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17wks, bf, failure to thrive - 'Give him solids' ?

(169 Posts)
Pesha Mon 20-Aug-07 15:08:53

Its me again

I know I wasnt going to get him weighed but with the paed appt I have still been going to give them an accurate picture of his weight, assuming that the hvs would leave me alone as something is being done. I am only going every 2 weeks though.

Ds2 is now 5.2kg so well into the blue at the bottom of the chart (his length is around the 50th line although I know that's never very accurate). HV is going to try and bring my paed appt forwards as its not till 20th sept.

And as he is now 17 weeks today she wants me to try and give him solids. I told her that I thought solids contain less calories and fat than breastmilk but would fill him up more, so he would feed less and it wouldnt help at all. She said that wasn't always the case and it seems like he's not getting enough calories atm. She suggested giving him just a little bit of something after a feed, hardly anything just a taste really she said. Well if it is only 'just a taste' then what's the point in that anyway?

I weaned my other 2 at this age but really wanted to wait till 6 months this time and try BLW. I thought solids at 17 weeks was against recommendations and a Bad Thing. Is it necessary in these circumstances though? Could it help? And if not then how can I argue my case to the hv in 2 weeks time? Or shall I just tell her I tried him but he wouldnt take it?

Katy44 Mon 20-Aug-07 15:26:20

Sorry to hear you're still having problems Pesha, quick bump for you.
Agree - what's a taste going to achieve?? If you want him to have a taste fair enough but it's hardly going to fill him up.
Hopefully someone will be around soon with a good answer - I'd also be interested as I'm starting to get the weaning comments now and need to know how to counter them!

tortoiseSHELL Mon 20-Aug-07 15:28:38

If he needs more calories, give him more - in the form of breastmilk!!! It's the best source of calories for them, although HVs will deny this!

witchandchips Mon 20-Aug-07 15:31:51

is he sitting up with help and beginnig to show other signs of wanting solids? If so you could bring blw forward so offer stuff to eat under the assumption that if he needs it he will take it.
17 weeks is really early and he is still so wee. I think the better answer (if his weight is truly a problem) is to try and give him more breast feeds.

Niecie Mon 20-Aug-07 15:33:52

I was told to start solids at 15 weeks with DS1 in 2000 - four months was recommended time to start solids then. Even the Annabel Karmel books were geared to that date.

3 years later, when I had DS2 it had changed to 6 months. I don't think much had changed with babies in that time but there was obviously a change of heart in the medical profession but I can't really see that it will do him any harm and therefore not a Bad Thing.

It may be that starting solids now won't make much difference to his weight in the short term but as his solid intake goes up and with it his calory intake maybe it will help him in a few weeks time.

Don't forget that the charts are geared to ff babies so he might not be so safely into the blue area for a breastfed baby and is probably just fine and dandy.

I don't know if it helps but my BIL/SIL adopted a little boy when he was just coming up to 2 who was also off the bottom of the chart in terms of weight. He had been neglected for his first yr but had spent a year with a foster family and still hadn't put on any weight to speak of. My BIL/SIL were constantly hassled by HV to get him to eat more and put on weight- it became a really big issue for them and my SIL felt really under pressure to fatten him up. However, even now 2 yrs, later he is still tiny despite eating and drinking and being a picture of health. My DS2 is 3 months younger and well built but you can see it in their bone structure - DS2 simply has bigger bones than DN and so they are never ever going to be meeting in the middle of the charts. It seems that some children are just meant to be tiny and who is to say that your DS isn't one of those children.

Good luck. I hope the paed can put your mind at rest soon.

tiktok Mon 20-Aug-07 15:38:47

Pesha, I said on your other thread that I thought your HV was being 'poisonous' because of the poor stuff she was communicating to you. I think what she is doing now is in that category. You are right about the relative calorie content of breastmilk and solids - if she thinks he needs more calories it makes no sense to give solids, as these risk decreasing his net intake of solids

You have the 'extra' calories, in your breasts....if he needs more calories he can have more breastfeeds!

You don't say if you have tried this, BTW. Worth a go!

NoBiggy Mon 20-Aug-07 15:43:06

The phrase "clutching at straws" springs to mind.

Her own logic doesn't even work, never mind any other arguments.

Stay strong! The woman are a fool!

