not gaining weight

mandysbabaFebruary 9, 2002

Hi! I am new to this site but have gotten good information from other forums so this is worth a try! My 7 month old granddaughter lives in another city so we can't help as much as we would like. She is only 13 lbs. 11 oz., and only gained 6 oz. this past month. She eats cereal, and a jar of baby food daily, plus nursing. Her doctor is against breastfeeding and has been trying to get my daughter to stop since the baby was born, believe it or not. She has perservered under great duress; now he is telling her to force-feed the baby formula and to stop nursing since the baby must not be getting enough calories. She is right on schedule with everything else, such as sitting, and pulling herself up and "talks" constantly. She was normal weight at birth, 7 lbs. 7 oz. Anyone else out there with a slow gaining baby? Oh, her height is fine, and she is growing that way. She doesn't like a bottle or a cup--just plays with them.

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my dd is only 3 months and she seems to be gaining fine so i'm sorry that i don't have that advice for you BUT please tell your daughter that she is doing a great job in breastfeeding and she is doing what is BEST for that little one.
i would think since she is 7 months old that she should start eating more baby food. like having 3 meals a day just like we do.
i would not listen to that dr. especially if she likes breastfeeding because she will only regret it in the end if she stops.
breastmilk is made just for your babies needs.
i also don't think you should force-feed your baby anything.
this is only my opinion but i hope your daughter doesn't stop breastfeeding because her dr. is against it.
i would check for other med. reasons to make sure.
there was a time when dd didn't gain weight for a little while and her ped. sent her for blood work to make sure everything was ok. it turned out that a few things were messed up but i had mastitis and when that went away she started gaining again.
look for other med. reasons before you start pointing at breastfeeding. esp. since her dr. is against it.:)
i do hope everything is alright...i know how stressed it can make everyone feel:)
God Bless

    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 9:08PM
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At 7 months old, I am surprised she is not eating more baby foods. I nursed my DD for a year, but by 7 months she was eating 3 meals a day of baby food, plus snacks. I would not stop the breastfeeding, but maybe see if she is interested in eating more food.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 9:27PM
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I am mandysbaba's DD and would like to add to her post the fact that my DD's pediatrician is my father-in-law, and even though we are moving soon and getting a new doctor he will always be telling me to stop nursing, so that makes things twice as difficult! Has anyone here used a supplemental nursing system or finger feeder, and if so do you think it would help in my situation? Thanks for the support!!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2002 at 9:54PM
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I agree with the other posters...your 7 month old grandbaby should be eating WAY more than the amount of food you stated.

My DS is 6 months old. I have breastfed him since birth, but my breastmilk is slowing down all by itself (with no encouragement from me). He's had some major growth spurts lately, and I knew he wasn't getting enough food from me. But my doc did not encourage me to stop breastfeeding - I find that disturbing coming from your granddaughter's doctor.

Because of this, for the last 2 1/2 months I have supplemented his diet of breastmilk with cereal, baby food, formula, snacks and juice. Here's my DS's daily eating schedule:

He has two meals of baby food (with a little cereal mixed in), formula 3-4 X, Mommie-milk in between (when I have it), snacks like no-salt crackers, fresh fruit, vanilla wafers...and lots of juice (50% juice/50% water mixed together)

My point is... it is easy to SUPPLEMENT breastmilk - you don't have to give it up altogther, as your grandbaby's doctor seems to be implying. Encourage your daughter to KEEP BREASTFEEDING, but definitely supplement!! Your grandchild is probably more than ready to increase her intake of food....I guarantee her growth will shoot up, when she is fed more!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 4:49AM
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My DD was Breast fed, and a slow gainer. WIC would tell me I had to supplement, but I refused. She only got formula when babysat by strangers or when Dad had to feed her. She was 8Lbs 11oz at birth, and didn't double her birthweight until she was 1. And you couldn't say she wasn't healthy or wasn't eating. She was very active, her favorite snack at about 7 months was her afternoon PB sandwhich (1 slice of bread folded in half, a lot of food for a kiddo that little). She was so active she just burned off all the calories she ate. I din't listen to WIC, and let her eat (people who actually finally saw her eat were amazed at how much food she'd pack in!). Your DD could consult a nutritionist to see how much food they reccommend for a child that age (It's been too long, I don't remember), and what variety. Then start offering that. The WIC office in her area can give her information if she doesn't want to go through her Ped/FIL.

