Low weight gain from 4m to 6m. Help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2004
Low weight gain from 4m to 6m. Help!
12
Sun, 04-18-2010 - 8:56pm

I took my DS for his 6m appt and he had only gained 3oz in 2 months. He grew 1" and his head circ remained the same. I have been exclusively BFing until the day he hit 6m, when I introduced rice cereal 1x/day (with 1oz of BM and however much cereal made the right consistency). His ped didn't seem too concerned, but wanted me to start feeding him fruits/veggies asap twice per day and cereal twice per day. He gave me a sample schedule that was something like:

Breakfast: toast (what??), cereal, breast
Lunch: 2oz fruit, 2oz veggie, breast
Snack: banana (what??), breast
Dinner: 2oz fruit, 2oz veggie, breast
Snack: cereal, breast

There is more than one problem with that schedule IMO...my baby can't eat toast or a whole banana, and for someone who has been eating a tiny bit of rice cereal for 4 days (at that time), eating 2 servings of cereal plus 8oz of fruits/veggies just seems like way too much.

I have been doing it in a way that seems to be working for us. I feed him rice cereal and 2oz veggies for "lunch" and oatmeal cereal and 2oz fruit for "dinner." He loves his food and still maintains interest in the breast, but I feel like my supply is suffering. I usually pump around 4 hours after he goes to bed, and instead of getting 3.5oz (4 if I'm lucky) I get 2.5oz. This is the same thing that happens when I pump at work in place of a feeding. It has really been worrying me a lot.

What should I do? Part of me thinks he shouldn't be getting so much solids, but another part of me believes he can eat all that food AND still nurse as much as he used to. I think I really need to get to the bottom of WHY he wasn't gaining in the first place.

He started STTN about a month ago, started sitting unassisted about 2 weeks ago, and has started rolling all over the place about a week ago. I know these things could all be factors, but I don't know if my supply is still adjusting to the changes or if I need to be doing something to increase it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Sun, 04-18-2010 - 10:13pm

I'm sorry I'm just passing through right now but I really strongly disagree with the dr. on this one. That is just a crazy nuts amount of solids to offer to a 6 month old and offering that amount of solids not only won't help weight gain, it will likely lessen your supply and cause early weaning.


I really

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2007
Sun, 04-18-2010 - 11:01pm

I'm no expert (my daughter has weight gain issues too)

Marguerite

Married to Jesse July 06

Mom to Abby 4 mths

Mom to Antonio, Forever 4 RIP

SM to Logan, 6

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Mon, 04-19-2010 - 12:37am

I'm off to bed ... but I agree w/ others that TOO MANY solids for a 6 mos old baby. But even more strangely is that he has you feeding those solids BEFORE the breast. You should always nurse BEFORE solids through the first birthday, as breastmilk or formula should be the primary source of calories for baby through the first birthday.

Also, avocado is a very good solid for baby, as it is both calorie and nutrient dense.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't feed my children solids more than once a day until they were closer to 8 mos old.

How many times a day is baby nursing? Are you using breast compressions while nursing at all?

Babies do tend to grow in spurts (it's not linear, like we talk about). So it's entirely possible that baby will have a growth spurt in the next few weeks and weight gain won't seem so far off. But it's clearly something that needs to be watched closely when baby isn't gaining much weight at all.

Which leads to the next questions: same scale? naked baby? roughly same time of day as other weight checks? (at this age, whether or not baby just ate, pooped, peed, etc., actually can really affect weight gain. For example if baby had just eaten and hadn't peed / pooped before last weight and then this time had peed / pooped and not eaten before weight check, you could actually see a several ounce swing that has absolutely nothing to do with growth). Also, might just ask doc to recheck weight in a week. Sometimes they don't get the scale zeroed out perfectly and that affects things too (even if same scale was used ... different scales might be a pound or more off from each other - even the digital ones).

I personally had an experience w/ my youngest daughter who had been sick and was losing weight. But we never knew exactly how bad the situation was. The week we'd taken my DD in, she'd appeared to have lost 2+ lbs, but then doc discovered during the week that her scale was not zeroing and couldnt' even be fixed. They had to buy a new scale. Next weight check showed more weight loss (but a different scale and now we don't even know how accurate the first weight was). A week later, baby gained 8 oz. in a week (which is a lot at 12 mos).

As you can see there are a lot of variables. Let's start w/ nursing frequency, and go from there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2004
Mon, 04-19-2010 - 1:11am

We nurse at least 7 times per day. We pretty much nurse every 2 hours still, even with solids--I nurse, feed solids 1hr later, then nurse 1hr after that (unless he wants to nurse immediately after). He was STTN but started waking up around 5am for a feeding and going back down until 7ish (which is still considered STTN, as he's usually down by 8pm). I don't schedule his feeds so sometimes he eats more often, sometimes less. He'll go longer in between feeds if we're out and about, because he falls asleep in the car seat or stroller. It's never been more than 4 hours though. I don't do breast compressions while nursing. I've never been fully sure how to do them properly.

