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Toddlers & Preschoolers Toddlers & Preschoolers

Tiny Toddler Won't Eat/Gain Weight!

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My baby is 14 months.  She weighs 15 lbs 10 ounces... very very small!  She is growing length wise but has put on little/no weight in the passed 6 monthes.  We have done blood work, I have even taken her to a feeding team at a children's hospital.... all of which came up with nothing being biologically wrong with her.  The feeding team gave me advise like putting ketchup and maple syrup on everything, which worked for like 3 days untill the novelty wore off, and now I am back to square one.  She is meeting all of her mile stones, and exceeding them in many areas!  She is just tiny, and doesn't want to eat consistantly.  I am trying to make all her food very rich (using oil, heavy cream, butter etc).... but it just feels like something is just not right.  I am still nurising, which the dr. told me to start weaning her, but the nutricionist told me not to.  I'm scared to stop because this is a major part of her caloric intake.  I have tried pediasure... she just won't eat/drink anything in large quantities.  She is energetic though... not lethargic at all!  The other issue is her blood iron is low (10.4 when it should be a min. of 11) despite the fact that I give her a supplement with iron it.  On top of it, the iron is staining her teeth!  HELP!  She is pretty much labled failure to thrive, but only in the sense of her weight, NOT her mental development.  Any feedback is highly appreciated!



by on Apr. 28, 2012 at 5:02 PM
Replies (41-50):
homextownxgirl
by on May. 6, 2012 at 9:19 AM
1 mom liked this
I went through with my daughter what your going through... As long as she is eating and no one can find a problem and she is getting taller she is fine... My daughter is now 19yr old has a baby of her own and is healthy.... Everyone kept saying someting must be wrong with her she is so small.... Well nothing is wrong with her excipt her iron is still low... She is just a tiny person you'd think that she would be big cause she is all the time eating but you cant even tell she had a baby... Her daughter is almost 5months old... So if the test are coming back good and she is getting taller i wouldn't worry so much and just enjoy her growing up.... Lots of love and hugs
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echojnicki
by on May. 6, 2012 at 9:52 PM
1 mom liked this

I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be stopping nurisng any time soon.  She loves it, adn like you say, it is an excellent source of nutrition for her.  She is not a big eater. Period.  She likes somethign once, then won't eat it again.  Her dr. is concerned, she is at a standstill both on her height and weight.  I have tried feeding her in all different types of ways.  I take her outside, we walk around, we sit on the big swing and eat there...   I offer her food constantly.  I have gone to a feeding team at the children's hospital.  They didn't see any speech, or ot concerns that might be causing this.  We have an appt with the gi this Friday for a endoscopy to make sure nothing inside is bothering her and causing her not to eat.  I think I'm going to have to be sedated when they do this :-(

Quoting 2and2onway:

DO NOT STOP NURSING!!!! Not yelling just making it very clear that nursing her is filling her and providing her with many more nutrients that she will not get if you stop. Is she picky or just not a big eater? Are you offering her small amounts many times through the day? Will she eat on the go, walk with a baggie of food? Is her Dr concerned? Have you tried contacting a food therapist? If she is thriving and advancing I would just keep on doing what you are doing.


mommaofemma
by on May. 6, 2012 at 9:54 PM


Quoting 5BMom:

I could have written your post. My DD is now 3 and 23 pounds, lol... Every test has been done... Nothing is wrong. She is petite. Period. I have had to learn, with the support of a fabulous pediatrician, to let it go. She eats when she is hungry and I give her the highest caloric impact I can when she does eat, she is healthy, and super smart. She is already reading!!!!

There comes a time you have to say it is what it is.

My life to a T. DD will be 3 in 6 days and weighs 23 lbs! She was 5lbs 4oz and is just small.

CafeMom Tickers

echojnicki
by on May. 6, 2012 at 9:57 PM

The feeding team had a speech pathologist and a OT and they ruled out anything related to those issues.  Yes, I am waiting for a follow up to be scheduled with them, as we are not making any progress based on their previous recommendations.  I agree that there may be an underlying cause... and I want to make sure that we check everything out before we just say "oh she's just small!" 

