Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Not the kind of baby weight I wanted to lose.

This may surprise you, but sometimes I make a big deal out of things that are totally not a big deal. I know. It's a very shocking revelation. I'm sorry if I sprung this on you at a bad time. I hope that you did not fall and hit your head or puncture your scrotum or twist an ovary.

Right.

Olivia had her 9 month well visit today. And she is well. Oh yes she is!

Howevever, she did lose weight. Which the pediatrician thought was totally uncool, especially since she is an itty bitty pretty one to begin with. Which prompted all sorts of questions about why I'm such a shitty mom, like do I feed her healthy foods? Does she eat enough formula? Does she seem happy? Does she poop and pee? Do I steal her food from her hand right before it gets to her mouth because I want to eat it because I am a total hoss?

OH MY GOD.

The problem is that Olivia was up with a runny nose until 2 last night. And I get up at 5. So I had three hours of sleep, a full work day, and then less than desirable news at the pediatrician. I'm using this as a free pass to be dramatic.

Woe is my skinny baybee! WOE! I feel like a bad mom, and other really ridiculous feeeeeeeelings! DRAMA! Want candy! Someone needs to gain weight around here, might as well be meeeeeeee!

So, the plan is to come back in a month for a weight check. This month, I need to do three of these four things:

1. Add an extra scoop of formula to her bottle.
2. Scoop some Crisco into her mouth before bed.
3. Add olive oil or butter to all her veggies, potatoes, anything I can lube up.
4. Try full fat yogurt and cheese.



Dear Internets...do you have any experience with this? Do you have any suggestions for fattening up my itty bitty baybee?

39 comments:

L. said...

It will probably end up being a nonissue and she'll be improved at her weight check. Otherwise--a friend of mine had a similar issue with a baby who had reflux. And my son started off at 50th percentile and, just around 9 months, started dropping down, down, down, and hung out at 5th percentile for quite a while--at 2 and a half he's just climbing back up. I don't know if the key difference is that he never lost weight, always gained, just sometimes verrrrry slowly. But my pediatrician was pretty mellow about it. He said many babies have a sigmoidal (s-shaped) growth curve--drastically flattening off in weight gains just around this time, when they start getting extra mobile and active. Then they pick up later (as my son is doing now).

Soooo ... I would guess a lot depends on whether she was already 5th or 10th, or more like 25th percentile... and whether she starts gaining, not just much; but if it's a borderline case you might try a second opinion to see if another pediatrician is equally alarmist. Some seem to make a bigger deal out of weight than others. HOWEVER maybe it is obvious that it is a concern, I don't mean to trivialize things either--it's all in the individual case...

L. said...

Um, but what I forgot to say is that even if you have to fatten her up, as my friend did, it is going to be OK. She's not going to starve and she is happy and healthy and active (that was one of my pediatrician's reasons for *not* being more concerned). And you are not a bad mother. She may be very active, maybe it's the spitting up, maybe she's just a good metabolizer, one of those people who later in life will eat scads of pizza and chocolate and stay slender anyway!

Also, she is ADORABLE.

Jo said...

Start offering her stuff you eat. You'll be amazed at what she's take. Just make sure it's in tiny squares in case she doesn't chew well. Toast with butter, pancakes, egg yolks, mashed potatoes. :)

mrsyak said...

Check out this blog, one of their cute twins had a food issue. He got some kind of occupational food therapy and now he's doing great!

http://shootingallens.blogspot.com/

Sara B said...

Oh, I love when you post...you always make me laugh!

I too, have a skinny bebe! He's only gained 1/2 a pound in 4 months and he's too old for formula (which is a very simple way to increase calories, if your babe can stomach it). We give him smoothies in between meals and offer him buttered toast with every meal (he loves it).

Other than that, just relax. People are different sizes and so are babies! You know if your child is healthy better than anyone else.

areyoukiddingme said...

Yo Baby - full fat, organic yogurt. In flavors, with DHA. Can be found cheap at your Super Walmart. Or for $5/4 pack at your grocery store (roughly). Mashed potatoes with lots of butter. Applesauce. Those baby cheetos (Gerber puffs).

