Breastfed Babies and The Growth Chart

by kayris on September 21, 2009

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I am not a large person. At 5 foot 8, I’m taller than average, but I’ve always been a healthy size and my weight gain during both my pregnancies was well within the range recommended by my doctor. My husband isn’t a big guy either.

So it was no surprise to me that both kids seemed to follow those same growth trends. Both were the same size at birth, just over seven pounds. My daughter was an ounce heavier and an inch shorter. Both were healthy. I was happy. So why were so many others concerned with their size, or lack of it?

Among the many comments I heard from mostly strangers were:

“Is your pediatrician okay with you breastfeeding?” (Of course she was.)

“When are you going to stop breastfeeding?” (None of your business.)

“Wow, my baby is the same age and he’s much bigger-was he premature?” (No, actually he was born on his due date. And hey, guess what, it’s not a contest.)

“If you give her some formula, she’ll grow more.” (Actually, she’s growing just fine, thanks.)

I got to be pretty good at brushing off the comments and ignoring the unwanted advice, but the more I looked into it, the more stories I heard about parents of breastfed babies being hassled by family members, strangers or even their own doctors about the lack of “adequate” weight gain, regardless of the size of the parents or the health of the child. Why, in the face of a childhood obesity epidemic, does bigger continue to equate with better? Why are growth charts considered to be the number one indication of a child’s health, rather than just one tool of many to assess wellness?

Consider the following:

**Ounce for ounce, breast milk contains far more naturally occurring ingredients than cow’s milk-based formula does. According to Dr. Sears, when vitamins and minerals are added to formula to compensate, it makes it harder to digest. Breastfed babies generally need to eat more often because of the easier digestibility of breast milk.
**A 1992 study at UC Davis showed that breastfed babies tend to be leaner than formula fed babies. Specifically, while weight gain for each group was similar, the breastfed babies had a lower weight for length ratio.
**Many doctors in the USA are still using the charts from 1977, which are based on decades of measurements of actual children, most of whom were formula fed. The CDC updated the US growth charts in 2000, and these charts can be used to track the growth of exclusively breastfed infants, but don’t take into account how breastfed babies tend to grow. In 2006, the WHO published growth charts that represent healthy breastfed babies, but many doctors don’t use them.

While both my kids are at the bottom of the US growth charts, they score significantly higher on the WHO charts. In addition, while small, both mostly stayed on the same growth trajectory as they got older. While my son did have a milk protein allergy, removing any traces of milk from his diet fixed his symptoms. And two years later when my daughter was born and she grew in almost the exact same way her brother did, without a milk protein allergy to complicate or slow things down, I didn’t worry. She was healthy, and was just growing the way her genes had programmed her to do.

Still, I wondered. Are breastfed babies doomed to be the shorter members of their classes, simply because of how their mother’s choose to feed them? Out of curiosity, I posted a poll on my personal blog, titled “How Large or Small Were Your Children On The Growth Chart?” 30 people voted and the results looked like this.

I breastfed and my babies were smaller than average. (5/30-16%)
I breastfed and my babies were larger than average. (11/30-36%)
I breastfed and my babies were average size. (8/30-26%)
I formula fed and my babies were smaller than average. (1/30-3%)
I formula fed and my babies were larger than average. (4/30-13%)
I formula fed and my babies were average size. (3/30-10%)

I didn’t know what to expect from the poll, but the results show one thing candidly–babies come in all shapes, sizes and weights, regardless of how they are fed. Yes, both my children were little, but it wasn’t because they were breastfed or because there was anything wrong with my breast milk.

Both kids are older now, and they remain small. My almost three year old is a twenty-five pound bundle of energy that eats anything that doesn’t eat her first. At my son’s recent five-year well child visit, his BMI categorized him as underweight, but his pediatrician isn’t concerned. He did gain both weight and height over the past year, is rarely sick, is meeting or exceeding his milestones. He’s just on the skinny side–just like his dad, his grandfather and other assorted male family members.

How about you? How were your breastfed babies sized, and did anyone hassle you about it?

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kayris (29 Posts)


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

tjwriter September 21, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I’m not a breastfeeding mom. In fact, I’m a formula feeding mom, but I often wonder if people associated the chubby babies with an easy, clear-cut way to see a child is thriving. A child must be thriving if she’s that big, right? Seeing a smaller baby might trigger thoughts that perhaps that child is not doing as well.

That was my thought while reading the post, for what it is worth.