Since her FIL is ped, just agree then do it your way (Personally I'd change doctors, but that doesn't seem to be an option for hier at this time), as far as quitting breast feeding, she should.....when the time is right for her!!! Then he'll find other things to "suggest" she do. Also it wasn't mentioned, did she grow this month? My kiddo would gain weight one month, grow the next. Never failed.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 8:43AM
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Has she been gaining weight and just hit a slow spot? Does she seem interested in eating? I don't know how long it's been going on but I know DS would have these times and still does when he won't really eat. Then he eats like a pig and that's when he hits a growth spurt. Could that be the case with your granddaughter?


    Bookmark   February 10, 2002 at 7:42PM
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I would increase the food especially the cereal. there is no need to add formula. this sounds like my cousin who was very tiny until she was about 5. My grandmother and most of my family said my aunt and uncle were starving her which they were not. My DD gain well in the beginning but form about 9 months on gains weight very slowly. She is almost 5 now and only wieghs 33.5 lbs and had only gained 1 lb in a yr. she weighed 32 lbs from about 18 months until she was 3.

Vickey, are you serious about giving a 7 month old peanut butter? That is a big no no.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2002 at 8:45PM
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The peanut butter may be a no-no but I know lots of parents that sneak things to they're kids that they aren't to have. As long as it's in moderation and the parents see that it isn't hurting the child, it's a personal prefrence really. What one parent may do daily may be something another never allows they're child to do. Like our DS has eaten chips, pretzels whatever since he was about 1. We learned to give him small bites and keep an eye on him. No problems. Same with hard candy. We bite it into small pieces and give it to him. Another parent may never allow they're child to eat that stuff and another will wait until their child is older before trying it. But it's your child and your choice.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 9:55AM
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My DD was born 7 pounds, 14 ounces and she is exclusively breastfed. While she is in the 75th percentile for height, her weight falls in the 15th percentile! She just weighed in at 11 pounds, 13 ounces at her 4-month checkup last week.

It is very surprising to me since my other babies have been little chunks! BUT the doctor says she is very healthy and at a 5 1/2 month level in her gross motor development. She is strong and just in motion all the time! I figure she's burning so many calories with all her kicking and wriggling around.

Anyway, doctor said we can start cereal when we WISH, but not to feel pressured because of her weight. Her growth has been consistent and he says not to worry.

So, just my two cents! Some babies are just built that way.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 10:30AM
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I cannot give advice yet on the amount of solid food for your granddaughter (since my own son is only 3 months and solely breastfed) but I have to say I am shocked that her pediatrician (and FIL) is recommending not to breastfeed at all. That just isn't done anymore! (Well obviously he is doing it.) But it is not what is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics these days. Formula was created in the 40's and 50's as a convenience food back when everyone thought if something is new and man-made, it must be better. I'm not saying that formula is evil. It's perfectly fine to feed your baby formula as a supplement or if you cannot breastfeed for some reason. But if you are able, absolutely you should make every effort to. Breastmilk is the perfect food for babies and it is how humans grew up for thousands of years. I don't want to sound disrespectful to her father-in-law, but how old is this man? and does he keep up with modern medical practices and what other pediatricians believe? I would highly recommend finding another doctor and also check with her local hospital for baby advice. New baby books are also a good source too. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2002 at 3:05PM
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Just wanted to respond to GretchenH's post...this week DD has started chewing on my nipples with her new tooth and FIL has comments like, "I told you that you should have given her a bottle from the beginning, now it's too late to teach her and she'll starve", after he weighs her at the office, "did you put her on a starvation diet or something", "how long are you planning to keep this nursing nonsense up", "her cousin (who's a week older and formula-fed, which makes my sister-in-law perfect in his book) weighs twice as much", and, when he sees me reading baby books or books about nursing, "don't believe everything you read". MIL unfortunately agrees with him - says she starved my brother-in-law until he was forced to take a bottle, and in the past when we have slept over at their house she takes the baby away when I am sleeping and tries to give her formula.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 1:36PM
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you've got to be joking! i about fell off my chair when i read that crap that FIL said and then when you said that MIL takes your baby!
you keep up the awesome work you are doing for your baby and don't let her touch your baby!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 2:07PM
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It's a good thing you're moving. Not only is your FIL's advice wrong and potentially hazardous, your MIL is way overstepping her boundaries. I don't know how you put up with it.