Basically, what Jo said...keep offering her food that you're eating. If she likes it, give her more. I know she has had stomach issues, so just keep it mild like a nauseous pregnant woman diet!

Also, some kids are just skinny. And if she's just started crawling or cruising, then it's logical that she's expending more energy and therefore could lose a little weight. Don't worry, just be aware.

rachel... said...

My youngest is tiny, too, and didn't gain an ounce between her 9 and 12 month check-ups. Because I wasn't at all concerned, her pediatrician didn't seem to be either, but did suggest the butter and olive oil, too.

Babies' weight gain tends to slow down at this age, when they may be starting to crawl or walk and become more active and are less interested in sitting still long enough to eat an entire meal.

I suggest giving her more table foods, too. Don't worry! She'll catch up, and as long as she's happy and active, SHE'S FINE!

Anonymous said...

My sister's daughter is a skinny baby too.
Try pediasure!
I'm not sure if 9 mo. olds can have it, so talk to your pediatrician, but pediasure helps pack on extra calories.

Emily said...

We've got a wee baybee here too! She gained NO weight btw 6 and 9 months (she weighed 13 or 14 lbs). The dr. did labs, gave her a catheter for a urine sample (fun!). She suggested the things that you said your doc suggested but I felt weird giving may baby full animal fat butter.

Other than that, at her one year (15 pounds!) we decided she's just petite. Now she's almost two and weighs 20 pounds.

It's hard not to worry but like other people said, not every baby is the Michelin Man.

Corinne said...

avocado is full of "good fats" .... if she'll eat it ;)

Korndog said...

I'm having this same thing going on with my little one right now. He lost an ounce between months 3 and 4. Now he gets to go back to the pedi at 5 months instead of the normal 6 months. I was just told to feed on demand (which is what I've been doing) and to not start solids yet (since formula is a better source of calories at his age). I'm sorry you're having to go through this too. Fatten up Olivia! Good luck!

Poppy said...

My granddaughter is 2 yrs. old and just got up to 22 lbs. She can still wear size 18 month clothes. She's healthy, happy and at the very bottom of the growth chart. *Shrug*

I think healthy and happy way over trump fat and pudgy any day. Don't worry your little girl looks like she's doing just peachy to me!

Poppy said...

Oh and I hope you were kidding about the crisco...I wouldn't even give my dog a scoop of that shit let alone a baybee! Geez...

Rachel said...

Our little guy dropped way down the chart when he started motoring around. Avocado, egg yolk, sweet potatoes with butter, and cottage cheese are all favorites in the rotation now. We have found that giving him a few different things at each meal rather than just a lot of one type of food means he will eat more, too. Don't feel weird about giving your baybee fatty foods, as long as they're REAL foods (I do love the image of trying to feed a baby Crisco, though). Olivia needs all the energy she can get-- it takes a lot to maintain that level of adorable!

Jaci said...

As long as the Dr. didn't look you dead in the eye, point his finger and say, "You're a dirty babyrexic! Admit it!" you're probably cool. Maybe snack time should include a few Philly cheese cake squares? (My luck the baby wouldn't eat it, and then I'd be the human vaccuum sucking the cheesecake off the highchair.)

How the hell do you run on 3 hours sleep? I'd be yacking in the bathroom all morning.

Mrs. Hammer said...

Hi Jen, I'm a long time reader - infrequent commenter and also a pediatric dietitian. I'm sure that at 9 months she has become more mobile which can start to show a drop in weight due to an increase in activity. I can tell you that your baby will be just fine and this is very, very common. I always recommend adding 1 tsp of olive oil to baby foods at each meal. 3 tsp = 1 tbsp = an extra 119 calories a serving so a little goes a long way and an extra 100 calories in a little one makes a big difference. Avocados are an excellent source of calories (fat etc) and although you may be wrinkling your nose at this it’s worth a try. They have a healthy fat source so no worries like tons of butter/lard will be clogging your babeh’s little arteries. But a little butter in her mashed potatoes or other veggies every few days isn’t going to hurt. And avocados mash up real nice too! ¼ cup = ~100 calories.

