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4Hobbits4Me April 30th, 2005 05:35 PM


I have 4 children, ages 13, 7, 4(as of day after tomorrow), and 5 and half months. The issue I'm currently having is with my youngest, he is just at 5.5 months old. He was born weighing 8.2, 19 3/4 inches, not small by any means. I took him to the dr. yesterday for something else, and he only weighed in at 11.8. and is about 24 1/2 inches long. He wasn't actually diagnosed ftt (at least if he was, they didn't mention it to me out loud), although the nurse practitioner did note: "parents small statured" on his chart, since me and my husband are 5'3" and 5'6", respectively. What I do know for sure though, is that my son doesn't even make it onto the growth chart for weight or length! Not even on the breastfed baby growth chart (I could only find one for weight). I'm alarmed by this.

I should say here that all of mine at one point or another were either weighing in pretty "light" for their age during the first year. My oldest may have even been actually diagnosed as ftt, I remember one of the pediatricians we saw mentioning the phrase, but that ped. wanted me to stop breastfeeding, so I never went back to him. All of my children always had fat"rolls", but they just were kind of lanky, not really long for their age, but just, lean, even though they had "rolls" everywhere: legs, arms, neck, etc. I think he's smaller than even they were, though. I should also say here that all of my older children, are perfectly normal developmentally, my oldest has even been diagnosed "gifted", and skipped a grade. She is somewhat shorter than most of the kids she is friends with, but then again, because of the grade skipping, they're all at least a year older, too. My 7 year old is just now growing out of size 5 in jeans, but he's also built like his dad, long torso, shorter legs, so his shirts are easily 7's, which correspond to his age. He doesn't appear smaller than kids at the park who are his age (we homeschool, so i can't compare to others in his class). My (almost) 4 year old is in size 4 now, although she wore 12-18 months until she was literally about 3 years old, and then just really seemed to grow a lot this past year. So she stayed dinky for a long time, but she's average height/weight now. None of them are super skinny, although they are all slim.

Sorry for the history, I think I'm still trying to just convince myself that my youngest ds will even out over time. He has been breastfed since birth, he has no other medical issues, that we're aware of. I started giving him rice cereal at 4 months, 1 week, and he eats 3 baby sized bowls of it nearly every day! I give him the kind made with the ingredients of formula (carnation, i think? no, it's Gerber, just checked), and the bowls are 3/4 full each time. I have tons of milk, I can hear him swallowing, milk streaming down his cheek, etc. When I started cereal, I also started giving him one 4 oz. bottle of infant formula to supplement breastfeeding "just in case". But it really seemed to cause problems with the breastfeeding, so we only did that for about a week. But by then I had increased my milk levels even more, so I figured we were good. He doesn't act hungry when he's done nursing, and I let him nurse whenever he wants, for as long as he wants. We practice a lot of the things that go along with attachment parenting, we carry him and hold him A LOT of the time, we breastfeed, I've tried infant massage on him, although he seems to be too ticklish to enjoy it much. I co-slept with all my others, but with him I actually have him sleep in a bassinet pulled up to the side of my bed, so it really would be very similar to co-sleeping, for some reason I was more worried about SIDS with him, and for the first time since I became a mom, was worried we might roll over on him or something. I even go so far as to feed him cereal in the middle of the night when he wakes, if he doesn't seem fully satisfied after nursing on both sides. In the last month, I really have noticed a difference in his size and weight, and was SO expecting him to weigh like 15-17 lbs. or something at his appt. I was FLOORED when I heard the actual weight.

His head size was normal, I was told. And his weight does correlate with his length, both are just at the outer rim of the bottom of the growth charts. He seems very normal to me, developmentally. The only thing I can say is that he isn't really rolling over yet. I mean, I've seen him do it, in both directions, but he hates to be left lying on a flat surface, so it seems to me that he just doesn't because he's not finding any need to. He can almost sit up by himself, and can stand on my lap when I hold him under the arms, etc. His diapers don't seem as soggy as I think they probably should be, unless he's had a bottle of juice that day, but he is producing dirty diapers as much as he should. Even after an entire night, his diaper might not be super soggy, like you'd expect. Other than that, he's happy, wakeful, energetic, and eats and sleeps fine. I'm so puzzled. I started him on jarred baby food today (organic bananas - the only starter baby food that seems to have any fat!), and he ate 3/4 of the jar the first time. He seems to love to eat.

