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The Incredible Shrinking Baby

Yup, that's Apollo. Shrinking before our very eyes. I had him in at the doctor last week (and may I mention this boy has been to the doctor more in his short life than most of my other children…Tilly has yet to visit a doctor for sickness or injury…) to discuss his lack of weight gain. I don't mind him being "small" (he's in the less that 3%) it's the lack of weight gain that worries me. The doctor said that while yes, it was a cause for concern, he is active, his muscle tone looks good and he seems perfectly healthy otherwise. He did advise me to keep nursing him at night. Apollo's self induced nighttime schedule includes waking every. two. hours.

Yes, I am dying of sleep-deprivation and thanks for asking.

The doctor encouraged me to push solids (he's six and half months after all). So we give them to him when he shows an interest. 

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Like yesterday. I sat him at the table with a banana to suck on. 

It's just that his technique needs a bit of work.

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Adalia ever so kindly turned the banana around for him.

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He wasn't impressed.

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He shoved the banana away and threw back his head in anguish.

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He wailed an gnashed his teeth *ahem, I mean gums* at the injustice of the world.

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The he slowly composed himself…

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…and finally accepted the peace offering. His anger momentarily appeased.

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And all was well in the world again.


  1. Sharon B.

    He is an adorable shrinking baby! My son, Sam, was also super tiny. A healthy fellow but he lost a lot of weight and took his time gaining it back. At a year he is finally starting to chunk a bit. Just a bit, lol.

  2. Renee

    Heather- I agree- I dont want the solids to replace breastmilk, hopefully just to add. The doctor suggested rice cereal, but when I pointed out the complete lack of nutrition he said, thats true, but it would be a good, textureless first food. Were sticking w/ avocado and banana for the most part.

  3. Kara

    This may sound funny, but I wonder if maybe Apollo isn’t suffering from a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. The first milk that lets down in nursing is usually not as high in calories as the later milk. Some babies, especially those who nurse often but not long, can get enough foremilk to make them feel full but not enough of the higher calorie hindmilk to gain weight. You might try getting him to nurse longer at each feeding, nursing only on one side at a feed, giving the same side again if he wants to nurse less than 3 hours after the last feed, and/or pumping off a little milk before he nurses. I have such an abundant milk supply that I had this problem with the first couple of babies until we figured out why my babies always acted so hungry even though I had plenty of milk.

  4. Mali

    This is really counterintuitive advice – but you might try nursing him LESS often. If he is “grazing” frequently, he may never really get hungry enough to eat a really big meal (you know, a breast milk meal). This has the added benefit of letting you get some much needed sleep, perhaps 4 whole hours at a time! Good luck!
    *disclaimer: I am just a medical student, not a mom or a doctor, but this is what the pediatricians tell people in our clinic all the time.

  5. Renee

    Mali- Im totally open to ideas. He doesnt nurse frequently during the day…he easily goes three or so hours. I KNOW I need to make him go *gasp* three hours at night. But in the middle of the night, groggy from lack of sleep, I dont make my best decision…I think I need to just nurse him on the same side for three hour blocks…the problem is he is stubborn and has a favorite 🙁

  6. Shawn @ Daffodil Lane

    Well I have not a stitch of advice about nursing, I’m pretty sure you know what you’re doing, but I think Mordecai is hilarious! He looks just about as pleased as Apollo! Ha ha.

  7. Dorothy

    #10’s first food was a handful of my oatmeal that she grabbed. She was 7 months old and nursing while I was trying to eat. I figured if she could grab it, get it into her mouth, gum it and swallow it, she could have it.
    She took forever to gain weight, as she was 6 weeks early. Once I got the NICU to stop giving her formula and only give her my breastmilk fortified with extra calorie, she started gaining.
    There could be nothing wrong, just he’s a small baby, but have they talked about maybe an undetected bladder or kidney infection? Thats the only thing I can think of that could cause a slow weight gain.

  8. Ingrid

    My niece was small for her age as a baby, and then when she was about one she had a bout with rotavirus that put her in the hospital and left her even smaller. It took her almost a whole year to get back to her previous weight — and now at the age of four, she is HUGE! You’d never guess she’d had a problem!

  9. Carolynn Slocum

    Sorry, love the typo on same size, not side!! Avacados and one feeding of goats milk seemed to help Libby a lot. When we were at children’s and not sleeping I seriously thought I was going to have a break down. I thought they were filming me for some sick science experiment and that was much more difficult. I agree with Kara and Mali about the foremilk and hindmilk being more rich in calories. Good luck Hopefully this will sort its self out soon.

  10. Brenda

    Renee, My two daughters were both LOW (and I do mean LOWWWW) on the percentile charts forever. What does that do? It buys you scads of tests when they turn one. X-rays to measure bone development, genetic to rule out this and that, growth hormones and on the list goes. The final diagnosis: familial growth pattern. Yep. All three followed the same growth pattern. For whatever reason, our kids hit a growth spurt when they are about 8, catch up to their peers, then shoot up to average size. Weird. In the mean while, we supplemented with calorie rich food, but not junk. Avacado, black beans (ya, those are fun in a diaper!), banana, ICE CREAM!
    Also, since he is 6 months, see if you can stretch him past 3 hour feedings in the day. I bet if he can get closer to 4 hour stretches (breast and supplement with solids) he will start to be a sleeping champ at night.
    Isn’t it funny how each kid can make you feel like a new parent all over again! Blessings!
    ~Brenda (sis in law of Kristine)

  11. jo

    Oh dear the favorite… after only 2 nursing children I suffer (visually) bc they both had a favorite! Oh well at least only 3 people see that and God is one of them… On to my suggestion, I urge you to talk to a homeopathist, or a naturalist about possibly adding slippery elm to his mash banana or avocado. It has, in my experience, helped with weight gain for both human babies and goat babies. If you buy some, I lean towards mountain rose herbs because its cert organic or wildcrafted in an organic manner. It really works well…

  12. Kate

    My youngest (until this late baby decides to make its appearance) was *heavy* enough at 4 months that the Dr. wanted me to cut back on nursing (as if!). Once she hit mobile stage she basically hasn’t gained since. I haven’t had her weighed since Sept. but at that point she was 19 months and weighed the same as she had at 6 months. She falls off the edge of the percentile around 2% if anything. The Dr. wanted me to put butter on everything and use high fat foods (not necessarily healthy) to give her extra calories. Other then little weight gain she is healthy and I am not sweating it.
    I do however think the fore/hind milk thing is sound advice.

  13. Ms Baxter

    My little man also has a low weight ,we just found out that he can not have dairy or soy (and that means I can not have dairy or soy as I am breast feeding!)but since we stopped eating all the “bad” foods he has gained weight and is back on track.Me on the other hand have become some weird vegan who can not eat soy lol

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