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10 month old "failing to thrive"

(19 Posts)
Judd Tue 29-Mar-05 21:49:17

Hi everyone, I'm posting this on behalf of my good friend who does not have computer access (I'll print off any replies and pass them on to her). Her DS is 10.5 months old, birth weight was around 7lb,breastfed from birth then mixed fed from six months to date. He has never been too excited about drinking milk and is currently only taking 2oz at a feed. He also has a very small appetite for solids - loves eating bread, fromage frais, banana, but will not tolerate any pasta sauces, shepherds pie,fish pie etc.
The HV has asked her to bring him into the clinic to be weighed weekly and has now said that at 15lb he is "failing to thrive". My friend is devastated and, I think, would love any suggestions on foods she can try for him (she has been through all the Annabel Karmel books already) or just to hear from anybody who may have been in a similar situation.
She says he is a happy little boy and enjoys playing with his toys but he does get tired and has to be supported by cushions in case he keels over. She has tried feeding protein by "stealth" -ie. mixing lentils with yoghurt- but I wondered if by doing that, she was lessening the iron content (doesn't milk inhibit its absorption?)

Caligula Tue 29-Mar-05 21:52:23

A good tip to increase protein yield is to mix rice with pulses - for some reason, mixing them together gives you more protein than each ingredient on its own. Will he eat something simple like boiled lentils and rice?

piffle Tue 29-Mar-05 21:56:34

ask fo referral to paed consult or dietitician
my dd was a fail to thrive on hv charts but not on dietitians charts.
There could mbe many underlying reasons (without major panic factor) that her ds is not gainig as "expected" so a referral is advised?
DD is now 29 mths 23lbs and fabulously healthy if not very chart high
Try not to worry it sounds like she is doing everything possible

Judd Tue 29-Mar-05 22:02:15

Thank you - will definitely pass on all messages to her and see if she can get a referral. I think her confidence is taking a knock as well as she keeps running into mothers with younger, beefier babies who can be quite tactless! Somebody also suggested to her that DS could be delayed developmentally because of it, although the HV would not talk about that with her.

piffle Tue 29-Mar-05 22:06:06

judd i have been through all of that btw

Potty1 Tue 29-Mar-05 22:07:09

Judd - if the HV is officially noting him as failure to thrive then she should refer him on. Its awful to say that to a mum and then not take it further. My dd was FTT (due to undiagnosed congenital heart disease)and was referred by NV to the community paed and then to the hospital. Hope your friend can get some answers soon.

Potty1 Tue 29-Mar-05 22:07:42

Sorry thats the HV

bundle Tue 29-Mar-05 22:09:18

know of 2 boys who were referred for failure to thrive, one had congenital heart condition, the other had quite severe allergies, so it's worth getting checked out. i think the phrase itself reflects badly on the parent and makes you feel even more crap

piffle Tue 29-Mar-05 22:10:15

yep exactly same here

Judd Tue 29-Mar-05 22:15:25

Blimey - thanks very much. Will definitely phone her in the morning and let her know about this. Luckily her mum is staying this week and so can support her (I'm not near enough annoyingly). Poor little boy- he's failed his birth hearing test and 8 month test in one ear and has had numerous bugs and chicken wonder my friend is finding it hard going (she has a 3 year old as well).
Of course sod's law dictates that my DS was born on exactly the same date and is Biffer Baby (31lb)!

meysey Wed 30-Mar-05 10:55:56

she should definitely insist on a referral

has she tried him wheat-free? it might be worth getting advice on this from the GP or local hospital dietician as undiagnosed coeliac disease can cause FTT. just make sure if she is trying wheat-free that the substitute bread etc does not have soya in it as that too can upset babies' digestions. we spent ages feeding DS1 gluten free farleys rusks only to discover they had soya in that did not agree with him!

LIZS Wed 30-Mar-05 11:36:58

My dd was similar birth weight (just under 7 lbs) and didn't gain weight rapidly so was almost 18 months before she could "graduate" into the next stage car seat ie. at 9kg/20lbs. She walked by a year, was really active and just burnt off the food she ate really quickly. Now at 3 1/2 she is still under 12kgs ! but healthy and full of life with it.

