4month old dropping weight percentile

by Tracy
(Colleyville, tx)

Hi! This is my third baby. I have breast fed my other two until they turned one and plan to do the same with this one. We just went to her 4 month check up, and she has dropped significantly in her weight percentile and increased in her length percentile. Here's her history:
Born: 8lbs 3 oz 21 in
1 wk:: 8lbs 6 oz. 21 in
1 month: 12 lbs.
2 month: 13 lbs. 23 in
4 month: 13 lbs 10 oz. 25.5 in

According to the charts, from 2 months to 4, she has gone from the 90 percentile to around 30 in weight and from the 75 percentile to the 90 in height.

My pediatrician immediately said I needed to start giving her formula. He wants me to breast feed her half the time and give her formula for the other half (3 nursings and 3 formula). I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS.

She is a very happy baby. She smiles and coos. She is rolling from back to front. She has good head support. I am currently nursing her 6 times a day (one of those being a 2AM feeding). Many times I "make" her nurse when it's time. I would say 3 out of the 6 times she might act really hungry. She's nurses mostly to eat, as opposed to needing comfort. Sometimes if she's tired, I can't get her to nurse. She wants to sleep! She takes two 2 hr naps. Sometimes the afternoon nap lasts 3 hours. She also usually gets one catnap in the car or in the evening. She was diagnosed with reflux at a month, and takes Prevacid Solutab 15 mg (1/2 tab in AM. And 1/2 in PM) this has worked for her. She still spits up, but there's no fussiness or pain.

All this to say, my baby has been doing AWESOME except for her drop in weight percentile. I am scheduled to go back for a weight check in 2 weeks. My pediatrician has scared me into thinking if she doesn't gain, it could eventually affect her brain development, and that my breast milk is like keeping her on a "Slimfast" diet. If I have to give her formula for her safety, I will. But I do not want to. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!

Answer from the lactation consultant:
I am so sorry you are going through this. I am infuriated to be honest.

My first recommendation is to find a new pediatrician. One that will not EVER scare you about anything. There are too many options out here and it is imperative you find one that supports and empowers you not frightens you.

Now, let me get this straight, your child grew 2.5 inches in 2 months and still gained some weight? That is fantastic in my opinion. She went UP in her length percentile and yet was expected to do the same in weight? That would be extremely odd. She had a massive length growth spurt and sounds to me like she is simply going to take some time to catch up with her weight. I'm not a doctor and not saying he/she is wrong but this simply does not make sense to me.
The doctors I work with do not fret about the growth charts as much as they watch baby's developmental milestones. So, you say she is "doing great" which I assume her development is going well? I also feel it is very important to make sure your doctor is using the breastfeeding growth chart for your child NOT the growth chart issued by the formula company. If not, print it off yourself and graph your child to see where they are TRULY, not according to the formula manufacturers who want to gain new customers. Simply google WHO breastfeeding growth chart, if you want to print it off.
Lastly, follow your instincts. Which you are by even reaching out to me. You know in your heart what is right and wrong. Find doctors, friends, lactation consultants who will support you NOT condemn.
If you need a recommendation for a new pediatrician, please contact me privately via email and I will be glad to provide you with some recommendations. [email protected]

Hope this helps,
Liz Pevytoe, RN, IBCLC

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