Help! 11 Month Old Not Gaining Weight & Feeding Questions

Updated on June 14, 2013
J.K. asks from Los Angeles, CA
16 answers

I have an 11 month old who is not gaining weight. She was born at a healthy weight of 8lbs. 4 oz., which put her in the 75th percentile. She was in the 75th percentile until she was 7 months old. At 7 months, she dropped to 50th percentile. At her 9 month appointment, she remained at 50th percentile. Today, the doctor informed us that she is now at 37th percentile and weighs under 20 pounds. This week, she'll be 11 months and I'm really concerned.

The doctor told us to try to get her to eat more, but it's not as easy as it sounds. If she closes her mouth and sticks her tongue out so that I can't put any food into her mouth, there's nothing I can do, right? The doctor also told us to give her avocados, but I gotta feed her other things, too. Do you have any suggestions? She's been very picky lately and will only eat toast with peanut butter, breastmilk, some fruit, and rice cereal. I want to get her started on table foods, but I need some ideas. A lot of the foods I cook for my husband and me are not very baby/kid-friendly. Thank you in advance for your comments!

What I mean by kid-friendly: too spicy, too greasy, or too garlicky. She has GERD so I have to avoid giving her foods that can upset her stomach.

I wouldn't be concerned if she has been in the 37th percentile for a while, but the fact that she keeps dropping means she's not gaining weight as she should. I understand that some babies thin out, but going from 75th to 37th is a huge decline. Also, she's not mobile/active yet, so that's not it.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I would not worry about percentiles at all if she looks and acts healthy and is actually gaining weight not losing it. Percentiles do not really mean much for any individual child, they are just numbers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Egg Yolk (chop it up fine and put it in other baby food). Read the baby food labels and give her the higher calorie ones. I care for a little guy that was having the same problem, the dietician suggested adding olive oil to his baby food, anything that needs to be thinned down a little.

Good Luck,


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answers from Washington DC on

She sounds like my DD, honestly. DD wasn't 20 pounds til she was more than a year old. She started out at 8lbs and is a healthy 35lb 4 yr old now. I would just offer her bits of what you eat, cut up small and cooked well, and worry more about her overall health and how she is gaining skills than what her pants size is. may offer you more finger food ideas.

And re: not baby friendly, what does that mean? If we do tacos, DD gets the meat on the side, and a tortilla and she loves shredded cheese. If we do a stir fry, we put the sauce on the side and pick out the bits DD will eat (chicken, baby corn) and put that her plate with brown rice. My friend's son ate seaweed when they lived in Hawaii, so "not kid friendly" is relative. It doesn't need to be all chicken nuggets. :) See what she'll eat. Remember that kids need to see a food many times before they truly like it or not.

ETA: Please don't switch her to formula just for this. Your milk changes as she grows and gets fattier to keep up with her age. There's no reason to wean her from it, as others have suggested.

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answers from Norfolk on

Is she crawling/walking yet?
Many kids stop weight gain and even lose a little when they get more mobile.
Try French fries.
Our son use to love holding a fry in each fist and gnaw on them till they were gone.
Avocados are great.
Remember her stomach is only as big as her fist - she can't fit a lot in there - so make sure the food she does eat is a high calorie food.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Does she gain slowly, or has she actually lost weight? There is a VERY big difference. My 1st was born big - 9 lbs, which is about 90th percentile I think. By his first birthday, he was 20th percentile and not yet 20 lbs. But here's the thing - when his monthly weights were charted, they were a smooth line that increased at every check up. My doctor said that he was just a slow gainer, this was completely normal, and as long as there weren't sudden jumps up or down, he was perfectly healthy.

Also on a related note, my son didn't really take to most solid foods until about 14 months. We set any food we were eating on his tray in small pieces, and we also tried baby food. He simply wasn't interested. And if you want the most nutritious, high calorie food you can find for your daughter - breastfeed more. Breastmilk has all the right fats and is higher calorie than most table foods a baby will eat.

Now, if your daughter has actually dropped weight (not dropped in percentile, but dropped in weight like she used to be 22 lbs, and now she's only 17 lbs) then I would be much more concerned.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Yes, there is reason for concern. This happened to my son at this age too. He has some oral defensiveness that made table food very hard. Mix organic heavy cream into everything and add coconut oil or butter to everything. Avocados have a lot of calories but evidence suggests they help burn fat. You can also give her egg yolks if your doctor says ok. Make her rice cereal with cream.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Give her anything you eat. How much does she weigh. Not all babies have to be chubby. My granddaughter was a year yesterday. Think she is about 18 1/2 lbs. may 19 but that would be pushing it. Make her scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles, cream cheeses and jelly sandwiches, cheese, really anything you would eat. Does not sound like she is starving.

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answers from Grand Forks on

My older son was the same. He was 8lbs at birth, but by one year he was only 17lbs. He went from the 95th to the 5th. He was primarily breastfed, but ate the recommended diet of table foods as well. The doctor was never concerned because neither my husband or I are large people, my son was growing, and because my son was happy, healthy and active. When you say she is not mobile/active, do you mean she is not crawling or just not walking yet?

