Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Drop in weight percentiles

When my son was born at almost 9 pounds he was in the 50th percentile for weight. At his 2 month check up he weighed 10 lb, 8 oz and was now in the 30th. Today at his 4 month check up he is 12 lb, 9 oz and in the 12th percentile! He is exclusively breastfed and seems content (though he is a terrible sleeper). I asked the doc if I should be concerned that his percentiles dropped so much and she basically said "not yet." But I didn't find that response to be very reassuring. If he was always in the low percentiles I wouldn't be concerned but it seems odd to me that he has dropped in percentiles so rapidly.
Has this happened to anyone else? Was your doc concerned?

Answer Question

Asked by tiredmomma33 at 11:16 AM on May. 12, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 1 (-5 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • As long as he is growing at least a pound and his head is growing there is no reason to worry. It's best to wait until 6 months to start solids but if he hasn't gained a pound at the next visity you could start solids, better than bottles with formula. You can start with sweet potato and add butter or olive oil to add calories or avocado (high in calories). No rice cereal!!!!

    If you are giving pacifiers your baby may be meeting sucking needs at the pacifier that should be done at the breast. You could try getting rid of the pacifier. If your baby is sleeping through the night you can wake for a feeding. is a great breastfeeding website.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:27 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • My kids were all average/above average babies at birth (between 7 lbs 7 oz [ induced at 38 weeks] and 8 lbs 9 oz), but then they dropped in the % over the first few months to where their "natural" body type was going to be. My 2nd dropped from around the 50% in weight to between the 3-5% in weight by the time he was 6 months. He's now a healthy 10 year old and is still skinny as a rail! Like your doc, I would let his body settle into where it's going to naturally be - as long as he seems content and isn't unhealthily thin he should be fine.

    Answer by missanc at 11:29 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • Thanks but he actually eats all night long--every 90 minutes (which is another problem I've posted about--I'm a total wreck). Why no rice cereal? My first child ate it at 4months (soon followed by whole milk yogurt) with no problems at all.

    Answer by tiredmomma33 at 11:30 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • Thanks, it is good to hear that those large drops aren't an issue. It just freaked me out a little today.

    Answer by tiredmomma33 at 11:31 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • Maybe he's getting too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk? Are you switching sides mid-feed, or every feed? If you are, try nursing him on the same side for multiple feedings in a row, even if it feels like there's nothing there. He needs that fatty hindmilk. I had the same issue with my son, except I didn't realize that's what the problem was til it was too late. And I agree with no rice cereal - it has little nutritional value, all it'll do is be a cheap filler that won't help him gain weight, if anything he'll get less breastmilk and it'll be a negative for him, plus you stand a chance of constipating him with it. So keep EBF, just use the same breast for longer before switching. If HE breaks latch to switch, don't switch, latch him back on to the same breast so he gets the nice fatty hindmilk he needs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:52 AM on May. 12, 2010

  • I would first make sure the doc is using the percentile charts for breastfed babies since they do grow at different rates then formula fed babies. Look online for the WHO breastfeeding charts. If the doc is then I would make sure LO is getting enough hindmilk and ONLY give breastmilk and be LOs pacifier too. My oldest did this and I would use the same side for 2 feeds in a row and not switch sides in the middle of a feed unless it was the second time on that side and he was really fussing after a short while of feeding on that side.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:31 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • like anon :31 said, check out the breast fed baby growth chart.
    growth is something dr's can measure, so they doesn't necessarily mean anything! if your baby seems to be mentally growing, then don't worry!
    my babies ate every 90 minutes too, eating this frequently will rule out any issues with "hind milk" and "fore milk" when you are feeding this frequently, the fat will not have a chance to stick to the wall of the should be able to see that every drop of your breast milk contains both a fatty layer and a watery layer.
    if you are tired, does your baby sleep with you? with my singletons i did not feel as if my sleep was even interrupted!
    good for you for breastfeeding your baby!
    congratulations on your new addition too!
    try not to worry too much, all babies grow differently.
    it honestly surprises me that a 9 lb baby is only in the 50th percentile! 9 lbs is pretty big!

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 12:53 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • ugh the problem is precisely because my son sleeps with me. I started putting him in bed with me a month ago (before that I only put him in bed with me from about 5 am on) when his wakings got more frequent (4 month sleep regression, I believe its called) and then things got worse from there. Because he is in bed with me, he ALWAYS wants to nurse, basically uses me as a pacifier. I am exhausted all day long and getting depressed due to the constant sleep deprivation. We are actually looking for a way to end the co-sleeping, not continue it.

    Answer by tiredmomma33 at 1:08 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • You aren't a pacifier. A pacifier is a mommy substitute. It is NORMAL for babies to want to suck. That builds supply. The constant need to do that will subside. My baby girl did that at that age. It isn't the cosleeping. It is just the nature of a baby of that age! You'd be up regardless. Once I learned to sleep through the nursing (about the time she learned to relatch) I got far more sleep than most expected! Sure we had rough nights, but that is true of any mother and new baby. You have to get up to change a diaper and feed the you aren't going to get more sleep, you will get less if anything. Just warning you that the grass isn't greener on the other side.

    Answer by amileegirl at 2:03 PM on May. 12, 2010

  • Wake too nurse then back to sleep or sleep sucking = GOOD, NORMAL SLEEPER

    Sleeps for 10-12 hour stretches = EXTREMELY RARE and usually short lived event, with no day naps at all or grossly over exaggerated.

    ALL mothers are sleep deprived. Period. Just saying :)

    Answer by amileegirl at 2:05 PM on May. 12, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.