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He has just slipped down to the 3rd percentile... suggestions NEEDED, I think I might not be too far off losing it!!

(33 Posts)
mum2fred Wed 04-Jul-07 10:46:20

My almost 7m.o DS has always been on the small side, normally somewhere between the 17th and 22nd percentiles. This past month he has slipped down to concerning levels.

We are struggling with weaning, as the little man is JUST. NOT. INTERSTED. We are lucky to get 1/2 a normal feed in his mouth, and have struggled to establish lunch (breakfast and dinner are much easier). I have tried every food under the sun numberous times (As we started introducing food at 5 months on advice of HV)and many different food/milk combinations. He likes pumpkin, sweet potato, most fruits, vegemite (yep, his dad is an aussie), rice crackers, crushed up rusks, baby bereal, parsnip (he'll tolerate that one)and LOVES yoghurt. SO it's not an issue of him liking food - it seems ot be an issue with getting him to take a reasonable quantity.

Its quite distressing and whilst I put on my 'happy happy' face during meals, I worry that I radiate concern and frustration.

ANYWAY - if anyone has any ideas, I would appreciate them so much.

ALSO - if anyone has any good books they could recommend on weaning - I would really like them. Not so much for recipes or information - but I would like to understand the 'psychology' behind what I'm doing andwhat he is thinking (For example - we had sleeping problems up until a month ago, then I read Ferber, who I found explained it so brilliantly, that with an adapted version of what he suggested we were able ot get DS sleeping through the night with no problems whatsoever)

throckenholt Wed 04-Jul-07 10:52:50

I also have a littlie - has spent most of his life on about the 2% (now age 4.5 just climbing up to about 5%).

Don't stress about it - feed him milk as first choice and food as fun - things for him to try and learn about but not as the major source of energy. Just let him eat as much as he wants and introduce new things gradually.

Enid Wed 04-Jul-07 10:53:41

dd3 is on the 2nd centile

I deal with it by never taking her to be weighed

(I had to at her yearly check)

Enid Wed 04-Jul-07 10:54:14

btw she has alwyas obviously been weeny naturally and is as strong as an ox so I have never been concerned

mumto3girls Wed 04-Jul-07 10:54:35

Your boy sleeps well, is he happy and healthy in every other way?

If so then I would completely chill about his weight...my little girl was very similar and we were even referred to a consultant that we saw once a month for about 4 months.

My little girl ( who was actually born weiging 9lb 8oz!!) is now 2 and is a running, climbing chatterbox who chatters away and talks more than any child of her age that I know. She still only weighs 25lb ( which my friends babies weighed at 6-9 months)She has always been very active and she eats enough to survive...don't stress, he sounds like he's doing amazingly well for such a young chap!

lilymolly Wed 04-Jul-07 10:58:17

my dd is on 9th centile, very petite, she is 18months old and currenlt wears 9- 12months clothes bless her.
She is strong as an ox, walks and is very active, sleeps well, looks healthy, but eats what can only be described as nowt!

She was a nightmare to wean and only really started eating at around 12months and even now only has about 2 meals a day.

I am with Enid, I never get her weighed

witchandchips Wed 04-Jul-07 10:58:25

Its still really early days and its really good that he seems to like all the food that you are giving him

If the issue is quantity then you could try and make the food richer [e.g. put loads of butter in the sweet potato] and/or be a little more relaxed about the 3 meals a day and think instead of giving him 5 smaller ones. [have bigger snacks mid morning and mid afternoon]

The weaning book by gina ford does go into the relationshpip between milk feeds and solids in some length and this may be of some help.

mum2fred Wed 04-Jul-07 11:10:28

Thank yo all for the support!!

I know the main thing is to be relaxed about it all but it's difficult when it's your first one and all the other babies you know are chubby little piggies - it's such a relief to hear stories similar to mine.

DS is still a long way from graduating to 6months + clothing!! (I KNEW i shouldn't have shopped for all those ridiculously cute clothes too learly)

Yes, he is active and healthy. Yes, he is very strong. Yes, he is happy (well, mostly. He's teething to boot so a tad grumpy of late).

witchandchips - thats really interesting about the butter. Are there certain sorts of food that I should be trying to feed him (higher fats? higher carbs?). Plus DS dad is a 5 small meals a day man, so that could be a good idea..

