Concerned About Weight Gain in My 9 Month Old

Updated on October 12, 2009
J.H. asks from Dubuque, IA
17 answers

Today Ashton had his nine month check up overall the dr. says he is healthy but the dr. is concerned with his weight. He is 29 in long (75%) and only 16 pounds and 6oz (under 3%). He said I need to cut out all food and just give him formula. He has always been on the small side in weight but very long. Is this something I need to worry about. The dr says I need to feed him more but he only eats when he is hungry and getting him to eat when he is not won't work he won't take it. Should I be concerned or should I just not worry about it and make sure he is eating when he should. Right now he eats cereal in the morning with milk, has 2 6 oz bottles during the day (most of the time) eats baby food at supper (how much depends how much he is hungry for). A few bits to the whole jar. Then he eats one bottle before bed usually 6-8 oz. then sometimes wakes up and will drink a 6 oz bottle. Do I need to worry b/c right now I am.

His weight stats since birth
3/25/08 16 lbs. 6 oz 29 in (9 months)
01/04/2008 14 lbs. 15 oz. 26 in. (6 month check up)

10/29/2007 13 lbs. 7 oz. 26.5 in. (4 months)

09/20/2007 11 lbs. 8 oz. ? in.
07/09/07 7 lbs. 7 oz. 21 in.

I think for weight wise he was always under 25% just not as low as he is now.

I don't know if this makes a difference but since his last 6 month check up he is always on the go he never sits and plays. Once he figured out he can walk around our furniture he is gone LOL

Here is his schedule from today:

Ok here is what he has had today (the reason its like he is snacking b/c he is constipated since last fri and we have tried everything to make him go and he is now on Miralax).

7:45 Cereal with 2 oz milk
9:50 2 oz milk
noon 4 oz
3 pm 2oz
4 pm 6 oz
6 pm 1/2 oz with a jar of baby food
(he will have another bottle before bed 6-8 oz)
( he usually eats more then 2 oz here and there but he is really backed up)

So any recommendations or advice just from looking at his schedule its usually about the same every day just usually eats more then 2 oz here and there.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Well I tried cutting back on the food but that doesn't work for him. He really loves his food. He won't even take a bottle in the morning unless he gets his cereal. My aunt told me to get baby food high in protein and that will help him gain weight. I am going to go check out the yogurt. I am going to keep doing what I have been and hopefully by adding the baby food high in protein and the yogurt he will gain weight so when I take him back in a month the dr. won't be worried. I'm not overly concerned. If you look at me I am very tall and thin and as a kid I was all skin and bones and ate everything in sight. He has never been a big formula drinker and ever since he figured out he can eat our food that is all he wants.

My aunt also suggested to put him on whole milk but I don't know if I want to do that. My mom said mix it with the formula but I know the formula has many nutrients that he needs. Thanks for all your advice. Honestly I think I just have a very tiny baby who is going to be tall and means he is always on the go he just doesn't gain the weight as fast as other babies. And as long as he keeps gaining the weight and not losing I am going to assume that he is fine. He is a very happy, healthy baby otherwise. I hope the dr. don't want to put him through test b/c I know there is nothing wrong since he will eat when he is hungry I think the problem is he is active and into everything and doesn't want to take the time to eat. So hopefully it will all work out :-)

His iron levels are great they were checked at his apt.

We tried baby yogurt tonight and he loved it so I guess I will give him some of that and we have been feeding him meat at supper too. And we have decided to wait on the whole milk until he is closer to one. I am just going too keep on doing what I am doing and let him eat when he wants and if he doesn't then just leave him be. I can't make him drink his formula and 18-24oz is normal for him so I am going to try not to worry. Also the last couple of days he is starting to stand all by himself no assistance with the furniture so before long we will be walking LOL.

