Baby too fat? — The Bump
Babies: 9 - 12 Months

Baby too fat?

Firstly, I'd like to mention that I'm calling DD's doctor tomorrow to make an appointment. I'm curious to know if any others have had experience with this and can give any insight.

Over the last couple weeks, DD seems to have gotten a lot chunkier. She's always been chunky. Her dad and I have both had weight problems all our life, so it's no surprise she would inherit that. But I looked at her today and was taken aback by how much her belly now hangs over her diaper and how big her cheeks look. I'm worried she's gaining too much and that I'm doing something wrong.

She drinks around 34-36 ounces of formula per day, and has been at the same amount for a while now, i.e. no recent increase. She drinks a large part of that at night - between bedtime and 2 MOTN feedings, drinking 18 ounces total. If I cut her off at 32 ounces total at night, she just wakes up more frequently. During the day, she doesn't have a desire to drink a lot at once, maybe 3 or 4 ounces. When she turned 7 months, she started getting interested in solids. I feed her 2 small meals a day, sometimes a 3rd snack. Sometimes she refuses to eat, and I don't force her. She'll eat maybe 2 Tbsp of food each time, sometimes less. She's not one of those babies that acts like they can't get enough. She eats mostly fruit and veggie purees and a little whole milk yogurt for breakfast. A week ago I started giving her Mum mums and organic puffs to teach her how to chew. She doesn't eat a lot of them, maybe one mum mum cracker and a few puffs a day. Since giving her these, I feel like she's gotten a lot chunkier. However, she doesn't have an appetite to match her apparent recent weight gain.

She's not crawling yet, so maybe when she starts moving more, it will benefit her.

Has anyone been told by their doctor that their baby is too fat, and has had to do something about it?
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Re: Baby too fat?

  • It is apparently possible that a baby who is approaching one year can be too fat.  My baby was in the 3rd% for height and 60th for weight at her 9 month appt, and my doctor said she was not at all obese.  That and knowing that I have a friend who has a baby the same age who looks like she is likely to explode out of every roll at any minute, makes me think obesity in young babies is pretty rare.  However, if you are worried, you should go.  If you baby drinks water, give this at meals.  It is also suggested by some that you reduce the amount of formula in night bottles a little each night so that your baby can stop being hungry and waking up at night.  This will help you get down to the recommended 30 oz.  Offering a 3rd meal can also help since babies who are filling up on lower calorie solid food often desire less formula--plus my doctor recommends you start this around 9 months to prepare your baby for switching to solids and milk at one year.  Overall, I wouldn't worry.  Crawling and walking also thin things out.
  • Our DD is 9 months and weighs 23lbs.  At her last appointment the pedi told us we needed to lower her formula some and continue lowering it till she turns 12 months.  Increasing food intake so that she has a total of 30oz of food (baby food & formula) a day.  She drinks 8oz of formula in the am, 4oz of baby food with 3oz of formula in the afternoon, 2oz of baby food with 5oz of formula in the evening and 8oz of formula before bed.  The formula is very high in calories since that's where they get their nutrition from.  If she's not very mobile she's not burning any calories.  Once they become mobile then it's not really that big of a deal so I've heard.

     

    Good luck!

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  • RN2011 said:

    Our DD is 9 months and weighs 23lbs.  At her last appointment the pedi told us we needed to lower her formula some and continue lowering it till she turns 12 months.  Increasing food intake so that she has a total of 30oz of food (baby food & formula) a day.  She drinks 8oz of formula in the am, 4oz of baby food with 3oz of formula in the afternoon, 2oz of baby food with 5oz of formula in the evening and 8oz of formula before bed.  The formula is very high in calories since that's where they get their nutrition from.  If she's not very mobile she's not burning any calories.  Once they become mobile then it's not really that big of a deal so I've heard.

     

    Good luck!

    Very interesting, thanks!
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  • I have weight issues and my husband is ask skinny as a rail, so I am always concerned he'll be like me instead of him. Although, it seems like he is more like my husband. 

    My son is in the 88th percentile in height and 90th in weight. He's huge, but my pediatrician is not concerned and does not think he's fat. When he was 7 months old he was getting 28oz of formula per day plus 2 meals a day which were usually a (stage 2 jar + 1-2 tbsp of cereal). Around 8 or 9 months we went to 3 meals a day (stage 2+ 1-2 tbsp cereal+ protein for lunch and dinner) and 24oz of formula. He stopped MOTN feedings at 3 or 4 months. Now that he is 12 months and has a milk issue he is still on formula until we can find a milk replacement he can handle. He gets 16-18oz of formula and 3 huge meals per day. I swear he can eat more than me sometimes :)

    In any case I always notice he plumps up a bit right before he gets longer. I will notice and think OMG we are feeding him too much he's gaining so much weight. Then 1-2 weeks later he looks so skinny I think OMG we aren't feeding him enough he looks like he's starving! :)  It's possible your LO is just prepping for a growth spurt.
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  • I honestly can't say if a baby can be TOO fat. I have had two very pudgy children. DD was >99% weight and DS is like 95% -- but they were both proportional in that they were also both high percentiles in height and head circumference. Nevertheless, I would get a lot of comments from people, especially about DD, about how big she was. My husband and I are also both big people, and I often felt like people were judging us, like, oh look, the fat people are overfeeding their baby (even though we absolutely were not).

