Premie size question! — The Bump
Preemies

Premie size question!

MaryJoyce1217MaryJoyce1217
10 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Photogenic
member
edited April 2016 in Preemies
Hi everyone! My son, Isaac, was born at 33 weeks. He weighed 5lbs at birth and was in the NICU for about 6 weeks. September 21st to October 29th. He came home on a apnea monitor until December 5th. Now at 7 months, Isaac is still nursing every 3 hours and he's eating 1 1/2 containers of baby food three times a day! He's also about 24 inches long, give or take a few centimeters.... His pediatrician at his 6 month check up told me she was wanting him to gain weight because he's so small. So we started eating more and had the ok to go ahead with baby food. Isaac gained about 12 ounces in a month, and is now 12lbs even....I thought we did a good job, but now she's listed him as "Failure to Thrive." Isaac is getting blood work done and is now going to meet with a belly specialist. I have no problem checking and being precautious and seeing a specialist, but for a premie is he really crazy tiny???? How big are your Premies??  And does anyone go to a regular pediatrics office or did you find a place that sees mostly Premies??

Re: Premie size question!

  • My DD was born at 32 weeks weighing 3lbs 11oz and was in the NICU for almost 7 weeks. She was gaining weight and weighed close to 7lbs when she came home. Now at 5 months old she weighs 11lbs 3oz. She gets breast milk for most of her feedings and has two feedings a day of neosure a special preemie formula. It has really helped her gain weight. She eats 4 to 5 oz every 3 to 4 hours but some days she only eats 1 to 2 oz every 2 hrs. Our pedi had preemie twins so she has experience with preemies. I think every child preemie or not grows differently. Our DD is still tiny compared to babies born full term but she is growing. 
    vibarra27Ilse09
  • vibarra27vibarra27
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited April 2016
    Im not a doctor of course but that is crazy! His doc is ridiculous! She shouldn't say that because he has 2 years to catch up! 

     My boys weighed 4lbs 4.5oz & 3lbs 12oz @ birth & @ their 6 month check up 13pounds 14oz & 13pounds 1oz @ what had helped them is i had fortified my breast milk( pumped & bottle fed) until about 7 months when my stash ran out. They are still on EnfaCare now, which is a formula with the extra calories preemies need & will be on it until they are 1. 

    I took them to the doc on Monday & they weigh 15pounds 8 oz & 14 pounds 14oz & my "bigger" twin is barely on the 5th percentile for full term babies. & my smaller one is barely around the 4th. Their doc goes based off of a full term scale so he can see where they are @ compared to full term  & so that we can get them where they need to be. 

    @ their 6 month he said they were fine but wanted me to try to get them to eat more which in all reality you cant FORCE a baby to eat. He said for me not to worry about their weight that they are going @ a good steady pace he just wants them to gain a little more, but that it wouldnt be something he would worry about too much unless they werent gaining weight by the time theyre 2. 

    This week that i took them due to constipation he was really happy Alan was on the 5th & Adriel right behind him in the 4th. My boys will be 8 months next Tuesday(the 3rd) they go back @ 9 months & i believe theyll be 16 & 15 pounds. I personally think that him only taking BM & it not being fortified & him weighing 12 pounds @ his 6 months isnt bad. He is only a pound behind what my boys were @ 6 months & like i said i fortified my BM. 

    He is tiny but so are my boys. They are preemies of course they are gonna be tiny compared to full term babies. & my boys were born @ 33wks 5 days. So my boys look hella small for almost 8 months & wear 3-6 month clothing & a few 6 month.

    Im not a doctor i didnt get a degree in medicine but i think she should give him time to grow. Ever since i knew my boys were going to be preemies( water broke @30wk1day was in hospital on bedrest for almost a month until they were born) the docs started preparing me for what it was going to be like with preemies & gave me a heads up with the NICU. Every doctor i encountered let me know that they were going to be on the smaller side for atleast their first 2 years but then would get to where they had to.

