rate and within the average percentile. I hope this helps you.

E.,
I know you've already gotten a million responses, but I had to respond because I am going through the exact same thing! At about the time my daughter started walking, she dropped in the charts. She's now 15 months and only at the 12th percentile. She still breastfeeds three times a day, and I was a bit concerned because the Dr. started talking about her not absorbing her food correctly and all that nonsense, but after reading all the responses you got from other mothers who said this was normal, I feel much better. My daughter is in the 90th percentile for height, so she is absorbing her food. She's just a skinny little thing. Both my husband and I are tall and thin too, so she's taking after us. I'm so glad you asked this question!

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The same thing happened with my bfed son and I worried. But the other ladies are correct: the percentiles are based on formula-fed babies, not bfed. If you want to see the charts for bfed babies, go to http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/growthcharts....

Relax, everything's fine - even your doc confirmed that he is healthy! :)

1 mom found this helpful

Your Dr. is right. It is totally normal. You can be rest-assured that breastfed babies (especially after the initial few weeks) will eat as much as they need. Also he is getting baby food. We all have to take into consideration our genetics (ie. height, frame size etc). I am sure your son would let you know that he is not getting enough food/milk by waking up more in the night. It will all even out in the end. Just keep nursing:)

Hey E.,
Make sure your Dr. is using the NEW growth charts put out by the CDC that are for breastfeeding babies. The old growth charts are for formula fed babies who tend to stay chunky, whereas breastfed babies grow quickly in the first six months, then they tend to not gain/grow at the same rate at the first six months. If you're comparing your child to a formula fed baby it will seem like he has stopped growing, but since babies were born to be breastfed, the "normal" growth pattern would be the way breastfed babies grow! My daughter is 21 months and still wearing the same clothes she wore last summer (at 6-9 months) since she was so chunky then, but is taller and skinnier now. As long as your son seems healthy and is eating well, he is fine.

I'm not a doctor, so I don't know, but it sounds concerning. I would check with another doctor. Why would breast-fed babies stop growing in height? I breast fed my daughter and she maintained her height and weight. Anyway, I'm not a doctor -- so I don't know -- and please ask a doctor...

Just throwing it out there... could there have been a mistake made in the measurements?

I experienced a very similar thing with my exclusively breast fed, now very healthy 9 year old. Doctors in general tend to be a bit alarmist about these thing so if the doc isn't worried I would say it's a pretty normal pattern.

K.

The same thing happened with my daughter, who just turned a year. She started out in the 90th percentile, and around 9 months she stopped growing so much, and she's now in about the 50th percentile. The doctor told me the same thing, that it is very common for breastfed babies. He's not concerned at all. As long as your son eating fine, then I'm sure there's no need to worry. Now don't worry, though, if someone tells you that didn't happen with thier child. This is my fourth child and she is the only one that dropped percentiles like this. So don't worry, every child is different. If your doctor says he's very healthy and you feel his development is where it should be then I wouldn't worry.

Hi E., this is nothing to worry about. My daughter was on top of the charts (bf) and when she started crawling and then walking, from 9-13 mths, she did not gain even 4 ozs. She slimmed down and got tall. When the doctor saw her at 18 mths, she was 85% height and 30% weight and he said that was perfect. She's suddenly putting on weight again (close to 2), so I believe another growth spurt is coming. My doctor said that it is extremely normal for them to thin down when they get active...in fact that's what they are supposed to do. Just keep up the good work bfing and you don't have to worry. You'll always get the best nutrition into him!

H.

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