Not Gaining Weight

Updated on October 17, 2007
K.M. asks from Silver Spring, MD
22 answers

Hello all. My 1yr went for his check-up yesterday and the doctor is concerned about his weight. He weighs 17.9lbs and has not gain any weight since his 9mo check up. He eats like a pig. I feed him a healthy diet lots of fruits and veggies. He gets protein from meats and yogurt. I don't know what to do to get him to gain weight. Does anyone have any suggestions or been in a similar situation? He was born a month early but I don't think that has anything to do with it. I have to take him back in a month so that the Dr. can check his weight again, so I would really like for him to have gain some weight. Thanks.

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A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Keisha, I had a similar problem with two of my children. This last one I know part of the problem is that I have become so health conscience that I have forgotten that a baby needs to eat no matter what it is he chooses to eat. So now, I still give him the healthy stuff but because he wasn't gaining weight I have added more fat to his diet. Chicken nuggets, fish sticks - things I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. The other thing that is really working is chocolate milk. That is two fold. He gets the fat from the milk but the chocolate seems to spark his appetite and he is eating more because of that. I hope this helps. Also, I should say, my daughter stayed very small until she was 4 and then she shot up for absolutely no reason. She is a fit and healthy 11 year old now.

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C.K.

answers from Washington DC on

My son had the same problem at that age. He is now 2. My Dr. suggested giving him baby yogart, cheese, pudding and other higher fat foods that are not unhealthy. She also told that it was typical for this to happen because they are just starting to walk at that age and all they do is go go go!

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My advice... Don't worry about it!! I mean you can't force feed a child to make him gain weight so he follows some chart that the dr goes by(which by the way they have changed lately due to the fact that the average american child weighs 10-20lbs then they used to).... My kids DD2 and DS3 both just hit 20lbs!!! Like you said he eats a very well rounded healthy diet and thats all that really matters!

If you're that worried about the dr wanting to see weight gain try and load him up on carbs the 2 meals before you go to the dr... That usually works!

Afterthought: I just read all the other suggestions.... Unless you have reason to believe he may be sick don't put your child through the pain of test and/or uneeded meds!!!! What you also have to think about here is how active your child is and what you and the childs father body type was when you were little!!
I mentioned my 2 younger kids JUST hitting 20lbs. I have an older daughter that just turned 10, she just hit 45lbs... Yep thats right she's appx 20lbs less then what their 'charts' say she should be... Sounds like we don't feed our children huh?? Well I didn't hit 100lbs until I was well into my senior year and my hubby didn't go over 110 until after boot camp!!! Hello, we're just a skinny family!!

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A.F.

answers from Washington DC on

Is the doctor concerned? It is very common for kids to not gain weight in between 9 and 15 months due to increased mobilization (crawling, walking, etc). Follow your doctor's advice and don't worry too much about it.

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S.N.

answers from Washington DC on

Try increasing his fat intake with rich foods and introduce food to him every two to three hours. When ever my daughter gets sick with a cold or teething she drops a little weight. I usually beef her up with hot cereals like oatmeal or cream of wheat with added fruit. If increasing his diet doesn't work, urge the doctor to do blood test for any genetic disorders. But with prayer and faith your little guy will pick up with his weight and be fine.

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M.A.

answers from Washington DC on

If he is eating well and is active, it certainly needs to be looked into. i think the tests suggested earlier are a good idea, i would look into the possibility of intestinal parasites too. One dose of anti-parasitic meds from your pediatrician should be enough..whether or not he is infected, it can do no harm.

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi Keisha first let me start by asking was your child a preemie? If the answer is yes than I wouldn't be concerned at all because my daughter is a preemie as well and she is 21 months and still weighs 17lbs 5oz. So I really can relate to what you are going through as far as the poor weight gain. If the answer is no than I can suggest a high calorie diet which can include things like ice cream with chocolate syrup, and add butter to sandwiches. My daughter is currently drinking Pediasure instead of regular milk. Ask your doctor do they think Pediasure is the way to go that has 237 calories per 8 oz bottle. Also look into getting your child tested for Hyper Thyroid and other things I can't remeber exactly what type of tests the doctors ran on my child when she easn't gainning weight at all but they ran about 15 tests too make sure that her glands and everything in her body was working and growing as it should. If you have concerns about these test email me at [email protected]____.com. I hope everything goes well with your child.

