Parenting

Moms of Underweight Kiddos...

How tall is your child, how much do they weigh, and what percentile are they?  Also, what has your pediatrician told you about your child's weight?

I took DS to the pediatrician today and he was diagnosed with strep.  They weighed him and he was 29 lbs even which is up from his 4 year well check in April where he was roughly 28.6 lbs or something like that (I don't really remember what came after the decimal).  At the time he was classified as being in the "less than 10th%" category for BMI.  Our pediatrician just kind of shrugged and said that "someone has to be on the bottom" and left it at that.

We were upstairs just now and I decided to check his height on our growth chart in the nursery and he measures in at 38 inches.  Apparently weighing only 29 lbs at 38 inches tall puts him in the 3rd% for BMI which according to everything I've read means he is underweight.  He is about 50th% for height and 15th% for weight.  I'm a little confused about whether to go with BMI or actual weight.  I do know that BMI is actually pretty accurate for kids simply because kids usually don't have tons of muscle mass that can throw off the calculation like some adults.  It seems like his weight gain has been slowing over time but he is still growing well.   

So, now I feel like a dope for not bringing up his weight with the pediatrician while I was at the office.  I was just happy he had gained since his last appointment in April and didn't think much more of it since I just wanted to get the strep taken care of.  I have to take DS2 for his 4 month well-check on July 8th which isn't too far off so we will be back but I was kind of wondering what I should do in the mean time.  

The deal is that the kid just doesn't eat much of anything, except ice cream.  Even his favorites.  He just won't eat a large amount in one sitting.  Obviously I can't give him ice cream all the time.  He drinks whole milk but he also is not a big drinker, either, and just doesn't seem to get thirsty.  Now that he has strep he isn't eating anything at all hardly and he always loses weight when he's sick because he won't eat for at least 3 or 4 days.  I did get some Pediasure to help him with his calorie intake while he is sick.

tl;dr-Is your child underweight?  What has your pediatrician said about it?  How can I get my child to eat? Should I just stop being a worry wart?


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Re: Moms of Underweight Kiddos...

  • DD right around 2 1/2 feet. I think. I forget. She weighs 22 lbs. Or 24 lbs. Again I forget. She's 7th percentile for height, like 3rd-5th for weight. Pedi isn't concerned because she's actively growing, her curve is consistent (she's always been small) and both DH and I are smaller people.

    As far as food, we were told to just keep offering it to her. She'll eat what she's going to eat. As long as she remains steady and/or on an upward trend, there's no issue. 

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  • My daughter has always been on the low end of the charts. For a long time, my pedi dismissed it and said that since dh and I were thin she was going to be thin, someone has to be on the bottom of he charts, blah blah blah. At her last appointment she hasn't gained an ounce in 6 months and grew two inches so she gave me the weight lecture. It's also imperative that she gets ample calories/protein so her body absorbs the prescription medication she's on. 

    She told us to track calories and make sure she was getting at least 1200 along with lots of protein. She's on both pediasure and toddler formula along with smoothies. We saw a feeding therapist through early intervention that was really helpful with expanding what dd would eat but currently she has no appetite from her meds so it doesn't really matter. I'm not sure how you'd find a feeding therapist not through ei or if insurance would even cover, but it might be worth a call to your local children's hospital to inquire. 

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  • Well, P is 35 inches & almost 24 pounds.  That puts her at 25th percentile for height and below 5th percentile for weight.  She eats a ton, but just burns it off by always running around. 

    I'm not worried about it, the pedi isn't worried about it.  She's always followed her own curve. The pedi is right that someone has to be on the bottom. 

    If you're worried, then talk to your pedi.  It sounds like you kind of already did & the pedi wasn't concerned though.  If you're worried about actual caloric intake, that's different & maybe revisiting that in particular would be good to talk about.

     
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  • DS is underweight and short. Last time he was measured, he was around 23 lb and 32 inches, I think. It put him at 3%ile for weight and 5th for height. His pedi is unconcerned because of his illness and because it fits his pattern. He said the same about it: someone has to be the little kid. He does have us come in more often for weight checks, and he asks nutrition questions every time, and usually has some suggestions based on whatever new research he's seen.

    The pedi's unconcerned attitude actually helps me relax. He said he cares more about the fact that DS is ahead of the curve socially/verbally and right on track physically. He's obviously getting enough nutrition to run his body okay. 

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  • image KC_13:

    My daughter has always been on the low end of the charts. For a long time, my pedi dismissed it and said that since dh and I were thin she was going to be thin, someone has to be on the bottom of he charts, blah blah blah. At her last appointment she hasn't gained an ounce in 6 months and grew two inches so she gave me the weight lecture. It's also imperative that she gets ample calories/protein so her body absorbs the prescription medication she's on. 

    She told us to track calories and make sure she was getting at least 1200 along with lots of protein. She's on both pediasure and toddler formula along with smoothies. We saw a feeding therapist through early intervention that was really helpful with expanding what dd would eat but currently she has no appetite from her meds so it doesn't really matter. I'm not sure how you'd find a feeding therapist not through ei or if insurance would even cover, but it might be worth a call to your local children's hospital to inquire. 