I took him to the dr. yesterday because I noticed an enlarged lump on the back of the bottom of his head (a lymph node, maybe?), which I've read is very often the result of a virus, and he did seem to be fighting off a bit of a cold a few weeks ago. Anyway, the dr. went ahead and ordered a CBC because of that, and even though I'm praying the results come back fine in regards to anything that might have to do with his lymph node, maybe something there will clue me in as to why he's not gaining and growing more quickly.

Sorry this is so long, but I'm so glad I found this place to vent! Any suggestions or advice concerning adding calories to the diet of a 5 month old????

pattyandthemoos April 30th, 2005 07:23 PM

I do not have time to reply to this right now but I wanted to say welcome to the board. I have family visiting right now so I may not respond till Tuesday or Wednesday but did not want you to feel ignored. My son has ftt as well. ((Hugs)) to you and your little one. I hope that someone can help answer your questions. I promise I will respond soon.

4Hobbits4Me May 1st, 2005 05:44 PM

Thanks, I understand.
P.S. I think it's SO cute that you call your baby, Baby Moo! That's adorable. When I was pregnant with my 4th, if I was introducing my other children to someone, I'd gesture to my belly, and say, "and this is Anonymous".
Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks again.

pattyandthemoos May 5th, 2005 08:09 AM

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I guess I would want to find out if there are any other issues. Does your son breastfeed well? How often, how long, how many wet diapers? Are you offering any other foods? Has he dropped from his regular growth curve or has he always been small? Does he have anything else going on that would cause you concern?

There are a lot of things that could be going on.

4Hobbits4Me May 6th, 2005 11:08 AM

He seems to nurse as much as he wants, although i have to say he does seem less interested than my other children were, although not significantly less.
He was born at 8lbs.2oz., so he wasn't born small. He developed two cephalhematomas directly after birth (even though the birth was a very easy one), and due to that he had prolonged jaundice, nearly 3 months (one of the hematomas was very large and took about 3 months to resolve). He did seem to gain just barely what he was supposed to be even in the beginning. He got off to a very slow start, the jaundice made him so sleepy, so it was sometimes nearly impossible to get him to nurse in the first week. After that though, things seemed to get pretty normal, as far as nursing. By the time he was getting ready to turn 4 months old though, i noticed his diapers were not as soggy as i'd expect, he didn't seem to be taking much milk, etc. So, i started supplementing with formula for about a week, but that seemed to interfere with nursing (he'd bite me because he was frustrated that he had to work a little harder for the milk). But by then, his appetite had been stimulated for several days, and my milk production seemed to be increasing, so we went back to breastfeeding exclusively. At that same time (about 6 weeks ago), I began to introduce iron fortified baby cereal, the kind made with the ingredients of formula, hoping to add as many extra calories as i could. He eats 2-3 bowls per day. A week ago, i began the beginner jarred baby foods, he's had bananas, apples, pears, and we're up to 2 jars per day, in addition to nursing probably 6-8 times per day, and the 2 bowls of cereal. i also began using a breastpump about 5 days ago to try to increase my milk supply even more, and that appears to be working, i have more milk. So much though, that my son seems to only nurse on the first side, and when i switch and offer the 2nd side, he usually doesn't take much, if anything. he does seem to me to be pudging up a bit more, and i'll take him into the dr. next week to check his weight. he had a CBC done a week ago, and tested a little high (VERY little) for some of his white blood differentials (lymphs and monos), but was at the tail end of a viral thing, so that's probably the reason for that. other than that, he's happy, active, sleeps fine, enjoys his food, and is wetting/soiling normally at this point. is it your understanding that head circumfrence must be smaller than expected also to constitute a FTT diagnosis? what other symptoms/characteristics go along with FTT? is it just low weight and length, or are there developmental, behavioral and other physical characteristics that go along with it? i've tried looking up the info, but all i can find is repeated references to being below 5% on growth charts, but nothing else. thanks for your feedback.

pattyandthemoos May 17th, 2005 08:27 AM

As far as I know it is mostly diagnosed based on weight. However, because there are othe causes of it such as cystic fibrosis and hormonal issues there could be other factors involved. Personally, I would be following up with your pediatrician for more tests. And I would also be seeing a lactation consultant. I had to supplement with formula with my son. I successfully breastfed my other two children without needing to supplement but with Brandon I was just not making enough milk. It was not really my fault it was a combination of problems but I don't think you should rule that out. As a breastfeeding mother I know how difficult that decision is but I finally decided I had to do what is best for my son and started supplementing. He is in the tenth percentile now for weight.

pattyandthemoos June 16th, 2005 12:37 PM

Hey there. Just wondering how you are doing. Haven't seen you post in a while. If you have time check in with us.

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