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answers from Los Angeles on

I wouldn't go so much by percentile a but if she is gaining a normal/average amount of weight. My little guy is 21 months and is not much of an eater. Ive struggled with him eating solid foods since he was 6 months old. He weighs about 25 lbs (25 percentile) and is 33in tall (50 percentile). Anyways Dr told me he is slim but is gaining the appropriate amount of weight in a time frame. Also breast fed babies gain/ lose weight differently than formula fed babies. They tend to chunk up and then slim out as they begin walking and moving more. Just keep trying to get her to eat and try not to make it a battle. But I feel your frustration.

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answers from Springfield on

Does she like to feed herself? My boys stopped letting me feed them when they were about 9 months old. After that, it was nothing but table food (and breast milk or formula). We did toast with peanut butter, cut up fruit, cut up veggies, pasta, eggs, rice.

What do you mean when you say that the food you eat is not baby/kid-friendly? There are some foods an 11 month old should not eat. Some are choking hazards and some are not safe yet. I can't remember what, but I remember that there were some foods that are not supposed to be given until they are 2. But by 10 or 11 months, I think I was giving my kids a lot of what we were eating. I just made sure I cut it up. Often times I would prepare my plate, with extra of everything, sit down next to my son at the table and just put bits of my food in front of him. When he finished eating, I would give him more. When he was not longer interested, I would help him get down.

Also, at that age it's a good idea to feed them every couple of hours. So about 2 hours after we finished one meal, I would have snacks for him.

Not sure any of my ideas will help, but you never know. Good luck!!!



answers from Portland on

You also need to know what percentile she is in height. If the two percentiles are close there is less cause for concern. Did the doctor explain possible causes for her decline in percentiles? If not, I'd call and ask for more information. There are reasons for this, some of which can be serious and others not so much.

If the doctor just said to eat more, then I suggest he is not very concerned. Again if the percentile of height and weight are close it could mean that she's a small child and will be a small child. However, I'd want to rule out difficulty with growth hormones. Perhaps it's time to take her to a specialist. Did you ask the doctor about that?

Not knowing what you mean by her not being mobile/active, I can only suggest that being this way could be an indication of some developmental issues. If you only mean that she's not walking yet but tht she's met other milestones then their is no reason for concern.

My 2 yo granddaughter still isn't eating table food very well and her parents give her Pediasure which contains more calories than milk.

Unless you know the percentile in height there is no way of knowing if she actually needs to eat more or if eating more is meant to just fatten her up some.



answers from San Francisco on

My first suggestion is to take her off breastmilk and use formula. It is more fattening. If she won't take it, at least use that to make her rice cereal.

My next suggestion for table food is for you to puree anything and everything you and hubby are eating and give her that. Table food has more calories than baby food and a lot more flavor.

Continue to encourage the peanut butter. I used to give my grandson just a spoonful of peanut butter to eat. He would like on it like a lolipop and loved it!



answers from Chicago on

Well .. My 2 year old weights a wooping 22 lbs... she eats everything udner the sun.

Avacados- I make guacamolie. she loves it, does not eat the chips, but she will eat the guac.. Garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, tomatoes.

Nuts are a nice snack

We make beef stronogoff, roasts, .. I can not think of anything that we make that I dont feed the kids. Minus steak (too hard for her to chew)

My daughter loves dipping sauce.. kethcup, honey mustard, mustard, mayo, ranch, cheese.. loves them. all if she can dip it she will eat it.

Stay away from processed foods.

Perhaps a book, you can look at the library..
might help you.

Good luck


answers from Denver on

how is her activity level? If she is super energetic she could be a slow gainer because she is burning off everything she ate. I think my daughter was 24 lbs when she was 2 she was always on the low end of the scale like 5-9% but she always had a curve on her growth chart. my ped said she doesnt really pay too much attention as long as there is growth and no drops. I know when they do start walking it will usually slow down. Have you tried the pastas or even cut up chicken nuggets at 11 months i would just put what you are eating on her plate (non spicy or acidic) to see if she likes them.



answers from Detroit on

my daughter was 17 pounds at a year. she was small .. at 7 she is still small.. people come in different sizes. don't worry..

from 12-24 months my daughter did not gain much weight.. in fact she fell off the chart.. (below the percentiles..) she is now at 15 or 20% and she is fine.

once she decides to eat table food she will gain. keep trying to offer foods and eventually she will eat them.



answers from Austin on

What is "kid friendly"? Most of the things you eat she can probably eat, with modifications.

Some kids LIKE spicy food... my grandson (now age 5) loves fresh tomatoes, and has for a LONG time.... when he was just a couple years old, he ate kimchi! (Yeah, he looked at us strangely, but ate it anyway...)

Maybe she is "done" with baby puree? Have you tried cooking vegetables until they are nice and soft? What about chopping a carrot into small pieces (1/4" dice) and cooking that soft? How about fruit cocktail? Maybe she will be an independent eater and not want to be fed mush....

Easy finger foods: banana, avocado, cooked peas, cooked carrots, cooked green beans, fruit cocktail, pasta (the shell type are easy to pick up), things like that. You might find that if you put a few items on her tray while you feed her that you get more pureed food in her, too. Think of any soft finger foods that she can "gum" and not have to worry about chewing thoroughly. Be sure things are cut up small, though.

Also... don't let her fill up on juice... that has so many empty calories that it really isn't necessary.

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