    He does seem to have issues with texture.  Meat is a no-go except for fish sticks sometimes.  He hates chicken (even nuggets), steak, pork, etc.  He has eaten a quarter of a fast food hamburger a couple of times but I refuse to feed him that on a regular basis.  And he doesn't even eat enough for it to really make a difference.  Veggies are a no-go also, even in pouches.  He loves fruit, cheese, bread, pretzels, chips, pizza, quesadillas, but hates rice, mashed potatoes, grits, etc.  He of course is a big fan of ice cream, cake, and cookies but those aren't going to be a regular part of his diet, either.  Getting him to drink enough is a struggle.   He doesn't even snack all that much compared to other kids we are around.  

    Hmmmmmm.... 


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  • image Igoo0304:

    DS is underweight and short. Last time he was measured, he was around 23 lb and 32 inches, I think. It put him at 3%ile for weight and 5th for height. His pedi is unconcerned because of his illness and because it fits his pattern. He said the same about it: someone has to be the little kid. He does have us come in more often for weight checks, and he asks nutrition questions every time, and usually has some suggestions based on whatever new research he's seen.

    The pedi's unconcerned attitude actually helps me relax. He said he cares more about the fact that DS is ahead of the curve socially/verbally and right on track physically. He's obviously getting enough nutrition to run his body okay. 

    This is kind of where I am at.  He's obviously growing in height and he has energy most of the time and runs around like a nut like most three year-olds.  He's super verbal and smart.  It just seems like his height is quickly surpassing his weight gain.     

    I'll probably bring it up again in July when DS2 has his well-check.   


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  • Both of mine are <1%.  I am not concerned
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  • image robinsokj:
    Both of mine are <1%.  I am not concerned

    Sh!tting in the driveway is a major calorie burner.

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  • DS is 38' tall,and weighs 27Ibs. This puts him around the 3rd percentile for weight, and 50th for height. Does your DS like smoothies? DS loves those, so I always add whey protein to his. He see's them as a treat.

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  • She is 38 and a quarter inches and 31 pounds. Just a tad taller and heavier than your LO at roughly the same age. She hasn't had her 4 year well visit yet, but at her last sick visit she was I believe 30 percent height and 15 percent weight. I'm not worried because she eats healthy food, just very active. I'm more worried that her height has dropped off some as she only grew 2" this year compared to 4 the prior. Her weight has been consistently low and barely gaining. She went from short and chubby to average height and thin to now short and thin. I just don't want her weight to hold back her height. But probably she'll have a spurt 2 weeks after her appt.

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  • She's younger than your DS, but she just had an appointment today and is 25 1/2 lbs (14%) and 34" tall (10%).  This is the first time she's been anywhere above the 10% for weight, and has always had a lot of issues gaining.

    The pediasure can help.  We're on it full time here (with high calorie juices allowed for snacks), and it ensures she's getting the calories she needs.  If you don't want to shell out the cash for the pediasure since it's so expensive, you can also do Carnation Instant Breakfast.

    If it'll help ease your worries, it can't hurt to talk to your pedi again.

  • My brother and I were both pretty underweight as kids (wish I had that problem as an adult) and on the small side so the dr had my mom put us both on Carnation Instant Breakfast and the way my mom got us to drink it was to combine it with milk and ice cream to make a milkshake for us every day for breakfast.

    Thought this might be helpful since you mentioned one of the few things your DS likes is ice cream.

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  • DS is 35 inches and 23 or 24 pounds depending on the day. Hes about 15th for height and below the 3rd for weight. His doctor mentioned sending him to a GI doctor because he has a horrendous amount of food allergies, so she was somewhat concerned because he does eat alot but barely gains. Now she's leaning toward it being just genetics because DH isn't a big guy at all 5'7" and 115 pounds.

    I have no tips for getting yours to eat more than ice cream, but I do make a dairy free avocado ice cream that put a few pounds on DS.
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  • At Betsy's 3 year wellcheck last week she was 23.8 lbs and 33 3/4 inches, both 3. She is still wearing 18m clothing.

    Her size and slow growth were a HUGE source of worry for me up until her 2nd birthday or so. I had one pedi blame it on my being a working mom needless to say he made me cry but her other doctors have been great. For us it meant monthly weight checks for a couple of years, sneaking high calorie foods into her diet, one round of blood tests, and supplementing her milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast.

    When she was still following her curve at 2 years I quit worrying about. Someone has to be at the low end of the chart, and DH and I are both small people.

    ETA: stupid mobile. She is less than third percentile, since the mobile site hates characters.
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  • Ivy is 17m old and at her last weight check she was 20lbs 8oz (9th) and 31.5 inches (60ish). She sounds a lot like your kid. She just doesn't care about food. Even stuff she likes, she'll take four tiny bites and be done. I could sit her down with a box of cookies and she wouldn't care at all. She has not always been tiny, which is why we're watching it. She was 98% at 2 months, and was slowly dropping down but then she didn't gain between 9 and 12 months, then she lost a couple of ounces...then she gained back to her original weight, then gained like 2 more, then lost 2...so she's just been falling ever since. 