Quoting Poisongirl98:

I would look into getting an evaluation by a speech pathologist and/or occupational therapist who specialize in feeding issues. They can rule out/determine if there's any sensory and/or oral-motor issues that are causing her to not want to eat a lot. You should be able to do that through yourstate's early intervention program. Did the feeding team want to see you again if she wasn't making progress?

I hate when doctors make the assumption that if they can't find anything medically wrong with a child they assume the issue is "behavioral." Very rarely are a child's feeding issues purely behavioral, there are often underlying issues why they don't eat well. I also don't think her still nursing a lot is the reason she's not eating. I'm sure you've given her plenty of opportunities with solids, she's just not too fond or them for some reason.


Poisongirl98
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2012 at 1:05 AM
1 mom liked this
Quoting echojnicki:




I'd probably get a second opinion. Can I ask what children's hospital you took her too?

The reason I responded to this is because I'm a speech pathologist and work with kiddos with feeding problems of various "shapes and sizes." I admit I've mistakenly asssumed there really wasn't a sensory/oral-motor issue with some of the kids I've worked with. However, as I've grown older and wiser I've realized there almost always is,it's just not always so obvious. I'm not saying there is with your daughter as I've never met her, but if you're really concerned about her eating and feel stuck, I think a second opinion may not be a bad idea.
echojnicki
by on May. 7, 2012 at 8:53 AM

I am taking her to Connecticut Childrens Medical Center in Hartford, CT.  That's interesting insight.  I will be calling them again today to schedule a follow up.  

Quoting Poisongirl98:

Quoting echojnicki:




I'd probably get a second opinion. Can I ask what children's hospital you took her too?

The reason I responded to this is because I'm a speech pathologist and work with kiddos with feeding problems of various "shapes and sizes." I admit I've mistakenly asssumed there really wasn't a sensory/oral-motor issue with some of the kids I've worked with. However, as I've grown older and wiser I've realized there almost always is,it's just not always so obvious. I'm not saying there is with your daughter as I've never met her, but if you're really concerned about her eating and feel stuck, I think a second opinion may not be a bad idea.


gregsgrl04
by on May. 7, 2012 at 9:18 AM
We went through the SAME EXACT THING with our daughter. Don't fatten up her foods with syrup, cheese, butter, that was the worst advice we were given!!! Try giving her carnation instant breakfast in the mornings... That worked for us. What are you and your hubby like, body stature wise??? My hubby and I are both thin. My DD is now 5.5yrs and she is just right. She is just naturally thin like my husband and I. I think WAY too much emphasis is put on those Dang growth charts!! Every child is different because of their parents genes. My DD is jot going to weigh the same, or have the same body stature as a child who's parents are stocky.
We had three different child nutritionists all from great children's hospitals helping us. I wish now I hadnt listened to half their advice. They had her hooked on pediasure for a year of her life, wouldn't eat anything else :( they ruined veggies for her for awhile because age didn't like the cheese sauce or butter they had me put on it.. it was horrible :(
I wish you nothing but the best. This is hard, trust me I know. But if bloodwork is saying she is ok, then trust it. She may not be a big eater, and thats ok....
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andreaslewis
by on May. 14, 2012 at 4:38 PM
1 mom liked this

I was really glad to see this post because it sounds exactly like what we are going through at our house.  My son is 20 months old and he weighs just barely over 20 pounds. The DR started to be more concerned when he fell off his growth chart for weight.  In other words it was ok to be skinny but to completely stop gaining weight it was not.  I think it's been almost 9 months since Christian put on any real weight.  Like your daughter he will not eat.  I get him once in awhile eating what seems to be a decent amount of food and then the next day he eats almost nothing.  We have tried everything including lacing his food with everything imaginable to up the caloric intake.  He will not drink Pediasure.  Now we are trying Duocal which is a supplement that is water soluble.  It claims to be tasteless but he doesn't like it in his bottle. I have been able to mix it with Mac n cheese or mashed potatoes.  But he is still not gaining weight. Christian is still being breastfeed also and our pediatrician said keep doing it - it's his best source of nutrition. I am ready to wean honestly but until we can get this eating thing resolved I can't.  The Dr referred him to Feeding Therapy where I think they will work with him on eating, textures, hot vs. cold.. trying new things etc..  Have you considered that?  I will go in soon for an evaluation.  If you get any other insight I would love to hear it.

