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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Project Fat Baby

So I never wrote about our six month appointment. It was good! We didn't get any vaccines this time because james was just sick and I didn't want to get them with his immune system compromised--so we go back in four weeks for that . . .

But as inevitably seems to happen a lot of the time with breastfed babies at their 6 month (or 12 month) appt, the doctor was concerned because james has lost percentiles.

Here's his stats, and if you look here on the chart for breastfed babies, you can see what percentage he is (I looked it up for you, hehe):

Born November 19th, 2010; 8 lbs, 7 oz (70%), 23 inches (99%)
One Week Old: 7 lbs, 12 ozs, 23 inches
Two Months Old: 12 lbs, 6 ozs(70%), 25 inches (99%)
Four Months Old: 14 lbs, 9 ozs(50%), 27 inches (99%)
Six Months Old: 15 lbs, 14 ozs(25%), 28 inches (99%) (Not on the same scale, which could make a difference)

But the Doc said he should be eating more solids . . . twice a day!

. . . however, I don't think that's really a good solution. Veggies and fruits have very few calories, and grains (apparently) make him constipated. His gut isn't really ready for that much solids . . . (in my opinion). Furthermore, there is definitely evidence that going too quickly with solids (especially if the baby is excited about them) may lead to early weaning, which I definitely want to avoid for my little vegan baby . . .

And while at first I was quite indignant with the doctor thinking that james wasn't gaining enough, now that I look at the percents I suppose I understand his concern. However, I'm also not surprised. james hasn't really stopped moving since his four month appointment, which means it's harder for him to eat a good meal (nurse), and that he is burning off a lot of calories, too!

I don't REALLY think that he is nutritionally starved or anything, or I doubt he would continue to stay in the 99% for length . . . but I am going to make some changes to help him gain more.

Commencing Project Fat Baby . . .

Our Mission: To help james gain percentiles.
Our Timeline: One Month

The Plan is very simple and consists of one step: Breastfeed james more.

For a baby under one year old, this is the number one way to fatten up a baby. Furthermore, I'm doing this as an experiment, because Doctors don't recommend this strategy--they say: give more food. So we'll see how this works out for us over the next month.

The plan really has a few parts:

1. During the day, make more of an effort to nurse james in a quiet and still environment that helps him focus.

2. Before naps, lay down and nurse him--to sleep if possible.

3. If he doesn't wake up on his own, dreamfeed him when you go to bed.

4. Start bed-sharing to allow him more opportunities to nurse during the night.

Of course we ALSO will be giving james food during this time and he ALSO is definitely getting better at eating. I'm not saying food isn't great for him at this stage, too, but it isn't the most important thing in terms of helping him gain weight.

So our next appointment is June 15th--I'll report on the progress of "Project Fat Baby" then.

16 comments:

clare on earth said...

totally with you on the breastmilk plan, but what about oils? no idea how it sits with a baby tummy, but it gets the calorie job done quite quickly. and i know a lot of them are really good for you. <3

Iris Savea said...

I totally agree with what you said! I know Eirik dropped in percentales when he started moving all over the place. Solids 2X a day at this age does seem extreme! Lots of breastfeeding really is the best solution!

justadrienne said...

Clare--The oils thing is also a good idea--it's what I usually suggest to other parents in my position . . . I guess I'm curious what kind of difference it would make, however, if breastfeeding more is the ONLY thing I change . . . so we'll see first about that! By his next appointment if he's still falling I will definitely start trying with oils.

By: Kate Nadeau said...

I vote find a new doctor... one more BF friendly. Because Theodore is EBF his pediatrician wants us to delay solids until after 6 months, because breastmilk is best.

Alyssa said...

We had the same thing at our six-month appointment. Evan was slightly below his regular percentile, and she suggested to feed him THREE times a day. Yeah, okay :P I just nodded and told her we weren't worried.

Like you said, they would have to eat A LOT of solids in order to ingest enough calories for it to make a difference. BM is probably the way to go. Or just give him avocados all day every day ;) LOL!

justadrienne said...

