thread: "Failure to thrive"

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2004

    "Failure to thrive"

    has anyone had a baby with this?

    my baby is 6 1/2 months old and has had "failure to thrive" since she was born.

    i would love to hear about others experiences.

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2003
    Melbourne, Australia

    Kristi who has told you that your baby has "failure to thrive"? I ask because I have found that Maternal health Nurses love to tag babies with things, which can be incorrect.

    As Theresa has pointed out there are many other indications that need to be considered and just because your baby is not putting on weight as fast as others, does not mean there is something wrong with your baby.

    Are you seeing a paed? Because I would imagine that this would be an important person to see if your baby is not thriving, especially still at 6 months.

    Good luck and I to hope that your little one is OK.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2004


    thanks for your reply theresa, i really appreciate it. you have helped me just by providing me with your experience.

    Briella was born at 35 weeks, weighing 2510gm, within 10 days she was 2240gm and was put in hospital and on a ng tube for 5 days. since then there has been a constant battle with her weight. everyone freaks out when they see her, i have been to a GP with my other child and ended up at the childrens hospital that afternoon because he took one look at Briella and got so worried about her. they have this "ideal" amount of how much they expect a child to put on weekly and if they dont do it then look out. i have also stopped going to the health nurse because of the treatment etc i got. Briella now sees the paediatrician monthly for weight checks and he had me start her on solids early. the paediatrician has seen her since she was about 2 to 3 mths, before that it was the health nurse.

    at 6 1/2 months she weighs 5 kg, she is way below the 3rd percentile so i guess thats what they class as FTT.

    how early was your little girl? what did she weigh? what does she weigh now?

    thanks again for your help

  4. #4
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Kristi - while Gabby hasn't been losing weight thus being tagged FTT, I have recently had a bad experience with my MCHN saying she is not getting enough to eat and that my supply must be low. I can completely understand where you might be feeling frustrated and how the stress of feeling like you are depriving your little girl is just unbearable.
    Good on you for not continuing to go to the clinic. I am seriously thinking about doing that myself.
    Gabby was born at term a healthy 8lbs and has consistently put on weight until recently where she has only been putting on half the amount she should. In saying that, she is happy, has plenty of wet nappies and sleeps sooooo well. I thought I was doing brilliantly until the MCHN said I need to do something about my supply (which I FINALLY thought I had down pat).
    Gabby has yet to hit the 6kg mark and she is almost 5 months (and she wasn't prem). I am thinking she may just be a petite little girl?
    I think your little one sounds like she is doing just right for her. If she is happy and sleeping well and doing all the things that a happy baby should, I say nuts to those stupid "averages".

  5. #5
    katanya Guest

    :smt039 Another FTT baby here, but mine is a boy!

    First thing you should know is a health professional is bound by law to report any baby that falls below two percentile lines (Felix went from 90% to completely off the charts)

    Our story is a little different, Felix was born 3.36 kgs and full term, was a very fast gainer and made it to 7 kgs by 3.5 months, and then stopped gaining anything at 4 months..between 4-6 months he gained 20 grams..we were sent to a peadiatrician who for reasons other than this ordered tests for his breathing issues..turns out 9 mths down the track he has a respiratory condition which makes his breathing arte highre than avarega and thuse burns up calories like no ones business, he also eats like a bird and all the calorie loaded things I give him don't make a dent.

    We've had a NGT because he was losing, and gaining and never getting back above the "line"(I'm talking the bottom line) The NGT got him to the 10th percentile where he is staying now just we have monthly appointments with a peadiatric dietician, peadtrician, and specialists.

    I have met many people with small kids and some part of me knows that even without his respiratory rate Felix would just be alean baby, even leaner with advice is get yourself positive medical people around you, a peadiciation or health nurse who says the wrong things can make your life hell, I blamed myself for months, but finally because of my peadiactric dietician who understands kids like Felix, I feel like I am doing everything I can and I cannot force feed him..he is getting better and more interested in eating all the time..

    FTT is a horrible term and I have felt like I have failed him at the one thing I thought I could do best,m provde him nourishment, I think this issue is why many many women stop breastfeeding (I am still breatsfeeding and supplimenting him with beeffed up formula) @ 15 months old he is 9 only 2 kgs heavier than he was at 3.5 months .

    The others are CANNOT force feed a child who wont eat (except when you ahve one of those gastly NGT tubes..he pulled his out once a week in the month he had it)

    Felix is happy and has SO much eneregy and life, despite his health issues, he is slightly advanced to normal developmentally and a happy boy! I know he is okay.

