Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mama Bean wonders if she's working too hard at this

Bean is not gaining weight as fast as he "should." I didn't know this was something I'm supposed to obsess about, but now that I do, I am throwing the full weight of my neurotical capacity behind it. Neurotical - it's like nautical, but even more queasy. For his age, he "should" be gaining 3-4 oz. or maybe 4-6 oz, I don't know, baby-pundit sources conflict. From last Wednesday to this Wednesday, he gained slightly more than an ounce.

A single ounce.

Bean was 7 lbs 4 oz at birth, which is right at the median. We worked so hard at the breastfeeding, I was happy he gained weight at all. In fact, he lost less weight in the first three days than the midwife expected, and then gained steadily afterward, though slowly. He was always one or two ounces lighter than I wanted as the first six weeks went by. After that his care was transferred from the midwives to the MD (so sad, our last visit with the midwife. I wish we could go to them forever.)

At his two month check-up, his weight fell at the 25th percentile, while his height was above 50th. This was worrisome, but I guess I thought since he was happy and making pees and poos and eating on a nice regular schedule that he was, y'know, happy and healthy and getting bigger at the rate he was supposed to. He ate six times a day, when most babes his age are probably still eating seven or eight times. But he slept through the night, and that just seemed too great a blessing to give up.

By his four month check-up, he was still hovering at that 25th percentile. I know as long as they stay at the same percentile, and don't drop, it's probably okay, but still. I worry. Duh. At the same time, L invited me to the weekly breastfeeding clinic. I so wish I'd been going to this all along. The weekly weigh-in really is the best way to know he's getting enough food. Anyway, that first week, he showed a weight loss, but I think that's because the scale at the doctor's office is totally archaic, and the breastfeeding nurses have a lovely digital one. I asked the nurses about the whole deal and they suggested adding a feeding.

So that's what I did. Bean has, for now, a very predictable schedule through the day. He wakes from a nap, eats, stays awake and active for an hour and a half or so, gets cranky, goes for another nap for about an hour or so, wakes up to eat again. Now I feed him when he wakes from a nap, and feed him when he gets cranky before his next nap. Essentially, he getting two feedings in a three hour period instead of one, two or more times per day now. I thought this was going to be awesome, and he was chubbing up before my very eyes.

Only, he wasn't. Well, he chubbed up by a whole ounce. The public health nurse was super nice about it, suggested adding a night feeding or a night pumping and giving him the extra during the day, etc. I'm just going to keep doing the extra feedings before naps, and we'll hope it starts to produce results.


  1. I dunno, I would ease up on the neurotical navigation, I think. I mean, he's obviously developing normally, is happy, thriving, all that stuff. Not dehydrated, right? I'm sure you would recognize the fontanelle sinkage. Think of the proportion of his body mass he loses each time he fills his diaper. The kid's weight probably fluctuates by more than an ounce each day. Plus, in a short while, you can introduce solids and he might take better to that. BP sure did. Anyway, I hope it doesn't cause you too much continued worry.

  2. I'm pretty new at this parenting thing myself so I don't feel qualified to give advice, especially since I have no background as any type of medical practitioner, but I think if he's happy and seems healthy to you, that's a pretty good sign he's getting enough. I have a friend whose little girl was 21 pounds at 19 months and she's beautiful and healthy and happy. She's just small.

    Would you consider giving him some rice cereal at this point? Mia's dinnertime feeding (her second-to-last of the day) was getting a bit stressful because she would nurse for a short time, pull away, start to cry, dive-bomb back on, then repeat. Three nights ago we started giving her a couple of teaspoons of very runny cereal mixed with breast milk and she seems to be taking it well. It's given me a bit of peace of mind knowing she's getting more. We'll hold of on starting her on meat, vegetables and fruit until closer to the six-month mark, but she can hold up her head and opens her mouth for the soon, so we figured it was a good time to start the cereal.