Underweight toddler

Talk about issues regarding looking after babies in the 1st 3 years of their lives.

Underweight toddler

Postby intruder » Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:08 pm

Hi,

My son is 19 months old and weighs barely 8kg. His weight is always lower than the 3rd percentile on the weight chart since birth. I've consulted his PD and she took blood test for him and the result was normal but dat doesn't stop me from worrying. Recently i just bought him to see a dietitian and was advised to give him eat more carbo food but my son wasn't a big eater as he is a small size boy so his stomach is not dat big so it is unlikely dat I can follow according to the dietitian's guidelines. I feel bad whenever i need to "force" him to eat when he always shakes his head indicating he doesn't want to eat anymore and worse, sometimes he vomited out. :cry:

My boy has 3 meals a day and i will give snacks like milk, biscuits, yogurt, etc. in between meals but if I do dat, his nxt meal, he will not be able to eat much. And worse of all is my boy still naps 2x a day, morning nap at 11+am (naps abt 2hrs, ard 2pm wakes up, abt 2+pm den eat his lunch) and another one at ard 5+pm (normally i will try to keep him awake till his dinner time) but if he is tired, he will be cranky and refuse to eat.

I seriously do see a problem, probably in my routine or feeding methods?
Being the primary caregiver for my son, i really can't stop worrying and questioning myself where actually is the problem.. y he is not putting weight like other babies or toddlers do?! When ppl (especially old folks) see my boy, they will always comment "boy, u must eat more or u must feed him more food." I do feel hurt & sometimes inferior when I heard such comments or when I see other babies or toddlers younger than my son are bigger size than him.
Any mummies having similar problem or could advise me, pls?

intruder
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby intruder » Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:09 pm

In addition, like to know should milk or solid food be the main source of food for a 19 month old toddler?

intruder
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby slmkhoo » Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:29 pm

If he has been at under 3% since birth, it could be that he is just that he is generically small. Someone has to be at that end of the curve, and although we all have preferences about where our kid is on the curve, we have to accept what we are given. Are you and your husband small in size? Or does it run in the extended family? One of my daughters is around the 10th percentile and really, there is nothing we can do about it. You say he is underweight, but what is his height? If his height is also around 3%, then he is right weight for his height.

Your son does take longer naps than most, but you don't mention how much he sleeps at night. Kids of that age probably need to sleep about 14hrs per day, as far as I recall. Is he active? If you encourage him to be more active he is likely to have a better appetite.
Try not to force him to eat as it could give rise to eating problems. Just give him calorie-rich food so that he gets a lot of calories from a small volume of food. You may want to limit the amount of milk and other drinks he consumes as liquids will fill him up quickly and he won't feel like eating solids. From 12mths, solids should be the major source of nutrients with milk gradually reduced to 2 cups a day. Hope this helps.

slmkhoo
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby intruder » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:41 pm

Hi slmkhoo,

Thks for taking e time to read & reply my post.

I'm abt 1.6m tall, weighs abt 50kg whereas my hubby is taller but skinny. Like u, many ppl even the PD oso said could be due to genetics but the dietitian said it's not true, she said my boy lack of carbo & fats. Sigh...
Does it means my boy will be forever small & skinny size? I'm worried dat he will be like a dwarf when he grows up. :nailbite:
So far, I haven come across any of my frenz or relatives bbs whose weight gain is so slow & dats what is bothering me cos as a first time mum wif no help/advice & experience, I dunno if I've fed or taken care of him in the correct manner?

His height is still within the height chart but oso on the lower side (3rd to 10th percentile). According to his bmi i calculated, he is considered underweight.

At nite, he slps abt 7 to 8hrs den morning nap he can slp up to 2hrs or more.. evening nap, if I'm unable to stop him from sleeping den he will slp abt 1/2hr to 45 mins. Actually his energy lvl is only 3-4 hrs only den after dat he will feel tried already. Is there anything wrong wif his schedule?

My son is not very active as he started walking (w/o assistance) is quite late.. ard 16 to 17 month old so he dun run or climb abt now.. most of the times, he will just walk. Any ways dat I can encourage him to be more active physically?

Btw i was told for his age, e milk intake should be 750ml per day but sometimes I can't even make him drink up to 500ml cos there isn't room in his stomach for it. Previously, I switched from formula milk to fresh milk when he's abt 13 month old but recently I switched back to formula milk again cos formula milk carbo is more.
I'm really stress & tired over this issue.. but at e same time 'desperate' to increase his weight. :frustrated:

intruder
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby slmkhoo » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:44 am

intruder wrote:Hi slmkhoo,

Thks for taking e time to read & reply my post.

I'm abt 1.6m tall, weighs abt 50kg whereas my hubby is taller but skinny. Like u, many ppl even the PD oso said could be due to genetics but the dietitian said it's not true, she said my boy lack of carbo & fats. Sigh...
Does it means my boy will be forever small & skinny size? I'm worried dat he will be like a dwarf when he grows up. :nailbite:
So far, I haven come across any of my frenz or relatives bbs whose weight gain is so slow & dats what is bothering me cos as a first time mum wif no help/advice & experience, I dunno if I've fed or taken care of him in the correct manner?

His height is still within the height chart but oso on the lower side (3rd to 10th percentile). According to his bmi i calculated, he is considered underweight.

At nite, he slps abt 7 to 8hrs den morning nap he can slp up to 2hrs or more.. evening nap, if I'm unable to stop him from sleeping den he will slp abt 1/2hr to 45 mins. Actually his energy lvl is only 3-4 hrs only den after dat he will feel tried already. Is there anything wrong wif his schedule?