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Kacie September 21, 2009 at 3:02 pm

We just got back from my son’s 9-month checkup. He’s 21 lbs. 9 oz. and 28.75″ long — both around the 75th percentiles.

At birth, he was a tiny 6 lbs. 5 oz. and 20″ long. Like the 10th percentile for weight.

He’s had no formula and while we feed him solids, he definitely gets most of his nutrition from the boob.

He’s a big guy! But ya know what? My husband and I are tall. I’m 5’10″ and my husband is 6’1″ and my parents are tall. My son is going to be tall. It’s genetic.

I don’t think formula would do all that much for his size, though it’s hard to say.

Breastfed babies are going to be the exact size they need to be. As long as they’re peeing and pooping ok, who cares where they fall on the growth chart?

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Carrie September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm

My son was exclusively breastfed until 12 months, and he was always small on the growth charts, but my dr. doesn’t get concerned about them or even use them, so I was thankful for that. The WIC people were the ones always hassling me about the charts, actually, but they don’t discourage breastfeeding, thankfully. My son is now 21 mos. & tall for his age, but still lean (he wears 18 month pants, but they’re almost all too small for his waist). And that’s not a bad thing!

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Johanna S September 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm

My daughter is still breastfed. She just turned two last Friday. She weighs 25 lb 7 oz and is 35″ tall. She is thinner than most (25th percentile). Our pedi is not concerned because the baby has consistently been in the 25th percentile. She is a tall, skinny, healthy kid. I am glad she breastfed and still does. I would not change a thing.

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Amber September 21, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Both of my kids have been very large at around 9 months, and then sort of leveled off. Which can be pretty normal, because they were suddenly mobile and so they were burning more calories and nursing less, preferring to spend their time mastering new skills instead of sitting still and eating.

With my daughter, and our old doctor, I did get hassled. And then I read my favourite book EVER. It’s called ‘My Child Won’t Eat!’ and it’s by Carlos Gonzalez. In the book he explains that 3% of children will be in the 3rd percentile, and 1% will be in the first, and some will even be below it. And that’s to be expected. That’s normal. Some kids are just small. Reading that book, and finding a doctor who was less alarmist, saved my sanity.

Interestingly, my ‘tiny’ daughter caught up at around age 3. I’ve heard that’s pretty normal for breastfed babies, too.

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tjwriter September 22, 2009 at 11:32 am

@ Carrie: Oh my gosh, I totally agree about the WIC people. My daughter was on formula, but she didn’t drink enough according to the equation that they used to calculate how much they thought she should drink based on weight. She was growing like a weed and her doctor was fine with her health, but they gave me grief about it every time. I gave her as much to drink as she wanted, no more, no less.

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ericka September 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm

my son was breastfed – he self weaned at 19 months. i didnt pay attention to the growth percentage charts because i knew my son was healthy and happy and would grow at his own rate, but i do know that he was always below the curve in weight, but above it in height. he does seem tall for his age, and hes a rail :P but, like i said, the stupidity of comparing a child to other children, especially, like you said, in a time where childhood obesity is rampant, is just nonsense.

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Jessica September 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I think babies both breastfed and formula fed are supposed to come in all sizes. My son is exclusivly breastfed weighted 10lb 7oz at birth and at 5mo he is 20lbs. I think as long as they are healthy, happy and continue to grow there is nothing wrong with how they were being fed. I did have a nurse once tell me that my son was starving and some formula would help simply becuase he likes to chew on his hand. Thankfully the doctor was not as alarmist.

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Amanda Plouzek September 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Yes, I was and am still being hassled about my baby’s size. He is just over 17 pounds, and about 12.5 months. BUT I am 5’1/2″, 115 pounds. Dad is a bit taller, but fairly lean also. Baby is small, but lean, with a long upper body. He is following my exact growth, where he has not been on the charts (just popped into the 5th percentile, and I think it was WHO charts, but I could be wrong). I am not concerned because I know about the different in the charts being used, and I do not see any signs of malnutrition or dehydration (I am studying to be a lactation consultant and am also a dietetics major). If he was lethargic, sleepy all the time, lazy, not going through diapers, didn’t have bright eyes, wasn’t learning, was losing weight or just plain stopped gaining, etc. then I would be worried.

The thing I hear the most is “my baby is ______ age and weighs more than yours!” I just look at them like…..duh…..you’re looking at the top of my head…..and can obviously see I am thin….can you not see why?!?! It drives me crazy. I have had one doctor (one who specializes in “breastfeeding medicine”) tell me she “hates to give a baby formula just to make him fat, but….” What?! Are you kidding me?! I never went back to her. And this was from a non-profit breastfeeding-advocating agency.

