Drop in Growth Curve

  • Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

Q. We took our 9 month old in for his well baby check. When they weighed him today he was 15 pounds, 5 ounces. At his six month appointment he was 15 pounds, 4 ounces! I have only given him cereal a couple of times and no other solids. I normally wait until they are 9 months to start solids, and that worked well with my older children. Now I am wondering if I should have started him sooner. I am very concerned now, since he went down from being in the 45th percentile at 6 months to 5th percentile now. I know that each baby is different, and I try not to put too much stock in the percentiles, but this seems like it is quite a drop and a gain of only one ounce in three months is very low.

Our doctor said that it could have just been that he was weighed on a different scale from last time and not to worry about it for now, but he recommends going ahead with the solids, and he would like his weight to be checked every 4 weeks for a few months. Thus far he has not responded well to the cereal, but he seems very interested in what we are eating. He nurses on demand as long as he wants. Should I try the cereal more to get some weight on him? Should I try giving him “real” food? Do you think that he is better just nursing?

A. I’ll bet that there is a “wrong” weight in there somewhere but, fortunately, it doesn’t matter because you have great instincts and a pretty reasonable doctor.

Breastmilk is so important and breastfeeding so short, even when it runs to 2 to 3 years or more. I really like de-emphasizing solids (and weight) during the first year.

Your baby looks great and meets all her milestones? You don’t need to worry or add cereal. A couple more details could clarify: your height and (usual) weight and the same data for his dad.

Your experience will help and your doctor’s attitude is far from typical. The Pediatrician is pretty darn smart.

If your son looks great and acts great, be in NO hurry to increase solids. He is much better off with just breastmilk.