    Our pediatrician thinks it's a combination of a few things. First, that she got my metabolism and is going to be built like me (I'm very small). Second, that she is just a booby baby and is more interested in breastmilk. Since her 12m well baby we've just been watching and doing weight checks. I'm going to ask about an EI referral for feeding therapy at our 18m though because she's really starting to tell me she's hungry and seems to separate food from breastmilk in her mind, but she's just not eating.

    We try pediasure or chocolate milk but she doesn't drink a ton either. On really bad days, we go get ice cream and she'll eat maybe 2 tbsp of that. She'll also share a fudgesicle or something with one of us before bed. We've actually be given the go ahead to give her ice cream if she'll eat it, since she's not even really maintaining her current weight let alone gaining.

    I also will freeze go-gurt or some greek yogurt mixed with a little extra sugar in popsicle molds. It's hit or miss but great when she'll take it instead of ice cream! 


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    B's a peanut.  When he was born he was in the 70-80th percentiles.  At 4 months he had a drop down to average.  Then around 10 months old he started a series of never-ending ear infections til we finally got tubes.  During that time he dropped down to the 10th percentile and even dipped down to the 5th. 

    We haven't had an ear infection in over a year (knocks on all the wood within sight) but his appetite/weight never came back up.  My pedi isn't concerned because he's generally happy, hitting milestones, and seems to be maintaining this new small curve.  It bothered me enough that she agreed to schedule a 2.5 month weight check (she normally just does the 2 yr visit and then the 3 yr visit).  At 2.5 years, he weighed 24.8 lbs without a diaper and was 34 inches tall.

    We tried supplementing with pediasure and carnation instant breakfast, but that just made him drop his milk intake so we discontinued those efforts.

    My son sounds a lot like your son, he's pretty picky - likes fruit best of all, but overall just isn't that into eating.  I've finally decided that I'll continue to offer him mostly healthy food and as long as he's not losing weight, I'll try to keep my stress about it internal.

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  • DD (3 1/2) is about 28.5 lbs and 36 inches tall. She's stayed within the 5-10th% for weight her entire life. At a year she was 17 lbs 15 oz and at two she was only 23 lbs. She is not a good eater and is only putting on about 5 lbs per year. I am worried but my pedi is not and almost walks out of the room when I bring up my nagging questions about her size. I'm very insecure about it since most of her friends are a good 8-10 lbs heavier and a few inches taller. But she's healthy, growing and that's all that matters :)
  • Reese actually just hit a huge growth spurt--she is still small, but not as small. She gained about 3 pounds since January. However from November to January, she only gained about 6 ounces.

    She does eat, however she just runs and burns it all off. She definitely is smaller though compared to other kids. Her pedi isn't concerned--she has always been in the 20th-25th percentile for weight; height is 50% 

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  • LO is a 10th percentile kid. At first, they were concerned. They wanted to make sure she wasn't "failure to thrive" yet the pedi stated she knew it could just be because she's a very active girl with fast metabolism.

    This all started when she was 1. When she mastered walking and running. Its all a metabolism thing. Before crawling she was 50th percentile. Before walking 30th. Once she was walking 10th.

    They basically wanted her to drink more milk. I didn't know it mattered at age 1... she drank lots of water and drank only 1 glass of milk a day. Pedi wanted her on Carnation Instant Breakfast since she stopped being interested in breakfast. And that seemed to do it. They wanted me to add butter and fattening stuff to her food. I did not agree with that so I didn't. I kept with the milk and instant breakfast and she has stayed in the 10th percentile. They are happy with that as am I.

    You can't worry too much. What I did was look at it from a common sense point of view. Did DH and I have super fast metabolism as kids? Yes. Is LO really active? Yes. Is LO happy and healthy? Yes.

    Oh and not sure if it matters, but LO has always been in 90th percentile for height.
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  • My daughter is on the smaller size, but she's always stayed within the same percentiles, so our pedi has never been super concerned. At 3.5, DD is currently almost 38 inches and weighs 30 lbs. She just had a HUGE growth spurt, so I don't anticipate her growing a drastic amount in the next 6 months before her 4 year well check. DD isn't much of an eater. DH and I have joked that if we didn't insist on DD eating, at least, twice a day, she probably wouldn't notice that we weren't feeding her. You should see DH and my's reaction on the rare occasion that DD actually tells us she's hungry. We jump to get her food ASAP, lol!

    DD is also a picky eater and I'm 100 percent certain that it has to do with texture. She's getting better at trying new foods and she has a much more extensive approved food list than she did a year ago. Just the other night we had a cheesy chicken and pasta dish for dinner. I set the DD's bowl down in front of her and she said, "This is what's for dinner? Ok, I'll deal with it." I was very proud of her, it's a major step forward for us.
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