Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

PFB Weigh-In

Alright, so we got james weighed today.

If you haven't been following PFB (Project Fat Baby), get the back story here.

Or, to make a long story short, the doctor was slightly concerned about james weight at his 6 month appointment, so I made a plan to fatten him. My doc suggested feeding him two "meals" a day, but this basically immediately made him constipated, and seeing as he is eating just fruits and veggies, those aren't really very fattening anyway . . . especially compared to the alternative (whole human milk straight from the tap).

So my plan to fatten him was to breastfeed him more often for longer and to bed-share with him to allow frequent nighttime nursing.

So today we had his weigh-in!

He was 17 lbs even, up 1 pound 2 ozs from less than a month ago (5/18). I think we did pretty darn good, because he only gained 1 lb, 5 ozs between 4 and 6 months, so you could say that over the last month, he gained twice as quickly as he had been gained.

So I'm back looking on the growth charts, but I found more detailed ones, so I could get really down to the nitty gritty in terms of what was going on here.

Born November 19th, 2010; 8 lbs, 7 oz (80%)
Two Months Old: 12 lbs, 6 ozs (60%)
Four Months Old: 14 lbs, 9 ozs (30%)
Six Months Old: 15 lbs, 14 ozs (20%)
Seven Months Old: 17 lbs (30%)

I think the approximation I was doing off of the less detailed chart missed the real story here. His main percentile loss was between two and four months actually, NOT between four and six months. This makes PERFECT sense because that was the absolute worst time for us in terms of the food allergies. We didn't diagnose him and start treating him until he was around 3 months old, and then it took us another month at least to get things under control, so between 2-4 months he was basically spitting up and/or vomiting huge amounts of each meal. He probably would have lost even more weight than he did except I have a nice full supply so he was somewhat able to make up for all the spitting up . . .

Anyway, I succeeded in pulling his percentage up 10 points in less than a month, which is pretty darn good!

So if you have a baby who is not gaining well . . . FIRST rule out any food sensitivity or other health issues that could be a factor. SECOND breastfeed the baby more, especially during the night. (And THIRD, look at the baby as a whole person--losing percentiles can be NORMAL in a breastfed baby, especially between 4-12 months, while they find their "real" place on the chart.

Personally I think the size of a baby usually has to do with the Mom and the way her body builds a baby, but the size of the child (over one and definitely over 2) is a totally different thing. We all have a tiny friend that was a HUGE baby, and at some point he/she needed to transition from one to the other, right? Alternatively, sometimes babies are very small but then completely pork and grow up between 6-18 months. So I think adjustments to percentiles is NORMAL.

One other thing, though, is that I definitely was not being patient enough with james' nursing between 5-6 months. That lazy half-asleep sucking is where the MOST fat is, but when I have things I want to do it's easy to cut him off when he's so slow and leisurely. Furthermore, he was really distracted at this time, and I had the mentality at that point that if he needed to eat then he would. And while I still think that is true, making an effort to put more focus and importance on his nursing, I think, has caused him to do the same. Your baby gets signals from you, and if you want him/her to nurse more, better, and for longer, that will be very encouraging for them. Meanwhile, if you act like nursing is a chore to get through and are impatient with it (as I was being), your baby will get that signal too.

I honestly think if I'd continued the way I was going, especially if I was trying to get him to sleep through the night in his own room, and especially if I'd given him unlimited access to food, he definitely would have weaned early (as I did).

But since it is important to me to nurse him until he is at least two, I needed to change and do something different. So far it is working great! Next update on PFB for our nine month appointment. At this point I think the 30% is about where he needs to be, so my goal for 9 months is to keep him at that percentage, which may be a challenge as he begins to crawl and discover the world!

That's one great thing about bed-sharing, though, is that I have confidence that james will make up any calories he misses during the day by nursing more at night . . . so I'm not worried.

So for now I would declare PFB a great success! I honestly don't think it is very easy to make up 10 percentage points in a month, I'm proud of myself and "the ladies", hehe.


By: Kate Nadeau said...

Glad to hear it worked. But I must say, the percentages crack me up. While I am sure both of our peds are using BF growth curves, James is at 30% at 4 months and Theodore was at 50% at 4 months... but James was 3 ounces heavier. Perhaps a topic of another blog post?

Liz said...

Way to go!! James is doing great!

Thanks for the link to the chart. It has Peter at around 15%, whereas his doctor says he's at 5%.

Grace said...

WTG Adrienne! That's awesome :-) I try to worry more about healthy growth and development than strict curve-following, but that's great that you got him to grow so much in just a month!

EricaG said...

Excellent post, Adrienne!

justadrienne said...

Kate, I'm using the BF charts, which my ped isn't using--when he expressed concern I went home and looking up the BF numbers for myself. Not sure what he is on the normal CDC chart that my ped actually uses . . . :/

Marilyn said...

missing dat fat baby

Cassandra said...

Hi, I've been reading your blog for awhile from teh ivillage boards, I was due at the very end of october so I was always lurking the november board too.

Anyway!! your little James is sooo super adorable, and to be honest I wouldn't worry too much about the growth charts. My son was born 39w1d at 7lbs 15oz, at 2 months was 10lbs, 13lbs at 5 months and now just under 17 lbs at almost eight pounds. he's gone from average percentile, down to the 3rd percentile, back up to 9th and now he's all the way up to the 13th percentile at 16lbs 13oz woohoo!! there are so many huge babies that throw off and skew growth charts that babies this size that are really NORMAL size babies suddenly seem "underweight" or tiny! it's crazy!! as long as your son is happy and healthy (which he certainly looks to be!) I wouldn't stress over it too much, good luck with PFB though!!

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