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No weight gain in a child, doesnt feed on outside milk. Should semi solids be started?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions

My daughter was born on 25-Jan-2012. She was born in 37 weeks 2 days - weight was 2.25 kgs only. My daughter is breast fed only with no top feeds. She has gained weight steadily (4.7 kgs now). Her pediatrician said not to worry even if she is underweight as the gain has been steady.

I joined back after maternity when she was 12 weeks old. I have been expressing milk (7 ounces) for 2 or 3 feeds that she has during the 7 hours I am away. She has been refusing to take bottle for this and so we are using spoon.

My daughter cries throughout while feeding those 7 ounces. When I am at home she breast feeds happily. I am worried whether this amount of milk is sufficient for her. Her sleep patterns are normal and her number of urines/poops are 8-10 times per day. Should we start on semi solids now? How to make her gain weight as many people have started commenting on her being small/light for her age.

Posted Thu, 5 Jul 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 7 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
First of all I appreciate your efforts as a mother for managing exclusive breastmilk feeding for your baby even though you are a working woman.
Yes, your daughter seems to be growing fine and you should totally ignore the comments of others ( except a doctor) who do not have the knowledge or insight to comment on a baby's health.
The baby's weight usually doubles the birth weight in 5 months and triples at one year of age , so you can see that your baby is not underweight but growing as per birthweight .Also breastfed babies gain less weight as compared to formula fed ones but their overall health and immunity is much better than non breastfed babies.
So you should relax and continue breastfeeding exclusively till the baby is 6 months old .
After this you can gradually introduce solids like cereals ,raagi( millets), mashed bananas, boiled mashed apples etc
Your baby craves for suckling and hence most probably cries during spoon feeding .The amount seems adequate as per her weight gain and excretion frequency.
Still if you feel the baby doesn't seem satisfied then atleast wait for a couple of weeks to introduce cereals and start very gradually infact only one serving per day to begin with . If baby tolerates it well then continue one serving when you are not available and once baby completes another month , you can gradually introduce fruits or increase the no of servings.
But remember breastmilk is the best nutrition for infants less than 6 months even for growth and overall development . Sometimes a reason for low gain could be a nutritional anemia or calcium deficiency so make sure your pediatrician has ruled out any such issue in your child .
As of now I do not think your child has any problem and seems to be growing normally.
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries.

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