29 answers

How to Fatten up a Baby

I know all babies come in different shapes and sizes. But, I'd feel better if my daughter was within a healthier weight range for her age. My daughter is seven months old and weighs 16 lbs. She's EXTREMELY active, crawling, standing... but just very little. It's getting colder now, and I'd love for her pants to stay up. We can't even keep the 3-6 months to stay up! Any Moms have any suggestions for beefing up a baby belly? Specifically what foods to try?

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My girls wore tights and dresses, leggings and long shirts until they were in elementary school because they were too skinny to keep their pants up. Don't worry about it as long as she's healthy! Actually it's kinda nice, my daughter was able to keep wearing her favorite 2T skirt for about 3 years. Save money on clothes!

As long as her doctor says she is healthy and isn't concerned, I wouldn't worry about it. Each baby is different...some are porkers some are string beans. My son (now 18 months) has been in the 5th percentile for weight since birth...but 50th percentile for height. It's just the way he's built. In contrast, my sisters little boy has rolls galore! They are both healthy, just different metabolisms or something. If you need to find pants that fit the Osh Kosh brand at Target has adjustable waist pants in the smallest sizes of anyone. Also, Gymboree carries belts. Hope this helps :-)!!!

My girls were little, too. I wouldn't try to change that, they all grow at their own rate. I do have two clothing tips, though. I found that sticking with knit, elastic waist pants for reduced pant falling issue, specifically Carters or Koala Kid. Second, as she gets older, look for adjustable waist cords and jeans. Good luck!

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Hi M.! Your baby IS at a healthy weight. My daughter finally made it to 20 pounds at age 2. Your baby will be ahead of that curve!
Both of my kids are below the 50th percentile for weight. It's much healthier than overweight!
As far as keeping pants up......tights are the way to go. A dress with some funky tights are SO CUTE! :)

1 mom found this helpful

I wouldn't worry about her weight or what size clothes she is in as long as she is healthy. My youngest daughter is 9 months and only weighs 16lbs 7oz and her doctor doesn't seem concerned. My older daughter was the same way and at 3 years old and her pants don't stay up either. Both my kids are very active too. It's frustrating I know. Sweatpants work best. They also make pants with adjustable waists not sure if they make them that small though. You can also use one piece outfits. As for feeding if you are nursing you could add a bottle of formula a day as it has more calories than breast milk. Avocado is another good food that is high in calories. Feed her baby oatmeal vs rice cereal as that has more calories. If she is eating dairy - cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese make sure it is full fat.

My daughter will be one in two weeks, and she's only 16 pounds. She's healthy and active; she sleeps and eats well. Her chart has slowly but steadily gone up since birth (full-term, but only 6 lbs, 5 oz.). As much as I think she should be bigger by now, I figure she's just going to be small!!

What does your doctor say? :)

Unless there is some sort of dramatic drop in her weight curves I wouldnt worry about it. I understand that you want her to have a little extra, but some babies just are skinnier. If she is steady in her percentages dont worry. My first daughter was a skinny little thing and now my second daughter is getting quite chubby. It's good not to overfeed them because even at this young age they are learning their eating habits.. It's great that she eats when she is hungry and stops when she is full. Babies are great at listening to their own bodies.. Try and keep that up as long as you can.

That is a healthy weight.

ALL a baby needs for the first year of life is formula or breastmilk it isn't necessary to do babyfoods or tablefood. Your daughter can regulate when's she hungry and when she's not.

My daughter is 11mos. and has been 18lbs for the last 3mos. hasn't gained a single pound. I'm not the least bit worried.

My lil cousin was 16lbs on her first birthday just a string bean everyone is built differently.