He was weighed with the same scale and in a diaper both times, right around the same time of day. He hadn't pooped in a whole week at the time he was weighed this time, and he had already started rice cereal. I'm guessing if he HAD pooped, he would have gained nothing or maybe even lost. I always feed him before leaving the house, and the ped's office is only 5 minutes away.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Mon, 04-19-2010 - 11:43am

Sorry for the delay in responding.


Yes, your gut is correct that this is WAY WAY too much solids for any 6 month old. You did perfect in waiting to intro solids until the 6 month mark and starting really slow. Breastmilk (or formula) should be the primary source of nutrition until at least the 12 month mark and the breast should always be offered first and solids second. It sounds like you know all this stuff but I'm just reiterating for the sake of lurkers.


When you increase solids, the amount of breastmilk taken will decrease. Even if he's nursing the same frequency, the amount of milk he takes at each feeding will decrease which will decrease your supply. I think you're starting to see that already with your pump output. I would recommend keeping solids to once per day but possibly skipping the rice cereal and sticking with foods that are calorically dense like avocado, banana or sweet potato. Avocado can be mushed up and fed by spoon.


If you look at this chart: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/babyfoodcalories.html

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2004
Mon, 04-19-2010 - 12:21pm

The baby food link was very informative! I knew avocado was very nutrient-dense but I had no idea about the bananas or sweet potatoes. Unfortunately all these solids have overloaded Jack's system and he is officially constipated (passed a hard pellet this morning), so I have THAT to consider in addition to this milk mess. He has been introduced to all those 3 foods but did not like avocado. I had been mixing it with banana but I'm pretty sure the banana probably contributed to his constipation, so if he will still not take it next time I might try mixing with sweet potatoes.

I have decided to drop down to one solids meal per day with 2oz of fruit or veggie and oatmeal cereal. I mix my cereal with EBM and the only reason I offer is for the iron-fortification. For now, though, I plan on only giving him prunes until he's relieved (maybe oatmeal, if that will help).

No AF yet, no hormonal bc, and no health issues. I've even taken an hpt just to make sure that wasn't the issue (it's not). I just wonder if all the new milestones coupled with his increasing distractibility led to the low weight gain. I've also been waiting on a growth spurt...he hasn't had one between his 2 doctor visits. He seems perfectly healthy and "they" always say to "look at the baby" ....

I do plan to get the fenugreek--can't hurt! The link you listed answered every single one of the questions I was about to ask about it. Thank you so much for your help! I really hope I can get some weight on this guy soon and rescue my diminishing supply!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-2009
Mon, 04-19-2010 - 12:27pm

Ugh, I'm so sorry he's dealing with constipation. THat's the pits. In that case, sweet potatoes would definitely be a better choice than banana.


I'm glad that information was helpful. Let us know how your'e going and if we can help more in any way.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2006
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 2:11pm

Hi Jill,
I'm glad that you got such great info already. I just wanted to add that I would consider calling your ped to see if they will do a weight check for you sometime in the next month. That way you can put your mind at ease if he starts gaining and if he doesn't, you can look into what else might be causing the low weight gain. I just know if it were me, I would not want to wait 3 more months before seeing his "official weight."

I know you have a good head on your shoulders and will do what is best for your little boy. Good luck.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2008
Tue, 04-20-2010 - 10:40pm

Hi there,


I am a mom of a kiddo who has never been on chart until he was 6 month old. he has a good weight gain from 4 to 6 month (and again, he is off the chart).

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2004
Sun, 05-02-2010 - 1:46am

Just an update, for anyone who might care...

I weighed Jack on my dad's baby scale last week and he was up to 15lbs, 4oz. I don't know whether or not that's accurate compared to the scale at the dr's office (where he was 14lbs, 7oz), but MORE importantly, I weighed him today on my dad's scale again and he was up to 15lbs, 9oz! That's a great weight gain for a week and I have officially stopped worrying ;-)

The changes I've made that could have helped:
- Feeding from BOTH sides at each feeding (He used to take just 1 side)
- Feeding only 1 solids meal/day, with the breast w/in an hour before and after
- Doing breast compressions during feedings
- Adding a pump consistently each night before bed
- Occasional dream feeds

Honestly, it seems that he is just late on his 6m growth spurt. He's spent the past couple of days eating non-stop, and I'm pretty sure it's not a supply issue due to the fact that I'm pumping my normal volume again. I tried fenugreek for a week but it gave me AND Jack horrible gas and interrupted his (and my) sleep. I had no idea that was even a possible side effect!

Thanks again for all the help!

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