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M.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Keisha, I think that the doctor is not as much worried about your son not gaining weight as he is about why he is not gaining weight. As long as your son is eating all that he wants and is eating a balanced diet, then a lack of weight gain could be a sign of something else that the doctor needs to keep track of. If you stuff him full just to make him gain weight, you may be masking something else.

My advice is to continue to feed your son good healthy foods and to let him eat as much as he wants. Don't limit his food intake, let his body decide how much it needs. Set out healthy between meal snacks too, in case he is growing faster than he can take in food at meals. If, after a month of feeding him all that he wants, he is still not gaining weight, then the doctor will decide how to proceed. You will have done the correct thing.

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C.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Were either you or your husband small as babies? It could run in the family. My suggestion is to add more fat in his diet. Healthy foods are great, but kids this age still need fat (hence whole milk instead of low fat for the second year of life). Put butter on the rolls, etc. one year olds are so busy that he could be burning the calories fast. There actually was an article about this in the Sun a month ago with suggestions from Kennedy Krieger's clinic on how to increase calories.

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E.R.

answers from Washington DC on

Ask you doctor about vitamins. My son's pediatrician put him on vitamins a couple of times to help him eat more and gain weight. Also you can try Pediasure. It comes in lots of great flavors and you can also mix it with icecream to make milkshakes.

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L.K.

answers from Washington DC on

You can try pediasure drink. All in all your doing fine with what you are feeding him. Remember if you are tense about your baby and what he is eating, they pick up on that. Relax and wait until the next doctors visit. My sister has a little one who is just petite. That could be the case. You never know your little one might have a growth spert and shoot up 4 inches and gain five pounds in two weeks. All children are different.

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L.N.

answers from Washington DC on

interesting, cause that sounds pretty good to me :)
i just looked. at 1 yr old checkup my girls' weight was 21 lbs. and they were fullterm. you need to take that under consideration until about 4. actually let me say one thing an old doctor down in florida said to me
we spend the first 12 years of kids' lives trying to make them gain weight and then when they hit teenage years we put them on a diet to lose weight.
he said this because i was concerned my kids weren't chubby like the other kids i was seeing. i can't forget but mention i am 32 and i weight 102 lbs in a 5'4 body
so i think you should relax. give him to eat all the foods you wnat him to eat. avoit using a lot of fatty foods. that's just not good for them.
good luck
vlora

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L.D.

answers from Washington DC on

My son was in a similar situation, he was under 20lbs for a long time. He's three now and is still small for his age. As long as you are feeding him healthy foods and giving him plenty of protein he will be fine. Some kids are just smaller than others. Not to mention if he is very active, it makes it more difficult for them to keep the pounds on. Your doing a good job, don't worry too much.

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A.L.

answers from Washington DC on

if your child is healthy, lively & active, and eats well, he may just be lighter-weight for his age than the pediatric charts calculated. my daughter was always at the top of the charts for height, and at the very bottom for weight...she's just a tall, thinner kid. she was bright, active and very healthy, and the pediatrician knew that she came from a household where good food was the norm, so it was never an issue. she was two years old before i could turn her infant car seat around to face forward, as she didn't hit 20 pounds until then! at age 10 and a half, she just stopped using a booster seat...we were joking that she would go to her senior prom in it! she eats like the proverbial horse, but she's still tall and thin...could be worse, eh? if your doctor is worried, he/she can order tests to screen for various growth disorders and/or nutrition issues, but most likely your child is simply growing at his own pace, especially since he was a bit early-born. my daughter, again, has repeatedly hit weight-gain plateaus where she would stay the same weight for months and months. she always grows eventually, and she has never been anything but super-healthy and energetic.

