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Early weaning advised for 17 old baby still below centile line charts

(14 Posts)
Riversmum1 Tue 24-May-16 17:40:16

My little baby boy is 17 weeks and weighs only 4.7kg. This means his weight tracks below the 0.4th centile line on the charts in our red books.

I have attached his chart so you can see the little line of his own he is following.

He was born 5 days early weighing 2.970kg and it took him a month to regain his birth weight - I was exclusively BF. I had him weighed at week 5 as he didn't seem to be chubbing up and to my shock he has only gained 40g in that week.

I then sought the care of a lactation consultant who advised topping up with formula which did work for a while. This was in conjunction with a cranial osteopath who did seem to make feeding more comfortable for my son, but only ever for a few days. When my son was around 10 weeks my lactation consultant was growing more and more concerned about the discomfort he was experiencing during BF and also his slow weight gain.

She referred us to a paediatrician who immediately prescribed Neocate formula and tested his stool. His calprotectin levels were very high at 404. 3 weeks later though and his weight was still tracking his own line - no burst of better weight gain were happening which everyone was praying for!

At this point he prescribed Nexium for reflux which worked wonders for his comfort while feeding. He also admitted us to the Chelsea and Westminster for monitoring. There he was seen by gastro consultants, dieticians, gastro dieticians and more paediatricians and the sent us home as he gained 130g in 4.5 days. Whilst the all differed in some of their opinions they all agreed that he was very alert, smiley, had great tone, and seemed very happy, sleeping and napping well.

That was a week ago and since then he hasn't sustained that gain and only managed 130g in 8 days this week (he was weighed on new scales though so they say that often explains a 40-60 shortfall but we won't know that).

He now feeds completely calmly and is guzzling over 700ml of slightly concentrated (on advice of the dietician at the hospital) Neocate per day.

We have been asked to start weaning with Neocate spoon this weekend. I am pretty excited but wondered what everyone else's experience as like with early weaning? I am hoping his weight will shoot up as we begin to mix in pureed carrot, sweet potatoes etc but of course continue with the formula.

I am reaching out to you other mums in absolute desperation! I am on my knees with the stress of having a healthy, happy, thriving but utterly skinny babe.

ANY advice hugely appreciated.

Thank you!

HappyNevertheless Tue 24-May-16 17:48:16

Whatever is happening with your DC seems to be quite complex so please feel free to ignore my comments if they are out of line.

First, at 17 weeks he will be nearly 4 months, which is when dc1 was weaned (old guidelines)
I was told at the time that starting solids might have the opposite effect, aka he would fill himself up with foods that are have kess energy in them than milk.
In reality, he thrived on them because he was reacting to milk (unknown to me apart from the fact he had started to refuse feeding) so actually put weight on as he was happy to feed again.

Have they advised you about what sort of food to start him with?

HappyNevertheless Tue 24-May-16 17:50:30

Oh btw, the way we started feeding him was using a normal teaspoon and very liquid type of solid food. We did put the spoon sideways on his lips (not in the mouth) and he sort if suck it up.
The 'spoon' feeding where we put the spoon in his mouth came later.

Riversmum1 Tue 24-May-16 17:53:11

Hi there!

That is my fear. He may muck about with the product Neocate spoon (a bit like baby rice) and then not guzzle his milk as much.

He does constantly have his fists in his mouth and all the grannies are convinced he just wants to eat.

Dietician advised starting with Neocate Spoon (baby rice alternative) this weekend and adding pureed pear, carrot, etc into the Neocate spoon as we go along really.

Nothing more specific. Can't wait to start and see the results really.

Thanks for your advice!

MarvellousCake Tue 24-May-16 17:54:19

On Gp advice we started weaning DD (also small) at the same age. She positively thrived. It was such a relief. She is 9yo now and above average height (+weight and in all other wayssmile)

Riversmum1 Tue 24-May-16 17:55:57

Thank you MarvellousCake!

Any tips on how best to start?

Thanks HappyNevertheless for the side spoon tip.


MarvellousCake Tue 24-May-16 17:58:33

Good luck

5minutestobed Tue 24-May-16 17:58:48

The only thing I would say I be careful what you wean him onto. Pear and carrot are two of my refluxy DS's trigger foods. It may take a while to work out which things are triggers for him.

Riversmum1 Tue 24-May-16 18:01:04

OK thanks 5minutestobed - what worked for your DS?
Thank you!

MarvellousCake Tue 24-May-16 18:02:19

Sorry for the xpost. We just had baby rice and used a bouncy chair or similar for her to sit in and got stuck in. Then moved on to v smooth fruit and veg purees. Then once at current normal recommended weaning age added finger foods etc. I felt I had to defend myself quite a bit!

MarvellousCake Tue 24-May-16 18:04:11

We found all food to be much better than any milk!

MarvellousCake Tue 24-May-16 18:07:59

(in terms of reflux etc)

Zaurak Wed 25-May-16 21:59:32

We started at 16 weeks as ds was dropping off the charts. We used gröt, which is Swedish but basically oat porridge. Oats are better than rice - more nutritious. Was nervous at first but he just scoffed an entire bowl of the stuff first time! He rapidly got back on the charts and looked miles better within a couple of weeks. He's never going to be a big baby but it got him back on track.
Watch out for constipation- puréed prune is a good thing to add. Feed after milk, so they're not hungry and frustrated.

corythatwas Thu 26-May-16 10:29:14

When mine were little, 16 weeks was the start of the weaning age, people usually started with baby rice and then worked up to mashed spuds. Dd also took off when weaning started, but in her case it was because she was hypotonic so could not suckle effectively.

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