My son is not very active as he started walking (w/o assistance) is quite late.. ard 16 to 17 month old so he dun run or climb abt now.. most of the times, he will just walk. Any ways dat I can encourage him to be more active physically?

Btw i was told for his age, e milk intake should be 750ml per day but sometimes I can't even make him drink up to 500ml cos there isn't room in his stomach for it. Previously, I switched from formula milk to fresh milk when he's abt 13 month old but recently I switched back to formula milk again cos formula milk carbo is more.
I'm really stress & tired over this issue.. but at e same time 'desperate' to increase his weight. :frustrated:

If he's underweight according to bmi, then I can understand that you are concerned. However, if he is active and happy, he's probably doing OK. Height is mostly genetically predetermined, and if he's getting enough food, rest and exercise, then don't worry too much as there's not much you can do. My husband and I are both short, and we get along just fine.

Getting tired after 3-4 hrs is normal at this age - he's still only 1yo! You could try getting him to sleep more as kids grow when they sleep. 7-8 hrs at night sounds a bit short to me, and he's only getting about 11 hrs a day - my kids used to sleep at 8pm and get up at around 7am at that age, plus another 3 hrs in the afternoon. The easiest way to encourage activity is to bring him to a playground. I was fortunate to have one at the foot of my block, and my kids would run and climb for at least 1/2 hr most days. I also made them walk with me for as far as they were able as I don't drive.

I don't know who gave you the advice about milk, but I was given different info. My kids were born in the UK, so I followed the UK guidelines I was given. That was to reduce milk consumption to 500ml by 12mths, and keep it at that level through the preschool years. The rest of the nutrition should come from solids. Too much liquid intake fills kids up and keeps them from eating more solids. Try to give nutrient-rich food rather than just look at carbo as it's important for small eaters to make every calorie count. Hope this helps.

Edited to add: I was also an inexperienced first-time mum with no help as I was overseas. My 'bible' was "What to Expect the First Year", there is also a follow-on book "What to Expect in the Toddler Years". I recommend them highly, but you can look around for something similar and follow their advice. My kids are now teenagers and haven't suffered from it! If anything, they benefited from consistent discipline and were spared some of the funny ideas that older people may try to impose.

slmkhoo
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby sleepy » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:49 am

Try feeding milk every 2 hours? I did that with both my kids.
With my younger one, she refused to drink plain water at all. So I boiled soup (carrot potatoes and broccoli) for her as water replacement. Drink every 2 hours too. So round the clock, every 1 hour soup, every 1 hour milk. Super chubby :lol:

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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby bb_ mom » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:16 am

From birth, DS was always in the 3rd percentile. Didn't like to take milk nor eat and getting him to nap was also a challenge. As we have a DD to compare physical growth, it was worrying cos DD was in the 75th percentile.

So, we did what sleepy did. We got him to have small snacks in between meals. I was forever feeding him yoghurt between meals. From 6 months to almost 2 years, his milk and rice cereal was fortified with unsalted butter (on advice from PD).

He's now 11 and he's eating almost like an adult. I think when kids hit a growth spurt, in his case when he was about 9, he just started eating more.

bb_ mom
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby 12mum » Fri Sep 26, 2014 11:41 am

I think you are doing a good job with your child. Comments wise, you just have to learn to filter out those insensitive comments.

The only thing (my opinion) I think you might need to change is the morning nap time. Current nap time is. 11am follow by lunch at 2 or later. After that will be nap time again..

Maybe you can let him nap earlier at 10 - 10.30 am and lunch at 12/1230. Some play/exercise time at 2-4 pm and nap at 4-5.30pm. Dinner at 7pm.

Whatever snack you are giving to him now, you can reduce the quantity yo make room for dinner.

I used a book by dr Miriam Stoppard as a guide.

12mum
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby seaglass » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:11 pm

intruder wrote:Hi,

My son is 19 months old and weighs barely 8kg. His weight is always lower than the 3rd percentile on the weight chart since birth. I've consulted his PD and she took blood test for him and the result was normal but dat doesn't stop me from worrying. Recently i just bought him to see a dietitian and was advised to give him eat more carbo food but my son wasn't a big eater as he is a small size boy so his stomach is not dat big so it is unlikely dat I can follow according to the dietitian's guidelines. I feel bad whenever i need to "force" him to eat when he always shakes his head indicating he doesn't want to eat anymore and worse, sometimes he vomited out. :cry:

Do you frequently check for stomach wind in your child? Some kids don't take milk very well, and it gives them a "bloated" tummy.

What is his diet like? Some kids need more variation in their food to keep them interested.. :sweat:

My dd also used to be very skinny and didn't have a good appetite when she was small. Maybe you can see if the following points help:

- Let your child drink some lukewarm water when he wakes up in the morning. It cleanses and refreshes the system and helps digestion later on in the day.

- Make sure he gets enough food with fibres, like fruit and veggies, or some unpolished rice, 糙米. Very good for digestion. Those sweet-sour tasting fruit like orange, tomato (cooked) also helps to improve appetite.

- Some Chinese herbs are known to help digestion and appetite. Eg. 四神汤,淮山,山楂, etc. Maybe you can consult a TCM physician on how much to give your child, given his young age.

- Get more toys that encourage greater physical activities. Exercising works up a good appetite.

All the best!! (:

seaglass
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Re: Underweight toddler

Postby playnpray » Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:41 pm

Hi intruder, my child is not even on the chart, he is so small in weight and height. I have worried myself sick and tried everything to grow him. He is currently seeing a pediatric endocrinologist. So far we don't yet know why he is so tiny And are just continuing to monitor him.
Perhaps you'd like to take your child to see a pediatric endocrinologist too.

playnpray
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