He has almost tripled his birth weight, and gained weight fast when he was little, and is still gaining, but slowly. He gained as was expected when he was under 6 months. Sometimes……less really does equal more. And less can be just fine.

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samantha September 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm

hello. I am a mother of 2 both were strictly breastfed. and both had weight issues. on an average hospital chart both my son now 2.5 and daughter now 4 months are on the 95% for height and 40-45 % for weight. My doctor and all my nurses would say that they were underweight because there height is supposed to match there weight or be very close. I have so many issues finding clothes to fit cause my son 2.5 is already in a size 5t but the waist is way too big. my daughter can still fit in NB if it wasnt for her being to tall for them. they both hit every milestone on time or before ( except my son doesnt talk much ) but other than that they are healthy. I was perfectly happy with the way that they are untill i went to a playdate and a mom was there with her child ( strictly breast fed) and my girl was born at 7.2 and hers was 7.3. hers was 5 weeks old and mine was 3.5 months and yet her baby girl was bigger then my baby girl. I started to think there was something wrong with my milk even though both my children take after me. i am 6.2 and before i got pregnant i was 150lbs which is underweight. I always have been. I have recently been considering to give her a bottle of formula a day cause she is only 10.4lbs and 4 months old. but after reading this and realizing that this is me and my kids to a tee and i am no longer worried anymore. i cannot campare my growth to that of my children as i was not formula or breast fed. i was given milk and vitamins and thats it. I think it would have ben great to be able to compare as i think i would worry about it less. I stay awake and cry lots because i think that my kids are not getting what they need. I started to go to LLL meetings just to get reassurance that my baby is healthy and up to par. THank you for posting this. i needed to hear it from someone that is right there with me.

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Amanda Plouzek September 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm

And, by “less” I just mean….less the typical “standard” set by any sort of “average” nowadays. We have “standards” for everything…..developmental milestones, infant weight/height, etc, that are truly needed sometimes, but are also sorely misinterpreted sometimes, as some kids just need a little time to catch up. This doesn’t mean that my baby won’t ever walk or grow more.

It seems that with some of these standards, other factors are sometimes not considered, i.e. the parents growth and current build. People see a chart or guidelines and think automatically that their child is behind, when other external hereditary or environmental factors are taken into account, would by all intents and purposes make that child perfectly fine. We need to take a very well-rounded approach for some things.

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Pamela September 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm

My son was 7 lbs 13 oz and 21.5 inches at birth. He was exclusively breast fed for 6 months and has never had formula.

at a year, he ws 25lbs 4 oz and 31.75 inches tall.

He was consistently HUGE from about 2 months until about 10 months, when he got a stomach virus and lost 2 lbs.

here’s his first year (every time we went to the doctor and got measured, I kept track)
8/28/08 (birth) 7 lbs 13 oz, 21.33 inches
9/02/08 7 lbs. 13 oz, 22 inches
9/11/08 9 lbs. 05 oz, 23 inches
9/28/08 13 lbs 00 oz, 24 inches
10/27/08 14 lbs 14 oz, 25 inches
12/12/08 17 lbs. 02 oz, 26 inches (three months)
01/19/09 19 lbs. 01 oz, 27 inches
02/27/09 20 lbs. 04 oz, 28.5 inches (six months)
05/29/09 23 lbs. 14 oz, 30.5 inches (nine months)
08/26/09 25 lbs. 04 oz, 31.75 inches (one year)

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Reija September 22, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Our son was born small at 5lbs 11 oz at 37 weeks. I breastfed him exclusively and he gained a lot of weight quickly. He ended up being off the charts for his weight ever since he was 6 months old. He breastfed until he was 2 and 1/2. Now at 8 years of age, he is very fit. He is taller than his peers and he is build very muscular which is a result of all the sports he plays. Our daughter was breastfed until she was almost 3 and she has never fit the growth charts either. She was born 7lbs 2 oz at 37 weeks and continued to gain weight since birth. At little over 3 years of age, she weighs 50 lbs and has the height of 4-5 year old. She is way bigger than her brother ever was. Both my husband and I are small people. I’m 5″2 and my husband is 5″8 and we are both normal weight. We have no idea why our kids are so big. They both eat a very healthy diet and we eat mostly organic fresh foods including a lot of fruits and vegetables in our family. Our kids aren’t junk food eaters either. I think sometimes the size and growth levels of children are determined by genes more than anything else. Our children must have received their genes from other parts of the family because we do have a lot of height on both sides, my husband and I just don’t have it.

