Worried about dropped percentiles(24 Posts)
Dd is 14 weeks old, breastfed. She was 8lbs 14oz when she was born - 75th percentile. She regained her birth weight within 2 weeks and when I got her weighed at 8 weeks she was still following the 75th. I didn't bother getting her weighed again for quite a while as everything has seemed fine, but thought I'd double check so took her yesterday as we were out for a walk anyway going past the weigh in clinic. She's dropped to the 50th and they want her back again in 2 weeks to check she stays following the 50th.
I've fed her on demand and taken my cues from her, but she's begun to put herself on a more reliable 'routine' lately, including feeds.
She's been refluxy since birth which has improved a bit lately. She's just had a bad cold/ cough but has still been feeding well. If you looked at her you'd say she was bonny and well covered, exceptionally content and ever smiling. She certainly lets me know when she's hungry but never takes more than one boob. She goes 3 to 4 hours in the day between feeds and currently wakes for one feed at night, so is doing two 5/6 hour stretches. She's met all her milestones on time or slightly early. I honestly hadn't noticed anything different or of concern in her feeding - wees/ poos nice and frequently. She always seems sated after feeds and is a happy little girl - everyone comments on how placid she is.
What does it mean and what might have caused this? Do I need to do anything differently? The hv didn't seem hugely worried, but it does seem like quite a drop and they made a point of telling me to go back in two weeks. Should I be worried?
The percentiles are just a guide. I've had three and they've bounced around the percentiles. Dd1 was born at 50th and now on 91st. Dd2 born 98th and now on 50th. Dd3 born on 25th and now on 9th.
You know your baby better than the health visitors. If she's got regular wet nappies and does big mustardy poos, if she's happy and content and sleeps for reasonable stretches then she's almost certainly fine.
I'm surprised they've got their knickers in a twist about her dropping one percentile line too. I was told they had to cross two lines before anyone got concerned. And it could just be a combination of how recently she'd eaten and the type of scale they used. Try not to worry too much.
They are just a guide, babies find their own percentile and its unusual for them to stay on the one they were born at. I have 4dc, 1 stayed put, 1 went up and 2 dropped by half (admittidly they were off the chart when they were born). As long as feeding well, and happy and healthy dont worry.
My DD was VERY low on the percentiles as she had reflux. She is nearly 19 now and fine. As I understand it this is quite an antiquated way of keeping tabs on weight etc and is based on very old data averages.
They are just a guide. Dd dropped a bit then went up again. She's just gone down again (possibly due to getting the hang of BMW HV thinks) so same as you, she's going back in 2 weeks. Try not to worry until you have taken her back. I'm sure she would let you know if she was starving. She may of just lost a bit of appetite while she had a cold.
Have you tried offering both boobs recently? My DD is a similar age, ebf and dropping centiles, and had only ever taken one boob per feed. After she was weighed I tried offering both, and she drained both sides happily! She's a cheerful chubby baby too, so I hadn't realised her appetite had increased.
Both GP and health visitor told me that they only worry if the baby is either very low weight or have dropped two centiles. DD, now 3, was on about 75 at birth, then dropped to 50 and has tracked 50 ever since.
BF babies often drop centiles on the general chart. 75th to 50th is only one line (they normally don't worry at all until it's two lines). One weigh in could be a blip. I wouldn't worry at all yet, if everything else is fine, see how it goes. All babies are different and the lines are a guide.
FWIW for anecdata, my BF DD suddenly started eating like a horse at 3.5 months and grew out of her 3-6 month clothes by 4.5 months, going up from 50th to 75th. She also stared waking more to feed at night around 4 months.
She's being tracked on the normal chart.
I've offered her both boobs a few times and she doesn't want the second.
I'll try not to worry until I go back. I think she's just spacing her feeds out more now, not generally taking as much at night any more and becoming more active - she can 'talk' for England and is already trying to pull herself up and rolling around a lot! She must be using a lot of energy practising her new skills!
One thing a paediatrician friend told me is that growth charts have been designed for formula fed babies, who grow differently to breast fed babies. I'd keep an eye on it but not worry too much.
Kelly Mom is a really good resource for breastfeeding and has info on the charts too.
