Failure to thrive

My six month old son is 14 lbs and is just barely doubling his birth weight. At his doctor appointment today he was diagnosed as failure to thrive, because he only gained 3 ounces in a month. This puts him in the 2nd %ile, at his 4 month well child he was in the 3rd %ile, so always struggled with weight. The doc said this is also affecting his height and head growth as well. I EBF him every 2-2.5 hours during the day and once in middle of night. We just started him on solids, roughly 1-2 times a day. He is very alert, active, happy and has hit all other milestones that a baby his age should. Small babies run in my family. 1) Have any other moms dealt with extremely small children and/or the "failure to thrive" diagnosis? 2) Have your kids continued to be that small through their life? 3) And do you recommend any foods I can eat or things I can do to help him??


  • amywaud
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    amywaud May 01, 7:11 PM
    Yikes, that is nerve-wracking of course. My first was not that tiny -- he was in the 8th percentile until he started on solids, and by 18 months, he was in the 20th. He stayed in that range until he was about 3, and now -- at 11 years old -- he's huge! My other two babies were also on the small side, Neither was over 15% within their first year.

    One question: are you and the doctors sure that your baby is getting enough breast milk? Is that something you have discussed? It's very hard to know how much a baby is actually consuming, so you may want to also talk to a lactation pro.

    Personally, as long as your baby is showing the appropriate developmental signs, I wouldn't be overly worried. It sounds like yours is a baby for whom solids are, indeed, very appropriate at 6 months.

    But as is our policy here at NaturallyBorn, please trust and listen to your doctor. If you don't trust this particular doctor, there is NEVER any harm in getting a second or third opinion -- from another pediatrician, that is. Good luck and let us know how your little one is doing!
    Founder of NaturallyBorn. Two-time graduate of U.C. Berkeley. Mom of three amazing boys. Grateful daughter of two child development experts and marriage/family therapists.
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