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Percentile dropping - am I a terrible mother?

(65 Posts)
Caenea Fri 10-Feb-17 10:40:05

This might get quite long...

My baby had her three month HV visit on Wednesday - and between the six week check and now she's dropped from the 75th centile right down to the 25th.

HV has said it's probably because she's been sleeping hilariously well the last few weeks - once we got past a blip when she first went into her cot, she's basically slept 9.00pm - 6am without waking up to feed.

Plus she only feeds every three hours in the day. They've said I need to stop letting her sleep and wake her up at night every four hours max to feed her and try and feed her more often in the day.

She's EBF and I can't force her to feed! If I offer her the breast when she isn't hungry she just screams and pushes me back - am I meant to force it into her mouth while she fights and howls?? Plus if I can make her take it she invariably just possets it right back up.

I've been obsessing since Wednesday now - is there something horribly wrong with her? Should I have noticed? Even the HV said she seems a happy, thriving baby - lovely colour, alert, smiling, kicking etc.

I don't think she's losst weight - she's just not putting enough on. My OH says he doesn't think I should worry but this cannot be normal. Am I awful for not knowing she shouldn't sleep? AIBU to not try and forcefeed her? Surely if she was hungry at night I'd bloody know it? Could she be dreadfully ill without me knowing??

Witchend Fri 10-Feb-17 10:48:00

Sounds fine. She wouldn't sleep if she wasn't hungry.

One of my friends first baby there was a lot of worry because they were born at 8lb and by a year I think was just over 12lb.
Second baby a little bit of worry.
Third baby they accepted that was just how her babies grew.
They're now all strapping teens and perfectly normal sizes and healthy.

AnnoyedByAlfieBear Fri 10-Feb-17 10:51:57

My daughter was exactly the same. The hv insisted on formula tip ups which I wasn't happy with but DH agree with the hv. Long story short, it didn't make too much difference but as 6 months when she started solids she all of a sudden started going up percentiles again. She went from almost the bottom of the chart to 91% where she is now at 2.4.

Writerwannabe83 Fri 10-Feb-17 10:57:22

My EBF baby was born just below the 91st percentile and within 3-4 months he was on the 25th. He'd never slept through over night and would usually wake twice overnight for a feed and then fed every 2.5 hours during the day.

My HV was never concerned about my milk or his feeding and never suggested too-ups. She said it's normal for BF babies to drop a few centiles and then they "find their line" and stick to it. Once DS was on the 25th percentile he pretty much stayed that way until he was 2.5 years.

My HV said that as my DS was a happy baby, alert, developmentally fine and showing no signs of being unwell then his percentile drop wasn't concerning to her.

Lou654272 Fri 10-Feb-17 10:59:06

This happened with my first, hv wanted me to wake and feed every 4 hours (I didnt) he is now very tall for his age, average weight and not affected by dropping percentiles as a baby in the slightest. Solved the problem for my new baby by not going to be weighed very often! As long as I can see weight gain and clothes are getting too small I have no concerns or need to go to the weight clinic (hv was fine with this just said must come if worried etc and once weaning has started properly I should check weight)
Soy advice is if you aren't instinctively worried then I'm sure she is fine and babies are brilliant at knowing what they need

mistermagpie Fri 10-Feb-17 10:59:41

Sometimes I think the HV's are obsessed with the carts, but it's only one indication of how your baby is doing and lots progress at different rates. My DS was on the 9th for weight at birth but rapidly went up to the 50th and we got into trouble for that because he was putting on too much weight. Eventually I insisted that he was measured for length (for some reason they are reluctant to do this) and he was on the 90th for that so actually not the big fatty they were suggesting.

Anyway, back to you, I found that eating more tended to coincide with growth spurts and 'leaps', so your girl might be just having a more settled period at the moment. She wouldn't be sleeping through if she was hungry and if there was something seriously wrong with her you would know from other symptoms. If, when she's awake, she is bright, alert, engaging with the world etc etc then I really wouldn't worry. Personally I wouldn't wake a sleeping baby to feed it unless there was a good medical reason to do so. At this age they need sleep as much as nutrition.

