Low Weight Gain in Babies? When to be Concerned?

I would like to share my thoughts on weight gain in babies based on my experience.

If a healthy infant is not gaining weight as he should, then they are few things to consider before coming to a conclusion that the baby is not getting sufficient mother’s milk and has to supplement with formula. Below I have listed the most important ones to consider.

Nursing:

Is your baby eager to nurse? Is your baby happy after nursing say 15 mins on each breast?

If your baby is eager to nurse but is cranky even after nursing, then your baby might have latching issues, a very common breastfeeding problem which occurs in first few weeks. It is better to consult a lactation expert and solve the problem.

Or else, your baby might be getting more of your foremilk than hindmilk(high in calories). When you start to nurse, your body instinctively lets down the milk. One third of your breastmilk is foremilk, which is readily available. The hormone oxytocin stimulates the flow of the rest of your milk, the hindmilk. If you’re stressed out or in pain, the letdown reflex might not work, preventing your baby from getting hindmilk. It would be better to find a place to relax and nurse.

Wet diapers:

How many does he need per day? assuming you change his diapers when it is full and not immediately when the diaper indicator turns blue.

If he requires 6-8 diapers per day, then probably he is getting enough milk and nutrition.

Dirty Diapers:

Keep Monitoring his dirty diapers. He would have several mustard-colored bowel movements a day in the initial month. After that, his bowel movements would be less frequent. It won’t be a surprise if he even skips a day or two.

Height:

Is your baby gaining height as he should but not weight? then probably his daily needs are met.

Nails:

Are his nails growing? Are you cutting his nails often? If yes is the answer to the questions, then you can relax for a bit before considering other facts.

Growth Chart:

Is your baby following a constant pattern in growth chart? Even if your baby is in 5th percentile, is he constant throughout? Downward graphs are alarming.

Milestones:

Is your baby meeting developmental milestones?

If you have answered yes to the above questions then it is time sit back and relax. Believe me you need it! 🙂

Checklist Items:

Don’t try to pump exclusively doubting your milk supply. It is always good to solve your issues w.r.t nursing and pump additionally if required.

Additional Info:

When to be concerned about my baby’s bowel movements?

https://www.babycenter.com/baby-poop-photos

How breast milk work?

https://www.babycenter.com/0_making-breast-milk-how-your-body-produces-natures-perfect-ba_8785.bc

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