    Please do not react the opposite way and start stressing about every single thing that goes in her mouths, at 7 months I was told by his paed to give him 5 meals of high caloie food a was impossible, and he'd cry and hate it, I'd pull my hair out and hate it, he would poo it all out as it was high in dairy and so I stopped dairy and he lost weight..I realise now if id' just not stressed he may not ahve developed the issue he has surrounding food now..maybe they would have been the same maybe not!

    Anyhiow HTH!!

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2004


    wow, you dont know how good it is to talk to others that actually know what i am talking about. until now, i have had no one that understands what i am talking about.

    at times, i find it almost depressing to have a FTT baby, as, like you said katanya, you feel like you have failed.

    unfortunately briella was never breastfed so i havent been made to feel guilty about my milk supply, sorry to you ladies who had that burden on top of the rest of it all.

    briella is my 3rd baby girl, all my baby girls have been petite, like around the 3rd and 10th percentiles but never as little as briella.

    in the last month briella has not put on any weight at all since her last paed appt. granted, she has been sick but gee its so worrying to see that, and i just want to feed her up to get her fat. but as you ladies said, i cant force feed her.

    like everyone else though, i have got one very happy little baby on my hands who sleeps well and in the end thats what counts the most. they just throw us these little hurdles to keep us on our toes

    thanks for offering your input to me, i appreciate it.

    katanya- your little man, how incredibly worrying for you, to go from the 90th percentile to below the 3rd, big worry.

  7. #7
    katanya Guest

    at times, i find it almost depressing to have a FTT baby, as, like you said katanya, you feel like you have failed.
    Quite honestly Kristi the FTT issue have been the most difficult aspect of his health, I just fell apart after the NGT, I had anxiety attacks and just couldn't keep it together anymore..we're doing okay again now and I am learning not to blame myself, but I really question EVERYTHING I had decide about him, and of course had to defend my choices to everyone too.
    It's funny because when he was gaining so much, everyone was saying "og you are such a great mother" because he was so fat on my breastmilk..then when he didn't gain, they stopped saying I kind of felt what they weren't saying..that I now was a bad mother because I couldn't help my child grow..

    I used to get very jealous of chubby babies (stil occasionally have the chubby baby envy attack ) and just didn't know what to do..I now just love my skinny guy (he is actually reasonably tall so looks very skinny not just tiny) and think, well hey he'll never see the inside of an obsesity clinic!

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2003
    Melbourne, Australia

    Kristi, both Katanya and I have had many a discussion about our babies and the weight and feeding issues. Alana having Cystic Fibrosis, has made it such an issue that I have found that it has almost sent me to breaking point at times. I have been lucky that because Alana's condition was picked up early that I could rectify the weight issue through medication, so she has put on weight well. But I still stress alot.

    Alana was born at the 50th percentile, by 8 weeks she was just under the 10th. We have now got her back up to just over the 50th.

    It makes such a difference knowing that others are going through a similar situation.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2004


    iris- it sure does help a great deal to know others out there facing similar issues, and until the other day, i had been dealing with briellas weight issue with people that sympathise but just dont understand. its good to have found you all and had a chat, much appreciated wishing you the best of luck with your little girl too, what you and katanya have been through cant have been easy at all.

    thanks for helping me

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005
    Wonga Park

    Weight Issue

    My girlfriend has a 16th month old who has just reached 8kg. She eats only when she wants to (no point force feeding) but is happy and healthy and running around. She is just a small petite little girl!

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004
    Back in Brisvegas :)

    I just wanted to say that having met Katanya & Felix; I am appalled at the disgusting labels put on children who for whatever reason have found it difficult to gain weight within the boundaries of what some medical test percieves as 'normal'.

    I was aware of Felix's health issues prior to meeting them both but can honestly say that I'd thought he'd look tinier than he does. Truthfully Katanya, Felix is a gorgeous little boy who is quite petite in build but in no way does he look underfed or suffering from FTT.

    What an ridiculous amount of pressure, guilt and blame to place on new mothers!

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    aw fletch its hard not to worry & you do have a great nurse there to encourage you!

  13. #13
    katanya Guest

    Fletch I am glad that you have a support nurse that is a huge bonus, it really is the WORST feeling in the world when your child doesn't gain weight..

    Becki it's really funny but I was talking to my friend in sydney and I realise I am so paranoid about Felix's weight that I was worried about taking him out in bathers to the beach, I just feel that people are looking at him thinking, oh that poor skinny child, what is that mother doing to him..when he has clothes on people can't see his ribs..and he looks well enough!

