15 Month Old at 9Th Percentile in Weight... So Worried...

Updated on December 13, 2010
L.F. asks from Springfield, IL
16 answers

I need advice from anyone who can help. I am concerned for my 15 month old son who is having trouble gaining weight. Yesterday,his doctor said that he is in the 9th percentile in regards to his weight. I am extremely worried since he has gone from being in the 20th percentile last month to now being on the 9th percentile. What should I do to help him gain weight? He is a picky eater but loves his fruits and veggies....any good advice is really appreciated at this moment. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

I really appreciate everyone's support and suggestions. I am feeling a little overwhelmed here. I've bought everything that was recommended to me on this page.. but he is still not taking it.. He has a cold and I am not sure that the cold might be interfering with his progress. It saddens me because if he does eat something, as little as it may be, he vomits right afterwords. Today the doctor will check up on him and also give him his 15 month shots. I've been giving him 2 bottles of pediasure everyday since this post. That he will take. I am hoping he has gained some weight since last weeks doctors visit. .. wish me luck and again thank you so much! You all have no idea how much your support and knowledge is helping us.

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answers from Boston on

I think once they become active there is generally a drop in the weight percentage. Seems like once they master walking they start to slim out and become toddlers instead of chunky babies. Did he still gain weight? Both of my kids dropped around this age. My oldest went from the 75% to the 50% and my youngest went from the 10% to not on the chart. He still isn't on the chart but he happens to built more like me and his auntie then his dad so I don't worry about it and neither does my pediatrician.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Try smoothies
My girls were below the 5% forever. THey are still slender, My 9 year old has weighed more than my 13 year old since he was 3 and she 6.

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answers from Bloomington on

Hi L., my daughter was always in the 3-10 percentile and at some point after she started walking the doctor would always write <3 percentile. She is a picky eater but her appetite is slowly increasing.

if your son starting walking recently or was sick, the slow weight gain is understandable. Do no pay attention to percentiles as long as he is healthy and is meeting his development milestones. height and weight are just few parameters in the overall development of the child

And he went from 20th percentile to 9th, that means he gained weight but not enough to keep his percentile(right?)

things you can do to help his weight gain

1. give him dry fruits and nuts every day if he is not allergic to them. e.g walnuts, almonds, pistachios. roast them and powder them in the spice grinder and add it to his cereal or pasta so that he gets additional calories.
2. make everything with half and half for him where you would use milk.
3. Give him high calorie ice cream. the really creamy one like hagen daas, etc
4. instead of yogurt, use sour cream for his meals.
5. try high calorie fruits like grapes, mango, papaya, avocado for him.
6. add mashed potato or any starchy veggie to his food when you can slip it in.
7. add a multi-vitamin to his daily diet. he may have low hemoglobin or Vit. B that could cause loss of appetite.

My daughter is almost 2 and still just 21lbs but she is a fire cracker in everything else. It is just another phase. Keep giving him healthy and nutritious snacks, and he will get his needs met.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

What did the Pediatrician suggest?
To just say this to you.... the Doctor should ALSO be giving you suggestions or concerns about what can help....

Some parents give their child Pediasure... it is a 'meal' drink for kids... that has essential vitamins in it and protein and fiber....

What does, your child eat? ONLY fruits and veggies?
Is he healthy?
How is his overall development????
Is he delayed in any area?

To go from 20th to 9th percentiles... is a lot, to me.

How often do you feed him?
Besides 'meal' time, (breakfast, lunch,dinner), do you give him snacks in between???
Does he drink milk???

IS your Pediatrician worried, too???? Or not????

You need to ask your Pediatrician... what you can be doing....
a child... this age and through 2 years old, for example, should be having milk-fats and other types of 'fats'... because it is essential for brain development, for example.
Is your child eating ANY type of proteins????
What about soups... with minced up meats/veggies in it? Will he eat that???
Or smoothies???? you can put lots of healthy and things in it, too. Besides just fruit....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

my daughter slowed on weight gain, went from 90th percentile to 75th. I didnt like the change, so Ive been adding hard cooked egg yolks to her cereal with fruit to cover the taste, also yogurt in the cereal when i dont do the egg.(she doesnt like eggs or meat) and I give her avocado chunks to feed herself with banana chunks, she likes that. she started gaining weight again. I also noticed that while she turns down commercial baby meats, she likes roast chicken with a drop of gravy, and meatloaf niblets were ok with her too. moms cooking always wins :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I agree with the "dont worry about it" answers you have rec'd. My dd was always on the small side (5 lbs 17 in at birth) and rapidly grew to the 95th percentile in height and 5th in weight. The dr's always explained that it was not really the percentile that mattered, as long as her personal chart kept on the up-swing. As long as he eats healthy, whole milk, fruits, veggies, etc, i would not worry. Consult your dr to ease your mind, and buy a case of pediasure, but dont worry. Remember, kids also go thru a "picky eater" phase too where they would rather run around than eat! You know him best. Keep an eye on the peeing and poopin schedule too. They are great indicators of any problems.



answers from Chicago on

Hi fellow mom, My son, who is 19 months now, was also at the 10th percentile. He has gained weight, but slowly. He doesn't drink milk much, so that is a concern. I give him oatmeal made with whole milk on most days, at least one-two servings of whole milk cheese and baby yogurt before he goes to bed.
You received a lot of good advice. I wanted to share my story. I have to be very intentional about getting fat into his diet. Also, doesn't be afraid about the butter, pancakes with lots of butter.



answers from Chicago on

If he's also gone thru a growth spurt on the heighth portion of it, that might make sense. For one month though, that seems like a lot. Is this the same doctor that has been seeing your child since day one? go with your instincts and maybe inquire to other doctors to have the little one examined. If there's been any recent illness, or "outside stress," as silly as that may sound, make sure that's discussed with either your current pediatrician, or new one. In the mean time, Malt, Malts and more malts. Carnation makes good ones, and if you're into Whole Foods and/or Trader Joes, there's a good amount of products there, preservative free. :)


answers from Tampa on

Please - stop worrying. Some children are MEANT to be petite, small framed, elfin, etc. Obesity is a horrible epidemic in our children - so be happy your child has a good self regulatory ability. As long as he's not constipated (straining, no poop for longer than usual, and hard pebbles), peeing normally, skin tone and condition is good and eyes are bright and alert - YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT and trying to force him to gain weight will be more detrimental than just allowing him to graze and eat like toddlers normally do.