    However, DD is now 2.5 and still tall, still top of the percentile, but healthy and robust. I wouldn't say she is skinny, but she's by no means fat -- her build looks athletic. She eats like a bird, and when she wants a snack, she asks for fruit...I think that in itself says a lot. She's a healthy, robust, athletic kid.

    My first response to you would be not to worry because your child is still so young, and crawling/walking DOES really drop the weight.

    My second immediate reaction is to try to cut out those night feedings. That is a lot of formula -- my DS, who is a big healthy active crawler/cruiser, is eating 28-32 ounces formula a day, and I think that's a lot...cutting out those night feedings might make a big difference. Formula is very high calorie, and she's getting older to the point that she doesn't need it as much. Maybe try to get more solids in there, and she won't need formula to stay asleep at night. You're going to want to wean those night feedings out anyway just because she is getting older. Break that habit sooner rather than later, or you'll be moaning and groaning when she's 2 and still not STTN.

    If she's waking up at night and crying, maybe just see if you can let her whine for a little while and she will fall back asleep. Is it possible that she is waking and you are feeding by habit? Maybe she doesn't really NEED those bottles, but it is just a pattern you have fallen into? It sounds like she is eating plenty during the day, she shouldn't be hungry at night. Maybe let her go for a short while and see if she passes back to sleep on her own?
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  • I have had two chubby babies so I wouldn't worry about it too much.  But I do try not to overfeed.  I think that is about how much formula we were feeding my DS when he was between 9-12 months BUT looking back I needed to get rid of the middle of the night feeding because he wasn't waking because he was hungry but more out of habit.  So I felt like I might have been feeding him a little more than necessary.  My daughter does take less formula/bm than that but she does have a little belly for sure! 

    I would talk to your pedi though for sure if you are worried!  
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  • Is she roughly at the same weight and height percentile? Then I'd think she would be fine. There's only cause for concern if she's at a much higher weight percentile than height percentile. Even then it's not like you can put them on a diet at this age, Just make sure you keep offering healthy nutritious food. DD was nursing every 3 hours at night until she was 8 months old. Then she went down to 2 MOTN feedings and now at 1 yo she still sometimes has 1 MOTN feeding. My pedi told us we could try to wean MOTN feedings at her 6 month appointment. He suggested to dilute the BM/formula with water. Then make it more and more dilute over time until she's only getting water at night.
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  • My baby is younger (I am lurking here for future reference) but our pedi told us to cut out night feedings at her 6 month appt.  We thought this would be impossible, since like you, DD was eating most of her food at night (dinner and MOTN feedings).  It was really only bad the first night.  She woke up and cried and cried and I just held her and rocked her til she drifted back to sleep, took about an hour.  She woke up hungry the next morning and took most of her calories in during the day and doesn't wake up for food anymore. (She still wakes up, just not hungry).  

    I think once you get on a non-night feeding schedule, she'll eat and burn her calories during the day.  It's kinda like if you ate a pizza every night at 2AM and then went back to bed.  It's easier to burn the calories during the day.

    That being said, your ticker says the baby is only 7.5 months old, I doubt that the pedi would consider her overweight, they need that for energy when they start moving.  You're a great mom for caring though!
  • RN2011 said:

    Our DD is 9 months and weighs 23lbs.  At her last appointment the pedi told us we needed to lower her formula some and continue lowering it till she turns 12 months.  Increasing food intake so that she has a total of 30oz of food (baby food & formula) a day.  She drinks 8oz of formula in the am, 4oz of baby food with 3oz of formula in the afternoon, 2oz of baby food with 5oz of formula in the evening and 8oz of formula before bed.  The formula is very high in calories since that's where they get their nutrition from.  If she's not very mobile she's not burning any calories.  Once they become mobile then it's not really that big of a deal so I've heard.

     

    Good luck!

    Not sure how this computes to our LO's intake... He's 9.5 months, drinks 36-40 oz. of formula a day, and then three jars of either Stage 2 or 3 (varies 4-5.5 oz each) baby food and puffs with each meal... He's a solid block of baby (30" and 24 lbs)- I couldn't imagine trying to reduce him to 30 oz combined... 
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  • gradbeth said:
    My baby is younger (I am lurking here for future reference) but our pedi told us to cut out night feedings at her 6 month appt.  
    This too- we went after LO had been sick, lost some weight so he was back to at least one MOTN feeding; Pedi said that once they can put themselves to sleep at night (lay them down drowsy and they fall asleep) that if they wake up they should be able to self soothe and feeding only extends the routine- relative to healthy babies with no other health issues.
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