Weight Issues (Failure to Thrive)

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Coastieswife's picture
Joined: 08/06/08
Posts: 408
Weight Issues (Failure to Thrive)

I am afraid we are headed to being labeled Failure to Thrive soon. I am so discouraged-no matter how much I try to get them to eat they won't. We are already on 26 calorie formula and nothing is happening. K is gaining but P is still stuck at 11 lbs 8 oz. and K is 12 lbs 1 oz. Presley eats just as much as K but she is just always on the move that I feel like she burns up those calories she needs to gain weight. They are already on reflux meds so that has been ruled out and are on allimentum formula as well. I just don't know what to do and they are talking the next step is the NG tube which breaks my heart. I am so discouraged. Any help out there? Sad

Joined: 04/14/07
Posts: 793

First, :bighug:

How often do you try to feed them? How many ounces?

I see the girls are 7 months old (actual). Are they ready for any sort of solids yet? I know many purrees and cereals have way fewer calories than the formula, but maybe they'd be more interested...?

I don't have any experience in this particular area, but just wanted to wish you luck. I hope that it doesn't come down to the NG tube.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6559

Aw. :bigarmhug::bigarmhug: I remember the day in the NICU that they put a feeding tube in Caitlyn. Oh how my heart broke in two. No advice, but I will be thinking of you.

Joined: 09/03/04
Posts: 142

I don't have experience with FTT either. But how many oz per bottle are they taking and how often? They are almost 5 months actual wonder if you can start them on solids. If they are physically active that could be part of the reason why they aren't gaining. Good luck and KUP.

Clarkton's picture
Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 1972

:hugs:

I don't really have any great advice either. I don't think I would introduce any solids though since they would be lower calorie and would just fill them up more making it harder to feed them, especially if you are already having trouble getting them to take enough formula.

I think I would focus on trying to feed often and just getting as much in them as possible. How often are you feeding them now...just on demand as they show interest or on a schedule? How much are they typically taking in a feeding and how much in a days time / 24 hr period?

Please KUP when you can.

Daffodils's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 73

I agree with Lynn - solids probably would do them no good since they are lower in calories. Although now that I say that, what about rice cereal mixed with high-calorie formula? My boys were on neosure added to breastmilk, and that's how we started them on solids, to help keep their weight gain up. Is there any other option besides Alimentum? Isaac also had severe reflux and was on meds. They told me to feed him Alimentum, but no matter what I did or how I presented it, he would not take it (I assume because of the taste/smell, but who knows). I also had to feed him small amount very frequently (usually every 1.5-2 hours) to help control reflux.

How are the girls doing now? I'm sorry I didnt see this post sooner, I don't get time to check in very often. Good luck!

Joined: 04/09/06
Posts: 1244

Do they feed well from the bottle nipple? Does their suck and latch seem strong? Do they seem to strain or take frequent breaks? Do they appear stressed when they are drinking? How many ounces are they drinking per feed? How often are they eating? What is their formula intake in ounces per day? I know you had a check up recently. What did the ped say again?

As for their weight, I will have to check back, but I think S was barely 12 pounds at 6 months. She was an IUGR baby born at 4 pounds, 5 ounces, not a preemie. However, she had issues with her swallow reflex and needed therapy to feed from a bottle. They think she never would have been able to breastfeed.

She also is extremely petite. My ped was very unconcerned about her weight and continues to feel like she is just growing on her own curve. She is almost 2 and may have just reached 20 pounds. She has never, ever been on the growth chart. She has a genetic predispostion to being small. My DH and his siblings were either low or not on the growth chart. Her cousin, who is 7, is still not on the growth chart. She might weigh 35 pounds now. She is 6 months younger than my DS, and my DS is 45 pounds (and that is considered to be in the 10th percentile, I believe). So, we try not to worry about S and her size. Not that you should not be concerned, but if you babies are hitting milestones adequately based on their EDD, I think they are probably doing fine. If not, maybe it is time to seek out some assistance with early intervention. They can take a look at their feeding as well as fine/gross motor skills, etc.

I agree that starting solids now will probably not help unless you are adding solids to the high calorie formula, but that should be a ped's call.

Joined: 09/03/04
Posts: 142

Just thought of something else....What about trying Nutramigen, its the Enfamil brand, same as Alimentum; maybe she doesn't like the taste of the Similac?

How are things now???? Update when you can.