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C.D.

answers from Washington DC on

I would ask you pediatrician what exactly he is worried about and address that and keep feeding him the healthy foods you are. My son weighed 15 lbs at his 1 year checkup and only 18 lbs at his 3 year. I also agree that the comparison chart that the dr's use include a large # of overweight kids who make the average weight higher. It's only been 3months and my son actually lost weight, not much just almost 3 lbs., when he was between 8-12 months as he had just learned to walk and he was getting much more mobile and active. You didn't mention if he had grown in length any. If he is growing taller it would seem he is getting what he needs. Good luck with it.

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L.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Try mashed potatoes and avocado.

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi! I was in the same situation and still am. My son was almost 11 lbs at birth. By a year he only weighed 21 lbs. Even now at 6 he only weighs 40 lbs. You can count every rib straight up his chest, but he is an extremely healthy, big eater. The doctor put him on a high fat high protein diet and he still didn't gain weight. He has had all teh blood tests ran and it showed nothing. The doctor said he just has a high metabolism rate. Not to mention that he is a very active boy. All I want to say is that you are not alone in worrying.I finally stopped this past year. He rarely gets sick. If it would make you feel better in having the blood tests to ease your mind then do it. That is what finally eased my mind that nothing was medically wrong with him. He will eventually grow and gain weight. Good Luck, J.

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S.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Keisha

My daughter's weight gain really slowed the last few months that I breastfed her. After she weaned at a year and started on whole milk she gained much more quickly. I think at the end my supply was dropping off and once she could have all the milk she wanted she ate more. If you are breastfeeding you might consider adding whole milk since your son is one year.

I hope this helped. Good luck!
S.

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E.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Don't worry. If your child is eating properly, they just have a high metabolism rate. My youngest is this way. She was also 4 weeks early. She is almost three and weighs only 26lbs. She is healthy but pettite. At one point in time, doctor said she needed to gain some weight so she recommended Pediasure. My daughter hated it. Then I remembered what my mom had told me about myself. When I was a young child, everyone thought I was unhealthy because I was thin and didn't have babyfat. This made me realize she is fine. You cannot see all her ribs and she isn't anorexic (sp.). Some kids are just bigger than others and some are smaller. Remember those height and weight charts are an average, not a standard.

You say that your son eats all the time and that is good. You have a snacker. This is not a bad thing. Remember having several small meals per day instead of three large meals is much better for our systems. I wish I never got into the three large meals habit because now as an adult I have a weight problem.

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D.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi,

My daughter had the same issue around 6 months. She too ate like a pig. She ate very healthy foods though. By the age of 1 yr, she weighed 16 lbs. I kept a food journal for 3 weeks. They did blood work, everything. There was no medical reason why she wasn't gaining wait. In every other area, she met or exceeded her developmental milestones, she was a well-adjusted kid. She is now 3, weighs 35 lbs and is 36 inches tall. Because there was no medical reason for this, they marked her "failure to thrive."

As for putting on weight, I would suggest the yogurt drinks, pediasure and lots of ice cream:)

Have they done any blood work yet? Sometimes they rebound by themselves in a few months. Several of my friends have had the same issues with their children, both boys and girls.

I'll be praying that things get better for your child and your family.

Take care,
D.

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P.J.

answers from Washington DC on

A lot of people might not agree with me, but try taking him off of the "diet" food. Give him hotdogs, hamburgers and fries and see what happens. The reason I say that is because my son has a very fast matabolism like my husband and when he was around that age we had the same problem. So bad that his body would look like he hadn't eaten all day. I started giving him "junk" and his weight picked up. The fruit, veggies and yogert are not fatting and both him and my husband will burn that off in a matter of hours. The "junk" sticks to them a little longer and keeps them looking like I feed them - lol.

Hope this helps,
P.

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A.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi Keisha

My name is A., I am the mother of 5 and grandmother of 2. Your peditrician didn't suggest you try using PediSure?? It could act as a supplement and help your little one gain weight.

I personally have not ever had that problem with my kids; but I had a friend several years ago who did, and it turned out her son was having breathing problems, he ended up have his tonsils and adnoids removed when he was like 1 1/2 old, once that was done he gained weight quickly. Now he is like 6' 2" and very healthy.

It is just a suggestion. Good Luck and God Bless

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