More Answers



answers from Minneapolis on

My son is 18 months old and 21 lbs. He has always been on the lower end of the weight scale, he goes to daycare where he is smaller than a 9 month old. Kids are different in there sizes, my son was also an early walker/runner/mover/shaker :). One of my friends has a son who is only 5 weeks older and he is probably 4-5 lbs heavier and taller, he eats less than my son does! I wouldn't worry to much but definitly bring it up to your dr. My son's doctor hears it from me more as a joke now, he told me that as long as he was growing on a curve and gaining weight he was doing good. Your son might get a growth spurt, or like my son stay on the leaner side of the scale, I always joke he has a six pack at 18 months, with all his energy he just burns the calories a bit more.
GOOD LUCK active boys can be quite a handful but boy do they figure things out quick, before you know it he will be walking without furniture!!
Hope this helped ease your mind.



answers from Des Moines on

My son is also very small. He was 5 lbs 9 oz at birth and at a year he was only 16 lbs 2 oz. He fell off the growth chart for weight at 6 months but my Dr. never recommended taking him off foods. He encouraged me to just keep trying to get him to eat as much as possible. My son loves all kinds of 'big boy' foods (he has refused baby food since about 8 months). He loves avocados (very nutritious plus healthy fat) and will try just about anything. But he doesn't eat very much of anything. He too is always on the go, so I don't know if that has anything to do with his small size (along with genetics...I've always been very light and my husband is really tall but skinny).

One thing to possibly ask your Dr. about is your son's iron levels. They tested my son at a year and his hemoglobin was 8.4 (pretty low). So we started him on liquid iron 3 times a day for the past month and just went back for our check up yesterday. He has gain over a pound in a month (17-5) and his hemoglobin is up to 12.4. The doctor thought that iron levels really had something to do with his weight just a thought!



answers from Minneapolis on

I had one like that and his doctor got very worked up about it. She had him admitted to the hospital for "tests" to rule out things like cystic fibrosis and other bad diseases. The tests took half a day to do, but she wanted him there for two weeks. I was a new mom and didn't know better. I found out that she was really looking at me to see if I was too depressed to feed him. She labeled him "failure to thrive." We had to deal with Child Protective Services and everything. It was a nightmare, but it turned out there was nothing wrong.
He just has a low awareness of when he is hungry. He is 21 now and graduating from college in a couple of weeks. I still occasionally ask him how he is eating because he honestly doesn't think about it. It was that way all along. He would just get involved in what he was doing and forget to eat.

Those charts don't account for genetic background and personality. They are just guide lines. My son never even made it on to the chart in his weight. He is still extremely thin, but perfectly healthy.



answers from Minneapolis on

It looks like he grew 3 inches since his last checkup, that is alot!! So he is clearly growing.
My 9 mo. daughter is also low on the weight scale 3%. (she was under 1% at her 6 month) And my ped was concerned, but thought it was just a calorie issue. He ran blood work, and all check out. My ped told me to do something completely different. He said to feed her more solids (and keep her milk feedings the same) My daughter gets cereal in the morning, lunch is 12-16 oz of baby food, and dinner is also 12-16 oz of baby food. I am nursing 3-5 times per day. I just brought her in yesterday, and now my ped isn't concerned at all. And thinks she'll be higher at her 12 month check.

I don't know if that helped or confused you more.

I wouldn't worry about your son, he IS growing, and IS very active...which may explain the drop.

Go with your gut...



answers from Fargo on

Since your baby is 9 months I would listen to your Dr. on this one and not worry. Babies don't even need food before 12 months. Formula or breastmilk provides the calories they need. Every baby is different. Both of mine are tall and skinny with TONS of energy too!
I would probably cut out the cereal since he is constipated and it will fill him up too much to drink his milk.
As long as your baby is getting the calories he needs from the milk you can rest easy. He will grow:)



answers from Minneapolis on

i'm not an "expert" but I'll tell you my thoughts=) My daughter at 9 months was 28 1/2 inches and 18 lbs. Her doctor said she was fine and she is very active (crawling early and walking at 8.5 months) I checked her weights at her last few appts, and she is also on the longer side about 90% and always 45-55% in weight. She was 8lbs 8oz at birth. She eats all the time, but is just very active. Hope that eases your mind a bit=)



answers from Appleton on

You could always request a nutrition evaluation. Ask your doctor for a referral. It doesn't mean that you are not feeding your child correctly..but a nutritionist/dietician can do a thorough evaluation and give you suggestions of ways to increase calories, etc. Good luck!



answers from Omaha on


I can totally relate to how you are feeling! My son is underweight as well. He weighed over 8 pounds at birth, but dropped A LOT of weight, and has been trying to catch up ever since! I believe he weighed in right around 16 pounds at his 9-month appointment as well. He has consistently been in the 4th percentile for babies his age. We finally hit a milestone at his 15 month appt... 21 pounds (8th percentile)!!!