That is great, Kate! We mostly like our doc, he is the Dad of a friend of ours and he's very gentle, with his concern and suggestions. So I can handle a doc with slightly different opinions, as long as he's not pushy, KWIM? Honestly I think it's his office more than him--some of the other docs there REALLY are not BF friendly and so I think the whole environment is just a little . . . uninformed. Unfortunately.

Grace said...

This happened with my James too. So far nothing I have done has changed gotten him back on his original curve. He went from the 90th percentile down to the 3rd, and has stayed there. It clearly wasn't a need for more solids though, because now he gets all solids, and he's still a tiny little guy. You and James aren't particularly large people, so I would really not worry to much. If breastfeeding more doesn't work out, don't lose heart, it didn't work for me. My James was just destined to be tiny I think...

Ash said...

Good luck with your plan! Like you mentioned it is hard to actually get calories in at this point with solids. Although like Grace I have to say don't feel bad if BFing more doesn't work out. Teddy is always on the move and got less and less interested in breastfeeding as he got older, of course this isn't everyones experience!! But I do know a few people who were in a similar position to me and if you have a strong willed baby sometimes you just have to follow their cues and for us that meant increasing bottle feeds (he likes drinking from a bottle because he can move around while he does it) for a few months before we dropped bfing altogether at a year.

I hope your plan works though!!

Marilyn said...

I don't get it - isn't the point of baby led weaning for the baby to go at its own pace? So like if the child is exciting about eating and wants to eat more - why wouldn't you get them naturally do that if that is what they want to do? It seems like you are trying to force him to breastfeed more?

Couldn't he still get the benefits of breast milk through things like breastmilk "yogurt" (if you did that) and cereal with breastmilk, things like that? So he feels like he is "eating" but still with breastmilk involved?

justadrienne said...

Marilyn--My answer is too long so I'll post it along with an update on our project in a few days.

Liz said...

You know our history with weight, so I won't go into all that. All I'll say is I've got Peter back on the charts, and he's currently gaining faster than his peers (he's making up for those two months he only gained 7oz). He's only been getting solids ONCE a day, and just one jar of fruits/veggies. At daycare, it's a 4oz jar. At home, he gets maybe 2oz on the weekends. He also gets a couple oz of formula a couple times a week depending on how pumping went the day before.

All that to say, most of that weight gain has been from breastmilk. Our doctor told me at 6 months that Peter needed 3 full meals by 9 months. Ha! I upped him to breakfast and lunch at daycare today. He'll still just get solids once a day at home.

Good luck! I think James looks fine! :)

Erin said...

You can borrow one of Avery's arm rolls! Hehe. I had the opposite problem--my doctor was concerned that she was too heavy. I think it all just means: Breastfed babies will grow at their own pace! Do what you think is right.

Anonymous said...

Natalya here:
I am reading the book you gave me for XS on breastfeeding. Basically, what they say there is you want to make sure that the baby gets the "fatty" milk that comes out when breast is almost empty/end of feeding. I.e., you want to make the feeding long, not short... Thanks for Mother's day cards and photos. Loved them!

justadrienne said...

Natalya, so glad you are reading it, it helped me a ton! And you are totally right, I'm writing an update about it right now, haha.

Megan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Megan said...

My older daughter dropped off even the typical breastfed baby curve between 6 and 9 months - went from 13lbs, 3oz at 6 months (5th%) to 14lbs, 1oz at 9 months (way, WAY below the 5th%) and had been around the 5th percentile since 3 or 4 months old. She was the 25th to start, but being 4 weeks early she was actually around the 90th for her gestational age.

Anyway, she was eating a good amount of solids at 9 months and still nursing probably 8x/day, but my milk supply took a major hit during a pregnancy and early miscarriage and never recovered. So I did beef up her diet with olive oil and avocado, and supplemented her first with donated breast milk from a friend from 9-11 months and then formula after that. She started getting back on the chart around 15 months. It was a slow process. So don't be too disheartened if you don't notice much of a change in just a month's time. (Either way, he still sounds like he's at a nice, healthy weight to me!)

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