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rubbish ds weight gain - any advice?

(18 Posts)
HannahandSeb Tue 26-Jun-07 12:23:33

My ds has an egg, dairy, peanut, lentil, sesame and fish allergy we carry an epipen & piriton at all times. He was on the 75th percentile when he was born and has slowly grown along his own little line so that he reached the 9th at 10 months, he is now 13 months and has dropped to the 2nd and I don?t know what to do about it. He is also gone from the 5th to the 2nd on the height chart. I feel really sad when I do his nappies up and they have more room round the tummy than they ever had. He has been ill 4 times in the last month since starting at nursery and I am feeling very anxious about it.
My health visitor just says give him sugar and I can't seem to get hold of a dietician. Sorry for the moan I'm also 18wks pregnant so maybe I'm feeling a little over emotional at the mo!!!
Has anyone else had to deal with this? I've no idea if it will affect his height/growth when he is older and was just seeking any words of wisdom or support you ladies might be able to offer.
Thanks Hannah

Wisteria Tue 26-Jun-07 12:38:44

Bump Have no hints as have no experience with allergies; must be awful for you though and you have my support completely, some of the other knowledgeable people on here can probably help you though xx

saadia Tue 26-Jun-07 12:42:42

The only thing I can think of is to add olive oil to as much of his food if you can, and perhaps consult a dietician to work it out so he gets all the nutrients and calories he needs.

tatt Tue 26-Jun-07 12:48:23

I haven't had to deal with this but I feel you ought to be able to get more support than you are being offered. Could your partner get involved in pushing for you to see a dietician? I would have thought potatoes, rice and bananas would be better for helping him put on weight than sugar. Is he having wheat yet? Does he seem happy to feed himself with finger food? Is he having live yoghurt?

It is quite usual for babies to have a lot of infections when they start nursery, unfortunately. Once they've been through all the new bugs it tends to settle down.

Wisteria Tue 26-Jun-07 13:14:55

Agree with Tatt - sugar does not seem like good advice to me either but foods naturally high in carbs could be better for weight gain.
Avocados are very good, high in fat but the right sort of fat IUKWIM.
He may grow out of some of the allergies as he gets older (hope so).
I think I would create a bit of a stink with GP until you get to see a dietician

muppetgirl Tue 26-Jun-07 13:35:00

Sugar sounds really odd to me? Empty calories and all that.
Is your lo on any other milk -soya or something like that?
I was told when my ds went form the 75th to 9th by my best friends mum (20 years experince as a nursery nurse both in hospital and homes) to give him rice pudding -could you make that with whatever milk he's on?
Bit of a bummer as dairy also, custards are good for fattening up...

LilRedWG Tue 26-Jun-07 13:36:55

Go to your GP and request a referral to a dietician for your son.

tortoiseSHELL Tue 26-Jun-07 13:37:30

You definitely need to see a dietician - can your GP refer you, rather than going via the HV? I guess the sugar suggestion is because any calories are good when they're not gaining. CAn you add things like olive oil to pasta etc? Just bump up the calories in everything he has?

Hope you get a bit more support.

HannahandSeb Tue 26-Jun-07 14:29:47

Thanks for all your info. Because we are missing out on butter, full fat yogs etc it is so hard to get the calories into him, I completely agree that sugar is not going to solve the problem and if anything I think it will lead to more. He does have rice, potatoes, pasta etc but he doesn’t eat loads and he does love avocado so I will try to get more into him. I wish all the soya alternatives weren’t just aimed at those trying to lose weight as that would help.
It is so hard getting decent support, my hv doesn’t have a clue about allergies and keeps asking me if he can have goats or sheep milk, I don’t think she realises it is all milk protein he can’t have. I feel like it is the allergy version of that royal family sketch where the grandma keeps asking if the vegetarian can have wafer thin ham!!!
Tatt, he is happy to have finger foods and is having non live soya-yogs, I can get live ones if they are better?
I have just managed to get hold of our dietitian who we have seen once since this all started 6 mths ago and have pushed for an appointment next week, they are keeping the clinic open for us which I think is the least they can do considering she told me that she thought she had missed me off her list and meant to get in contact with me a while ago, hmmm not amused.
Thank you all so much for your help, it makes me feel like we’re not all alone and I'm not a neurotic parent!

tatt Tue 26-Jun-07 15:50:33

the live yoghurt might just help generally with building his immune sytem and hence his resistance to infection. Or get some probiotic powders to sprinkle on his food. If you have probiotics before the birth they might help reduce the allergy risk for your unborn child too.

Flaxseed oil is good for omega 3 fatty acids if he would have it.

It's hard on you having to deal with all this while you're pregnant. You're not being neurotic, you're just struggling with a pathetic system.

Don't know if you've seen the recent suggestions that bacteria in cows sheds protects against allergy - don't think nough is known about possible risks to recommend a cow shed visit yet but he may still grow out of all his allergies.

