Saturday, September 06, 2008

Maybe he's just skinny like his dad...

I'm trying not to obsess about this, really I am. But I looked up average weight gain charts for infants and compared them to how Donovan has done these past 7 months. I looked up average weight gain rates on and compared them to Donovan's, and the results are below:

Donovan's growth rates:
1st and 2nd month: 220 grams/week (average is 150-240 g/wk)
3rd month: 155 g/wk (avg is 150-240 g/wk)
4th month: 143 g/wk (avg is 150-240 g/wk)
5th month: 80 g/wk (avg is 90-125 g/wk)
6th month: 62 g/wk (avg is 90-125 g/wk)
7th month: 42 g/wk (avg is 50-80 g/wk)

Looking at these numbers was sobering. I'm realizing at the moment that it's still hard to tell, as the Kellymom chart is ambiguous (for example 4 months is listed in 2 different brackets it's unclear whether the average weight gain for a 4 month old is 150-240g or 90-125, which changes things-- though even then he'd still be under on his gains for his 5th and 7th months).

This is unfortunately the exact sort of problem I gave the hardest time with. What needs to be done here is to decide on a course of action, watch D's input and output, and re-evaluate things in one month when we've weighed him again. But instead I question and second-guess constantly, frustrated by the utter lack of any feedback to let me know if what we are doing might be working or not (and this is the state I'm in just 2 days into it).

The worst part is just not knowing how big a deal to make of all this. Looking at his weight gain, I'm guessing this isn't just a one-time random dip but part of a pattern, and that while achieving mobility or starting solids may be part of the problem, neither is the entire story as his weight gains started slowing as early as 4 months. Now, is this just his own individual growth pattern, perfectly normal for him? That wouldn't surprise me, seeing how much regard D seems to have for "average" and "normal" ways of doing things, and Zach has reminded me more than once that he himself was fretted over at about 8 or 9 months of age for being too skinny of a baby and it was no big deal. Or is this slowdown going to continue and will it become more serious over time? There is no real way to tell other than to see what happens.

I'm trying to do what I can to get him to eat more, while also looking at his overall happy demeanor and wet diapers and deciding that clearly he's not a kid who's suffering. Most likely this is not a big problem. Hell, even if it is I'm not sure how much more we can do about it at the moment. So I'm trying not to freak out, take things one day at a time, and just see how things play out. We'll see how successful I am at this.


  1. i know nothing about babies, but i am married to a guy who weighs about 125 lbs, and the daughter of a father who is similarly skinny so i would probably take the phrase "underweight" with a grain of salt, especially if the kellymom stats are for US babies. And D sure seems like a pretty happy guy!
    I hope you find a good solution for you!

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only person obsessing about baby issues! :-)

  3. Jackie10:56 AM

    I am sure once he starts eating more solid food he will fill out a little more. He is also burning quite a few calories moving around. He might also prefer cow's milk to formula and you should be able to give him cow's milk fairly soon. It will be interesting to hear what the American pediatricians say as I am sure they do things differently over here and will give you different recommendations.

  4. You have The Mother coming to visit soon (if she's not there already). I'd put more stake in what she says than what books say (remember, the babies are not reading the books or checking the websites - they don't know where they need to be).

    If his activity level is normal (he's not sluggish or tired) and his "outtake" is also healthy, then don't fret. You're feeding him, he's eating, he's pooping, and he has enough energy to do what he needs to do (scoot around all over the house tormenting the cat).

    He's a pretty large and healthy baby if you ask me! (Yes, I do concede that I have no baby experience... but he's still a big, healthy baby with a very aware and pro-active Momma who's doing a great job of feeding and taking care of him.)

  5. I think D looks great and if your pediatrician agrees that's all you need to worry about. I have never looked up growth rates for the girls (other than what prints out when we go to the doctor), this is why it's better sometimes not to look too much into these things. As long as the doc says they are healthy, I think you are good!
    Stop worrying!

  6. You're doing fine! The best indicator of kiddos' health is their behavior; especially since Zach had similar growth patterns, try not to worry.

    Kids grow in spurts: up, then out, then up again. Ryan would put on a bunch of weight, then stop while she lengthened and stretched, then would put on some more weight. She's been 42 pounds for about 4 months now, but has grown 1/2 an inch at least.

  7. I could have written this - Finn actually lost some weight the past 2 weeks, and has always been on the lower percentiles and it stresses me out to no end. Then again, he is healthy, happy, and moves ALL the time, so I will go to the doctor in the States and see what they say.

    It's so stressful, but Donovan looks great and I am sure he is just fine!



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