echojnicki
by on May. 22, 2012 at 11:44 PM

It's nice to hear about other people going through similar situations.  We just had an endoscopy done on her a couple weeks ago, which revealed some irritation in her esophogus, caused by reflux (the silent kind, she never vomits).  The gi prescribed prevecid to help, which I hear takes about 2 weeks to fully work, and hopefully we'll be seeing an improvement soon.  SHe's been on it for about 5 days now, and I do not see an improvement yet.  We also had our second "feeding team" visit today with the occupational therapist at the childrens' hospital today.  She suggested using things like graham crackers for "spooning" things like pudding, and modeling exaggerated chewing (because she likes to like the dips off of things as opposed to eating it with the dip).  We are concidering starting an antihistamine which would work as an appetite stimulant, as suggested by our dr and the gi.  I have not heard of duocal.  I'll inquire about it at our next appointment.  We are also thinking about seeing a genetecist, since we have a history of Russel Silvers Syndrome in the family, and it might explain her small stature and feeding problems (although she doesn't have all the physical characteristics of it).  Let me know how it goes with your son and what has/has not worked.  It's nice to bounce around some ideas from someone goign through the same thing. :-)

Quoting andreaslewis:

I was really glad to see this post because it sounds exactly like what we are going through at our house.  My son is 20 months old and he weighs just barely over 20 pounds. The DR started to be more concerned when he fell off his growth chart for weight.  In other words it was ok to be skinny but to completely stop gaining weight it was not.  I think it's been almost 9 months since Christian put on any real weight.  Like your daughter he will not eat.  I get him once in awhile eating what seems to be a decent amount of food and then the next day he eats almost nothing.  We have tried everything including lacing his food with everything imaginable to up the caloric intake.  He will not drink Pediasure.  Now we are trying Duocal which is a supplement that is water soluble.  It claims to be tasteless but he doesn't like it in his bottle. I have been able to mix it with Mac n cheese or mashed potatoes.  But he is still not gaining weight. Christian is still being breastfeed also and our pediatrician said keep doing it - it's his best source of nutrition. I am ready to wean honestly but until we can get this eating thing resolved I can't.  The Dr referred him to Feeding Therapy where I think they will work with him on eating, textures, hot vs. cold.. trying new things etc..  Have you considered that?  I will go in soon for an evaluation.  If you get any other insight I would love to hear it.


andreaslewis
by on Jun. 5, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Well I went the route of going through our state ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) program to help us address the feeding and speech problems (Christian is 21 months and now 21 pounds).  I went this route because they provide in home therapy at a discounted rate.  I was feeling really overwhelmed with all of these medical appointments and co-pays that were going along with them.  We just got our first round of bloodwork back and so far they have found nothing abnormal.  So the pediatrician says they are sending us to a GI specialist also for Failure to Thrive.  I was thankful for this diagnosis because it means automatic qualification for the state ECI services.  Then I get this strange email from my ex mother in law that says, "Just between you and I ... be very very very careful with the failure to thrive ....it is considered child abuse/negligence and is a CPS issue been there done that with Amy even when the cheif of pediatrics verified that we have small babies ... there is a 6 month period of investigation and unannounced visits with the kids being stripped down to diapers and underwear ."  I was thinking ya ok now I am even more stressed.  I know we are not doing anything wrong but that's just what we need is a CPS investiagation.  I think we will be fine after reading through some other posts on this site. Anyways, we have our first appointment with the OT specialist on the 13 and I am in the process of getting an appointment with the GI specialist.  I will let you know how it goes.... Has your daughter been diagnosed with FTT?

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