    To make matters worse Felix has been sick =for the past 6 weeks and is looking really skinny again..I am REALLY dreading our dietician appintment..I can feel all his bones just makes me feel sick..

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2004
    Chasing Daylight...

    Katanya huge hugs to you. I can hear the worry in your post and I can sense your amazingly deep love and concern for your little boy. I hope you can find some comfort in the fact that you are doing everything you can to nourish him. You're seeking a broad range of medical opinions and you're making informed decisions as a result. In a nutshell, you are doing a FABULOUS job as a parent... there's most probably not too much else you can do. Self-doubt every now and then is part and parcel of having a child who has an illness or disability. In some ways it's probably a built-in reality check-er so we can stop and take stock of what we're actually doing and affirm the decisions we've made concerning various treatments. It's only when we let it entangle us and paralyse us that it becomes damaging to us and those we love most.

    And if you do take Felix down to the beach to let him enjoy the sand and ocean, don't feel guilty about his physique. People should just butt out. My son has a slightly flared rib cage from his lungs fighting to work when he was a baby, and he sports several very visible ribs and two very large scars. Some people do stare at him... those who notice and ask about his scars I tell them about his amazing story. Those who notice and just stare... well that's their problem.

    Why should my son miss out on some of life's best experiences like the beach just because some people are quick to judge?

    Sorry for rambling on (and on and on) but I just wanted to encourage you Katanya, and you other ladies who may be facing lower weight issues.

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2004

    Gosh it makes me soo angry what some health nurses say to mothers! Some of them have no idea really.

    Fletch - Zane is where Matty was at. Matthew is now 6 1/2 months and hasn't hit 7 kgs yet. He was discharged at 3.4kg. He is now below the 25th and I'm lucky as noone has said anything about his weight. He is a happy boy, always been a great feeder and has slept through the night from 7 weeks. Don't worry about Zane!

    My g/f has an almost 3 yr old and she has been off the lowest percentile charts most of her life and not once has she had the tag FTT on her. My g/f breast fed her until she was 2 yrs old ( her own choice and in no way reflecting that anyone should! Just pointing it out ) and I have never seen a toddler who will eat and try anything at least once as she does.

    I know that you girls know but I wish that the silly health nurses would remember that all baby's are different! GGRRR!!

  16. #16
    katanya Guest

    Thanks Christine, it means alot to hear your expereinces, I am trying to get past my own guilt issues, just when I think all is good then Summer comes and his skinniness is more on show!

    I am just more than a little pertified at this weeks dietician apointment..I just couldn't bear that ghastly NGT again..and I know Felix feels the same anyhow his eating this week since his is now better health wise has improved out of sight! and he is eating well but not enough to get rid of thse ribs yet! His chest bones and back bones are sticking right's really awful..not fair that we have to work so hard to get weight on him..

  17. #17
    Add Rouge on Facebook

    Jun 2003

    It makes me mad too! The same happened to us. And I know how all of you feel. Whenever she got sick and stopped feeding (happened HEAPS till she was about 18 mths) we rushed her off to the Dr and they would want us to go straight to the childrens hospital. Everytime we did we waited for HOURS and even once they took a sample from her bladder (using U/S and a needle) I was trying so hard not to fight back tears. And the reason we got treated this way, she had lost weight on and off since she was a baby. She has always been in the 15th percentile and still is. They stressed over us when I breastfed, they stressed when I bottle fed we probably didn't stop stressing till she was nearly 2! We got told at around her 18 mth MCHN appt that going by her charts she's fine, and has always been because both her height and weight followed a pattern regardless of the percentiles. I heard recently these charts are based on american formula fed babies, and that the charts are completely irrelevent to us especially as it is from the 70's (how accurate this is I don't know..). My point is, Paris was 9lb1oz when she was born and yet I got asked all the time how prem she was :-s

    I say go with your own pattern, and listen to your instinct. If you are concerned then get an opinion if its fine don't worry about what anyone else says.



  18. #18
    Hasky003 Guest

    Reading the posts made here have calmed me down somewhat after returning from the GP's this morning with a FTT diagnosis and a refferal to a pead.

    My son was a healthy 9lb (4080g) bub induced a week late, and in the 8 weeks since he was born has only put on 420g. In that time he has grown over 10cm in length. I was convinced i was doing something wrong with the breast feeding (my first 2 were formula babies), but from reading what has been posted, this may not be the case.

    I suppose all there is to do at the moment is to wait till friday when we see the pead. With any luck we can get it sorted quickly (i'm not too keen on baby ribs)