Saturday, January 30, 2010


Anyone who knows me really well knows that I've been dealing with Esley's weight not being on "the chart" at all. I haven't really been too concerned because he seems happy, he's growing, and he's sleeping through the night. He's had a lot of problems in the last few months though.

Problem #1: He was constantly spitting up. I'm talking projectile vomiting. It was everywhere.
Problem #2: He has acid reflux. When we finally figured it out, our pediatrician put him on some medication. This solved problem #1.
Problem #3: He has an extremely sensitive stomach. Right after Esley was born, my mom came into town and stayed with us. She said that she would get up with him at night and just give him formula because there is no way I could get 2-3 bottles ahead in pumping every single day. Anyway, Esley can't take regular formula. He would scream for h-o-u-r-s. So, we bought him a special kind where the milk proteins were partially broken down. He was constipated and still screaming. So, needless to say... we haven't gone back to formula since.
Problem #4: He is most likely allergic to peanuts. Before we figured this out, I lived off of chunky peanut butter. We finally figured it out and I stopped eating it. He has been doing pretty good since then.

I bring all of this up because the appointment this week at the pediatricians office did not go well. Esley is STILL under 10 lbs.... and he's 4 months. It's not like I don't have enough milk to go around. He is getting plenty. Our pediatrician wants us to "supplement" his diet if he hasn't gained 6-8 oz in the next 2 weeks. We can't go back to formula. I seriously don't think I can live through that again. Does anyone have any advice, help, words of encouragement, etc in helping Esley absorb more so that he can gain some weight? I'm lost on what to do.


Amber said...

Ed & Brooke~ Sorry to hear of your stress! I have gone through this with both of my kids. Michael who is now four was always less then 10% on the charts. We found out when he was about 1 1/2 that he is allergic to peanuts and milk protein so it it is a good thing I never did formula with him. I did feed more often which is what my pediatrician recommended. Esley might be allergic to the milk protein too and that could be the problem with the formula. They do have some soy formula options. As Michael got older he gradually made his way up a bit on the charts, but he is still now only in about the 20-30% for weight.

Madison is 2 1/2. At one year old she was still in 3-6 month clothes. At 20 pounds is usually when you can change a baby to a front facing car seat and that usually happens around their first birthday... Madison didn't weigh 20lbs until she was two! She has never been on the charts and still isn't. She is cuurently only 23lbs.

My doctor was never overly concerned... as long as they were eating which they were. Both nursed a ton. I didn't start solids with them until 6 months because that is what my pediatrician recommended. He said most of it is genetics. My husband is tall and skinny and I am average. You are both tall and thin so that would be my bet.

Sometimes it isn't easy, but it isn't as abnormal as seeing a 0% would have you think!

I hope this helps! Both of my kids are developing normal everywhere else. They are just skinny kids!

Megan said...

I'm sorry I can't really relate, my kids were/are huge. However, if I were you I would possibly try a soy formula or, considering he is 4 months, you can maybe start trying rice cereal. I started both my kids on rice cereal at 4 months. It's an idea.

Good luck! Also, if he's happy, having regular bathroom habits and growing, I wouldn't fret too much.

Anonymous said...

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thanks and keep up the good work!

McKell said...

I'm sorry! That must be frustrating! Evelyn was allergic to the protein in cows milk so I went off dairy until she was about 7 months. But she never really had a problem gaining weight... sorry I don't have any good advice. :(

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other 2 about the soy formula. We will keep you in our prayers! And you should consider that you are both tall and thin. He will be a healthy thinner kid!

Heather, Dan, and Family said...

I have no advice, just sympathy. What a frustrating process! I think the most important thing is to realize that if he is happy and sleeping well, that he will be fine. Also, remember, he has a sensitive stomach, it is nothing you are doing wrong! Mom's always blame themselves, so try to remind yourself of this often! I hope he fattens up for you really soon :) Hang in there.

Porters said...

I would think that if he is eating well - then just give it time. I personally wouldn't supplement since you are able to feed him. Plus in just a few months you will be starting solids anyways...breastmilk will be the most calorie dense thing you could give him now. PLUS all the immunity. So if he is small - well he will be healthy. :) I always got a lot of good advice on the la leche league forums...they will for sure have some info on the topic. Or you could look up the la leche league leader in your area and email her. They always pull through for me- on all sorts of topics. or

Mikki said...

I just happen to stumble upon your blog. I never had weight gain issues with my kiddoes. It was not b/c of me but by the grace of God. I have researched lately as we have changed our diets homemade formulas. I did this just in case we were to adopt again. Most people are allergic to cow's milk even if not discovered. Casein in milk is not good for us. Goat's milk is the closest thing to human milk. You can use fresh goat's milk if possible and add carrot juice and other supplements if you see fit. You can google homemade formulas. Store-bought forumula is only veg oils, preservatives, and sugars!!! REad the ingredients...pretty scary stuff we expect our kids to thrive on and then wonder why they stay sick and have ear infections, etc. I hope things get easier for you but I would definitely research homemade formula substitutions along with continuing breastfeeding which I think is personally best!!

