Small/Slow Growing 16 Month Old

Updated on October 12, 2006
M.L. asks from Columbia City, IN
10 answers

My son Gavyn is 16 months old. At his 15 month check-up, he was 17lbs 7oz, 29 inches long and 18in head. He's quite nearly off the charts small, so Gavyn's pediatrician and I decided to have a bone scan and blood work done to explore this further. (His growth curve is fairly steady, he's just very small) The bone scan turned up normal, but his pediatrician decided that he wasn't clear on some of the blood work, and is sending us to an endocrynologist.

My husband is on the large side, 6ft, and I am very short, 4ft 11in.

Gavyn seems healthy otherwise . He's always running around the house exploring. He loves the outdoors and Baby Einstein videos. He babbles in a language all his own and does say the occasional word. (He's up to 15 - 20 words although he doesn't seem to want to use them a majority of the time)

I'm hoping that someone else has had a similar experiance they would like to share with me. I'm kind of expecting to be given the option of hormone therapy, although I guess I don't know what will happen for sure. Any information or imput would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, M.

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So What Happened?

Thanks you everyone for your responses. I'm feeling much better! I'm sure the Dr. is just being extra careful, I am so thankful for that. Gavyn's appointment with the endocrynologist isn't until November, but I'll update you then.

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answers from Indianapolis on

My daughter who is now 2 1/2 is only 23 pounds. She was always small and not on the charts at all. She has had all kinds of unnecessary test just to find out she is small. i am 5 ft and her father is 6'3. Don't worry as long as he is otherwise healthy.

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answers from Cedar Rapids on


I have 2 sons. They are both on the small side, usually between the 1st and 5th percentile in weight at checkups. Our pediatrician always says that if they eat well and continue to grow at an appropriate pace, they are ok. For every baby in the 99th percentile, there is one in the 1st percentile. Were you or your husband small when you were young? Or now? Are you petite? Is your husband? In our case, my husband was very small until college. Now he is very tall and strong. Everyone grows at their own rate. I'd listen to your doctor, but perhaps more importantly, trust your instincts on this. You know your son best. If your son seems happy, content, well fed, is interested in eating, and has no other symptoms, he is probably ok? I'm not a doctor, just my own observations from my own small sons.



answers from Elkhart on

I've got twin 20 month old granddaughters, one is 36" tall and weighs 27 lbs., the other is only 32" tall and weighs 23 lbs. We were worried about the fact that the smaller of the 2 is only 2" taller than her 7 month old cousin. Not to worry, your doctor is probably just being cautious, which is good, but we were told by their doctor that some kids take time to come into their growth spurts and that she really doesn't have much of a chance to be a very big girl to begin with considering the tallest member on both sides of the family is a cousin who is 6' tall. The taller of the 2 just happened to have a growth spurt early (but she's lean). My own kids were both extremely small for their ages and always the smallest in their classes, when my son finally finished growing he ended up 5'10" and my daughter actually is the tallest female in the family at a whole 5'4". He'll probably surprise you and shoot up in the next few months. Good luck and I'm sure all will turn out well.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

I went through something similar, but my daughter was born under 5 lbs due to an umbilical cord problem so she's small to begin with. But her weight dropped down on the charts pretty drastically so my dr sent her for blood testing at the U of I with an endocronoligst.

If you go, they will want to know specifically what he eats, how much and many times he eats per day and what he likes and doesn't like. THey will probably ask you if celiacs disease runs in your family and even if it doesn't, it will more then likely be one of the things they test for.

All of her stuff came back normal and they encouraged to push higher fat items. Avocados are higher in fat, I give her hard boiled eggs or deviled eggs, I make shakes at home with flax oil in them (you can't even taste it), she eats a lot of pb sandwichs. Pediasure is another option but at one time I spoke with a nutritionist about my son and his picky eating habits. She recommend using carnation instant breakfast because it was similar to pediasure but less expensive. THe 3 original flavors are best, because the mocha and other flavors have sugar listed as the first ingrediant. They also recommend putting butter on her veggies and such, but I didn't agree with that. Some butter is ok, but on everything??

