Rapid weight gain: Should I be concerned?
My son is almost eight-weeks-old and exclusively breastfed. I feed him on cue -- every three hours or so. When he was born he weighed close to nine-and-one-half pounds and was 21-and-a-half inches long. At seven weeks he was 14 pounds and 24 inches long. When the nurse saw how much he had gained she began a weight history on my family. (Obesity is not in my family or my husband's family history.) I thought it was rare for breastfed babies to be overweight. Is this something I should be concerned about?Question:
There is no conclusive evidence that a breastfed baby who puts on weight rapidly (consuming only breastmilk), will have weight problems as an adult. In fact, research shows that breastfeeding does provide a protective effect against obesity at least through adolescence.
Your baby has gained an average of 10.8 ounces of weight per week (over the past seven weeks). Average weight gain for the first three to four months of life is between four and eight ounces. He really is not that far above the average. It is also important to take into account his increase in length -- he grew two-and-a-half inches. Babies typically add one inch in length per month, so he is a bit over the average in this area too. It sounds as if he is just thriving on your milk!
Your little guy is laying down fat reserves that will be mobilized during his very active toddler period. It is very common for chubby babies to begin to slim down at this time.
If you are concerned about your baby's weight gain, breastfeed exclusively for at least four to six months, before beginning to add solid foods to your baby's diet. Start slowly, always breastfeeding first, and then offering only teaspoons at a time. As your baby becomes more active, allow him plenty of chance for active play.
I would not recommend limiting the number of times your baby nurses. Allow him to control his feeds -- he knows best just what he needs. It can be dangerous to your baby's health to restrict his food intake at this time. Best wishes in mothering!Answer: