My One Year Old Baby Girl Is in 10Th Percentile for Her Weight. Any Advice?

Updated on April 17, 2010
S.P. asks from Tempe, AZ
21 answers

My baby's first birthday was yesterday. She has not been gaining weight since 6 months of age. She weighs 17lbs 14ozs. I have exclusively breastfeed her even though my supply is dwindling. She hates formula, pediasure, juice. Upon recommendation from pediatrician we have done one session of feeding therapy so far. I tried giving her whole milk today, she made a face after taking a sip, so I added Nestle Carnation (pediatrician's advice), she still would not drink it. I think she has an aversion to foods with strong smell. Pediatrician says she is not putting on weight because she is not getting enough calories. She is otherwise growing up really well developmentally. Any suggestions from anyone who has experienced this with their babies?

She also got tiny red bumps around her mouth when she drank the milk today morning. She has had this happen when I used to try to give her cereal mixed with Pediasure. Though they disappear in a few minutes, I will keep an eye out when this happens again and note the food that she was eating at that time. This looks a lot like lactose intolerance. What are its exact symptoms?

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answers from Phoenix on

Is she eating any regular people food at all? At 1 yr old, she should be eating almost all foods. I would recommend her getting most of her calories from foods rather than milks. Most babies do not baby foods, (who could blame them?!) If she gets calories from food, she can drink water. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

Please test her for food intolerance like wheat and milk. It may be that her intestines aren't absorbing what she is eating, well, which may be contributing.

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answers from Dallas on

She should be eating solids by now (usually start feeding them around 6 months), not just formula or breastmilk as her body needs more than those things can provide.

Also, babies and children usually need to be 'introduced' to a food almost 17 times before they will like it, so don't be discouraged if she won't take things right away.

As for the Carnation, I was a low weight baby/child as well and didn't eat either. My Dr.s also told my parents to give me the Carnation and I eventually came around and had it maybe 1-2 times a day and that helped get calories/nutrition as well as boosted my appetite a bit. Also, avoid juice because that is just empty sugars and won't be helpful anyways.

Here are two articles with advice on foods to try:

As for the lactose intolerance, the rash you see is associated with a milk allergy caused by a protein in the milk, not lactose intolerance. You can always try rice milk or goats milk as that is closer to breast milk than cow, and yogurt and cheese should be fine too.

This has some really helpful advice, it's two pages so read the second page as well:

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

I'm not a dietician or nutritionist. But I say nurse as much as you can and make sure you are getting high quality saturated fats. Your baby NEEDS saturated fats! You can eat yourself or feed your baby coconut products. Coconut oil is a great food that has lauric acid in it. The only other source of lauric acid is breast milk. Carnation, juice and formula are sugar laden and highly processed. Just read the labels and ask yourself if you want that going into your babe. And then watch what YOU eat.

I'd also say that if your baby is thriving in every other way and meeting developmental milestones, not to worry so much. My babe was about that weight at one. She was just smaller but FINE.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

You did not mention your size or your husband's size. Genetics matters. Breast feeding exclusively matters. I breast fed exclusively the first year and my husband is short. Both of our children were in the 10%, then dropped to the 5%, then off, now at the 5%. After seeing a Peds Endocrinologist, we learned that they are late bloomers, like me and my side of the family. If she is developing in all other areas very normally, than I would not worry just yet.
Just continue to offer lots o healthy choices. Try warming the milk with a little honey (oops be careful there) or that organic agave babies only wanted warm, sweetened milk after weening.
best of luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi hun!

I have a 13.5month old girl and I have had the same problem. She is actually in the 5th percentile for her weight. She is 18.4lbs. Besides liquids what is she eating? My kiddo is a snacker, doesnt like a big sit down meal. She also is very picky and most times I have to force the food down her throat cuz she just wont eat. She does love cheerios, crackers, cheese, and fruits, pretty much anything she can "do herself" lol. I didnt have a problem with whole milk, she loved it from the beginning, so I can't offer some advice there.

Try offering more solid foods with lots of calories rather than focusing a ton on the milk right now. Try some mac n cheese, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, chicken nuggets (my baby loves these and most the time will eat it) eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, anything that has lots of good calories in it.

I dont worry to much about my babies weight as she is very healthy and happy and developing just fine. It does get frustrating tho when she has her days of not wanting to eat but I just keep at it.

Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions, I know what you are going thru! Good luck and hope she starts liking her foods better and starts to put on some more weight.


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answers from Dallas on

At 1 my daughter wasn't even on the charts when it came to weight. She weighed exactly 16lbs. We gave her a pediasure a day, which she loved. She also loves avacados so she'd eat those a lot along with other food. The doctor did have us have blood work done just to rule anything out, but he finally came to the conclusion that she is just petite. At 2.5 yrs, she is finally on the charts between 5-10%



answers from Seattle on

I have to echo Leslie. If you have tried pediasure or formula, you would not be offering them to your daughter! They taste absolutely gross.

My daughter has been in the 10 percentile for weight he entire life. Our pediatrician doesn't even flinch when she see's her weight. The only comment she ever made about it was "hmm, 10% to 65%(height) - maybe she's going to be a model one day..."

At one, she should be taking some table foods already, so if she is not eating any solids, that is definitely an issue. If she is taking some solids, you can enhance their caloric value with oil or cream. If she doesn't like the taste of cow dairy, a neutral vegetable oil might work.

The most important thing is not to give up right away if she doesn't like something. Don't force it on her, but simply keep offering...

Good luck.



answers from Missoula on

the best thing that i could really say is if your baby just turned a year old that you should introduce more adult food. it should help your child to gain wieght. And as far as the milk goes dont stop trying to introduce the child to milk and juices. just change her diet a little bit to more foods that you think would help her to gain weight.



answers from Phoenix on

Good morning. My first daughter was tiny at that age too and I worried so much. I know what you are going through. I just checked her baby book and she was 17.2 oz at 1 year. We struggled from 7 month until until she was 2 years old to get her to gain weight. She was not even in a percentile and was below zero on the growth chart. At first still was gaining enough to stay on her own imaginary growth curve, but then around 15 months she started bouncing up and down on her chart and she was getting sick all of the time. My doc recommended the calorie thing too. I had her drink pediasure for almost a year and then around 2 years old I switched to the carnation instant breakfast. Because she was bouncing around on the charts, we had her tested for allergies, we did a upper endoscopy to look for reflux issues and Ciliac disease. Everything came back fine. She then started seeing an immunologist because her health was poor (which I think was due to low weight and not eating well). She also visited a speech therapist and it was recommended she gets services for mouth/motor issues which may affect her eating.

The good news.... she is now almost 3.5 and is moving up on the growth charts. She is still a skinny, petite girl but she is healthy and eats much better. She actually "got on the charts" around 2 1/2 and is now between the 5th and 10th percentiles. I didn't really do anything but keep encouraging her to eat and giving her calories.

The bad retrospect, I think I have encouraged some poor eating habits as a result of trying to get her calories. She LOVES butter, ranch and her chocolate carnation instant breakfast because we used a lot of this to give her calories early on. Regardless, I am just happy she put on the weight. I can retrain the eating later.

After you determine about the lactose intolerant if everything else you look into comes back fine, I would try to relax and not worry about the weight too much. Contact me anytime if you have questions :)



answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is 17 months old and weighs just over 16lbs. They have run tests numerous times to check her, nothing. If you or your hubby were small, it could be genetic. We gave my daughter Carnation Instant Breakfast but did not add a lot to start, she did not like it if I did. We try to mix food, like guacamole with pureed turkey so she can't taste it, because our daughter is not a protein fan.
Good luck!!



answers from Phoenix on

You may want to have her evaluated by a gastroenterologist. If you are in Phoenix, go see Dr. Ursea at Phoenix Children's. She was highly recommended to me. Either way, a gastro will check for allergies and do an xray to make sure all organs are developing properly. One of my friends had the same issue and all it was was allergies which her child is growing out of as she gets older. Good luck!


answers from Washington DC on

Can you ask the doctor to send you to an allergist to test her for various food allergies?



answers from San Antonio on

I would test her for food intolerance, since you mentioned sensitivity.

My mom is a dietitian and she told me that if my babies are thriving then there's not much to worry about. My kids are off the charts skinny and it's hard to buy clothes for them. All pants fall off. We buy the ones with the tabs, but we've even had some problems with those being big.

But they're perfectly healthy. My husband and I were both like that as kids, too. It didn't last forever, sadly.

