So How ‘Bout that Infant Growth Thing?

Eudora will be six months old next Friday.  She’s my little tiny baby girl.  When she was born, she was eight and a half pounds.  While there are people out there who have much bigger babies, Eudora was in the 82nd percentile for weight on the infant growth chart.  That’s not exactly a small number.  As we’ve struggled with excessive amounts of baby barf, various formulas, and reflux medicine, her weight percentile on the infant growth chart has continued to drop.

Yesterday we saw the pediatrician (which is a specialist here) instead of our family doctor.  She weighed fourteen pounds and twelve ounces.  So in six months, she’s dropped from being in the 82nd percentile to being in the 31st percentile for weight and 67th percentile for height.  So much for the whole “don’t worry about it; she’s still growing” thing.

My beautiful, tiny baby girl getting ready for her doctor’s visit

We’ve tried a variety of things because even though several doctors have dismissed my concerns.  We’ve tried Ranitidine, which is Zantac.  We’ve gone through a variety of formulas trying to find one that would result in less baby barf.  We’ve tried introducing solids in order to solve a few issues (weight gain, perpetual liquid poo, and baby barf).  Not a single thing, not a single combination, has resolved it.

Fortunately, the pediatrician that we saw did agree with us that her infant growth was an issue to resolve, and it was in relationship to how much my happy little puker puked.  He agreed that the Nutramigen hypoallergenic formula that I’d put her on was a good place to stay.  He also agreed that she needed more calories and that just feeding her more wasn’t a solution since she’d just spit it back up.  Instead, he determined that the way to go was to adjust the formula to water ratio.  Usually, powdered formula is mixed with one scoop of powder per 60 mL of water.  (For my fellow Americans, that’s one scoop per two ounces.)  For Eudora to get more calories, he’s suggested that I adjust the ratio to be one scoop of powder per 50 mL of water.  (American/Imperial measure translation: a six ounce bottle would be made with four scoops of formula instead of three.)  That will increase the calories from 20 per ounce to 24 per ounce.  He didn’t object to my feeding her solids, nor did he object to the homemade aspect.

Other changes suggested have been medical.  He’s told us to finish the Ranitidine that we have, but don’t refill it.  She doesn’t have an acid reflux issue; she has a sphincter in her throat that doesn’t stay closed.  Instead, use probiotic drops.  The probiotic drops won’t be a quick solution to her gastrointestinal issues, but it should help.  He also suggested the age old fix of putting a pillow under her mattress to have her sleep at an incline.  We’ll have to see how that goes.

At this point, I’ll try anything that works.  It’s nice, though, to finally have a doctor that agreed that her reduced infant growth was still a concern.   My daughter shouldn’t have to become full-blown failure to thrive for us to get help.

Did you ever deal with infant feeding issues or growth issues?  How did you and your doctor resolve it?


About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Hearthstone says:

    When elder daughter was an infant, I followed the best advice I could find and breastfed her exclusively for the first week and a half–at which point she was nursing nonstop and crying when she wasn’t. Saw the doctor, who said she had lost weight (!), which was when I learned I didn’t produce enough milk on my own. (She is eighteen now and I still feel awful about that.) He gave us several boxes of higher-calorie formula to use until she had gained enough, and after that we supplemented nursing with formula (technically I suppose it was supplementing formula with nursing…) until she was 6 months, when she gave up nursing altogether.

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