Only other thing I could think to try would be the sainsburys free from chocolate - I know its milk and nut free, you'd have to check the others.

plus30 Tue 26-Jun-07 16:24:09

Hi there
Just been doing a bit of browsing and had to answer your post as a) I have a little bit of experience with allergies and b) I know exactly how upsetting it can be when you see your little baby failing to thrive in the traditional way! I am mother to one dd who is now 21 months old. She was a very difficult feeder from the minute she was born, would scream for at least an hour after every feed and had on average 8 runny nappies a day. She did gain weight at the start however, this slowed down pretty quickly and by the time she was 6 months old she was only 13 pounds. I spent most of my maternity leave at my GP's office trying to convince them that something wasn't right. Her answer was that all babies are different. My HV was completely useless too. I was convinced that my daugher had some sort of allergy and eventually managed to convince my GP to refer her to the allergy clinic at our local hospital. It turned out that my daughter has no real allergies as such but is intolerant to cows milk and soya protein. She was put onto Neocate formula and although it doesn't smell or taste very good it was obvioiusly a welcome relief for her and she started guzzling bottles down. HOWEVER, as a result of her intolerances we are very limited to what we can give her to eat (finding soya free foods has become my lifetime challenge!). Add to that the fact that she is not mad about food anyway and you'll understand that i too have had difficulty getting/keeping her weight up. I have had various degrees of success but here are a few of the things that have worked well. Avocado is brilliant - she will eat a whole one at a time and it's great for vitamins and fat. I use PURE non dairy/soya spread (you can get it in health food stores and Tescoes) to mash up potatoes/melt over vegetables etc to up the fat content and I use rice milk and cornflour to make my own rice pudding. You can also use the PURE spread with oats and maple syrup to make great flapjacks as a wee treat. Infact I've even been known to add a teaspoon of PURE to my daughters porridge - along with some fruit puree to sweeten it up. Banana's are also good. I would disregard your HV advice about more sugar (that's such a classic example of how little they know!!!) - apart from all the obvious disadvantages too much sugar in the diet can give your baby diahoreah. And finally for treats, I buy non dairy/soya chocolate from www.alotofchocolate.co.uk. It is an excellent site and has a section for special diet choccies. They tell you exactly what is in them and have something to cater for even the most restricted diets. AND the chocolate actually tastes like chocolate - so many of those free from.... ranges taste disgusting! Right, I must get back to work but I hope that helps a little. It's the most frustrating thing in the world when your child doesn't feed/grow the way you want them too but it will pass. I cheer myself up with the thought that in this age where childhood obesity is rife, it's no bad thing to be a little on the light side! Hope this helps x

plus30 Tue 26-Jun-07 16:26:30

Sorry didnt' mean that post to be so long but one more thing - I also give my daugher ABC prebiotics - you'll get in it health food stores. It's supposed to help the immune system develop which in turn might help eliminate allergies! x

HannahandSeb Tue 26-Jun-07 16:58:38

I will be buying probiotic everything tomorrow for both of us and I’m sure we can find a cow shed somewhere as we live near a couple of farms! But that is the most bizarre research I’ve ever heard. Flaxseed oil is a good idea as I can’t give him oily fish. I don’t know what I would do if we had to add soya to his list of allergies plus30 it must be very difficult.
He is on neocate advance at the mo and the dietician did mention that there is another type one up from that which apparently it has more calcium and protein in it but I can’t remember what she said it was called.
Thanks again for your help, I love this website I think I have learnt more here than from most Dr’s and Tatt you are always full of good info.

tatt Wed 27-Jun-07 11:38:28

I know it seems wierd but it's something to do with the way T cells respond. So far its just studies in mice. The easy read is here http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/lifeand_style/women/body_andsoul/article1972512.ece

Apparent ly Lactococcus lactis is considered safe enough to use in food, haven't tried to check out the other bacterium .

katelyle Wed 27-Jun-07 11:55:25

I am very ignorant on this subject, but shouldn't a child as young as this with multiple allergies be "under" a paediatrician? It sounds like you need to see someone further up the hospital "tree" than a dietician - or am I completely off beam. Sorry if I am.

HannahandSeb Wed 27-Jun-07 14:28:14

katelyle I don't think you are off beam at all it is rubbish that it is always me pushing for things even though my hv knows I have been unhappy with his progress for ages. We do see an allergy consultant but only every 6mths or if he has any 'new' problems and then we still have to wait a min of 6 wks to be seen. I agree it would be great to have someone like a pead at least monitoring our progress even if it was through letters from our Dr or health visitor. Once I see the dietician next week I will go back to the dr and get them to refer him to a pead that can deal with the overall picture.
I had him weighed today and he was only put on 2oz in a month, that can't be right?! HV said to give him more jam again and choc spread, I despair

plus30 Wed 27-Jun-07 16:28:40

Try not to worry too much about such an insignifigant weight gain - although I know it's very disappointing. I remember months when my d stayed the same or even lost a few ounces or pounds - especially when she started crawling and walking. Did you see a paed right at the start of the whole process where you were referred to a dietician? The allergist we see every 3-6 months is also a general paed which I rather ignorantly assumed would be the norm! Incidentally, what were the symptoms of your lo allergies?

tatt Wed 27-Jun-07 19:11:31

allergy specialists are such a rare breed that most people see a specialist in something else and "with an interest in " allergy. Often it doesn't seem much of an interest, judging by their depth of knowledge. For children it generally is a paediatrician for food allergy.

The dietician should give more detailed advice, monitor progress and refer to a consultant if necessary.

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