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#1 of 3 Old 07-26-2001, 12:31 AM - Thead Starter
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I'm a second time mom- nursed my first born for nearly 2 years & he was HUGE. My daughter is now 3 months old & is so tiny- doctor says she's in the 50th percentile. My husband & I are concerned she isn't growing very quickly. She doesn't nurse as much as her brother & is no where near his size at the same age (he was in the 98th percentile most of his first year). I don't want to supplement w/ formula & I would rather not introduce solids until 6 months. Also, she sleeps through the night (9- 10 hours). Has anyone else had this problem?? What should I do? I'm considering calling a lactation consultant this week.
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#2 of 3 Old 07-26-2001, 01:00 AM
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Hi Tina! I hope that you don't mind me posting a reply here to you too!

The question that is on my mind after reading your post is " Is your daughter gaining weight?" If she is gaining weight steadily and your dr doesn't feel that she is under weight, then i wouldn't worry about it. Every child is differant. I have two boys who were both breastfed and they were HUGE! Now i have Emily who is just so petite! But she eats well and has gained very well, so i am not worried at all. I think that girls are just naturally smaller too. BTW, Emily was only in the 50th % at 6mo and her ped. said that she was doing great. Just some food for thought. I would voice your concerns to your dr. or go ahead and speak to a consultant and see what they have to say. It never hurts to be careful! I am sure that Anne will give you some good advice as well!

Anyway, thanks for letting me give my opinion. I hope that everything works out okay. BTW, congratulations on your new baby girl!
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#3 of 3 Old 07-29-2001, 07:48 PM
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Average weight gain for first three months is 4-8 oz. per week. During
the second six months, it averages 3-5 oz per week, and from 6-12 months
it drops to 1 1/2 to 3 oz. per week. Most babies will double their birth
weight by 5-6 months, and increase it by 2 1/2 times by one year.
All this applies to the "average" baby, who doesn't really exist in
real life. There will always be perfectly normal babies who are at the
10th percentile or the 90th. You need to be wary about comparing your children to each other - I know it's difficult not to, but as the mother of 6, I know how different weight gain patterns can be among children in the same family.
Weight gain is ONLY ONE measurement of growth, but sometimes doctors
tend to focus on the weight charts alone (and by the way, these charts are
based on formula fed babies and are in the process of being revised,
because there are diffences in growth patterns between bf and ff babies
after the first 3 months: From the 4th to the 12th month bf babies gain
more slowly (even after solids) and are leaner at one year - bf babies
consume 20% less milk than ff babies during this time, and their growth is
perfectly normal).
What is equally important is the baby's growth in length (First six
months:length - one inch per month, 6-12 months: length - 1/2 inch per
month), head circumference (head circum. - 1/2 inch per month first six
months, 1/4 inch per month during months 6-12), family history (A child
that comes from a family of very short people is, in all likelihood, going
to also be on the short side. A child that comes from a family of tall,
thin people will probably be tall and thin), and development (is the baby
happy and developmentally on target?). All of these factors need to be
considered when evaluating the baby's growth, not just how many ounces he
gained in a given month.
I have had two babies out of six who didn't gain weight the way all
the charts said that they should. They both started out at the 95th
percentile and ended up at the 10th. I tried everything to get them to
eat, and they still stayed on the low, low end of the charts. They are
both fine now, but are extremely thin and can eat anything without gaining
weight. I think they were just genetically "programmed" to be skinny,
although I didn't figure that out untill they were older. When they were
babies I worried myself sick about their weight gain and tried my best to
force feed them.
In my experience, a healthy baby who is offered breastmilk on demand,
as well as a variety of nutritious foods is going to be just fine. She may
not follow the pattern of the "average" baby exactly, but then you have to
remember that the average baby simply doesn't exist.
Of course there are situations where slow or low weight gain is a
genuine concern. The baby who stops gaining weight completely or loses
weight, the baby who is always fussy or lethargic, the baby who is lagging
behind in mental or motor development, or the baby whose head
circumference is not increasing is a baby who may have medical problems
that need to be investigated and treated appropriately. This is very
different from the much more common scenario of a happy, healthy baby who
is contented and is gaining weight on a slow curve.
If you feel that your milk supply is low, then here are lots of things you can try to increase your supply (see article on my website: "Increasing Your Milk Supply". ) However, if your baby is sleeping long stretches at night and is at the 50th percentile for weight, it is unlikely that your milk supply is a problem. If you do decide that she needs more milk, then the best
supplement would be your pumped breastmilk, and the second choice would be
formula.
You need to be aware of the possibilty that even if you offer her
supplemental feedings, she still may not gain weight like the "average"
baby. (And you are comparing her to her brother, and he certainly wasn't "average"!)
I never found that I could get my slow weight gaining babies to eat
more no matter what I offered them. I made sure that what I offered them
was nutritious (not empty fillers) and they found their own niche on the
weight charts and stayed there. You can try offering her
supplemental feedings just to see if she will take them, but don't be
surprised if she isn't too enthusiastic about them.
I do understand your concerns about your little girl's weight gain,
because I went through it myself. My first baby, Josh, was always a 99%tile baby,even though he was a 35 week preemie, and his brother Matt (born 2 yrs later) was a much bigger baby (8 lbs, 12oz) but didn't gain weight well after the first few months. An evil and sadistic doctor told me that he was going to be brain damaged because my milk
wasn't rich enough, and I was starving him to death. Shows how much she
knew – he's now 22, 6'2”, and weighs about 150 lbs soaking wet. He's also
really, really smart - he graduated from college last spring Summa Cum
Laude. I guess I can finally stop worrying about his weight gain now... His little sister Brea was nearly 9 lbs at birth, and only weighed 17 lbs at a year. She didn't even double her birth weight, but has turned out fine - kind of slender and petite, but healthy, smart, and happy.
I hope this info has helped. It doesn't sound to me like you have anything to worry about.
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