Pesha Mon 20-Aug-07 15:44:48

Sorry have been reading but have to go out now so no time to comment just wanted to say on reading my own post back I think saying its a Bad Thing was a bit silly really, I've done it twice myself and most people I know wean around 4 months. And I certainly dont want anyone to think I am judging them for weaning earlier. I was thinking more HVs recommending early weaning is a bad thing. Hope ykwim.

Love and hugs all round

And am sure to have x posted with this as trying to do ten things at once!

Pesha Mon 20-Aug-07 15:45:44

Sorry have been reading but have to go out now so no time to comment just wanted to say on reading my own post back I think saying its a Bad Thing was a bit silly really, I've done it twice myself and most people I know wean around 4 months. And I certainly dont want anyone to think I am judging them for weaning earlier. I was thinking more HVs recommending early weaning is a bad thing. Hope ykwim.

Love and hugs all round

And am sure to have x posted with this as trying to do ten things at once!

prettybird Mon 20-Aug-07 15:50:37

Just stop going!

Is your baby happy, healthy and alert? If you weren't getting him weighed, would you be concerned? Is the only reason you're "worried" becasue of waht the HV has said - who has already been copmrehensively proven to be talking a load of tosh?

If you want to feel you are doing something, then do what Tiktok suggests: breastfeed him more. It's the only logical conclusion from the HV's (spurious) concerns.

And stop going to see her.

Niecie Mon 20-Aug-07 15:56:40

Pesha, might be that she is clutching at straws because nothing she is suggesting his getting LO's weight up. She is probably feeling a bit of a failure about this and is reflecting this back at you but as I said he is probably meant to be tiny and it certainly isn't fair.

I should have said that both times I did as I was told and weaned according to the advice at the time so 4 months for DS1 and 6 months for DS2 and they are both fine. I was just making the point that I don't think it will do any harm (even if it did not actual good) to wean at 4 mths if you wanted to try it.

kiskidee Mon 20-Aug-07 19:17:15

have you tried carrying him around in a sling? at this age they are nosy (usually) can sit up with some support so will be dead interested with what you are doing around the house. Also being in a sling will put him near your breasts so maybe he will be more likely to ask for feeds more often?

a pouch sling may be helpful.

tori32 Mon 20-Aug-07 19:42:57

Is your ds showing signs of hunger? eg lots of bit feeding and poor sleeping pattern? If so do you express to increase milk supply? If yes to that and ds still is not getting enough then surely his health is more important than your pride in the ability to breast feed. Is ds on a much lower centile than he started? If yes then get him weaned I say. My dd was 9lb 12oz and due to my poor milk supply, also due to lack of advice on increasing it, I had to go onto formula after 5 weeks because even after a breast feed my lo polished off a 5oz bottle. If you don't want to wean I would suggest trying top ups with formula incase its the amount he gets causing it. i.e. if he takes another 4oz it is clear you haven't got enough supply, so you can try expressing more to give top ups. I weaned at 16 weeks and my dd has never had any problems. I feel its better to wean before their taste kicks in at 6 mths because when they spit it at you you know its the texture causing it, not taste.

tori32 Mon 20-Aug-07 19:46:08

ps forgot to say i'm a theatre nurse and have never had a child in for any abdominal complaint due to early weaning. Provided you start on fruit and veg it will be fine.

kiskidee Mon 20-Aug-07 20:24:31

the easiest way for your body to make more milk, ie increase your supply, is to feed more often. giving topups does not aid in that happening. formula is not more calorific than bm so no point in using that instead and expressing to top up is just more work and faff. breastfeed.

Pesha Mon 20-Aug-07 21:59:55

Hi katy

W&C - no he's not really showing any signs of needing solids, quite interested in food but not especially.

Niecie - I see that same difference between my older 2 dc, dd is a tiny build, always have huge trouble finding clothes that dont hang off her, but ds1 is a solid little thing, not fat but just really solid. He's 4, she's nearly 7 but he now weighs more than her! And although I'm more of a solid build my mum is a very petite build and so is my sister so is quite likely he is just a very delicate baby.

Tiktok - hi thanks again for your advice, dont know where I'd be by now if it weren't for your help! This is in fact a different HV, I have seen about 4 or 5 so far who all seem to have the same attitude to bf
He has started sleeping about 7/8 hours at night but feeds alot in the evening before going to sleep and again in the morning when he wakes up. And then I seem to spend most of the morning sitting down feeding him (whilst mning!). He never goes more than 3 hours in the day without a feed, usually only 2 hours and sometimes not even that. And feeds for an hour or more each time so I'm not really sure I can feed him more unless I wake him in the night although obviously I'd rather not but would if its likely to make a big difference.