Unless he has some problem that shows up in his bloodwork, they probably won't recommend hormone therapy. Good luck! He's probably just a small boy and might catch up later. But at least if you go to the appointment, you'll know if anything's wrong rather then being left to wonder.



answers from Louisville on

Hello M., I'm K.. I am also a stay-at-home mother of 4 and married to my high school sweetheart. We have been married for 11 years now. Got married while we were still in high school. None of my children were small at all. My oldest weighed 20 pounds at 4 months old. But my sister has small children. Her daughter, who just turned 4, is only 26 pounds and is short. Her son, who is 2 1/2 is small also. He is only 19 pounds. They are both very healthy and into everything. Are you and your husband on the small side? If so, that could be the reason your son is small. Heck, even if someone in your family is on the small side that would also explain it. My sister is only 5'4'' and her husband is about 5'8''. All 4 of my kids are big and I am only 5'5'', but my husband is 6'6'' and about 350 pounds. So, there is probably nothing to worry about. But still, if it helps, continue to go through with the blood tests. Let me know how things go.



answers from Indianapolis on

Check out this web site. I was looking for something else and I read this and I remembered your concern in mamasource (below is a paragraph that directly pertains to your issue, so I just pasted that below. I also put the web link to where I got the paragraph info in case you wanted to read the whole article).

"I believe ALL pregnant and nursing women should be screened for thyroid disease. Why? Because I just read research in which they showed babies nursed by hypothyroid mothers suffer from hypothyrodism in the first few months. Why? Because the only hormone a nursing mother passes to her baby in her breast milk is the thyroid hormone (which is why so many women become hypothyroid while nursing). A baby who isn't getting enough will be small and sleep too much, plus has a lower IQ (this is from a double-blind study in which they tested the IQs of 5-6-yr-olds they had followed since birth, and the thryoid condition of the mothers). Well, I am mad. My last baby was born weighing 9#3oz and yet never grew much, so by the time she was 4-6 months old, people in the grocery store were asking me if she was a preemie. She also would often sleep up to 17 hours straight. And I was so sick with hypothyroid symptoms during those months I nursed her..... In addition, my first baby's eyes were so sensitive to sunlight that we could hardly take him outside. This light sensitivity is a hypothyroid symptom.... I am very angry! What kind of long-term damage has been done to my children by the doctor's failure to treat my condition?"



answers from Iowa City on

Hi, I'm Di & new to this group. I'm a single adoptive mom to an awesome little girl from China who will be 2-going-on-13 this Sunday.

When I brought Olivia home, she was 13mo & only 16lbs (short-but-normal height). Her low weight was partly due to recent illness, partly to the enormous life change she was experiencing, and partly to the fact that until I got her she was strictly on formula (no solids or baby foods). One of my first goals was to put weight on her fast. So I "invented" these peanut butter milkshakes for her. She gained 2lbs in 6weeks! Here's what I did, if you want to use the idea:

~10 scoops powdered formula (less if you don't make formula this thick)
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon flax seed oil (healthy fat & good for skin)
liquid multivitamin or other supplements
enough whole milk to fill bottle

Blend thoroughly. This will be quite thick, so keep experimenting until you get the consistency where your child can drink from the bottle or sippy. Liv was used to VERY thick formula, so I didn't have any trouble getting her to take this.



answers from Kokomo on

My daughter is 21 months and she weighs 21lb and is about 32inches in height, she is just small. I wouldn't worry he will grow in his time.



answers from Indianapolis on

At my daughters 15 month check up, she also was 29 in. but weighed 18 lb. 8 oz. My doctor wants me to bring her back in next month just for a weight check. I will let you know if my doctor suggests any additional treatments, but so far, she hasn't. My daughter may be small, but she is otherwise healthy. You can't force a child to eat, I just make sure that I offer snacks through-out the day. Developementally, she is great! Loves to look at books, runs around the house, is talking more. I understand your concern and be glad you have a doctor that isn't afraid to step up & have tests done!!! Were you or your husband small / skinny as children? My mother told me I was 35 lb. when I started kindergarten, so that helps ease my mind that my daughter may just be like me!



answers from Fort Wayne on

Okay, my daughter is 19 months old, she is just at 30 inches long and just almost right at 20 pounds, so she too is pretty small. I don't think anyone has measured her head before, but I think she's perfectly proportioned in that area. I've always thought she was a little small, but have never thought to worry about it. She sounds like she's maybe a slightly bigger than your little one. I'm sure he's fine and just growing at his own rate. I hope all the blood work comes out well. He will be in our prayers.

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