That's my 2 cents!

The Frasers said...

I am so sorry! I know just how you feel! Will has been in the 3rd percentile since he was born. We had the same problem with formula. We even tried soy.

My best advice? Don't stress about it. If it's obvious he is eating and HAPPY, don't worry about the chart. I was worried about it for the longest time. I talked to my sister-in-law about it once (she has smaller children), she also has a great pediatrician. He told her that about 10 years ago, they changed the charts. Basically, kids are getting bigger, and they were off the charts for being "normal" (which I guess is an 8 pound child) So, don't stress about it. I hate the chart. I think it's just one more way to stress a mom out. As long as he's not acting all lethargic or anything, I wouldn't worry about it. The chart is just so parents who have fat kids can feel better about themselves. If you go back to giving him formula, it'll just cause more stress. While a doctor may know a lot of things, you have something he/she doesn't, that is your mother instinct. Do what you feel is right! Will has not had formula since he was about a month old. And he's been one of the happiest babies I know. Even if I am a little biased.

katie k said...

love the stuff you've made down there (on the previous post)!!! and my heart goes out to you and esley. poor little thing!!!! i wish i had advice!

Orange Juice said...

So, I have been dealing with reflux a little bit, too. Nothing compared to you, so I cannot imagine. But what I experienced was stressful, and it must be even moreso for you. We did all the alternative suggestions and they helped immensely. But the thing that helped most was doing some emotional energy work. The man I went to does things over the phone too. Basically we went through Rosaline's birth experience and he helped me let go of things and talked to Roz too. It was really sweet actually. I felt even closer to her after. It has made a world of difference. She is no longer allergic to Milk or Wheat( I assume she was before, be cause she could not handle them.)She has not thrown up since either nor has she complained about the acid. We are not using any drugs at all to help. I am still slowly altering my diet back to normal, but it will be a few months I bet. Read my blog. It has a few more details. The chiropractor helped too. Anyway. let me know if you are interested.I will give you the info. lots of love and prayers

ps. as far as the weight goes...Drs are kinda weird about it. Liv was 8 months and weighed like 19 lbs or something and she hadnt gained weight within 6 weeks and he was worried that my milk had dried up...?? The truth was she was not eating enough solids..he failed to check with me on that. They are kinda funny. I agree with the comments above!


Laura said...

Hello Ed and Brooke - my first daughter was born 5 weeks premature at 4 pounds. I nursed exclusively, but at 4 months she was diagnosed with anemia and her weight gain dropped to a crawl. Our doctor recommended iron fortified baby cereal but every fibre of my being screamed "NO" to this recommendation (I did give her iron drops, which she hated!). I continued to nurse exclusively and one day my mother asked me "what does your heart tell you to do?" My heart said to continue nursing and follow the same path. At one year old my Josie was only 10 pounds, but lively, happy, meeting all the milestones (but weight). Obviously, she was never on the growth chart! Today she is 11. She is about 75 pounds (still barely on the charts), but she is one heck of a kid. Top of class, funny, athletic and just generally great. When I read your blog entry (I found your blog using the "next blog" button), I felt your frustration and pain. Don't be discouraged by your son's slow growth. If he does well on breast milk, stick with it! Follow your heart and get another opinion if necessary! Once you start solid food, use your imagination. Neither of my girls liked baby cereal, so we found "Nutrios" (in Canada) that were Cheerios with extra iron. Once they could pick them up they loved them! Best of luck!

Maria said...

I don't know if my own story relates but it might help. My daugther had terrible cramps, vomitting etc. when she was a baby I was very stressed and was told this was the key to her problems. To cut a very long a difficult time short, we ended up by chance seeing a specialist who told me to stop eating gluten, citrus and colouring amongst other things. I was passing this on in my milk, I was also trying to wean her at the time and she was highly sensitive to a lot of things and by removing them within a week we saw a dramatic change. It was hard work finding out what she could and couldn't eat and we didn't get a lot of support but we as parents knew what was right and stuck with it. She has grown out of most of her earlier problems and is heathly and happy and loves food.

Kimberly said...

You could try the lactose-free version of Baby's Only/Nature's One organic formula (available at Whole Foods, and on
or you could try the homemade formula described in "Nourshing Traditions" by Sally Fallon (also on the Weston Price website).

Criscell said...

Hey Brooke,
I just found your cute blog! Hope you don't mind if I add you to mine. As far as weight goes, Caysja has always been "off the charts' and I always felt so bad about it until I finally just had to say to myself that I was doing the best I could and she will just most likely always be thin and petite for her age. I'm so sorry that your Dr. has made you feel so bad. I think 100% nursing is the very BEST thing you could ever do for your baby and he's probably doing just fine! But I know it's hard not to worry though. Hang in there!