Ds2 was born on the 75th and fairly quickly dropped to the 25th. HVs were a bit worried and wanted me to take him every 2 weeks for weighing. He always gained, just small amounts. He was just finding his natural size I guess. He was always happy after a feed, generally only took one boob at a time. He was also extremely active
From a young age so obviously wouldn't gain as much as a baby who just lay there.
The red book growth charts are 'based on World Health Organisation (WHO) Child Growth Standards, which describe the optimal growth for healthy, breast fed children.' So not based on ff, although I believe they used to be.
Certain drops act as triggers for HV to refer but often not cause for alarm. My son had a weird weight gain pattern and was referred into a paediatrician but as he was alert, feeding well and producing nappies they weren't concerned. Hope all goes well op.
She sounds like she's doing fine. I've BF three DC and I didn't bother with getting them weighed. If a baby is content, having plenty of wet and dirty nappies and grows out of their clothes, then that's a better way of assessing their growth. I think weighing babies just creates unnecessary anxiety.
Could have written this almost word for word except ds has dropped 4 centiles. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, he seems happy enough, lot of wet nappies etc, reflux seem seems to be under control. He's just not putting weight on. I was told must give him formula top up a few times a day. I've been and bought a medela swing and I'm trying to pump too. I've got to go get weighed him weekly now and I've been "flagged up". (My Mam thinks I'm not eating enough and should be up for neglect.) I'm really sad because I thought I was doing well. Sorry for the pity party, just a solid "you're not alone"
As long as its only 1 line its all good - just a precaution to see that she doesn't drop further (25% or so). most children do a drop at one point, and its fine!
Audrey that sounds awful
Has he been checked for intolerances? One of my friends was in a very similar situation and once her son was diagnosed with CMPI and she cut dairy out of her diet (she was bf) he piled on the weight and was like a different child.
Audrey what your eating doesn't affect the milk quality/quantity. So your mam is wrong.
Just how much milk is getting into the baby.
I'd there bf help in your area to check how he's feeding? It does sound a worry if there is really no weight gain.
It might be worth your own post in the infant feeding board to get support.
My LO has dropped from 91st to 9th Centile but HV says he is just finding his line.
Don't sweat it, as long as they are happy, growing out of their clothes and gaining weight then it's fine. People put too much emphasis on weigh ins.
DS is happily chomping away on food and still having his milk and although his gains are slow, he is in clothes for his age group and very active. If he wasn't eating and not alert / active I would be worried.
OP, my DS, weighing 8lbs 13oz at birth, dropped down from the 75th percentile to the 50th percentile too. He was actually being visited by a dietician at home for other issues he had - and she wasn't bothered by the change. He ended up following the 50th percentile curve from then on.
Also remember that the curves in the red book are smoothed-out averages. Real individual babies grow in fits and starts.
I think you are doing the right thing monitoring DD's weight but please try not to worry - it's not an unusual occurrence.
Thanks Semaphorically and jaggy . I think my DM is just concerned for us both (even though me and ds are fine) and is voicing it badly!
He was 8lb 15oz born and was 14 weeks on Monday and is 12 lb 6 oz.
I didn't know there was and infant feeding topic, I will definitely check it out thank you!
How are you both doing today OP?
Ds1 was born on the 75th percentile (weight) and slid slowly down to the 9th over his first year. Because he was allergic to cmp (amongst other things) we had paediatric and dietetic involvement who finally concluded that was the way nature intended him to be. Now age 11 he is still 25th for height and 9th for weight and is perfectly fit and healthy (and allergy free).
My friends ds2 disappeared off the weight charts by 6 months, cue lots of tests and intervention. Age 13 he's still tiny (like his mum) but healthy and very fit (keen footballer).
In summary, big falls in percentiles may indicate a problem (and are therefore worth checking out) but may be nothing other than genetics asserting themselves.
As is evident, weighing babies just creates anxiety. There's been research published to back this up. My eldest was a big baby when he was born but he dropped down the centiles. He was very skinny and the HV fussed about it, making me very anxious. In the end I stopped having him weighed and used my common sense instead. He was very active, very bright, and slept well. He seemed perfectly ok but skinny. He's still skinny now and over six feet tall. He's very bright and doing extremely well at school.
Please don't worry about your baby's weight if they are developing well, eating ok, sleeping well, and growing out of their clothes.
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