I have parented and fed both my daughter's the EXACT same way and my first daughter was 25+lbs by her first birthday wearing a size2T and my second daughter is going into her 1st birthday here under 20lbs and still fits in alot of 3-6mos. clothes

I seriously wouldn't worry about fattening your baby up. If you and/or baby's dad are not big people, you probably won't have big babies. Both of our kids are skinny. I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and he is lucky he weighs 25 lbs. People make comments all the time about how little he is...but when someone sees a really big kid, you also hear comments about how big the kid is so unless your kid is 50% on the charts, people will feel the need to make an observative comment. No big deal, we all do the comparing and such. Some of his pants are 18month so I can totally relate!
As for your daughter, she is a healthy size and if she is active, her weight gain is going to slow down (the more they move, the more they burn). As long as she is eating and moving along the growth charts, don't worry unless she's losing weight and not growing at all. Most brands make pants with adjustable waists (believe me, both my 2 and 5 year old have to wear them) so hopefully, you will have some luck finding clothes for her. And with a girl, dresses and tights are good. If your doctor is not concerned, try not to worry about it and keep feeding your baby when she's hungry. Sounds like she's doing fine to me!

As for getting her pants to stay up, we are still struggling with that problem, my 2.5 year old was wearing some 9 and 12 months shorts still this summer....some other sizes, up to 2t work, especially if they have the adjustable elastic inside the waist. It is even worse for us now, since she is potty trianed and has no diaper to hold up her pants anymore!

For warm winter clothes, got for outfits that are all one piece, or have an "overalls/jumper" style ( straps over the shoulders) to them, or dresses and tights or those "baby legs" legwarmers they have at Target and online. There are lots of options for babies whose pants won't stay up and they are just as adorable.

You don't want to have a child with weight/eating issues, so please, don't push this. Babies insitnctively know how much they need to eat, and grow accordingly. My daughter who is 2.5 now was not 16 pounds till 10 months, and she is a perfectly fine and healthy little girl and always has been. She is a huge eater and eats everything and always has....we give her healthy meals whenever she is hungry, and she just has a really fast metabolism, she is still only 10th and 25th percentil for weight ahd height, but healthy as a horse.

Being littler than average is not "unhealthy", your pediatrician would tell you if you needed to be getting her extra calories or anything different. Also, try to remember, those percentiles they give you at the office are just telling you how many kids (out of a sample of 100) would be heavier or taller than her on average (remember, lots of American kids nowadays are OVERWEIGHT, and that figures into those scales), BUT that doesn't mena she needs to be bigger herself, as long is she is consistently grownin along her own curve on the chart! Just think how happy she will be as ateen and an adult if her body stays healthy and slim and she can be one of those lucky people who can just "be" and not have to always be watching their diet.

Just adore your baby and try not to worry too much about her size, as long as she is eating well and happy and active!

Jessie - mom of one skinny minnie girl and one chubby bubby boy!

I agree with all of the posters about everyone being a different size and some babies are just thinner due to metabolism. If your daughter is healthy, don't worry about it. If she has always been low on the weight chart, don't worry about it. Have you talked to your dr about her weight, or is it mainly a convenience thing with clothes?

When my daughter was about your daughter's age, she actually went through a phase where she lost weight even though she was eating massive amounts. We were concerned because we were fostering a dog that had worms and giardia who had a litter of puppies, causing us to question if our daughter caught parasites from them. She was all checked out and was fine. I did a bunch of research on caloric content of food to try and help her at least maintain her weight. I learned the following.

Breastmilk has the highest calorie count of all foods and drinks, followed by formula. Starchy foods have higher calorie amounts. Sweet potatoes were at the top of the list followed by squash, peas, avocado and bananas (maybe not in that order, but you get the idea of the types of food). Foods like peaches, carrots and beans are very low in calorie content. I also read somewhere that if you want or need to boost the calorie intake of your baby, you can mix in up to a tablespoon of olive oil into their foods.

I focused on nursing her, being sure she drank before and after solids. And I only gave her calorie dense solids, mixing olive oil in occasionally. Her skin was orangy when she was 9 months old, but she stopped losing weight. It turns out that she was just so active, learning how to move and doing a lot of mental development that all her energy was spent doing that instead of growing.

I wouldn't force your daughter to eat more than she wants, but I don't see anything wrong with giving her more calorie dense foods when she does eat.

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