StarryStarryNight Wed 04-Jul-07 11:18:15

Hi there,
I notice there is not a lot of CALORIES in the food you are giving, you mention lots of fruit and vegetables, which is great for vitamins and for a lot of other reasons. But at 7 months you could be introducing baby pasta, cooked rice in your babys meals, more carbohydrates such as potato and maybe try some bread? Even some bread soaked in milk with with some pured fruit to flavour it is good? Not too uptodate on current weaning advice, but how about proteins such as meat and fish? Chicken? You can pure some into his veg, and it will be more substantial.

Aitch Wed 04-Jul-07 11:18:59

i've never read it but i've seen My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez recommended on here. apparently despite the rather hysterical title it's exactly what you are looking for, all about the psychology of eating in a 'don't panic' sort of way.

Enid Wed 04-Jul-07 11:19:11

you can give him anything that you are eating at this stage

have you tried letting him feed himself?

lilymolly Wed 04-Jul-07 11:20:46

DONT compare your ds to other babies, everyone of my friends with babies where all saying how much weight their dc had put on, and how well they ate <booorrrrrrinnnggg>

Everyone now thinks she is cute cos she is so petite!
Plus everyone thinks she is amazing, for example she walked at 11months but she looked like a 6 month old, so people would come up to me and say that she is really amazing I had to explain that she is normal and is doing everything children her age should be doing.

I think it will help her in her childhood as she will not have too many pressure, those babies who are bigger are expected to do more.
Plus life is easier cos you can skip a meal or be late with a meal and she never kicks up a fuss

Jomaja Wed 04-Jul-07 11:21:27

DS (nearly 10 months) is the same, small and just dropped centiles again, I only had him weighed as he had his check- up yesterday.

He will eat when he feels like it, some days loads (compared to other days), some days not so much and some days he wants milk (bf).

But he is on the go all the time, he will not sit still for a minute and is crawling and climbing, pulling himself up and walking along the furniture...
HV was very impressed by him and his daring outgoing nature and agreed when I said that I think the only way for him to put on weight would be to force feed while tied to a chair [sceptical]

Enid Wed 04-Jul-07 11:22:09

lol lillymolly I have that with dd3

she runs around now (14 months) but looks like a one year old

very impressive

Blu Wed 04-Jul-07 11:31:24

I'm not an expert on weaning or feeding, but i am the woner of a very skinny little boy! My DS was always a skinny baby and on the very low centiles. he never had chubby legs, not ever! But although he is still small for his age, he is strong. wiry, healthy, energetic etc.

Remember that centiles include ALL the extremes that go to make up average. There isn't anything wrong with being at either end of the centiles - you don't need to aim for the middle!

Many first foods are not as high as milk in calories - fruit and veg are not very calorific, so make sure he is having plenty of milk, and include protein in his meals. Make sure the yog is not low fat (a low fat diet is not good for babies / children) - the thick Greek style yogurt is popular with lots of children.

But mainly, don't worry!

elliott Wed 04-Jul-07 11:37:30

I agree with starrystarrynight - try increasing the calorie density of the foods you are giving him (full fat milk products, carbs, olive oil, butter, high fat yog). They have little tummies and need more bangs per buck from their food then adults. Fruit and veg is less calorie dense than milk so if he is replacing milk with those foods he may be getting less overall.

honeybunny Wed 04-Jul-07 12:49:12

My ds1 started off life on the 75th centile. He's been hovering between 2nd -9th since he was 2. He just stopped growing for 12months. He wouldnt eat in his first year, tiny amounts only. He wouldnt bf either, and never managed a whole 9oz bottle of milk in his life. Weaning was a nightmare cos he just wasnt interested.

I used to worry constantly that I was contributing to his food dislike, the more stressed I got the less he's eat. So yes, try and keep the happy face, eat with him, and calorie load. Give him lots of opportunity to self feed and if I had my time again I think I would have been less anal about snacking. I wouldnt let him snack because it would have a knock on effect for the main meal and he'd eat even less, but now I think I'd have just offered little meals more often.

ds1 is now 6.5 and has an excellent and varied diet, but is still weany. He's just made it into size 5yr clothes and his younger brother is 2inches taller than him. His projected adult height is 5ft 4, smaller than me, which I hate the idea of, and hope that he'll have a massive spurt in his teens. Being a boy I think I worry more cos of height-ist issues, small man syndrome etc, much more so than if I was talking about my dd, so I really empathise.

hannahsaunt Wed 04-Jul-07 13:13:01

Honeybunny - we have exactly the same issues with ds2. Rest of the world thought I was paranoid; finally took him to the gp who referred him to paeds who found that he had no detectable levels of IGF1 (insulin like growth factor). We are now into up to 2 years of monitoring his growth (or lack of!) patterns before they decide if/how to proceed with e.g. growth hormone. We do have some terribly short people in my family e.g. my grandmother was 4' 6" and I think it's much more of an issue for boys.

mum2fred Wed 04-Jul-07 13:39:12

to be honest - ive never really known too much about which foods contain colories etc.. Im lucky in that I got brought in a house where we simply ate lots of veggies and healthy food - so I've always hada balanced diet by instinct. And I've never had to diet to loose weight (thought with the snails pace at which my current load is dropping off, this might change)so I've just never looked into it.

