thread: 11 week old - low weight gain

  1. #1
    Registered User

    Jun 2007
    Melbourne, Victoria

    11 week old - low weight gain

    Hi all. I am looking for some reassurance. My son is 12 weeks today and I had him weighed and measured and his growth has slowed down in the past 3 weeks. His weight has increased by about 76 grams per week for the last 3 weeks and dropped from the 40th to 25th perc on the weight graph. The MCHN suggested I try comp feeding him with formula which I really don't want to do. He is generally a very happy, giggly and contented baby. He sleeps well and in the past 2 weeks has actually dropped from 6 feeds (he has been wanting 6-7 feeds almost since birth). The past couple of weeks he has dropped to 5-6 feeds. I think I will introduce a rollover feed around 9pm.

    I do offer extra feeds but like his sister if he doesn't want to feed he gets angry and neither of my babies have been comfort suckers. The exact same weight issue started with my daughter at 12 weeks and she is fine - she is petite but healthy.

    Should I be worried? I wish I had not had him weighed as I was so happy with how he is going - and now I am worried and have the 'formula' idea hanging over my head which I am not happy about. Any advice?
    Last edited by Katiegirl; August 17th, 2010 at 02:00 PM. : Whoops should say 12 weeks!

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    It is absolutely and entirely normal for weight gains to slow at this age.
    He sounds like he's doing very well. The best indication of how much milk is going is is how much is coming out - if he's having plenty of wet and dirty nappies then he's most likely getting enough. 6 feeds in 24 hours is on the low side, but if he's been gaining weight and growing well to this point then perhaps that works for him.

    He doesn't need formula - if there is any concern about how much milk he is getting, the best thing would be to try and squeeze in another feed during the day. But if he won't do that and he seems fine in every way then he probably is fine.

    Remember, if you ever have concerns about your baby's feeding, call the ABA - 1800-mum-2-mum. They're available to offer support and advice 24/7 and actually have some expertise in breastfeeding andwhat's normal for a breastfed baby (unlike many health nurses, unfortunately).

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Jun 2007
    Melbourne, Victoria

    Thanks Marcellus. I needed some reassurance.

    I also had a baby brain moment and the thread should be - 12 week old. Xavier is 12 weeks today not 11...whoops.

    Xavier has a lot of wet nappies and always a lot of dirty but just recently he has slowed to doing a poo every few days - from what I can tell this is fairly normal for a lot of BF that right? It doesn't bother him at all and when he does poo he does a couple for maybe 2 days and then stops again. As I mentioned, both of my babies have been particular about when they will and won't feed. I will definitely offer the rollover feed as that is the feed he has recently dropped (he now tends to sleep from 6pm unti anytime from 1am to 5am).
    Last edited by Katiegirl; August 17th, 2010 at 02:51 PM. : Added more

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2009

    Yes its normal to go for days with no2's. As you have said you bub is happy, and contented, how he presents on a growth chart should merely be recorded for historical sake. Babies will grow at their own rates, they are genetically one of a kind and will do things their own way and in their own time. I am often amused by the obsessive need to fatten babies up so that they sit on a growth chart 'better'. If you bub is on the 25th percentile, all it means is that an average of 75% of babies are bigger than yours, not that he is underweight. You may find in the coming weeks he will have his 3 month growth spurt. BF bubs growth will usually fluctuate. You milk is the perfect concoction for your baby, there is no need to worry yourself with formula top ups, its just unnecessary calories. Trust your own instinct, sounds like you are doing great so far.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    Yes, from around this age the poos do tend to slow down. BF babies can even go a week or two between poos! AS long as they're not solid at all, it's all good.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    Jul 2005

    At this age, it is normal for some bf bubs to go for longer between poos. My (also quite petite) DD went once for 18 days without any problem. Except for the poo-splosion at the end, which thankfully happened at home! She started missing a day, then a couple, and so on. Their digestive system can absorb so much of the bm goodness that there is very little waste.

    If you had no reason to be worried before he was weighed, then there's probably no reason to worry afterwards. TBH, I stopped taking my DD to the MHCN and just got her weighed every now and then at a close chemist or when she got her vaccinations. The weight at which he was born may not be an indication of his genetic height and weight, and he needs to adjust to that.

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Jun 2007
    Melbourne, Victoria

    Thanks everyone. Whilst I know in my heart that he is doing well, it is always a blow when you get told that things are not going as they should. I was really hoping to avoid it this time, as I was always being asked by people if my DD was getting enough BM and should I give her formula. Ummm no, she is fine. She self-weaned 1 week after her first birthday and I was already 16 weeks pregnant, so I am pretty sure I had enough milk up to that point to satisfy her.

    What annoys me, is that Xavier has only dropped down 1 percentile. It isn't like he is listless and actually losing weight. I have started to offer him a couple more feeds, which is sometimes takes and other times lets me know categorically that he is not interested.

    I wish I was still seeing the nurse I had for Anna, she was very open to allowing parents to do what felt right and never ever pushed formula or made me worry about her petite size. I miss her now!

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    Unfortunately a lot of child health nurses (and other health professionals) just don't know what's normal for breastfed babies and will give mothers all sorts of misinformation.
    My DS was big at birth and dropped from the 90th-odd percentile to 30th by the time he was 3 months, but he was fine. Luckily our nurse was also an LC so she kept and eye on things and reassured me (rather than scaring me). He was a slow weight gainer and actually gained quicker at 3-6 months than he did at 0-3 months. Just the way he is.

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Oct 2007
    Middle Victoria

    I have had a similar experience, with one of the MCHN getting me stressed out about my bub's slow weight gains and recommending formula top ups. Luckily, i have read lots here and felt strong enough to say that i was happy to watch bub's weight but wasn't going to add formula. Although, at the time i was pretty stressed out about it.

    My bub is now 4 months old and still breastfed exclusively. She is healthy and gorgeous and still gaining weight slowly and steadily. She was born 75th percentile for weight, dropped down to the 50th percentile but is now tracking steadily there.

    I am sad that i spent a period of time stressing about it and attempting to force feed (didn't work!) when all the other signs (nappies etc) were good. So, if you think things are ok and your little boy is just following his big sister 's lead, don't stress yourself out.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Feb 2008

    I also ended up being stressed out about my DD's lack of weight gains, especially because she started out on the 95 percentile at birth and very quickly dropped below the 3rd percentile! Which is an absolute HUGE difference.

    I had MCHN's telling me to feed her chocolate and cream to fatten her up. The first paediatrician I saw told me to put her on formula feeds, so I found a second paediatrician who ran all kinds of tests, which all came back completely normal and in fact showed that she was and is a completely healthy girl. Just much, much smaller than all of kids her age.

    Like Kate07 I spent a period of time attempting to force feed, when all the other signs were good. I think there is too much emphasise placed on weight gains but you need to look at the whole picture:

    • Is the baby growing (even if it's small amounts and don't just look at the weight also look at height, width, head circumference, etc)?
    • Are they happy?
    • Are they healthy?
    • Number of wet and poo nappies.