Have you tried cooked egg yolk yet? (not the whites, just the yolk.) It’s also a nice source of calories 1 yolk ~ 50 calories. Just use a little bit of her mixed formula to help mash it up for her. And of course you mentioned full fat yogurt and cheese but the cheese can be binding for some babies so I’d hate for you to give too much and then have her get constipated – yikes!

As a heads up adding more formula to her bottle may make her eat less at meals so do not be surprised by this as formula tends to linger in their tummies for a bit. Just be sure to not give it to her too close to a meal time i.e. ~ 30 min to 1 hr. Without knowing how much weight she lost or exactly where she dropped on the growth chart my initial opinion on the whole extra scoop to every bottle on top of adding the above to foods is a bit too much and will also make her formula a lot thicker which she may not like. BUT you could just add an extra bottle to her normal routine. A lot of times Drs over concentrate formula in a panic to beef up calories and they go overboard but again, I don't know the specifics about how much she lost.

Amy @ Six Flower Mom said...

I think if she is happy and healthy then she is fine. Everyone is different.

Emily said...

It's probably just because she started crawling. Do whatever the pediatrician says, but try not to worry, it will just stress all of you out.
Here is what I would do. Figure out what she likes and give her as much of it as she wants. Works for us to gain weight, right?

Anonymous said...

I have a lean Olivia, as well, who boycotted all milk (formula, soy, whole, low-fat, chocolate, vanilla, you-name-it-we-tried-it) at 9 months. Try keeping the weight up with a baby who refused a bottle AND any form of "milky" product. Thank heavens for those straw cups and calcium-fortified OJ.

Anyhoo...In order to keep her weight up I stopped feeding her "baby" food and started giving her "adult" food in tiny pieces. Roasted red potatoes with herbs de provence, garlic and olive oil. Ravioli with butter and sage sauce. Cooked carrots in butter. Sauteed zucchini and squash (olive oil or butter). Poly-O string cheese cut into semi circles. And lots of guacamole with those yummy veggie sticks to dip in the guac. My Olivia is still lean (just built that way - and still doesn't drink milk), but is extremely healthy, active and is a total foodie now.

Think of this as treating Olivia to a fun new food adventure!

Dr. Charrier said...

My babeh LOVED avocados mashed up at that age. LOVED them. He experienced same dip. No worries. He's a hoss now!
(p.s. the doctor on my signage is a different kind of doctor - psychologist - just so you know my knowledge is only personal mommy knowledge, not the medical kind).

Anonymous said...

my little boy dropped off the weight chart between 12-18 months (he never lost weight, though). my doctor suggested carnation instant breakfast in his milk. and also to butter everything. at 18 months he is finally, slowly creeping back up the chart. he's at a whopping 8th percentile now! and he's happy as a lark, too.

Julia said...

I was a failure to thrive baby at a time when there was no internet and doctors seemed less concerned about that sort of thing. Or at least my doctor did. I weighed 17.5 lbs on my second birthday, which was less than double my birth weight. And guess what? I'm just fine. I was my mother's fourth child, and I've had discussions with her about it recently, and I can't believe how unconcerned she was about it. I mean, she was concerned to some degree, but the doctor kept telling her that each kid grows differently, so I was just a small kid, no big deal.

Today, a baby my size would have been force fed Pediasure, extra calories would have been snuck in at every turn, and I would have been fattened up. And I would have turned out exactly the same as I did. Which is just fine.

Lauren.Furrer said...

My 22 month old (I will not call him a two year old or my heart will punch me in the boob) is a walking candy apple. His weight is 50th percentile, height 75th and head size 95th!! His nickname is Bobblehead McGee.

Lauren.Furrer said...

And I think I am going to ask Mrs. Hammer to marry me. *This is indicating that my pupils have turned into tiny little hearts*

Lynn said...

There are many different rates of acceptable weight gain, but pediatricians are usually concerned when a baby loses weight. Losing weight is different than gaining slowly. Butter is a good fat for babies. After all, the fat in breastmilk is butterfat. It also contains vitamins that plant fats do not (like activated vitamin A.) Fat is important for baby growth (because their tummies are so tiny they need concentrated calories) and brain development (brains are made of fat.) You could add butter to the baybee food you're already making for her. Maybe she'll even like green beans after they are buttered. :) Good luck, you are a great mom!