Leslie -- the peanut butter is because peanut allergies can be severe and life threatening. It's a smart thing not to give them to young children in order to reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction. Junk food is more a matter of life style than life and death.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 2:27PM
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Geez, I think you're going to get a lot of comments about your MIL now!! I hope you smacked her in the head after finding out about her sneaking off with your little one to feed her formula behind your back.....just kidding (kind of). :)
Sounds to me like you're doing just fine, and that your dear FIL should keep his degrading comments to himself. As far as MIL is concerned, I would have a little discussion with her and/or forego any more overnight visits until she learns to respect your decisions as a mother (but that's just me).

Maybe you should up the cereals a bit... in any case, I would be looking around for another pediatrician, family or not aside and just be done with it, unless you're prepared for this man to know everything that goes on with your baby and to have to listen to more of these comments while your little one grows up. Just my 2 cents...
Hope everything works out for you.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 2:31PM
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All I can say is how sorry I am that you have to go through this experience. Obviously your baby is developing fine, but you certainly don't need those kind of comments and actions from your in-laws. New motherhood is so stressful to begin with, the last thing you need is conflicting advice from your pediatrician/in-laws. I'm sure you can tell from the comments of the other posters that the advice and "help" you are receiving is not warranted or wanted. I hope that once your family has moved and gotten settled, you can find a new doctor and better more up to date advice for your daughter. I recommend looking for someone young. My pediatrician is right out of school with a brand new practice. Her education and interest in staying current is still very fresh and she really wants to pay close attention and listen to her patients. She also works in the Children's Hospital Emergency room, so I know she can handle traumatic events. Just keep going with your instincts and your daughter will thrive. If that means you have to nod yes and ignore your FIL's instructions for the time being, then so be it. You might want to contact someone with the LaLeche League for information on breastfeeding and food or check out their website. Hang in there, and hang on to your daughter!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 2:52PM
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I started to give DD cereal twice a day and baby food once a day and she's been taking it...just doesn't nurse enough in between. I have to respond to those of you who said to just agree with FIL and then ignore him, that all my friends who use FIL for a ped. have older babies and are pro-BF, and every one of them did the same thing! Why they all use him when they actually have a choice is beyond me, I'm guessing because they knew my hubby's family since childhood and didn't want to shop around for a ped. I haven't really gotten any information from LLL that's been different from anywhere else, I've tried everything...FIL says he's getting me an appointment with a lactation specialist "to see why she's not taking a bottle", wrong motivation but maybe that will help! I just keep thinking to myself, DD will only have one more checkup before we move and after that it's none of his business what we do with her, and then I'll be near my family who are all pro-BF 100%. In the meantime my mom is looking for a new ped. for her and is definitely finding out who will be supportive before we use anyone!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 3:47PM
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I think it's really funny that he is recommending a lactation consultant find out why your DD isn't taking a bottle. Doesn't he know that they will say "forget the bottle and lets work on the breastfeeding"? Actually a lactation specialist might be a very good idea. I worked with one in the hospital right after DS was born. He was not an active eater before my milk came in and he wouldn't latch on well. He lost almost a pound his first three days (he was 9lb 5oz to start, so he was ok) and the specialist worked with me and the baby two days and it really made a difference. She had me use the cross hold which worked much better for us and many other great tips. Also I remember that she wasn't anti bottle and didn't believe in nipple confusion. She thought that if the baby wasn't taking to the breast well, it was better to pump into a bottle to get them enough food while you continue to work with them to latch on. Of course this was with newborns so I don't know if it would be different with older babies. It sounds like your keeping a sense of humor about all of this and thats good. I'd be interested to hear what your FIL thinks of the advice that the lactation consultant will give you.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2002 at 10:11PM
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I would do several things...

First, I would offer solids (cereal/veggie/fruit) at least twice a day, three times if she'll take it. Then when the meal is done, sit down with the baby and 'top her off' with breastmilk. If you do the nutritional math, there is more protein/fat in breastmilk than there are in fruits/veggies. Then wait about an hour and then offer the breast again.

Secondly, I'm glad that she's moving since she really does need to have a pediatrician that is working with her and not trying to be HER parent. Dealing with inlaws are tricky things at best..and considering that your daughter needs to create an adult relationship with her child's doctor, dealing with "Grandpa" doesn't seem to be working. He must not have heard that the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that one breastfeeds for "AT LEAST the first year" and that the World Health Organization advises that it's done for at least two years...

