Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weighty Issues.

The baby is a picky eater. Actually, she's more like an intermittent eater. Some days she eats adult sized portions and I marvel at how she's fitting it all in to that tiny body. Other days she tosses everything I offer directly on the floor. I know this is normal, incredibly annoying, but normal.
What's my point? The baby gains weight very sloooowly.

I am unconcerned - she is thriving and developing right on milestone schedule. She's happy, full of energy and has a bright twinkle in her eyes.
Her pediatrician is concerned. Here's the tricky bit. She's only concerned because she's not following a good curve on the percentile chart. She is now 'required' to start testing the baby for underlying reasons for slow weight gain. How do you test for pickyness? What procedure do you use to see if inherited eating habits might be a factor? The husband is a skinny, intermittent eater. The tests they have in mind are invasive.
I object.

The six year old was exactly the same at this age but she managed to stick to that all important curve by the skin of her teeth. Perhaps because she never crawled. She sat and sat and sat. She never moved from one spot for hours at a time. (It was great!)
The baby is not skinny or lethargic. She just NEVER stops moving. Even in sleep she thrashes around her crib. Why can't we use that as the reason for her slower weight gain. She does gain weight but then she gets a cold and loses it or she has a big jump in height so her weight ratio is off again.

Like all parents I Googled the topic - guess what, pages and pages of parents frustrated that those damn charts seem to ignore the fact that we are all different. I don't know about you but my friends are all different heights and weights and perfectly healthy. Wouldn't it make sense that kids are too?

My pediatrician has delicately explained that she sees my point but if I won't agree to the testing - I'll need a new pediatrician. Why? The practice doesn't want to get sued if later some underlying cause is found that they failed to identify.
I like my practice - we've been with them for six years, I like all the doctors. They take my insurance.
I am going to the next weight check with my lawyer and a detailed report on the flaws of the percentile charts. You think I'm kidding.
You realize of course that if I do the baby will have gained 3 pounds and will be in the 90th percentile.
I need a donut.


  1. I thought I read somewhere that those charts are for bottle fed babies, who tend to gain more weight than BF babies? Both of my sons are really picky eaters, and both are small for their age (not sure how that happened given their moms genes). At one point my youngest survived on breast milk and Goldfish. He is alittle better now but not much!

  2. We've struggled with the same - our 2 year old is "off the charts" - as in 5% or less! But then again, our pediatrician has taken into account that both my girls are allergic to dairy, eggs, nuts, so that limits their diets. Not to mention my 2 year old is also a very picky eater and never wants a bottle - just wants to be different from my 5 year old when she was 2.
    I'm curious as to what type of invasive procedure they were recommending for your young one!
    Our pediatrician just recommended us to a pediatric nutritionist, and to add as much flax seed oil and fatty foods to her diet (avocados, meats, french fries, etc.)

    Good luck! Hate the pressures that the medical field tries to impose on us lay folk just to avoid lawsuits and legal entanglements. Some procedures can be so invasive and unnecessary - and end up being traumatizing to the child.

    Another thing - get a second opinion. When I was hesitant to agreeing to an invasive procedure for my now 5 year old when she was 4, for her UTI - of which she had two within a 5 month period, and which seemed to warrant a procedure called VCUG (google it)- my pediatrician sent me to a pediatric urologist at UCSF. It was at their clinic that they did a physical exam and I repeated the history and provided them all her records pertaining to the UTIs - and they felt that in evaluating her, that it was NOT necessary to do the procedure!

    Good luck and please provide details on the reports about how flawed those percentile charts are! I'm curious to see what they have to say. Thanks!

  3. Argh. When they look at a child, is what they see a chart??? Do they not see the thriving, happy, healthy, hitting all her marks bundle of energy that Miss P actually is??

    This gets me steamed...

  4. I am amazed at how far your clinic is taking this. My daughter is not picky but eats a miniscule amount of everything and has always been below average weight and height, my son is a big hearty strapping boy who is always above average on the charts...I thought in this age of diversity there wasn't any "average" anyway? But maybe this is how it's done in the US? Probably cos the NHS is so cash poor here in the UK, they can't investigate anything so thoroughly! Gibby


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