    I cant believe she would put him down as a "Failure to Thrive". She should give him time. As long as hes gaining weight like you said he is. Keep us posted okay :smile: 
    amandavan83N00dles
  • My now 5 year old is a former 25 weeker, born at 1 pound 13 ounces. In the NICU and once home, we fortified my breastmilk with Enfacare to fortify the calories to 26 calories/ounce. Needless to say, it took a full 18 months for her to catch up size wise. She wasn't even on the charts until she was a year. Your doctor should not be focused on comparing your baby to a full term baby. Rather, he should focus on youth baby's personal growth curve. As long as your baby follows his own growth curve he is fine. If he isn't, that's when failure to thrive becomes an issue. Don't worry they catch up eventually, my daughter was in newborn clothing until 7 months.... Now she's 5 and wears a size 6!!
    vibarra27amandavan83TinaBelcher
  • MaryJoyce1217 From what I've read and have been told by my DD's pedi is as long as the baby is gaining weight he/she should be fine. Are they adjusting his age or are they comparing him to full term babies?
     You may want to consider fortifying with either neosure or enfacare. This will provide him with the extra calories and extra nutrients preemies need. You'll have to pump and add the formula to the expressed bm. It's 1 scoop per 12 ounces of bm. Keep in mind your LO will probably drink less due to the increase of calories.
     My DD is 6 months (3 corrected) she won't drink fortified bm so I give her 1-2 bottles of just neosure a day (about 8oz) the other 4- 5 bottles are straight bm. She drinks about 4oz every 4 hours. Rule of thumb states your baby should be drinking their weight in lbs× 1.5 or 2oz. So if he's 12 lbs he should be drinking somewhere between 18-24 ounces a day. It took a while to get there but DD is at 19 - 22 ounces now. It was a struggle to get there but I did my research and made adjustments to make sure she was getting enough calories and nutrients.
    She was having feeding issues a couple of months ago and was barely gaining weight. Her pedi wasn't concerned because she was gaining and not losing. 
    She was born at 27 weeks, weighed 1lb 12 ounces and was 14.5 inches long. 
    She is currently 12lbs 3 ounces and 24 inches long. 
    My suggestion... find a pedi that is familiar with preemies. Preemies should NOT be compared to full term babies in any circumstance. 
    We also add about a 1/4 teaspoon of organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil in every bottle. Read up on the benefits, there are so many! We did it initially to help with constipation and to add calories. Plus it adds a hint of coconut flavor and my DD loves it!
    You can add it to baby food too. 
    Do your own research, alot of the adjustments and things we tried weren't even mentioned to us by our pedi. When we would tell him he was completely fine with what we were doing.
     Good luck to you!

    31 yrs. /DH 38 yrs.
    SI TTC 7 months 
    DD born 10/2015 @ 27 wks. 4 days > severe pre-e (TTC 1yr.)
    Hystero./Laproscopy/Ovarian Drilling/ D&C/ HSG (2/2015)
    Present:
    DX: Moderate Endo./ PCOS/ Diminished Ovarian Reserve(1.2 amh)/ Low Morphology (0%)
    HSG (3/2017)- All Clear
    RX: Follistim (75iu)/ Trigger/ IUI/ Progesterone
    Starting 1st IUI cycle Friday 4/28

    amandavan83
  • Hi there! My preemie was born 31 weeks at only 2lbs 10oz he spent 5 weeks in nicu and has always been small he always lingered on the 2nd percentile at first the dr were mildy worried and just had me the neosure in my breastmilk and offer him fatty food when's he started solids but also told me bf babies can gain at a slower rate. My son did the neosure until about 4 mo 2 adjusted and started refusing bottles and was EBF until 7 months and started solids along wiyh all of his nursing sessions he at like a pig when we started solids and never dropped a session and just never gained a ton he just followed his curve which is when my dr realized he is just small and will eventually catch up. He is 20 months now 18 adjusted and just now hit 20 lbs and 30 in long. Still small but healthy and happy good luck I think your dr needs to give Lo more of a chance to catch up. And all of the other pp covered some great advice so I won't repeat! Just wanted to tell you my experience and hope that it may ease some stress. I also did end up taking him tko a pedi that have experience with premies I highly recommend it they still work with him and and I feel give him special attention.
    vibarra27amandavan83
  • I had a 34 week'er on 12/16/15. He weighed 5lbs 1oz at birth.  He spent 9 days in NICU, just to make sure he was eating, able to breath without issues.  No additional supports or aides were necessary while in NICU.  He is now 19w, so 13w adjusted.  We just had his 4 month checkup and he now weighs 11lbs 4oz.and is 24 inches long. My pediatrician is not concerned, happy that he has since double his weight and then some and when compared to other babies born at 34 weeks, he is doing well on the charts.  Does your Pedi. look at an adjusted age growth chart for your LO, or compare him to actual age?  Griffin is still in the lower percentiles thus far, when you look at him on a scale for actual age, versus adjusted.  