I've tried toast and potatoes with mixed results (potatoes = gagging) but not done pasta yet. i will give that a go, and revisit potatoes. Is baby rice not the same thing as adult rice? (i have so much to learn!!) Because i will often mix that in with one of the veggie purees. I've tried chicken and he liked that, but have not had an opportunity to do up a batch lately. Have not tried any red meat or fish yet. Will get onto those.

I feel so much the better for all of this, confident again and a great distance from the mess I was this morning. THank you all so much.

honeybunny/hannahsaunt I think you hit the nail on the head there in many ways. I know he is healthy but I guess in some way I worry if he doesnt put on weight soon it will affect him in later life. Silly concern to have (As it is out of my hands in many ways) but in the back of my head.

mum2fred Wed 04-Jul-07 13:43:07

argh. i really need to spell check my posts. sorry. (oh - and current load is that which is left over from the worlds biggest pregnancy tummy)

Just thought I would say that we just had a really good lunch then. He ate about 1/2 of a normal portion of parsnip and baby cereal and a WHOLE(mini) tub of yoghurt. I guess positivity radiates too!!

Just (another) quick question:

How long should I persist trying to feed him. I mean, I know I could sit with him all day, slowly prodding food in, but thats not practical. At hte moment I am spending between 30 and 45 mins on each meal.. Is that too much/too little?

Zazette Wed 04-Jul-07 13:50:08

My dd was teeny: she hovered between the 2nd and 9th centiles in her first year. She has a small build and slight frame, and is also a very physically active child. The advice about giving her calorie-dense, protein-rich foods was really helpful to me.

A paediatrician friend told me that if you need to pack calories into a small one, fat rather than carbohydrate is what you need to focus on. So I used to melt a lump of butter into her sweet potato mush AND grate some cheese on top, she got all her fruit mixed with Greek yogurt, etc.

She was always happy, health, and full of energy, so I didn't let the teeniness stress me too much. She's 5 now, and still scores much lower on the charts for weight than height - but she's wiry, muscly, fit and strong, with an excellent appetite, so that's fine. GOod luck - try not to let it worry you too mucho

StarryStarryNight Wed 04-Jul-07 13:55:06

If he is gagging on potatoes, try mashing it up and mixing with butter and some cheese, maybe even a little milk, that makes it sloppier and also contain more fat. You can let him snack on cheese cubes, too.

Tapster Wed 04-Jul-07 14:12:35

Definitely add more calories - creme fraiche or cream into purees and cheese. Cheese sauces with pasta.

I think 45mins is quite long to spend on lunch, personally I either eat mine with her (she is nearly 8 months) or I potter around the kitchen I find she eats more if I leave her too it and ignore her a bit.

My DD also struggles eating large quantities and never really eats breakfast. I find putting things on bread or pitta is the only way she will eat more than a couple of spoonfuls.

Good luck

honeybunny Wed 04-Jul-07 14:55:00

I used to add butter, cream, cheese, to most things to increase fat content, also as we've no family allergy problems, I'd add whizzed up almonds and cashew nuts to porridge and other mushy food to increase protein content. I've never been able to persuade ds1 to eat pasta or any major carbs for that matter, which is a little like me.

I think 45mins is a little long, altho ds1 was a slow eater and he did respond better to being left to get on with it at times although equally if I was eating at the table with him. We would eat out with friends too when possible so that he'd spend time with similar aged children and copy them. On really bad days I'd resort to tv distraction and shovel in when he wasnt looking kind of thing!! Shudder to think back on that really!!

Hannahsaunt- yes we've been through the same investigations for growth hormone deficiency, boney growth delay (x-rays) all normal. Annoyingly the local quack expert is only 5ft 4 himself and sees nothing wrong with that, so is reluctant to discuss options re growth hormone treatment for the future. We're waiting for our 1yr follow up to discuss further......

Mumpbump Wed 04-Jul-07 14:59:14

My ds has breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, tea and evening snack (usually a full-fat yogurt). He has everything full fat and get things like croissants which he loves at the weekend. I would definitely agree with putting full fat milk, butter etc in his diet and having more small meals...

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