I also agree about getting a younger pediatrician. Not that the older ones can't be brilliant clinicians, they can...But they received bupkis with regards to how breastfeeding works. Would support her to get a BF-friendly ped AND have an LC consult. She doesn't have to wait to see the LC. I would see one now. She can contact her local LLL for a referral...

And I would also say that if the child is crawling/active, that alone can burn more calories. I would keep offerring the breast frequently throughout the day. Sometimes babies can be so involved with what they're doing, that they don't stop to eat until they realize that they're starving. This might not be as big of an issue to a normally gaining baby...But with a baby with weight gain issues, I would say that she could nurse the kid AT LEAST every two hours during the day and see if this improves her baby's gain. AND during this time, go in for weekly weight checks to see if there is an improvement. Don't have to have a full exam with these extra visits, can just have a nurse weigh the baby. But if that would increase her pressure from her FIL, perhaps she could look at renting a baby scale for home use and she can watch the gain herself?

She should also discuss HOW she's BF'g with the LC. Is she allowing the baby to drop off the nipple herself or is she taking her off? The issue would be whether or not the baby is getting enough of the fattier hindmilk...And she also needs to make sure that SHE is eating right and drinking enough fluids. It's just as important to take care of herself now in this way as it was when the baby was a newborn...

As to babyfoods themselves, has she graduated the baby to the next stage of foods? She could perhaps consider some of the pureed meat foods that are out. Look at one of those tiny jars of baby turkey and one of those puppies has 11 grams of protein in a single jar. Sometimes kids turn up their noses to them plain, but you can mix it with either fruits or veggies and most will take it that way (can also hide a blob on the back end of a spoon, with the sweet stuff in front). And is she mixing the cereal with breastmilk or formula and not water?

And is the baby teething? With both of my kids, they decreased or stopped some of the solids when they had a lot of teething going on..Would only want to nurse. I would get them to eat by putting a tiny dot of Oragel on the trouble spot (not a lot or their whole mouths go numb and the food has a tendency to urp out of their mouths), wait a few minutes and then offer solids. If you do this and it still doesn't work, try nursing nursing nursing..And then offer it again later. Even Tylenol if it's really rough...(Think about how much you want to eat with dental pain...)

Regardless, she needs to work with some people who are willing to work with her on this issue and doesn't need the ill-informed patronizing from her FIL. Seems like serendipity that she's moving. And again, tell her to start to look for solutions now and not wait until after she's found another ped. She can even talk to an LC over the phone (if she doesn't have time for a visit) and get advice tomorrow if she moves on this. They don't just do home visits, they do phone consults too.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 2:44AM
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Response to smom40: Lately I have been offering her the breast after taking solids and she usually takes it for at least a few minutes. That's true that she's probably burning a lot of calories, she is very active and rarely complains about being hungry (even though when I feed her sometimes anyway I can see she's starving). I bought a baby scale but it doesn't seem to work, unfortunately. The problem with how long I nurse is that if I let her drop off the nipple herself she's too distracted or sleepy to take the second side at all, so I find that she takes more if I just take her off after 10 minutes and put her on the second side. (FIL actually yelled at me the first time I nursed successfully in the hospital for letting her stay on 20 minutes!!) I don't know if maybe this is causing a problem with her not getting enough hind-milk (FIL said it wasn't but I don't believe anything he says anymore). Yes, I mix the cereal with formula not water. DD is teething but I don't know which tooth hurts, she keeps putting her finger on the side and then a tooth came in in the front. She's eating stage 2 baby food. What table foods can I give her? She seems to be most interested in that now.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 11:15AM
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Some really good table foods are
Plain boiled maccaroni
slices of hard boiled egg (but some suggest to not give eggs until they are 1 to avoid allergies)
carrots cooked until very soft but still hold their shape
She should be able to start to get the concept of finger foods.
If not then any soft foods you can feed her from a spoon that are not overly spicy. I was never very cautious about just giveing one new thign at a time but I did make sure I remembered what new things I had given my kids.

For the teething freeze a white clean wash cloth and let her chew on it. This seems to work better than any teething toy. I also had good results with the natural teething tablets. Hylands I believe is the name. We have talked about them on here before.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2002 at 11:26PM
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Just a mention to those worried about me feedng my DD Peanutbutter Sandwhiches....She is now 14, and 14 years ago peanutbutter was an ok. The if I knew then what i know now applies...she wouldn't have gotten the PB. I was lucky,she has no allergies.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2002 at 8:01AM
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