Laineypopps Fri 10-Feb-17 11:01:15

Don't wake her!!! Healthy children won't starve! If she is hungry she will wake up. As she gets towards 5months or so you might (or might not) find she reverts back to waking up to feed as she hits growth spurts. Just be thankful for your sleep just now. Take her lead as long as there are no other concerns.

meganorks Fri 10-Feb-17 11:05:19

Please don't wake a sleeping baby! I was setting an alarm to wake my baby (younger though) as they said she wasn't gaining enough weight. I then read something that once they are over 11lb (I think) that they don't need feeding in the night and was livid as already a few lbs over.
Second baby did not sleep! At all. Ever.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 10-Feb-17 11:07:40

Whilst yes the charts are only one indication and not the be all, that is a big drop.

Sometimes hungry babies are fractious when awake and/or more sleepy. And mostly posseting is perfectly normal and not a sign of anything at all and due to immature insides rather than being full up.

If I were you I would be seeing a GP just incase but whilst I was waiting for that I would be removing dummies if I used them and assessing of it was breastfeeding position Causing reluctance rather than a lack of hunger.

DubiousCredentials Fri 10-Feb-17 11:08:09

Ds - born on 25th, was at 91st by four months and is still there now age 9.

Dd - born on 75th, dropped to 9th by 9mths, still there age 8.

Don't worry.

bittorrent123 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:10:13

My first two did this weight wise and are fine now (I did end up topping up with formula and they ended up being overly chubby).

Do you feed both sides? With DC3 I try and feed both sides if he will take it and he has had a better weight gain than the first two.

However those charts aren't that great - comparing EBF with formula fed babies isn't helpful I don't think. And they are all so different and change so much, go through different phases etc. You'd know if she was unhappy/hungry.

BarbarianMum Fri 10-Feb-17 11:13:23

I don't think I'd start night waking but I would be keeping a close eye on the situation for a few weeks. If she keeps dropping centiles I'd take her to the GP.

FWIW ds1 fell from the 75th to 9th percentile for weight b/w birth and 9 months and has been there ever since (now 11) and he's fine. But 75th to 25th in 6 weeks is a pretty rapid decline. If she stabilised on a percentile I'd not worry but if she continued to plummet she needs to be checked out.

SleepFreeZone Fri 10-Feb-17 11:17:32

I'm also worried about DS2. He had his 12 month check yesterday and is tracking the 50th centile for weight but the 25th centile for length! He is diddy.

I am pretty tall for a woman and my DP is just under 6ft. His brother is tall for his age. I'm not sure why he is so small and feel it's something I've done ☹️

Writerwannabe83 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:20:06

If I were you I would be seeing a GP just incase but whilst I was waiting for that I would be removing dummies if I used them and assessing of it was breastfeeding position Causing reluctance rather than a lack of hunger.

Yes, yes, yes to this.

When DS was 6 weeks old I gave him a dummy just to try and settle him so I could get some sleep and when I woke up my boobs were in agony and I realised almost 6 hours had passed. DS had slept all that time whereas normally he'd have had two feeds - which may have been great for my tiredness but not great for him. I didn't use the dummy again after that.

A dummy does interfere with a breast fed baby's feeding pattern so if you are using one it may be worth taking it out of the equation and seeing if this encourages her to feed more frequently.

Writerwannabe83 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:24:46

sleepfree - please don't worry. I'm about 5ft 7 and DH is just under 6ft but our son was always quite dinky and his length was always just below the 25th percentile. I was always worrying about him because he never seemed to grow out of the 12-18 month old clothes. He is now almost 3 and has clawed his way up to the 50th percentile but he still wears trousers that are labelled 18-24 month grin

Your son is absolutely fine, there is nothing wrong with being on the 25th percentile and he's clearly in proportion.

My DH said he was always quite short until he hit 17 and then he just shot up.

You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about or worry about flowers

FannyFacial Fri 10-Feb-17 11:30:42

YANBU at all OP, and in no way awful.