Prettybird - I would stop going but dr told me to continue so paed would have a record and I really did think they would leave me alone now that something was going to be done. I have only been going every 2 weeks so if they do get appt brought forwards I may not have to go again!!

Kiskidee - I was carrying him around in a sling constantly when he was younger as he was never even really making an hour without a feed so if we went out anywhere I would be feeding him in the sling but over the last few weeks he seems to have settled abit more so I have cut down. It was giving me a very bad back and I'm currently waiting on an appointment for physio!

Tori - he doesnt have poor sleeping patterns and I feed him as soon as he starts to show any signs of hunger, in fact any signs of any grumbling I feed him whether he's hungry or tired or whatever! I was intending to express in the evenings just so I had a supply in the freezer for other people to give him but atm he's not going to sleep til 10/11pm and I need to leave 2/3hours after feeding to build up enough supply to pump out so never get the chance but as kiskidee says I dont think it helps with supply anymore than just feeding him will. And my pride in bfing has nothing to do with this at all - bfing him is taking all my time, worrying me, causing me to put on weight, ive had blocked ducts, thrush, no sleep (until very recently), if this was just about me I would have given up long ago. I'm doing what I believe to be the best for my baby

I probably should have said earlier that last week he had a touch of oral thrush and today his first tooth has just broken through so neither of these will have helped his weightr gain although I dont imagine they've made a huge difference.

kiskidee Mon 20-Aug-07 22:11:28

i know that you said that you already sling but it's doing your back in. Maybe a different type of sling would distribute his weight differently? I am thinking a wrap sling on a front carry rather than a pouch sling now.

tell me if i am well off the mark. if you are interested, in the idea though, i can link a video that may be useful to see what i mean.

Pesha Mon 20-Aug-07 22:34:22

Thanks kiski, id give it a try if i could get one cheap 2nd hand - bit skint atm! The one i have is a tomy carrier from when dd was a baby, it has a back support bit but it always seems to sit half way up my back and not in my lower back where i need it. I have an existing back problem from a horse riding accident as a child, not helped by 3 pgs and 3 dc!!

Piffle Mon 20-Aug-07 22:38:51

ask for urgent referral to a dietititan for a proper calorific supplement

If your bay is truly a fail to thrive, the the amount of solids and type of solids he can take at 17 wks are worth nthing

I had a FTT dd and we got some excellent supplements frim dietitian who had said that the HV's advice to wean was DANGEROUs as it would have reduced her breatsfeeding which would be detrimental.
pls feel free to email me at if you want more details...

JodieG1 Mon 20-Aug-07 22:41:30

Pesha I have a hug-a-bub you can have if you want, I found it really great and as I have a bad back too (pelvic girdle pain and started physio but then had pregnancy problems) and found it caused no pain.

My dd was tiny too and weighed 11 pound 6 (5.18kg) at 16 weeks but she's now a healthy 5 year old and wasn't weaned then as milk has more calories.

JodieG1 Mon 20-Aug-07 22:43:13

Also I didn't get her weighed very often as I looked for other signs of health such as bright eyed, pink skin etc.

kiskidee Mon 20-Aug-07 22:52:04

the tomy carriers are not as comfortable as the fabric slings on the market. even people w/o an existing back problem find that they create one.

the hugabub is a great wrap to feed in and provides a lot of support for the wearer as it has to do with the way the baby's weight is distributed on your body. definitely worth a try.

alternatively, I have a home made one - made from 5 m of muslin bought in Ikea that would work great. I am willing to link videos from youtube to show how feeding in a wrap sling or hugabub would work.

JodieG1 Mon 20-Aug-07 23:01:52

Oh and the hug-a-bub I have you can have for free as I don't use it anymore. Email is if you're interested.

Pesha Tue 21-Aug-07 10:46:13

Have emailed you jodie and trying to email piffle but my internet is playing up now and I lost connection just as I tried to send it, hoping I havent lost it cos I cant remember what I wrote now!

Tumshie Tue 21-Aug-07 10:50:40

Hi - sorry not got time to read whole thread, but have just been listening to 1st feature on Womans Hour this morning (Tues 21st) about how growth charts in this country are inaccurate for bf babies - perhaps you should check it out (using R4 website Listen Again feature, if you can on your computer?). New growth charts are to be introduced by gvt soonish...?
As programme still live, you might need to wait a bit - but think you can click Listen Again button to right of page once it's over.

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