Luvly said...

Little Olivia has become more mobile since she's crawling now...it is perfectly normal for her to loose weight. It happened with both of mine...and it will happen again when she starts running around.

For the Long Haul said...

I have more experience with this than I care to remember. My son is teeny tiny. Has been since he was about a year old. He is almost 4. I can so relate to the feelings of being a horrible parent when really you are anything but. Do what your doc said and try (really hard) not to freak out too badly. Because as long as "failure to thrive" was not mentioned, it isn't really that bad. And even when "failure to thrive" IS mentioned, it still isn't really all that bad. I've been there. I write a whole blog about my son and his weight issues. But take his advice and try and "bulk her up" and I will bet she will be fine at her weight check in a month. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Completely normal for some kids to lose a bit of poundage when they start crawling/cruising. Up her calories/fat intake if you think she needs it, otherwise, don't stress. If she's happy, meeting milestones, peeing/pooping normally, sleeping as well as usual, then she's probably okay. A big one to look for as far as malnutrition would be hair, skin and nails...do they look okay? Nice and healthy?

kassiaann said...

I dream of a doctor tell me to bulk up. Seriously. I'd preform favors (ifyouknowwhatimean) for someone to tell me than. But alas, I'm already bulked.
I'm sure (with my uneducated opinion) that the little miss will be fine! Babes go through lean stages and then chunk stages. Just like me! Sort of.
Martha Stewart would tell you to baste more often with butter and cover with foil till golden.

Milla said...

I don't have anything to add on the advice, it sounds like everyone has that covered but I'm happy to go along with the woe and endorse your dramatic outburst, making you feel bad and guilty for nothing like that on a day which didn't start so well sucks. I hope that Olivia is feeling better and the runny nose is gone or going, glad to hear that she still very well. I can't believe that you get up at 5 though, kudos to you.

Sandy said...

I've found that avocado works well. It has tons of fat.

I know how you feel, we had the same kind of 9 month appointment for Oscar, right after I decided to stop breastfeeding on demand and put that greedy little sucker on a schedule. Then I came home and cried, "I'm a bad mom!"

Maybe we should put melted Hagen Daaz in the their bottles.

Mmmm...ice cream...

Crazy Sister said...

Fish and chips?

Ann M. said...

I always just worked in an extra bottle. It's hard to feed them when they don't want to eat, so...

I honestly think it's probably just due to her moving around more now so she's burning more calories. Sometimes their appetites don't catch up right away.

Mermaid said...

My daughter isn't as old as Olivia yet, but she has similar issues. We add extra formula to her milk and add Duocal (which is just a calorie additive). Warning, extra formula makes them gassy! We tried changing reflux meds which helped as well, although part of Grace's problem was throwing up which limited weight gain.

songbird said...

I'd go with an extra bottle, and always offer a bottle before offering solids, as formula has more calories & is generally more nutritious than solid food.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog, have it favorited at work :) I'm sure you'll not read this comment as it is at the waaaay bottom underneath your other many fans :P --but I don't think her weight in ANY way sheds light on your parenting :) What if you had brought her in & she was OBESE? I think *that* would be more risky than her being a bit slender...and hey...they say slender folks live longer ;) With all the avocado mentioned above, I think you should just make guacamole...and margaritas for you & Daddy ;)

PJ said...

Mmmmm... Crisco before bed.

Courtney said...

Avacado's are a great fatty food for them! My daughter eats them by the fist full!

Lissa said...

Just stumbled along to your blog today. My son gained 6 oz at his 9 month appt, so I've been there! He was only taking maybe 3oz of formula 4 times a day (he just hated it). We fed him cereal 3x day made with formula to try to get some in him. When he started refusing cereal, we also went to table foods. Mashed potatoes, veggies with butter/cheese, toast with cheese, yobaby and pudding were his favorites. Other things I didn't see mentioned was Barilla Pasta Plus (has add'l protein and nurtients) and if she likes cottage cheese, try ricotta mixed with fruit (or we used a baby food dessert flavor). The ricotta has more to it than cottage cheese. It's so hard not to stress about it, but she'll be fine!