13 answers

Is My Baby Too Small?

I just saw a new doctor today and he's all worried aboutmy daughter's weight. We had another Dr in the past get all crazy about how small she is. She's 13 months and is 16 pounds 14 ounces. She's always been small, and she's below the 5%. She eats fine and is happy. I'm really not that worried, but these doctors seem to act like we are starving her or something!

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My daughter started out in the 4th percentile and has always been tiny. In fact, she did not regain her birth weight in 2 weeks (it took her 3 weeks).

At 18 months, she was 19 lbs. I was more worried than the doctor. He charted her weight and as long as it was increasing, he was okay. If the weight dropped, there had to be an explanation (for example, teething or cold). But then it had to go back up afterwards. Now at 2 years, she's in the 14th percentile. She's still tiny. But she's gaining.

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Don't let the doctors bother you about the weight. I have a 25lb 3yr old. My doctor told me that she is fine as long as she is happy (like yours) and eating well (again like yours). He told me as long as she doesn't look sick then he is not worried about it.

Don't worry about it. As long as you know she's happy thats all that counts. My youngest daughter was 17 pounds at her 12 month checkup and today she is almost 8 and weighs 44 pounds. She's tiny. Some kids are just small. My oldest daughter was 19 pounds at her 12 month check up and stayed small until she was 7 then she started gaining weight and is now average for her age. I have a son that has always been a bigger boy and he just went for his 2 year check up and weighed 28 pounds. They eat and are well taken care of so thats all that counts.

I am on the opposite end of this. My 20 month old has been way above the 95% on height and weight. She is now 34 1/2" tall and 32 lbs. She wears 3T's in clothing, size 7-8 shoe! She is the size of the ave 3 year old.

At 9 months she grew out of her carseat and we had to move to the booster seat (in the car backwards of course). She met the height and weight requirements to turn her face forward but she just wasnt a year yet.

At 12 months she was wearing 2T - 3T's!

I get a lot of grief with people telling me that she is over weight or comments like "Boy, i bet she never misses a meal". In all honesty she doenst eat breakfast or morning snack. She eats a big lunch, afternoon snack and a big dinner. She drinks 4 oz of juice and 30 oz of milk a day. She eats a balanced meal and no sweets at all not even icing on her birthday cake.

Every child is different! Each child grows at their own rate...the scale they use is for the ave child. Some children are not "Average" some are bigger and some are smaller. As long as you are feeding her the daily requirements i wouldnt worry about it.

My daughter just had a spike in weight but she also just went through a growth spirt and her Ped wants me to reduce the amount of food she gets but i havent changed a thing. i am sure you feel like you always have to give a menu to people about what you are feeding her because they dont feel you feed her enough as with mine they felt we feed her too much.

if this makes you feel better...i watch a 16 month old little girl and she weighs 20 lbs not but three months ago her feet were the size of my daughter when she was born. She had no bottom so much so she had a concave area she was that skinny. She was just like your daughter but she now has a tush :-)

Dont worry about it she will most likely always be thin...it is just who she is.

my 10 yr old is a skinny guy who is just now starting to grow a bit. my 4 year old looks small for his age too. i have a friend who's daughter at age 5 wears toddler clothes. her son on the other hand is an average weight. yet another friend has 3 girls. all of them have the same issue that you are descibing. guess what, they eat healthier than most adults do. all kids are different. don't let it stress you out!

I really wouldn't worry too much if she's eating fine, pooping fine, and playing fine. However, I would ask the doctors to be more specific about their concerns. If it's only that she is too small, ask them why that would be a problem. Maybe they know something you don't, but for some reason haven't told you.

I have twin boys who are 32 months old - one is in the 90th percentile and the other in the 5th percentile. Born together but two very different little guys. My pedi has been perfectly fine with the smaller one's size - as long as he has continued to show a little movement up the chart. I wouldn't stress about it, some kids are just small.

My daughter has alway been very skinny she was 20 pounds at her year check up, but she is very tall for age she never it on the charts with height. I think that if your daughter is small (not sure how tall she was) then she is fine. You know your daughter better than anyone and not every child fits on silly chart.

There are many factors that influence the size, including whether the baby was early, parent's sizes and especially whether the baby was breastfed or bottle fed. The charts are based on bottle feeding and bottlefed babies typically gain more early on. She is very, very tiny (my second son weighed that much at 2 months, but he was a large baby). If she's always been at that percentile and gaining consistently, I would not worry. My first son was an early baby (in ICU) and was breastfed and the doctor was ALWAYS worried about his weight because he was at like the 10% on weight for a very long time. At his two year checkup, the doctor said he was just going to be petite (I'm petite), however by the time he was fourteen, he was over 6 feet tall. So, if she is healthy otherwise, I would not worry. However, you might ask them the next time if they're so worried why they don't screen her for celiac disease (it can cause malabsorption of nutrients)? They are finding more and more that you don't have to have overt GI symptoms.

Weight isn't necessarily the issue so much as percentage - they need to maintain the percentage. The concern is that they're not absorbing nutrients properly, not that you're starving the baby. My son was born in the 25th - 50th percentile in weight. By his 6 month well-baby he was down to the 5th percentile. Because of the decline we started a food log and monitored it with our doctor. Further tests weren't ordered because he wasn't a failure to thrive baby - all his other milestones were right on target. After 3 weeks of keeping a food log his weight stabilized at the 5th percentile and the pedi just decided he has a very fast metabolism. He's now 6, and still skinny as a rail, and eats like a horse.

Definately talk with your pedi about it, especially since two have been concerned.

Hello C.,

Was this an issue at the 6 or 9 month check-ups? Make sure she does not have any food allergies (soy, wheat, glutten intolerance which could lead to malabsorption). Is she in a special diet (vegetarian, etc.)

Also, if she drinks too much milk she won't eat enough food. My son didn't want to eat much when he was drinking pediasure.

My neighbors' daughter was very tiny (was over 6 lbs at birth though) and she is 3 years old now and only weighs 26 lbs! She's happy and healthy and fine. Don't worry about it as long as your child is healthy! She'll just be a petite flower!

I would trust your gut. If you feel like things are fine, they probably are, especially if she's always been small. Maybe see what her growth was like before and if she's on the same curve or if she's dropped below it. If she's dropped significantly below what is normal growth for herself (it is normal for them to slow down growing as they get older), but if she is following her own curve, I say it's fine (though I'm not a doctor!). She sounds about the size of my nephew when he was that age. He's just a little guy.

My daughter started out in the 4th percentile and has always been tiny. In fact, she did not regain her birth weight in 2 weeks (it took her 3 weeks).

At 18 months, she was 19 lbs. I was more worried than the doctor. He charted her weight and as long as it was increasing, he was okay. If the weight dropped, there had to be an explanation (for example, teething or cold). But then it had to go back up afterwards. Now at 2 years, she's in the 14th percentile. She's still tiny. But she's gaining.

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