Daughter Not Gaining Weight - Maple Lake,MN

Updated on May 31, 2010
J.J. asks from Maple Lake, MN
18 answers

Has anyone experienced a problem with their child not gaining or maintaining weight? My daughter is almost 20 months old. She weighs just under 20 pounds. At her last check up the doctor said to add calories to her diet and to come back in soon for a weight check. The weight for her age is trending down--not in the regular arc on the charts. The doctor did mention she was concerned and to proceed with the adding of calories and checking the weight.

While this bothers me a little bit, I did not stress too much as she seems to act fine, says words, runs everywhere, and can be a bit stubborn! But, she does have some other minor issues. Her hands, feet, and lips turn blue when she is cool or gets wet. She coughs a lot and she has foul smelling-icky BM's. Another little problem is frequent nose and eye mucus. I think this is from allergies but I figured I'd include to see if there is any relation to the other things.

Has anyone had experience with anything like this? I just wanted to get opinions or thoughts from anyone who has had any similar problems.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Sherman on

I would also get her testesd for cystic fibrosis...those are all common symptoms. The test is not invasive and you get results the day of.



answers from Honolulu on

tell the Doctor the other things you notice about her... the BM's, blue color, coughs, mucus.
Don't guess.
Just tell the Doc and let him/her decide/diagnose.

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answers from Cedar Rapids on

Do not accept answers you don't like from a doctor! Go for other opinions. Contact your local children's hospital. My first daughter also did not gain weight well and was constantly in the lowest percentage for head circumference. We had constant BM diaper blowouts and nose bleeds as well that was chalked up to "dryness." Our pediatrician thought nothing of it. I knew something wasn’t right but she was the doctor. Next thing I knew we were in Chicago children's memorial with a rare disease diagnosis waiting for a liver transplant. My baby died. I will forever regret not going to other doctors and advocating for my little girl.

YOU are her mom. You know her better than anyone. You know if something is wrong. Do not stop until you are satisfied! It may not be as serious as my situation but do you really want to go throught that? No. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sioux Falls on

After reading what others have suggested to you I would agree that you should get her checked out further. Get into some specialists, have her heart and lungs checked carefully. She could have an undiagnosed heart defect or cystic fibrosis or it could be something else. Or maybe this is just her 'normal' but i wouldn't hesitate to get her checked out further. If her health checks out then think about her diet. Check out the book Nourishing Traditions.



Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sheboygan on

If your daughter is turning blue when she gets cool or wet, she has issues retaining her body heat, and possibly some issues with her circulation. Has she been checked for diabetes? Childhood diabetes can show up in many different ways, from lack of weight gain, poor circulation, and even sometimes cold and flu-like symptoms. Have her checked for that, and if that comes up negative, move on to other possible causes. Make sure that you press the issue with her pediatrician about her turning blue - and make sure that you are telling the pediatrician ALL of her symptoms. Your daughter could have a very serious problem. If your pediatrician seems unconcerned about these symptoms, I would suggest seeking another opinion. Your daughter's health is the most important thing here.
Good luck to you!



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter is 18mos old and weighs not quite 16 pounds. She has had every test known to man and every time we go they think of a new one. She is fine in every other way.. We have some concern but am not overly concerned. I honestly try to give her all the fattening good.. She has a pediatric nutrionalist.. (sp) and they want her to eat ice cream every day. She does not have any other issues though..
I would talk to the dr about the other stuff.. just in case they are signs of something else besides the failure to thrive...

good luck. I completely understand...


answers from Austin on

My son(now 8) has always been underweight. We went through quite a struggle especially up to when he was 12 months old. After that, he has stayed on the curve somewhere around the 5th percentile.
Now looking back, I can see what some of the reason were. #1- my son had a hole in his heart, so his body was having to work harder(found and corrected at age 4). #2- food textures- he won't eat mushy, sticky food including smoothies. #3- ADHD- he had trouble sitting still long enough to eat. #4- heredity- he is on target to be the same height as his dad.