My pediatrician told us to do the opposite... feed him less formula and more solids, and to add butter to anything and everything. Yogurt, and cheese were our most popular choices! We waited until he turned one year-old before we started on whole milk, and I think that it helped quite a bit.

And yes, being active does make a difference. That is what our pediatrician told us. He was very active from the beginning, always kicking his legs, and then he started crawling early, and walking early...

Honestly, if you feel like he is healthy, and he is acting alert, and he's continuously learning, try not to worry about his weight. Easier said than done... believe me, I know! :)


answers from Minneapolis on

His growth has been consistent so I wouldn't be too concerned. He's tall and skinny, and has been since birth.

Add some fatt yfoods to his diet, like avocado's, and table foods. Baby food isn't all that healthy anyway (processed, jarred, etc) so feed him what you are eating for dinner. Cut up into small bits of course. Plus cut up soft fruits, veggies, toast, bits of waffles or pancakes. I promise he'll eat better once you switch him to real food and not hte jarred junk! Plus he can eat himself, just give him a plate with smal bits of food on it and of course watch him so he doesn't stuff, but he can do it, and he'll enjoy it! Plus whole milk yogurt is high in fat and good for him (Sunnyfield Farms, YoBaby, or buy plain yogurt and mix in your own fresh fruits for a way healthier option!)

Let him eat table foods and self feed. Offer him small snacks throughout the day, like dry cheerio's, crackers, toast, etc.
Since you mentioned he is constipated, skip the rice cereal. Rice is binding and it will constipate him more. Stick with oatmeal or skip the baby cereal all together.



answers from Minneapolis on

My oldest has always been on the smaller side and by 9 months he was MAYBE 18 pounds, not much bigger than your son. I'm kind of surprised your doctor told you to cut his diet to just formula.
At 9 months, formula/milk alone didn't cut it for my kids. They wanted FOOD at every meal and for snacks, too. By that age, they were eating cereal at breakfast and lunch along with pasta, pureed fruit and veggies, bread, cheese, and other soft foods. It wasn't uncommon for them to want what my husband and I were eating for dinner, so they also had a lot of table food. They had their milk in sippys at meal time and a bottle before nap/bedtime.
By 12 months, most kids that I have been around (friends, relatives, play groups) are eating just about everything.
If your son is super active it's not surprising he's not gaining a lot of weight. He'll eat when he's hungry and won't stop until he's full.



answers from Madison on

I have three sons, my youngest is 19 months old. I have had the same problem with him since birth. My 10 and 5 year old have always been off the charts in height and weight, so this was new to me. At his check-up last week he was in the 15%. At one year he fell off the chart and it scared me. He is very active and always has been. He was my only one that was 100% breast fed, but I don't think this is the reason. He is a good eater. I think he just has a more active metabolism. My doctor had me put him on whole milk once a day at 10 months. When he was your sons age he would I am guessing drink about 24-28 oz. of breast milk a day. Cereal for breakfast along with a fruit. For lunch Cereal and a vegatable and meat mixed with cereal for dinner. I am sorry, but I don't know the exact measurements that I used. Also I have found that juice helps with constipation. When I look at your food schedule it doesn't seem like he is eating enough solids. What was your doctors reasoning for taking them away?? It would seem that solids would only help him gain weight. My doctor told me to make every bit he takes count. So instead of some of those baby snacks that are like air, make sure that he was eating heavy cereal. My doctor is also the one that had me feeding cereal at every meal. I mixed it with fruit or veg or meat for variety. Currently at 19 mos. he eats well and in addition I give him one pediasure everyday. I just think he is meant to be skinny. He is healthy in every other way. He made it to the 60% for height this time. He is just little and cute. It is hard not to worry as a parent you are always going to worry. Good luck. If you have time I would love to hear how your son is progressing.