I chose to ebf and the nursery nurse on the maternity ward was repeatedly feeding ds formula against my wishes angry at night when I was unable to lift him to feed him due to csection + complications. My milkflow dried up and it took weeks of expressing and medication to thankfully get it back. It completely ruined the early days with my ds and he had to be readmitted after losing 11% bodyweight. He soon bulked up ebf and is now on the 50th centile at 7mo.

sycamore54321 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:36:02

"first baby there was a lot of worry because they were born at 8lb and by a year I think was just over 12lb."

Not directly relevant to the OP but I hope nobody would ever find this reassuring, or anything other than horrifyingly alarming. Babies generally double their weight by six months and treble it by a year. I'm assuming the figures here are wrong because a baby who gained only four pounds in an entire year is likely to be a very sick baby indeed.

OP, if you are concerned, can you get the exact weight figures so you can firstly see that she is indeed gaining? And then I'd suggest you try feeding her more often in the day, not by force feeding her but by starting your feeding ritual a little earlier than she wants. So instead of waiting for her to be hungry and actively looking to be fed after three hours, start trying to feed her (if she is reluctant, try nappy change, strip her down a little, etc) after 2h30 or 2h45. Over the course of a day, you'd end up with an extra feed or two.

alreadytaken Fri 10-Feb-17 11:37:02

as long as she is a happy, thriving baby this is probably not an issue. However you might try talking to a breastfeeding counsellor for some extra reasurance.

Caenea Fri 10-Feb-17 11:43:41

She has a dummy but not at night - I didn't want her becoming reliant on one for settling purposes. She's really good at spitting it out in the day when it's time to feed.

Honestly until the HV told me she'd dropped I had absolutely no concerns about her - like I said, she's happy, smiling, cooing, wriggling, doing tummy time very well, lifting her head and torso no issues, no issues with latch, seemingly no reflux or colic issues.

Now however I'm questioning everything - is the cooing because she's in pain somewhere, is she not feeding well - she's my first so I don't know if how she feeds is normal? I feel like I don''t know anything anymore. The hv said I need to bring her to clinic next week to see if she's going up again after waking her at night but if she's not gaining after that we need to go to the GP sad

Caenea Fri 10-Feb-17 11:45:55

@sycamore, she went from 11lb exactly to 12lb 6oz. So she has put some on, but I don't know if that's not a gain - like did she put some on but then lose some? I haven't had her weighed since the six week check so I've no idea what happened.

teaandbiscuitsforme Fri 10-Feb-17 11:51:12

Taking her to be weighed in a week is crazy, they should at least have said a month!

Personally, I wouldn't wake her and I wouldn't take her to be weighed unless she stops growing or feeding. However, I would stop the dummy for now to see if she looks to feed more regularly during the day without it. If she's not feeding overnight, then she needs to regulate and build your supply during the day.

Writerwannabe83 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:52:22

How many times does she feed during the day?

MagicMoments22 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:55:53

My HV got my DH and I all in a tiz when at 4 weeks we were told he had to feed every four hours - we couldnt wake him from a nap in the day and I was nearly hysterical trying to. He was fine and just slept really well (I wasnt going to shake him awake and prodding just didnt work)

He also dropped from 75-50 percentile just after Christmas and the HV made a fuss. I would have explained he had a cold which would have explained the weight loss as he wasnt feeding as well. But I decided not to bother as I shouldnt have to explain - go with your gut instincts.

I get the impression they look at all mothers as potential abusers from their reaction

MagicMoments22 Fri 10-Feb-17 11:56:27

Back up to 75 percentile now

kel1234 Fri 10-Feb-17 12:00:14

My lo was born bang on the 9th centile (6lb 7oz birth weight). He dropped to below the 2nd for a bit, then slowly went back up. He wasn't back on the 9th centile until he was around 7 months old. Then he went up and reached the 25th when he was around a year, then went slightly over the 25th. (We haven't had him weighed for a while but I'd say he's well gone up more by now, he's 17 months now).
He was exclusively formula fed, but had plenty of milk and ate well since we started weaning. The hv told me not to worry, and said that as long as he was gaining weight, he was fine.

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