Also with colds, allergies, and asthma I find it difficult to breathe and eat at the same time. And all the mucus ending up in the stomach probably doesn't help. My son would get sick with colds very often(every week or two), and this didn't seem normal. He hardly ever gets sick now after his heart surgery.
He would always turn blue when swimming, and I asked the cardiologist if this was related to the heart problem, but he said in his case it was more likely a result of low body fat.

I am sure your doctor is concerned because your daughter's weight isn't following the curve any more. You could keep a journal of what she eats in a day to show your doctor. Although it didn't help us, a specialist such as a nutritionist or endocrinologist could help you figure out what's wrong.



answers from Sioux Falls on

My son just had heart surgery for a VSD (hole in his heart). He fortunately was diagnosed at birth with it. His pediatrician heard a heart murmur and we went to see a cardiologist. He is only 16 pounds at 10 months old, but hopefully now he will start gaining weight now that his heart is working properly. Does your daughter ever get short of breath? I don't know about the other symptoms besides the gaining weight. I guess I would definately get a second opinion from another pediatrician.



answers from Minneapolis on

Not sure but maybe checkout lactose intolerance since it does cause gassiness but also, tummy aches. Milk thickens mucus so maybe less milk in the day? Our daughter has nonspecific allergies even after a full back of allergy testing. So the doctor recommended an OTC pill from Costco and is very low cost per pill and not big. Child probably too young for that though check with your child's Dr. it is Aller-Clear generic of Loratidine 10 mg. Says for kids under 6 years old must ask the Dr.
There are suction devices to such extra mucus from the nasal pathways used by even younger children. A bulb that when pressed causes a negative pressure so when unpressed it suck air and the endocrinologist. (thyroid specialist) here is a link to figure out and learn about the Thyroid:
Hypothyroidism results in thinness along with ADD medications when over used. or missused. maybe consult with a Pediatric Dietician. have you tried products like similac and Nestle has recently created a kids version also can look for it online a kids vitamin based chocolate and other flavors drink.
Good Luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

I, too, would agree it may be good to press the issue - trust your instincts. They will always lead you in the right direction. The WORST thing that can happen is getting peace of mind.

My kids have had the opposite problem - little chunkapoos. I've always worried that they were too heavy, but they were matched on height/weight. At 2 and almost 4, they're finally beginning to thin.

The average doctor's appointment lasts 7 minutes. It's hard to cover a lot of stuff and make a good diagnosis in that time, so the best thing you can do is to write everything down that you're noticing, and make sure it's all covered. I hate having to wait at the doctor's office, but it usually means your doctor is being thorough. So, I'd rather have a thorough doctor running late than one putting in a 1/2-#$$ effort and staying on time.

HealthyChildren.org is the parenting website for the American Academy of Pediatrics. I LOVE IT! While some kids are naturally small, the one thing pediatricians are trained to monitor is how they move on the growth charts. They're trained to monitor when the trend is downward over a consistent period of time.

Here's what they have to say about weight gain:



answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter is the same--just 20 mos and not quite 19 pounds. Her lips also turn blue when she's tired and cold. However, her chart has steadily (but very slowly) trended upwards. I've been worried and talked to our ped several times, but he's not concerned, so I'm trusting him. His
reasons for not being worried: she's making progress; she's happy, healthy, active, and meeting all other milestones; our older son has also been small for his age; and the blue lip thing can be normal in young children. I share this to let you know that you're not alone in your worries and that your daughter could very well be fine!



answers from Madison on

I would take your daughter to a naturopathic doctor and have him run tests for food allergies and intolerances. I just had this done in Nov 2009 on myself; I had a fatty-acid test taken as well as other tests for critical and essential nutrients (I was severely deficient in a few). The fact that her hands, feet, lips turn blue (mine did too as a child), that she has smelly BMs (might point to an issue with fatty acids), she coughs a lot/has mucus (might point to a milk allergy--I had a lot of problems with coughing (asthma) and mucus and wheezing and everything else; I quit drinking cow dairy milk and all that went away. In fact, I just went off all meds for asthma the beginning of April 2010. I don't need them anymore.) is enough cause to get her in and have REAL tests taken. The allopathic community of doctors are not up on nutrition and how allergies/intolerances and deficiencies in key nutrients are so devastating on the body. However, this IS the key area that naturopathic doctors are noted for in helping people.