My daughter is 5 years old, 40.5" and only 34lbs. She's always been below 20th percentile for weight but 75% for height. She's very proportionate and healthy... I've had to fight for her to my parents and pediatricians about not forcing her to eat more than she does - which isn't a small amount, trust me!

Fat children, or 'husky' children aren't actually the healthy ones... think on that.



answers from Chicago on

My little guy had the same problem. He was in early intervention for speech and feeding issues. They had a nutritionist work with us, and he is moving on up. She told us he needed 16 oz of whole milk a day for one thing. Also, lots of avocado, butter on things, pan frying foods in olive or canola oil, etc. At that age, they need 50% of their calories from fat. That was my son's problem at least - he wasn't getting enough fat.

Doctors aren't bothered if they are low on the percentiles if that is how they have always been. It's when they start losing percentiles that they don't like.



answers from Chicago on

My 2 year old daughter dropped off of the bottom part of the chart and has not been back on since she was about 9 months old. It is nothing to worry about some kids are just smaller. She eats well and hardly ever even gets a cold. The last thing you want to do is teach him bad eating habits and set him up to be over weight when he is older. It is just an average percentage and really nothing to concern yourself with. Keep up the good work with the fruits and veggies and give him some time to catch up!



answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,

Has he just started walking/running in the last month or two? Toddlers do lose weight or stop gaining when they become more active. They're burning calories! Has he grown in height? As long as he is eating enough and growing, being in the low weight percentiles may not be a reason to worry. My son was in that range at that age, and he is still one of the smallest kids in class at age 6 (thin because he is running around at every opportunity). If you and your son's dad are thin, he is likely going to be a thin person, who would naturally fall low in the percentiles (have you seen the kids who are in the higher percentiles? not necessarily healthy!). What being in the 9th percent means is that 91% of kids his age weigh more, it doesn't mean that your son is not a healthy weight. Did the doctor express concern? Please make a follow up appointment or at least put a call in to the office nurse to ease your mind.

As far as eating goes, at 15 months whole milk is recommended, along with full fat cheese and yogurt made from whole milk. These would all be higher calorie foods that may help him put some weight on. Good luck.



answers from Boston on

My daughter went from the 15 percentile at age 15 months to the 1 percentile at age 18 months. We met with a nutritionist, but the best solution was to feed her pediasure. I should have simply continued with formula after age 1, but the advise at the time was to switch to whole milk at age 1. She is now 10 and still very petite and always will be. We switched over to Vanilla Carnation Instant Breakfast in chocolate milk at about age 4 since it is much cheaper than PediaSure. But the Pediasure is a good foundation to get some protein and vitamins and fats into a little one. Good luck.



answers from Youngstown on

I have learned not to worry too much about the percentiles. My daughter was always on the small side. She started out in the 50th percentile for height & weight. Then she dropped down to the 5th and stayed there for a long time. Well, as she gets older she is climbing up the charts. At her 2 year appointment (which was 4 months late due to switching dr's because we moved) she is now in the 60th percentile for both height and weight. So my daughter went from the 5th to the 60th percentile. I say if your child is happy and healthy, try not to put too much stock in where he is on the charts. I think those darn charts are flawed anyway. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

All your responses sound like good advice so far. My three little ones have all been in the low percentages for weight, so I understand, but unless the percentage keeps dropping, I wouldn't worry too much. As for putting some more calories into him, just try to sneak in some good calorie extras. I make milkshakes for mine, made with whole milk, ice cream, strawberries, bananas, ground flax seeds, and a little protein powder. LOTS of good, wholesome calories in there. Don't be shy with butter and evoo, and peanut butter(natural) is usually a big hit around here. Kids love to dip things, and believe it or not, my kids gobble up hummus when they can dip the pita chips in it, so think about some ideas that could work for your son. I make homemade sweet potato fries a lot around here- most kids love fries, and these are so easy to make, by just cutting, sprinkling on salt and pepper, and then drizzling olive oil over them before baking. You could also make easy breakfast breads or muffins that incorporate a lot of healthy ingredients but also some nice, weight-gaining items in there.
Good luck and don't stress too much about it!



answers from Atlanta on

By any chance are you or your husband slender? My hubby's a stick, and so is our son. As long as your son is reaching developmental milestones, he is fine! Not everyone was meant to be a chunky baby! Some will recommend adding fats, but I don't think that we should be clogging the arteries of an infant, so you might want to go the healthier route. Since he loves fruits and veggies, pick some that have more natural fat, like avocado. Whole milk yogurt (like Stoneyfield) is excellent! We used to mash an avocado and mix it into the yogurt (ewww!), and it was my son's favorite! Please don't worry, as long as your son is increasing in weight, he is probably just following his own growth curve (we can't all be cookie cut shapes!). Our son set his own growth curve, and is just fine at the 3rd percentile. He is active and alert, and that's all you need to worry about! Best of luck with your skinny minnie!

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