    He takes 6oz at each feeding, and eats every 3 1/2-5 hours.  Depends on if he's sleeping and goes later in between feeds.  He gets about 28-30 oz of formula per day. I track his bottle feedings and we are now averaging 5 bottles a day sometimes 6, and down to 1 MOTN feeding for him. 

  • Hi! My 33week'er was born at 6lbs 12ozs and was originally on enfacare and breastmilk (not fortified) in the NICU and came home after 13 days. I stopped pumping at 6weeks and at his 2 month appointment his pedi took him off the enfacare as he was 12lbs 10ozs. We have an appointment in four days for a 3month weight check but I would guess he is over 15lbs easy. He is already in 6month clothing. He eats about every 4 hrs (still on that nicu schedule!) usually 6-8 ozs. As he stays on his growth curve it's ok that he is a big baby. (He's in the 60% percentile for his actual age and age adjusted is 99.99%) if your baby is staying on his growth curve then I would say it is fine but if he is falling behind I would at least see the specialist and hear them out.
  • Mine born 1 month early (drug & alcohol use) isn't 15 lbs at 7 mos. You need a 2nd opinion. 
  • Based on that info, he doesn't seem "Failure to Thrive" tiny to me.
    My son was born at 31 weeks, and he was 4 pounds. He was also already nearly 18 inches. We did 6 weeks in the NICU and went home on breastmilk fortified with neosure. After a few weeks, I talked to his doc about dropping the neosure and we did. At about 5.5 months we added in cereal and fruits and veggies.
    He went in for his 9 month check up at 9 months + 2 weeks and he was 15 lb, 5 oz. He's tall and skinny! His doctor isn't concerned at all. He eats well (actually, he eats a ton!) and is developing wonderfully. I'd say your doc is either basing the label off of more than just size or is failing to look at your babe holistically. Ask some more questions and get another opinion!
    killysmum23
  • I am surprised you are giving that much real food. My 34 weeker was born at 4lb9oz and left nicu after 3 weeks at 5lbs. We got the go at 6months for solids but was told don't over do it as he doesn't want her to fill up on food and breastmilk should still be main source (has more calories). Is your son still drinking 24+oz of milk or formula? We only give about 2oz of puree a day and 7x or so of breastfeeding. She was about 12-12.5lbs at her 6 month appt but that was staying on her own curve of 3-5th percentile. Since your son was heavier when born he may have dropped on his curve which is prob where the concern is. Still though it's not that different. Doctor told me as long as she is around 15lbs at 9 month visit we are still on track. She was 14.10 last week and we have 2 more weeks so I'm hopeful. Good luck! 
  • Our LO was born at 35 weeks weighing 4 pounds. We were in the hospital for 9 days because he wouldn't eat. He just turned 4 months May 29th and is now 14.5 pounds. He was on neosure for the first 2 months and is now on regular formula. He has went to from <1% on the growth chart to 20% on the growth chart. Every baby is different and he wasn't born as early as yours. Our pedi said that the growth chart number didn't matter so much as long as his number was going up. 
    Me: 31 DH: 40
    Married 2012
    TTC #2 since July 2016
    PCOS diagnosed 2008
  • LillBucevacLillBucevac
    First Anniversary First Comment Photogenic
    member
    edited July 2016
    It sounds to me like they are basing it off a "normal" baby scale. Failure to thrive doesnt mean that you are doing anything wrong! Some babies just grow slower... like someone said they have 2 years to catch up sometimes it takes a while. Your baby doesnt sound that small to me at all for his age and for being born at 33w. My son was born at 31w2d and weighed 2 lb 3 oz but he was really long! 13 inches. He will be 9 months old in about 2 weeks and he weighs about 18 lbs and was almost 28 inches long at his last checkup hes just long and skinny. But i have a friend who delivered a full term baby a week after mine and her baby is smaller in length and weight, all babies are different. 

    If i were you i would look into a second opinion maybe call the nicu your baby was in and ask them for an opinion of another dr or something. Our nicu does follow up appointments until they catch up and its nice because i know i have a specialist in addition to my his regular peid. 
    vibarra27
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