Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Itty Bitty Body, Massive Appetite

Miss F is almost 11 months old.  She's small for her age - exactly 17 pounds as of this morning.  She's still wearing 6-9 month clothes, and occasionally I'll realize that she's wearing some 3-6 month clothes that I forgot to put away.

Miss F was born at a sizable 9 lbs 6 oz.  But she lost a lot of weight her first week because she had a hard time nursing and had digestive issues.  It took three weeks to get her back to birth weight.  So it's been a continual struggle to make sure she gains enough weight.  When she was younger (about 6 months), the doctor chided me for her weight.  He told me I must have been drying up and that I needed to supplement with formula, though I didn't agree. 

She was (is) a happy little baby with a double chin, relatively chubby legs, and good diapers.  We didn't supplement, and we kept her nursing exclusively until 6 months.  Even at 7 months, I was still nursing every hour and a half plus at least two sessions overnight.  She started eating solids and had no trouble downing all types of food: chili, curry, you name it, she ate it.

We've been dropping nursing sessions down to the normal number for her age.  But in the last two weeks, Miss F has been screaming at the top of her lungs if she wants more food.  This morning, I gave her 4 oz of full fat greek yogurt while her oatmeal was cooking.  She feeds herself most meals, and devoured it in far less than five minutes.  By the end of breakfast, she had a full cup of Scottish oatmeal AND the other 4 oz of yogurt.  That's two whole cups of food in a little baby belly!  And she nursed right before breakfast!  In contrast, I had 3/4 of a cup of oatmeal and I was quite satisfied.  For lunch, she had more food than I did again (3 oz pork and 5 oz of peas and carrots).  For dinner, she had a little less than I did, but still a significant amount (3 oz pork and 8 spears of asparagus, chopped).  According to My Fitness Pal, that's about 867 calories, not including her nursing sessions.  Livestrong says that (based on her weight), Miss F needs between 700 and 930 calories per day.  That's an average day, but still, she's only gained 3 oz in the last two months.

"Please, sir, may I have some more?"

I've had no luck in finding out if her appetite is normal.  From what I've read, most kids have 2-8 tablespoons of solid foods a meal.  Really?!?!  She's never had only 2 T of food.  Out of all of the things I thought I'd worry about as a parent, weight gain was never one of them.  *B* and I both come from heavy families, so I always thought it would be the other way around. 

But here I sit, wondering if my wee one is malnourished or if I'm feeding her wrong.  She feeds herself, and from what I've read, they don't tend to overeat that way.  But what if she has no idea when she's full?  All the time, I think silly things like she hasn't learned to clap yet.  Has her food intake affected her development? She crawled really early, why isn't she walking yet?  Is she not getting enough food to give her strength?  But at the same time, I wonder how on Earth does this kid eat so darn much!?  When does this confidence-in-parenting part kick in??


  1. The doctor got on my case about Red Chief—he was born at a normal 8 pounds, but went down under the 10th percentile after six months or so. He didn't gain much weight; he just kind of stretched out.

    I worried about it for a few weeks, but deep down, I knew there was nothing wrong. He was happy and healthy. He ate plenty. He pooped. He was meeting his developmental milestones. So what's the problem?

    Listen to yourself. Trust your baby. If you really, truly think there is a problem, pursue the solution. If you don't think there is a problem, don't let the doctor bully you into worrying. You can't change your baby's body to make it gain more weight if that's not the way she naturally is. You're a good mom!

  2. She looks happy and healthy, I wouldn't worry either. I tend to have small babies, they are born around 7 pounds, but soon drop into the teens for percentile. My ped told me "some kids are suburbans, some civics, they all drive just fine" meaning different sizes are very normal, if they are happy and hitting developmental milestones then don't worry, and don't let the dr scare you! ;) My Lydia was only 17 pounds at a year, where as my baby now is 10 months as good solid 22 pounds, everyone is different.

  3. Thank you ladies :o) It's really great to have some reassurance. Momzoo - I love the car analogy! She seems to be hitting milestones (though she refuses to clap and is stubborn about walking despite cruising for four months now). We went to the ped today because Miss F ripped off her pinky toe nail (ouch!) and she had gained a pound in the last month and a half. For her, that's a big deal!