BFrantz's picture
Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 86

what blood test have they done on them? When jaden was 7 months old he weighed about 9 pounds, he was 33 weeks when he was born, and 4#6 .. they did an mri, several blood tests, and even bone age x rays. They made me give him formula after no results were seen when adding calorie packs to his breast milk .. They put him on high calorie formula, they put him on pedia sure, that boy to this day - 6 years old and a whopping 30 pounds- does not put on weight. there is a blood test to check for ftt .. they also should be testing for growth hormones, metabolism, vitamin deficiencies, jadens tests came back showing that he had really high metabolism, which prevented him from gaining weight properly. He didn't eat a whole lot either, a 4 ounce bottle was pigging out for him.

My advice is make sure all the appropriate tests are done, and double check them with a second opinion from an unfamiliar doctor. Don't just take their word for it and let them do something invasive to your babies. Some kids are just tiny.

RhysesPieces's picture
Joined: 10/28/09
Posts: 9

Is this information coming from your regular ped or the follow NICU team? Regular pediatricians are NOT generally as well versed in preemie growth and development as your high risk follow up team.

Tali was and still is "underweight" and could be classified as FTT however she eats, she was getting in 24-30 oz of breast milk or formula per day, and after showing interest in solids she was getting solids plus milk and still only put on 1/2 an oz per month. She is currently 16 lbs at 17 months and eats 3 meals a day, juice, water, about 2 357 calorie pediasure peptide and snacks.

I see you had 25 weekers, please do not have your pediatrician label your girls FTT, take their advice with a grain of salt and consult with your high risk follow up nicu team.

Coastieswife's picture
Joined: 08/06/08
Posts: 408

Thanks for all the input ladies. It has realllly been stressing me out. So, Kourtney is now gaining weight steadily but Presley is not. We just changed her from Alimentum 26 calorie to 28 calorie and she gained 5 oz.......in 2 weeks. Ugh. But she is hitting all her milestones she just doesn't like to eat more than 3-3.5 oz every 3 hours with 6 feeds per day. Her sister will only take 4 and is gaining weight with just the 26 calorie. Presley is just a mover I think. She literally will not sit still. For anything! If there was an ADHD label for babies they would for sure label her that lol!

It is actually their GI doctor trying to label her that and threatened the feeding tube again at our last visit. She said she will give me 3 months to get it going or else she will be forced to do that before it hinders development and growth. Presley has a narrow airway to begin with from scar tissue from the ventilator (she pulled it out several times and had to be reintubated about 4 times) so her pulmonologist isn't on board with this so the next step would have to be the G tube in her belly. I am not willing to do this either as I feel there is still more to try like 30 calorie formula but the GI and nutritionist says she doesn't take in enough volume to do this because she needs free water. I do wonder if she is just small because I am 5'5, DH is 5'10 but my mom is 5'2, his mom is 4'11, his sister is 5'0 and his dad is 5'10. Not very tall women and veryyyyyyy petite. So maybe that is what is going on. I think I need a new GI doctor is what it sounds like. It is very stressful force feeding your child and it totally sucks!!!!

My pediatrician says not to worry and ever since he said that I have been trying not to. It isn't him wanting to label her it is the GI doctor.

Any other options I have as far as adding stuff to the milk or solids that I could suggest? Really glad I found this board and that there are people actually on it!

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6559

"Coastieswife" wrote:

Really glad I found this board and that there are people actually on it!

We're glad you found us too!

Joined: 12/10/06
Posts: 14

Well, my one year old is now on the very heavy side, and his favorite food is bananas, so I would suggest the baby food bananas, and full fat yogurt if they are able to have them. Both of my sons also really liked the fruit and cereal mixed baby food. Good luck! I'm sure they will do great once they start finding some more things they like to eat.

Clarkton's picture
Joined: 01/07/08
Posts: 1972

My DS1 liked avacado a lot, haven't tried it yet with DS2 b/c we have started him slowly but he is really getting to where he likes self feeding. I have given him banana cut in very small bites and he loves it...I'm going to try avacado cut the same way soon. If they like finger foods I recommend both of these. Thanks for the update. I hope you can get the GI doc off your back. :bighug:

Joined: 04/09/06
Posts: 1244

:bigarmhug: I am sorry the GI doc is really pushing the issue. I think you have every right to seek a second opinion before you do anything so invasive. I highly recommend a second opinion for any invasive medical procedure. The pediatrician is not concerned and it sounds like the the pulmonary doctor has concerns about the procedure. I am not sure I understand the issue between free water vs. 30 calorie formula. Then again, I have no experience in this area.

I do agree that avocado, full fat yogurt--Yo Baby-- and foods like that might help some. Is your GI, nutritionist, and ped on board with starting baby food?

Please keep us posted.

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