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Breastfed baby didn't gain enough, help.

We took our daughter for her 4 month check-up yesterday and found out she's only gained 9 ounces since her 2 month check-up. I am completely devastated. She eats every 2-3 hours during the day and twice at night, and always seems satisfied after a feeding. I almost feel like a bad mama. She's perfectly healthy, but apparently didn't gain enough. Her percentile is only 25% now. Now he wants her started on rice cereal and solid foods and to come back within two weeks for a weight check-up. What did I do wrong? Or is this normal for a breastfed baby? She just turned 4 months and is 11 lbs. 10 oz.

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Asked by contrariant at 8:40 AM on Nov. 25, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (24)
  • You didnt do anything wrong. If YOU dont want to start her on foods (which you really shouldnt yet because if you do it too early, you can screw up their digestive system for life..research that), DONT do it! You dont always have to follow what the doc says. Keep on BFing the way you are doing. Weight gain will happen.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:53 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Not all doctors were created equal. For every doctor that gives the advice yours gave, another will tell you not to touch the rice cereal and keep up the breastfeeding. This is actually the kind of issue new parents should consider when looking to select a Pediatrician (but most new parents don't know this).

    I'm sorry for your frustration. I personally would not give my child rice cereal yet.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:04 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • I wouldn't give rice cereal either. But I would be offering her my breast more often, even though she doesn't seem hungry. See if she will take more. If not, then most likely you simply have a tiny baby who will be at the bottom of the charts!! My mom is always talking about how teeny tiny I was. People thought I was a genius because of my speech. I was three, but was the size of a 12-18 month old!!

    Answer by micheledo at 9:12 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Well first did the doc use the chart for breastfed or formula fed babies to get the percentile? and Second what was her percentile at birth? My doc says if they are plus or minus 10% of where they were born (born at 35% then 25-45% is fine) then they are fine and she might be just before a growth spurt and need to be checked again in a month or so. Personally I would NOT give anything other then breastmilk at this age no matter what my doc said. Offer the breast more often and try to make sure you are eating as healthy as possible and continue taking a prenatal or multivitamin. My son was born at 7% for weight and 92% for height and at one point fell off the charts. The doc suggested we come back in a month because he could be just before a growth spurt and sure enough we came back one month later and he shot up to 12%.

    Answer by aeneva at 9:30 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • You didnt' do anything wrong, she might be a slow gainer. Go ahead and follow docs advice and see what happens.

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 9:40 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Is she having the right amount of diapers? Meeting milestones? Generally happy? Then I wouldn't worry about a number. I absolutely disagree with giving cereal to gain weight. Breast milk, and even formula, has more calories per ounce then cereal. So your child will fill up on cereal, and then NOT consume the higher calorie milk that is needed for growth and gain. I think if everything else is fine, no supplement is needed at this time.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 10:01 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • She's been meeting milestones, having the right amount of diapers and usually a happy baby (unless she doesn't enough sleep) other than that I thought she was doing great, until her check-up.

    Answer by contrariant at 10:06 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • If you feel you must resort to supplementing, I would not start solids this early; she may still have an open gut and that could set her up for intestinal problems and allergies later. IF you must supplement I would do it with formula and possibly with an SNS. Your baby IS gaining.

    I would probably give it a bit more time and perhaps visit a lactation consultant or a ped with one on staff. Put your baby to breast as often as she will take it; you can use a Moby wrap to keep your hands free. My niece was on formula and 3 meals a day solids from 4mo because of her small size and it mad NO difference. She was 17lbs at one year and did not gain more than an ounce from 1-2 years old; she is average sized today at 5yo.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:37 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • I went through the same thing with my first, but my doctor was not very concerned. Some babies are just slow at gaining weight, the growth charts are crap in my opinion, my daughter has either been in lowest percentiles or not on the chart at all. She is now 2 1/2 and weighs only 23 pounds, she is healthy, rarely sick and very happy and active. As long as she isn't losing weight or sickly I would not worry. I wouldn't push cereal if you don't feel comfortable with it, breast milk is high in calories. Besides it will take her a while to adjust to cereal and you probably won't see much of a difference in two weeks anyway. Don't feel bad or let anyone else make you feel bad. You are doing a great job and I am sure your daughter is just fine.


    Answer by lilysmom2607 at 10:37 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

  • Don't do the solids - those are mostly empty calories at this point and not necessary. Keep breastfeeding on demand. If you're switching sides every time, try nursing twice in a row on one side, then twice in a row on the other, etc. She may not be getting enough of the fatty hindmilk if you switch sides every session.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 AM on Nov. 25, 2009

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