Worried About My Son's Weight Gain

Updated on May 13, 2011
S.K. asks from Chicago, IL
16 answers

My son will be 13 months old next week and weighs almost 19 pounds and is 31 inches long. He is only 5th percentile for weight. My worry is that he hasn't put on much weight past couple months.I think he was 18 pounds at 10 months. He is eating fine (mostly baby food) and is breastfed. He wasn't a very chubby baby but he looks thinner ever since he started crawling/cruising. We did travel a lot last month , so maybe that's why he didn't gain much. He is super active high energy baby , so whatever calories he takes he spends all that and more I guess.Sometimes I just want him to sit in one place and play! How do I help him gain weight? He is just starting on table foods. I tried whole milk - he hated it. His doctor is not worried as he hasn't dropped in weight or anything.He is healthy , happy baby which I am thankful for. But I don't want him to get thinner and thinner. What do you think mommas? Should I stop worrying about this or should I do something to help him gain/maintain his weight. TIA!

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answers from Eau Claire on

All 3 of my kiddos stopped gaining as much weight as they started becoming more and more active. As long as he's not losing weight he should be fine. As you have talked to his doctor I wouldn't worry about it too much, just as long as he's getting the proper nutrients and eating when he's hungry.

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answers from Dallas on

I wouldnt worry to much, just make sure you are feeding him good healthy foods. Veggies, Fruits, grains, meats or beans, and dairy. I know you said he didnt like milk but how about Yo Baby Yogurt or even cheese cubes? As long as he isnt losing then you are good, and as long as he is still eating well then no worries Momma.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Is his doctor concerned? This sounds like my son. He was a little less than 20 pds at his yearly checkup, and only 30inches long, then at his 18mnth he was 22pds (this was an estimate they did by weighing us together then subtracting my weight because he wouldnt sit on the baby scale) and 30.5inches long. The doctor said he was fine and healthy and was gaining weight at his own pace and I shouldn't be concerned. he is now 21mnths old and lately has been eating like crazy and already gained an inch of height! so unless your doctor is concerned I wouldnt worry about, but you could add calories by putting butter or olive oil drizzled on his food.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Keep nursing. in my experience most breastfed babies don't take to dairy milk until after they've weaned - cause mama's milk tastes sooo much better!

I think what your seeing is pretty normal. My first one was a chunk and suddenly quit putting on weight from around her first bday until she was about 3yo! But then she was over 30pounds on her first birthday. She had also "slowed" down on the growth charts around that first birthday and now is a very petite, very small 12yo. She still grew, but in smaller increments as she got older and not nearly as fast as that first year!

I would watch him though. You can ask the pedi if you can bring him in for a weight/height check in a month or two to make sure he isn't sliding backwards on the weight. But other then that i wouldn't worry about it.



answers from Indianapolis on

My daughter was in the 5-10% until she was 5-6 yrs old. I'm sure it's fine. My doc always told M. as long as she said within her normal area on the chart and didn't lose weight it was fine. She never drank milk either, she would drink a little of vanilla flavored soy milk, but eventually stopped that too. The only thing I would say is increase table food. I think by 13 months my were totally on table food and no baby food.



answers from Boston on

I constantly worry about my daughter's weight gain because she doesn't nurse very long. But she's always gaining the appropriate amount of weight, an ounce a day (she's only 3 months old right now). She's only in the 10th percentile of weight and the 95th percentile of height. But her pedi is perfectly happy with her weight gain. He said she just happens to be a skinny little string bean!

Kids go through all sorts of different growth spurts. One month they get really long and the next month they don't grow as long but their heads suddenly look huge. As long as your son's pedi is happy with your son's health, then try not to worry. I know that is what motherhood is about, one worry after another, but keep doing what you are doing and he'll catch up after awhile!


answers from Hartford on

There's a reason that babies pack on the chub in their early months. So that when they start crawling and walking and they're burning up all those calories, they have fat stores to draw from. You said that he's highly active and it seems that he's eating well. Right now he's just concentrating on a physical activity that's using up a lot of energy.