If friend's ds' energy levels flag then perhaps he does need checking out, but, quite honestly ,weekly weighings at this age are meaningless as growth slows and mobility increases, making the "gains" fluctuate, and this will just add to your friend's worries. The HV is not really the person best qualified to make an assessment alone as ot whether it is really a failure to thrive, developmental delay etc or not, so she would need a referral rather than continue on this treadmill.

Good luck to her and hope all is well.

connorsmum Sat 02-Apr-05 10:07:30


I know I am a bit late to this, but wanted to say that i am going through the same thing right now. DS2 was born 7lb 13oz and gained weight fine until about 10 weeks. At 4 months he was 14lb and satyed that way for another 4 months. He was diagnosed as FTT and has been hospitalized twice to have tests run. So far the have not found much to explain why he is so little (currently 16lb 1oz at 9.5 months). He did have a heart murmur at birth and we have been refered to a paediatric cardiologist as it hasn't cleared up on it's own. Hopefully I will get some answers on Monday.

It would be worth getting her son refered to a paed consultant who can get a dietician involoved. It will help put her mind at ease. as for the HV, sounds like she could have had a bit more tack.

I hope that she gets to the bottom of things.

Potty1 Sat 02-Apr-05 11:31:10

connorsmum! was just thinking about you this morning - is it the cardio appointment on Monday?

Let us know how you get on.

MrsBigD Sat 02-Apr-05 12:42:13

probably a bit late as well but dd was 5lb 11 at birth and never crept past the 0.4. Actually dropped of the charts completely and was tested for all sorts of things (coeliac disease, thyroid etc) after being referred.

She was a nightmare for the first year re feeding as she'd only have a couple of oz of milk per feed every 2h or so and when she started on solids it was a couple of mouths full an that was it. Never seemed to lack energy though so slighlty different to your friend's babe.

End result... she's got a white coat phobia but there is actually nothing wrong with her, she's just petite (still under 2stn at 3 years) and VERY active. The nutritionist just said to try and fatten her up as good as we can by adding butter and cheese to everything she eats. Thankfully dd has now discovered junk food. She used to be the type : offer chocolate and apple she'd go for the apple.

We're probably the only parents that are happy that their kid wants junk food!

Her brother on the other hand... 8 months and 2stn!

chocolatequeen Sat 02-Apr-05 15:26:16

Just a quick tip from my pediatrician - also have pretty skinny son, so asked for some advice to help build him up!! He suggested adding olive oil to milk feeds, or even meals. One tablespoon has huge amounts of calories, no sugars and will really make a difference. Maybe worth a try? Another tip i heard from a mum was to heat milk in saucepan, add an egg and boil the mixture up.

Good luck, hope everything is ok for your friend.

Caligula Sat 02-Apr-05 15:33:58

Can anyone tell me what the definition of "Failure to thrive" actually is? Is there a specific formula to decide whether an infant is ftt?

MrsBigD Sat 02-Apr-05 20:18:03

well in my dd's case it was that she dropped below her curve and didn't grow/put on weight.

i.e. she was born on 0.4 centile, then dropped below but was still on an upward trend, but then she just stagnated and the curve turned into a straight line.

Now she's back on 0.4 for weight, but actually on 25 for height, so now looks really skinny

But a bundle of energy I wish I could tap into for my personal use

connorsmum Sat 02-Apr-05 21:25:39

My paed told me that They start worrying about their weight when they drop through 2 centile lines on the chart. In my sons case, he was on the 50th centile at birth, stayed there until about 10 weeks and then by the time he was 7.5 months he had dropped off the chart all together. He is back on the chart now, but is still under the 0.2 centile. HTH

Potty! Goood to hear from you! Yes, Jamie has his cardiology appointment on Monday at 2pm. I will just be glad to find out what's going on, and hopefully find that it's nothing to worry about. I will let you know!

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