My kids are perfectly who they are. They just happen to have the kind of genes that keep them skinny. But they eat like elephants. I'd be on the lookout for allergies and make sure she's eating healthy food, milk or not. If she is, though, don't worry about it.



answers from Dallas on

My little girl was the exact same way. She was also breastfeed for the first year and then some. She is now 3 1/2 and is till very picky with food, but she has now come up with her percentile. One thing that my daughter has always like which could add some calories is the kids yogurt drinks and yogurt. That might be something you could try. I tried the pediasure, carnation, ensure, she wouldn't have any of it. I wouldn't worry about it too much. She will grow into herself.



answers from Chicago on

I do not have any experience with my kids not liking formula, but I have tasted formula and pediasure and they do taste bad in mu opinion. Maybe she just has a preference for breastmilk.

I can comment on the weight. I recently checked my oldest daughter height/weight chart, and she was about 22 lbs at 24 months. She has always been small, but she is a healthy 12yr old girl.

Can you maybe mix a little breastmilk with the whole milk and then decrease the breastmilk gradually until she gets used to the taste? Maybe add some cereal with the breastmilk to increase the calories.


answers from Detroit on

i was like that when i was a baby and so is my son. we ate everything but just didn't grow. now you might not like this suggestion but when i was a child my mother and doctors were very concerned and were just getting ready to start doing all kinds of tests to see what the problem was. my mother said her boyfriend at the time brought over some popeyes chicken and i really enjoyed it! so they kept buying it. She said by the time the testw were scheduled I had gained some pounds and a few inches!!! (this was the early 80's.) but she thinks it was the growth hormones in the chicken. But when she took me in they cancled the tests! so try feeding her food with calories like the other mom suggetsted and made a few fatty ones too! my son is slowly growing but surely but i have to let him the junk sometimes to make him grow. but the funny thing with him is he loves his fruits and vegi's so i've never had a problem with that. but he turns four in a week and a half and he's just pushing 30lbs. with clothes on. so good luck



answers from Phoenix on

What table foods does she eat these days? Really she should be eating basically the same things you are, just in smaller bites. Keep offering things to her even if you think she may not want it. You never know when she'll decide to like it. The baby foods are pretty gross. Try veggies steamed well, or even frozen veggies or canned veggies (rinsed) because they all have a different taste even if it is the same food. Does she eat oatmeal? Try mixing different things in it to change the flavor like yogurt, fruits, etc. My kids loved avacados as well as banana slices rolled in wheat germ. Good to hear that developmentally she is doing well. I have one daughter who is pretty tall, and the other is really petite. Both good eaters, thankfully. Keep working on different foods and she'll be fine.



answers from Phoenix on

I did not have this happen with my daughters, but knowing friends who have, it sounds like it could be a food allergy (the red bumps). Maybe if you make an appointment with a pediatric allergist would help. All the best to you and your daughter.



answers from Santa Fe on

I have been in your shoes! But, here is my main question....Are you or anyone in your family petite? Where is your daughter on the height scale? My daughter was always low (5%) and still is on the weight scale, but somewhere near the 50% for height. In this age of obese children, I do think it is ok to not be a super chunky baby. Did your pediatrician say why she/he is concerned?

That said, make sure your child is eating healthy and nutritious foods. There are some great suggestions already, but avocado, almond butter sandwiches, bean burritos are some of my daughter's favorites. Stay away from junk food. If its not good for you, its probably not good for your daughter either. Try not to worry too much.



answers from Phoenix on

as far as her weight goes sounds normal to me. My baby girl was 17.1lbs (8%) at her 12mon check up. My doctor was not concerned at all. He said that she is just pettite. I would not worry at all as long as she is growing in height and meeting the milestones. I breastfeed her 100% and found that the transition to cows milk very hard too. I had to mis it with chocolate to make it sweet (like our milk) in orfer for her to drink it...which took several months of always trying. Only now at 18months she is drinking 3 cups full a day if i'm lucky.

I was worried about my daughters weight too , having parents and family asking "why is she so small" didn't help either. My son was a chubby baby and I guess they and I thought my daughter would be the same.

I have her 18mo checkup monday and she is only pushig 20lbs with a full diaper, and Im sure that her doc will say she is healthy.

good luck,

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