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Baby Weight Gain: When To Worry If It’s Stagnating

If the baby’s weight development is an indication of his health and the good progress of his growth, it is not always easy to know how to monitor it. The health record offers several growth charts – Weight, height and body mass index or BMI – so what to refer to?

“The BMI curve is uninteresting it is the weight curve that counts“, specifies Professor Tounian. A weight curve must theoretically be regular, which means that the child’s weight must follow its percentile corridor. “We speak of inflection when the weight curve no longer follows its corridor,” explains the specialist.

In the event of a shift, it is always advisable to consult a pediatrician who will compare this weight stagnation with the clinical assessment of the baby.

Conventionally, it is believed that a child should take approximately 25 grams per day until his 3 months, 20g/y Come in 4 and 6 months, 15 g/y of his 7 months to 9 months and 10g/y until his first birthday. This increase then decreases until the child is 5 years old, when, theoretically, he is eating less than 2 kg a year.

However, these numbers are only medium and should not be taken literally. Every child has their own weight curve and development.

Why a baby doesn’t grow: the various causes

If that Weight chart for children no longer increases, it is necessary to understand the cause in order not to overlook a possible health problem. “In general, if a child gains little weight, there are three main categories of possible causes,” explains the specialist: psychological causes, somatic causes and genetic causes.

Somatic causes: growth retardation

Somatic causes may be related to a illness or to a insufficient food intake. There are three main categories of these somatic causes.

First somatic causes: repeated infections. This is often the case with community entry for the baby, when he starts kindergarten and gradually catches all the little viruses that are circulating. “The kid has little appetite and it’s common to see weight stagnation that can last several months‘ says Professor Tounian. Curve of the child is then and zigzag : It decreases during infection, recovers somewhat between two infections and decreases again at the next.

Second somatic causes: gross malnutrition. They are the result of a poor nutritional knowledge of parentswho believe they are doing the right thing and are not feeding their child adequately. “This is the case, for example, with a too much soup : Parents find it nutritious because it is rich in vitamins and minerals, but the soup provides almost no calories,” explains the specialist. This also applies to the parents vegan who want to put their toddler on the same diet as themselves, at the risk of running out of calories and micronutrients.

Third somatic causes: food allergies or diseases of the digestive tractB. Allergy to cow’s milk protein or other foods or celiac disease (gluten intolerance). These pathologies must be examined by a doctor who will make the diagnosis. These more serious causes are characterized by a break in the weight curve.

Psychological causes: oppositional anorexia or psychiatric anorexia

After a banal event – change of custody, illness – the child can a oppositional anorexia. The child begins to refuse to eat, which arouses the concern of his parents, who tend to insist or even force him, and then a vicious circle is formed.

Patrick Tounian, head of the department of pediatric nutrition at Trousseau Hospital: “The more parents worry and try to force the child, the more he turns and resists himself.”

Generally the Curve is jagged : The child loses weight, then recovers because eventually hungry and accepts the food, then refuses the food again. “In such cases, it is said that a child will never starve, which is true in the vast majority of cases,” the specialist reassures. Mainly because of this it is not necessary don’t fall into child’s playdo not try to force him or get into conflict with him.

However, in exceptional cases, the infant may develop severe psychiatric anorexia with potentially serious consequences. Psychiatric care for the entire household is then essential.

Genetic causes: baby or child with low weight who does not grow and does not grow quickly

Some children are at the bottom of the weight and height curves: they naturally eat little, so they gain little weight, but follow their curves normally. “It is about constitutional thinness“explains Professor Tounian. The child is genetically programmed to be thin and there is nothing you can do about it.

“First of all, one should not, by nature, force young children to eat more: even if they can force themselves to eat one meal, they will make up for it by eating less at the next meal, at the risk of depriving them of their nutrition.” bring balance.”

Breastfeeding: When the baby stops growing with breast milk

breastfeeding is not always a long, calm river. “In some cases, after a few weeks of breastfeeding, there may be stagnation in baby weight due to insufficient intake,” explains Professor Tounian. This is quite normal and can have several possible causes. The mother can go to a lactation consultantwho will observe how breastfeeding is progressing. The solution is often to restimulate lactation by breastfeeding the baby very often, up to 10 times a day for two to three days.

The solutions to make the baby’s curve go up vary depending on the cause of the stagnation.

  • In the event of a nutritional error on the part of the parents, it is enough to reintroduce the nutritious foods that the baby needs, which vary according to age.
  • When it comes to oppositional anorexia, parents need to remain as calm as possible and resist the temptation to force their child. Eating should remain a convivial and pleasant moment!
  • In the event of a drop in lactation, it is always recommended to contact a lactation consultant who can advise you accordingly.

And when you are in the presence of a naturally thin child, the main thing you should do nothing and respect his desires and appetitethat exactly match his needs.

Why does a baby lose weight at birth?

All babies lose weight within a few days of birth. It is precisely normal because the baby excretes meconium – first bowel movements – from its intestines, as well as excess water in the urine.

How much weight does a newborn lose at birth?

The kid loses about 10% of his birth weight, which corresponds to 300 g for a 3 kg baby, for example.

When did he regain his birth weight?

“The fatter a baby is at birth, the greater the risk of weight loss and the longer it takes to gain weight,” explains the department head. This is the case, for example, with babies whose mother made one gestational diabeteswho tend to be born larger. These babies can take up to three weeks to regain their birth weight, which was not their physiological weight but was overweight.

The average time to weight gain after childbirth is two weeksAbout.

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