I know. I became horribly sick two years ago, when I was 40. I have been to both an Integration Doctor and a Naturopathic Doctor, whom I still doctor with. It was discovered that I have casein allergy (to cow's milk), severe gluten intolerance, severe soy intolerance, intolerance to about 23 other foods, severe malabsorption, severe heavy metal toxicity, and moderate adrenal fatigue. Yeah. I was sickly as a child and was always underweight. But no one ever checked me for any of the above mentioned problems.

It is suspected that I have had the casein allergy since birth. Since it was never detected--and I kept drinking and eating lots of cow milk products--my body kept on building up more and more problems/issues with food. I also have had severe constipation my entire life and other issues with gas and bloating; turns out that is all related to the gluten intolerance (and probably the dairy as well). I did get checked for Celiac Disease, but do not have it. THAT would be a number one thing that I would want the Pediatrician to check for. They can begin first with a blood test, then go forward from there if they need more concrete evidence (usually a colon biopsy--been through it).

I am currently doctoring and taking additional nutritionals and supplements to help my body get heathy, as well as my family eats an organic diet. I've also taken out all of the food allergies/intolerances out of my diet, and that has helped immensely.

Your daughter sounds like she isn't getting any nutrition/nutrients from the food she's consuming, which means there is an issue there. I have had my naturopathic doctor take his tests and then, when there "might" be a further issue that is covered under my health insurance/the allopathic doctor, I then go back to my allopathic doctor and have her run the tests for me. >>shrug<< You have to learn to play the system and get what you can get covered through insurance. NDs are not covered by health insurance, but I have been able to get all of my stuff covered through our Flex Spending Account.

I am SO GLAD that I finally went to see a Naturopathic Doctor. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired; now, I'm finally getting better/healthy. And I have gone off 11 of the 12 pharmaceutical drugs I'd been on. Yes!!

If you have more questions or would like to talk more, please, don't hesitate to contact me.



answers from Minneapolis on

My now 7 yr old daughter had the same problem. She was born at 7 lbs, then turned into a very fat, chubby baby. Everyone joked about how FAT she was. Then, around 9 mos, she slimmed down. At first, we figured it was due to being more active, crawling, etc. She was not gaining weight, at first, then started actually losing weight. She had MANY MANY tests, we found nothing medically wrong with her. She did not have the coughs or extra icky bms (although we did, and still do, deal with constipation). She did have the blue skin, at times, but were told it was because she has so little fat on her body, she gets cold easier (still happens sometimes, like in the pool). She went from being in the 80th % to going below the charts. From about 12 mos to 3+ yrs, she was below the charts. With nothing medically wrong with her, it was ok, we stopped doing tests. Once she dropped so low, she kept the same little growth curve. For years, we went in to the doc once a month for a height/weight check, then every 6 mos, now only once a year. She is still tiny (7 yrs, about 38 lbs, not sure on height, but always the shortest in school or with any kids her age). One thing the doc said is, someone is at the top at the growth charts, someone has to be at the bottom, does it really matter if it is her. (this is after making sure nothing medically was wrong.) Things we were told to do to add calories is use whole milk (she still drinks it), chocolate milk (extra calories, and she refuses whole milk once she quit breastfeeding), butter on everything, full fat dairy products (cream cheese, sour cream, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc), avocado (which she LOVED at your daughter's age), and other healthier high calorie, high "good" fat foods. Now, at 7, she knows/realizes she is on the small side. Once she asked me if she is a midget (no, she is not, nor is she that small, her weight is more of an issue than height). Once she was about 4, she actually got back on the growth charts and remains around the 5th %. She is a normal 7 yr old. My doc never called her "failure to thrive", he called her "failure to grow". :) She was thriving, she was developing how she should, crawling, walking, talking (although she did have some delayed speech and has speech therapy for mispronouncing sounds still), she was developing right on target for everything, just not growth. I would talk to your doc about ALL of the symptoms, if you havent already, and if you are still concerned, ask to see a specialist. If you havent, your ped can do a bone growth test (basically an xray of her hand) that can show if her bones are growing how they should be (this test told us my daughter will probably only grown to be 5 feet tall). Good luck with it all and I am happy to answer any questions you may have, or just be some emotional support. :)



