C’mon Baby Growth!

“Keira was in the 50th percentile in weight and now she’s dropped to the 25th,” I heard the doctor say. Oh yes, I was prepared for this. I knew that growth charts are mainly based on formula-fed babies and tend to be a little biased against breastfed babies, so I took it with a grain of salt as the doctor listed out all the ways we could be helping Keira stay on track.

Baby Growth Chart vs. Breastfed Babies

However, as soon as I got near a computer, I printed out a breastmilk-friendly growth chart and quickly plotted Keira’s weight. Uh oh. She’s falling on those charts, too. Crap!

I quickly went back over all the ideas my pediatrician had given me and started implementing them. Drink more water. Eat more. Feed her more often. Try vitamins. Consider introducing solids early. And slowly we’ve begun checking everything off.

However, in the back of my mind I’m still dealing with the guilt of knowing my daughter seems to be growing slower than she should. Surely I’ve been doing something wrong. I’m not feeding her often enough. I’m not watching close enough for her hunger signs. I’m not waking her to eat. I’m not giving big enough bottles. Maybe I’m not letting her get enough hindmilk. Guilt and guilt and guilt.

Long Skinny Baby!

Logically I know that she’s not starving. She may look like a giraffe with her skinny body and 90th percentile height, but she’s happy and healthy (besides that little cold). However, when you’re the sole provider of food – there’s no formula, no meat, no rice cereal – it becomes very difficult not to feel that you’re the reason the weight has slowed down. I find myself second guessing my every baby care decision. My only hope is that by her 6 month appointment I’ll find that all my fears were for nothing and Keira will be back on track!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amber DeGrace
    Sep 29, 2010 @ 11:45:00

    Honestly, I think there is not a ‘normal’ for babies. All of them grow differently and at different speeds. It amazes me that doctors are so very concerned about babies being underweight, until all of a sudden – *surprise* – they’re worried about kids being overweight. Lotus is super petite as well and she’s a formula baby. Upon her ped’s suggestion I tried feeding her more but she fought it like crazy and spit it all up. She’s healthy and happy, and that’s what is important. If Keira wasn’t thriving it would be a different story; don’t feel guilty! She is unique, and individual, and she’ll be thankful for that metabolism one day. đŸ™‚

    Reply

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