answers from Minneapolis on

as long as his growth has been relatively consistent I wouldn't worry too much yet about his weight being a problem.
since my baby learned to walk his weight has slowed down and that's normal.
but since you are looking for suggestions about food, do you think maybe your guy might be ready for table foods? I've had my baby on the same foods as the rest since he was 6 months and he just will not take baby food. I'm not sure if it isn't a good texture or flavor for him. So I just cut up what we are eating in small enough pieces for him and he eats like a horse, but he is still such a skinny little guy.



answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry to hear your son is mom wants to hear that. I only have a little experience in this area, but I was surprised to hear the doctor say to cut out food and just go back to formula. My younger son was on the low end of the wt. spectrum (25%), and at his 9mo appt. his pediatrician told me to "advance his diet" so that he was eating for (appropriate) solids. Mainly because like your guy, he was so active and he'd rather put up with sitting in a high chair like a "big boy" eating, than to drink a bottle...too boring for him!:) I know that at this age they're still getting the bulk of nutrition from formula or breast milk, but I think that's assuming your child is getting enough of either.

One thing that might really help is adding yogurt to his diet. We use YoBaby (from Stoneyfield Farms); you can find it in the organic section of the grocery store. First of all, everyone I know that's tried it LOVES it; it's yummy! It's got all-natural, organic ingredients, less sugar, make with whole milk (which will add good fats to Ashton's diet and help with brain development and wt. gain), and live cultures (that will help in digestion). What I've found is that even though there's milk in the yogurt, it will ease digestion/constipation because of the good cultures. Might be worth a try--9 mo. for most babies is the perfect time to introduce yogurt. Good luck!



answers from Las Vegas on

my son just turned 9 months old on the 6th.he has six teeth going on eight.he eats cereal mixed with apple juice by spoon in the morning followed by an 8oz bottle of formula.he eats 2 jars of baby food for lunch and between he eats 8oz of formula.and lots of finger foods.and apple juice mixed with water.he is 29 in long and weights 21 pounds and the doctor said he is growing great and is in the 50th-75th percentile for son loves trying to feed himself. he crawls and couch cruises alot.the doctor says he is very advanced for his age.there is a baby girl that is 2 weeks younger than he is and she barely crawls and has to be supported when sitting.she has no teeth and only weights 17.5lbs.she takes her cereal through the bottle with formula mixed.and doesnt eat food from a jar let alone son gets bored playing with her.



answers from Davenport on

Some people don't like the idea of putting cereal in the milk bottle, but I find it adds some umf! to the meal/snack. I think It's good he's eating about every 2 hrs. We're snackers at our house too. And that does speed up the motabolism. But when they'll only eat a little at a time, they're hungry again in 2 hrs.



answers from Sioux Falls on

These are the most important parts of babies, according to my doctor (I have a daughter with a heart problem and I was told all this so I could tell if she was failing to thrive) They are putting on weight. That their weight gain stays on the curve. They are doing what they should for their age group developmentally. As long as your son is fitting into these catagories, they are thriving, they say a baby should double their weight by the time they are a year, and he has done better then that. Yeah your son is skinny, but nothing wrong with that. You cant force a baby to eat if they are not hungry. I learned the hard way with this. My fourth baby was 5 lbs 9 oz at birth (37 weeks gestation), I was told to feed him every 3 hrs 1-2 oz. Well he didnt want to eat every 3 hrs or eat that much and well when I would get him to suck, at the end, all he ate ended up on my shirt and there is nothing worse then that much spit up on you (and worse it gets cold very quickly which feels very gross). Unfortuantly for us, they are in charge and all we can do is encourage them the best we can. If you are concerned about his weight, there are options out there that can help, like Pediacare, which is a high calorie drink. (I m not sure if it is milk based or not, but I know a baby that was drinking it before a year to balk up a bit) Good Luck!



answers from Dubuque on

My daughter was full term and weighed 6lb 2oz at birth. She is just petite like her grandma and has always been barely on the charts. At 9 months she was still nursing but also ate lots of fresh fruits, veggies, yogurt, tofu and was walking. When she was 1 year she only weighed 18 lbs, but was very energetic, happy and healthy. The doctor wasn't too concerned for she was continually gaining at a constant rate and was ahead of average with walking, talking and using baby signs, but when we switched to milk he had us still put a couple scoops of formula in with it.

I wouldn't worry too much if your child is gaining at a rather constant rate and seems happy and active.

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