answers from New York on

My daughter is 20 months old and 22 pounds. Her 3-year old brother is in the 2 percentile and goes in for weight checks every 2 months. Our doctor doesn't seem too worried. They're both pretty active and my husband and I are thin (as is their 5 year old brother) so I've stopped worrying about weight.
Does your doctor know about the turning blue? If (s)he's not worried about that or the other issues, I would just trust her and keep going in for the weight checks - and feeding your daughter lots of high-calorie healthy snacks.



answers from Boise on

You didnt say if you child actually is a poor feeder or not.
Sounds like there is an issue you should persue. Failure to thrive (gain approriate weight) in a child who eats is typically caused by some kind of malabsorption issue or mineral deficiency. A key is to find out why there is malabsorption. If she has an intestinal bacterial infection for example, Giardia- it will cause foul smelling stool and nausea that will cause a loss of appetite and poor weight gain. Celiacs can cause it also- and celiacs can be caused by inability to process grain OR fungal/bacterial infection.
Possibly the lung issue is causing poor air intake= poor oxygen circulation= blue lips/skin. Pnuemonia can cause lung issues and poor feeding. If it is caused by strep- which is common- it will cause anorexia. Eye discharge clearly indicates an infection of some sort in my opinion. Eye discharge is never normal.
Concern is not enough when failure to thrive is at hand- the doctor must act.
Blood tests should be ran. Stool samples taken. The heart should be investigated. Antrioventricular canal could be considered. Hypervitaminosis D, hypercalcemia, zinc or mangesium deficiency can all cause anorexia.issues and could be considered. L cartinine def can cause failure to thrive. Magnesium deficiency will also cause increased mucus membrane infections (lung,nose,throat,vaginal). You can try rubbing magnesium oil on her skin. (find it online) But do see your doctor again. If she cant help you, move to someone else, perhaps a developmental pedi.

ps...how is she doing on skeletal growth? Which is probably a more important marker than say, fat/tissue accumulation.
Magnesium is very important for skeletal hardening and such. Also good for the heart. Look up the miracle of magnesium online.



answers from St. Louis on

She should be tested for Cystic Fibrosis. She has some of the classic symptoms and many children are not diagnosed until they are older. Not to scare you but failure to gain weight, coughing, icky BM's and sinus mucus are some symptoms. I am not sure about the cyanosis(blue hands, feet and lips) but this is not normal and she should be evaluated by a doctor. Is her skin salty??



answers from Fresno on

Gaining weight, hummm, I'm wondering what percent milk she is drinking. I fed all my kids vitamin d........not 2 percent. This has more fat that children under 2 need. This is when their brains are developing.

How is your weight? Are you underweight? I once worked with a co worker who had to set the alarm to eat. She was so thin and just didn't think about food. So, I am wondering if maybe you could set up a schedule for your daughter to eat even though you are not eating. Lots of snacks will help her gain wieght, cheese and pretzels and cookies. Fruits and vegies are great, and breads and meats. Some kids only eat a few foods. Others eat all kinds of foods. I'm wondering if your daughter likes lots of variety. One of my kids liked chicken and just ate chicken for dinner, we allowed her to do that because our doctor told us as long as she was eating then she can get the nutrition. I would concentrate right now on the foods she enjoys. Also milkshakes put on weight. Take care and I hope this helps.



answers from Duluth on

this is a frustrating thing; i am of the mind that every kid grows at their own pace, but at the same time when her arch starts dropping, shes obviously not growing at her own normal rate. hmm.

have you mentioned to the doctor all these other things? i would definatly see another doctor and get a second opinion.
good luck

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