Keep snacks handy for him like yogurt made from whole milk. See if he'll drink PediaSure if he won't drink milk. But if he has a good appetite, then I don't think you have much to worry about right now. You said yourself that he's happy and healthy and that's what matters... not how chubby he is.



answers from Dallas on

my daughter didn't hit 20lbs til she was almost 2(for the record, she's now almost 2.5 years old and 23 lbs and 32 inches, not a whole lot bigger than your son!)... she was about 16lbs at her 1yo check up. try not to worry about percentiles or compare him to other children. if he is happy, sleeps well, eats/drinks, has enough wet and soiled diapers, and is meeting his developmental milestones, he's probably just fine :)



answers from San Diego on

I had a similar issue with my first son, except he was always super chubby (95th percentile for weight until 9 months old). Once he reached 9 months and to 18 months his weight just kept declining. He hated whole milk as well - however, I tried for 4 months straight every day to get him to drink it and then finally he did! Only took 4 months. Then table foods - he gagged on everything. So, I would puree it which helped him get used to new tastes. We had to go to a gastroenterologist (sp??) since he was labelled failure to thrive at 18 months. I just had to try every single day for months - they recommended I give him more fatty foods like mozarrella cheese, etc.

So, basically - long story short, the answer was to try every day and not give up. It literally took MONTHS (about 6 - 8 months depending on the food) to get him to try new things but eventually he did. He, like your son, was and still is, VERY active and eating just cramped his style. He is now 4 1/2 and will eat most anything and everything.

Hang in there and good luck!


answers from Lincoln on

I wouldn't worry until the dr worries. My daughter at 19 months was 17 lbs 2 oz. She hasn't made it on the charts since last fall or maybe winter. She is now doing monthly weight checks and going to a feeding & growth clinic (not til July!). Her dr didn't get concerned until she was the same at her 15 month check as her 12 month (15 lbs 8 oz). I really am not too worried because she is meeting all developmental milestones. I'm only 5 foot, her 12 year old sister is only 12%.

We started adding Pediasure at 15 months, milk at the end of meal, add butter, advocados (although mine won't touch them!), cheese. Offer snacks a couple times a day.



answers from Minneapolis on

My oldest is super tall and super thin. The doctor was telling us to try a bunch of things, but we were already trying those. At four years, his percentile numbers are the same as when he was a little bundle. So we basically don't worry about it now, as adjusting to his feeding has become second nature.

We buy full-fat yogurt always. Most are lowfat or fat-free. We had to search to find the full-fat one, and it was delicious! We also use olive oil rather generously, use whole milk always, and try to find the fattiest food we can. (I mean healthy fats, not "loaded with sugar" fats.)

We eat a lot of potatoes, pasta, and whole grain breads, so we know he is getting full. He just burns it all off!

If your pediatrician isn't worried, and your son looks happy and healthy (although not as chubby as the baby down the block), you need not worry. It doesn't mean you won't! But you don't need to.


answers from Chicago on

my experience ... it comes at once then nothing for a while then a ton ... it spreads out more as they get older, at least in my experience.



answers from Atlanta on

If the doctor is not worried, then you shouldnt be worried.



answers from Chicago on

Your son crawling/cruising is making him burn calories. I would introduce more textured foods. Do you give him snacks, any whole milk? Yogurt, cheese? When is your next pediatrician apt? I am sure he is fine but if you're concerned inbetween wellness check-ups call and talk to a nurse.



answers from Lexington on

My first son spent most of hist first 4 years of life never past the 10th percentile. Right now he is 4 and still only weighs 32 lbs. We always joke that he is tall, thin, with an average sized head. LOL

If your doctor is not worried about it, you shouldn't be either. It is probably just your son's genes that are keeping him thin. :)



answers from Los Angeles on

My kids have always been in the 5th percentile for weight; they are just small for their age, and considering my husband and I are not big people, I learned to accept it as normal. I really worried about my daughter (my first one) because she was (and still is) small compared to others her age, but once she was about two I stopped worrying. I decided that as long as she was healthy and active and developing normally, and eating (even though she didn't eat a lot) I needed to stop worrying, especially since the doctor kept reassuring M. that she was fine, just small.

My advice is to just keep offering him a variety of food every day and as long as he is eating and staying active, he'll be fine. He sounds like my son, very active, so it might be good to have a routine of offering him a snack or a small meal every two hours (or whenever he seems hungry). He might not seem like he's eating much, but he probably is. They just don't sit and have full meals like adults or older kids do, because they're still young and having way too much fun exploring the world.

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