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slow weight gain (baby) and breastfeeding


Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2006
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Just me again!!

Basically some of you may have read in a couple of my other posts that ryan has been gaining weight very slowly over the past month.

10 weeks.......- 13lb 1oz
11 weeks.......- 13lb 4oz
13 weeks.......- 13lb 5oz
14 1/2 weeks - 13lb 9oz (today)

He started on 75% centile and is now just above the 25% centile :(

He's been unsatisfied after what I would consider a normal feed, and is fussing too. He's starting waking every couple of hours now in the night whereas he was doing 11pm-7am before. The past couple of nights we have topped him up with formula because he was screaming for food but would keep trying breast and keep pulling himself off and it was the only way we'd get any food down him. From a full bottle usually (if i'm out etc) he would have about 7oz, and on these top up feeds he's taking about half of that on top of whatever he had from me.

Basically the health visitors gave me a few options :

1. Keep putting him to the breast to feed even if he isn't hungry (or express) to keep milk supply up.

2. Alternate feeds.. breast, then next one formula, etc so that for the following breastfeed I would be more full.

3. Keep feeding as normal and topping up with formula if he is hungry for more (as we are at the mo, tho we will only do this on a 6pm or 11pm feed, not the others).

4. Start him on baby rice. They also said if he's not on baby rice by his next injections (20th) when we next go to baby clinic, that I should start then. He'll be 16 weeks then.

What do you all suggest? :( I just don't know what to do. It makes me sad to see his dot getting lower and lower down the chart and I just want him to be happy instead of hungry all the time :(

Hiya :wave:

I've just had a look at Evies red book and it looks like Ryan is doing pretty much what she did. She was just above the 91st centile born (9lb 1oz) and at 14 weeks had dropped to just above the 25th centile (12lb 15oz). The HV suggested that this was probably because at this point she became really active with her rolling and wriggling and so was burning more energy - could this relate to Ryan?
Since then it creeped up a bit but she has hovered around the 50th centile.

Also, have you tried plotting his weight on a BF chart rather than the red book formula based ones, it may ease your mind a bit.

I guess the fussing and crying for food is quite draining which I never really had with Evie so can't help there but :hug: it does sound like you've got a hungry boy.
Hmm thats very true, he books are based on formula and bf are a bit slower to put the weight oN.

Im not sure what too say as im not a bf, but just do whatever makes you and ryan happy.
how active is he? millie put on weight quickly at first- like a pound every 2 weeks- but this month she hasnt gained much at all, one week she even LOST weight, this week shes the same as last week :(
iv been told its coz shes rolling so much, shes so close to crawling and shes lifting her head and propping herself up and wriggling- shes just burning off energy.

but ryan's a bit younger isnt he. maybe try him on some baby rice?

also, are u eating enough and making enough milk? if not then consider switching him to formula? i think u can get special formula for hungry babies.

good luck :hug:
leckershell - I know you are really worried, but I have a similar issue in DD's weight stablising - it's taken her 8 weeks to put on 1lb and now at 18 weeks, she weighs 13lbs (she was 8lb 3.5oz at birth). As far as I understand it with a breastfed baby, this is really normal. She has gone from 75th centile to 25th centile in a matter of weeks but is so smiley and happy that I'm really not worried. She's much more active than she used to be too.

I'd be a bit cautious about starting with baby rice yet, all the advice I have read is to do nothing until AT LEAST 17 weeks - and even then I think that's a decision you can make once you are aware of the supposed health benefits of later weaning nearer to 6 months and decide whether you want to wait or wean.

However I don't have that issue of screaming for food - that must be really draining - DD is satisfied with breastmilk at the moment, so I can't help with that. Of all the options though, I'd prefer the alternative feeds one (one breast feed, next feed formula feed) and echo trixi in making sure you are eating lots and drinking lots (1 pint of water per hour I read somewhere although that seems a lot) to keep your supply up.

I hope this helps.

Valentine Xxx

P.S. Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I've had 2 white wine and sodas and feel a bit giddy!
valentine said:
P.S. Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I've had 2 white wine and sodas and feel a bit giddy![/i]

:rotfl: :rotfl: Bless! Life on the edge hey!
My red book has charts for breastfed babies and formula fed babies separately. So Ash's weight is plotted on the special boys breastfeeding one.

He's not even got to the middle line yet (50th) but is just under. But he's been putting on weight fine at every weigh in.

Sounds like Ryan was a really healthy size to begin with if he was in the top quarter, so he's still doing ok being in the 25th. He may just be stabilising and you'll find he starts going up again soon.

The only prob with alternating feeds is for a while your boobs will be fuller but then they'll get used to the longer gaps between feeds and will regulate their supply accordingly. So you'll in effect be reducing your milk supply long term.

What about going onto formula exclusively for a week or so and during that time, express a lot to increase your milk supply? But then I'm not an expert, and they say that pumps don't empty your breasts as well as babies so you'd ave to watch out for signs of blocked ducts or mastitis.

It's so diffiucult. I think breast feeding is thehardest part of having a baby. You just don't realise when you're pregnant what a task it is.

Leckershell - just a thought, how is your diet? Are you eating enough food, and the right sort of food, also are you drinking plenty of water? Breastfeeding was a great excuse for me to eat lots still :) I don't have a good excuse now as she only feeds last thing at night and during the night if she is having a bad night.

Oats are supposed to be particuarly good when breastfeeding.
leckershell said:
4. Start him on baby rice. They also said if he's not on baby rice by his next injections (20th) when we next go to baby clinic, that I should start then. He'll be 16 weeks then.


Hey SHell,

I have actually started giving amber a bit of baby rice this week i know she is only 14 weeks old nearly but she just isnt taking as much milk as i have told you before and last week she was weight she too was under weight.

She loves it...! She is coping really well with it and her poo is absloutely fine so i know her body is coping with it.

You do what you feel comfortable doing - the last post mentions about your diet - you mentioned in a post a while ago that you had no appetite are you eating during the day now?

Hope Ryan starts feeding for you hun xx :hug: :hug:
leckershell - I'd try not to worry about the weight gain too much at least he's not losing weight :hug:
Lola has also started to wake up a few times a night she used to sleep from 8.30 to 5.30 but for the last 5 nights she's been waking up 3 or 4 times a night.

I think there's only a couple of days between Lola and Ryan here is Lola's weight's since birth if it helps at all.

Birth - 7lb11oz
1 week -7lb13oz
3+ week - 8lb9oz
5+ week - 8lb15oz
6+ week - 9lb9oz
8+ week - 9lb14oz
11+ week - 10lb13oz
13+ week - 11.04oz

Lola is following the 9th centile and i'm not worried because she seems happy but she's not crying for extra food.

You and your OH will have to decide what to do with the baby rice. I'm going to start Lola as soon as she starts to show signs she's ready for it :D
Hi all :) thanks for your replies I was in a state when I got back from baby clinic stuck with those choices.

I've been giving extra formula if he's still hungry, and trying to feed him every hour/couple of hours in the day even if he isn't hungry, and I can tell I'm a bit fuller which is good. The past day and a bit, Ryan has been a much happier boy and that's the most important thing I guess.

Lolasmummy I didn't really pay attention to who else was born at the same time as Ryan but yeah wow 3 days apart :)


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