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sarah September 22, 2009 at 1:56 pm

My babies were each a hair over seven pounds at birth, and they were each 20 lbs by three months old. By six months old, they were each wearing 12 month clothing. (Both breastfed.)

Interestingly, they followed close-to-the-exact growth pattern as my husband, who was entirely formula-fed.

My nieces and nephews, both my sister’s kids and my husband’s sister’s kids, are more lightweight, and were also breastfed.

Which makes me think it’s not the feeding that influences growth so much as genetics.

I received no hassles at all about it at all!

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Laura September 22, 2009 at 3:13 pm

My girls were both small for gestational age at birth, and remained small throughout their childhood. During puberty they both grew very tall and filled out much sooner than many of their classmates.
Hmmm… come to think of it, they grew just like me and my sisters….

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Ljdams September 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Nice to see this written about as my husband and I just sought out a new pediatrician for our infant as our old
pediatrician was getting very activated that our daughter hadn’t doubled her birth weight by four and a half months. She was born at 6 lbs 2 oz and weight gain began to slow down after 3 months (which is normal). The doc gave me two weeks to work with lactation consultant before she wanted to supplement with formula. That’s when we said enough and found new pediatrician that looked at growth chart as well as numerous other indicators. Not only was he not worried, but like us he felt she was thriving.

Former doctor always seemed perplexed that we weren’t using bottles wanting to know how much milk our daughter was getting. It really began to undermine my confidence in my milk supple, etc. and I am so grateful we trusted our instincts and found a doctor we feel we can trust.

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Victoria September 22, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I’ve nursed all three of my babies for at least two years each. My DD was always small and at 8 weighs 41 pounds. She’s a long lean muscled girl. She didn’t get onto the growth chart until she turned three. DS#1 is four and weighs the same as DD. He’s always been at the top of the growth chart for height – 95% and much lower for weight. He’s also lean. DS#2 is lean and lanky like DD. He’s at the bottom of the growth chart for weight and about the middle for height. Three kids, three different ways they grew. They’re all healthy – rarely ill, alert, active, bright kids with good color and muscle tone. I’m sure our make from scratch/extended breastfeeding lifestyle has contributed to their lack of excess fat as well as our genetics. THere are a lot of long skinny people in the gene pool.

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Kristina September 23, 2009 at 10:29 pm

I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter…she weighed 8lbs 2oz when born, weighed 15lbs 14oz at age one and at age 2 weighed 24lbs and still does. She was breastfed until she was 15 months…I was pregnant when she was 12 months old. She has only had one ear infection and just had a sinus infection. She is tall for her age and thin. She looks and is healthy and eats like a horse.
My other daughter just turned 1 on 9-16-09 and she weighed 7lbs 14oz at birth and 19lbs at age one. She is in the 10th percentile for her weigh and 50th for her height. She too is tall and thin. She has never been sick. She has been breastfed and will continue until she wants to stop or when she is 2. I am a sole believer in breastfeeding your children…it is healthier for them..as you can see my kids are never sick not even colds. I breastfed my kids whereever and whenever..if you do not like it then don’t look at me. If someone would make a comment to me about my girls I would tell them it is none of their business. I have never had anyone say anything about their weight at all.

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Kelly @ In Everything September 24, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I totally agree that kids come in different sizes:) My husband and I are BOTH on the smaller side of the charts (yes even as kids), but our kids were over 80% while infants and toddlers!! Now that they are bigger (off of breastmilk), they are dealing with food allergies in their diets… which really takes out a lot of fat, plus they are VERY active:) BUt like you mentioned, they are growing, completing milestones at the right age and stay pretty healthy (not sick)…. so they are great:)

I bet half of the “negative” comments come from people who don’t know much about breastfeeding and didn’t have many kids… or they just forgot that kids come in all sorts of sizes:)

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Rachel September 25, 2009 at 2:53 pm

I find this very interesting, especially the part about the growth charts being based upon mostly formula-fed babies.

My son was born early and exclusively breastfed, and now he is above the 97th percentile for length (not adjusting for being early) and 50th for weight. As my doctor says, he’s perfect. :) He’s incredibly healthy, he’s only had one major cold in his first year, and he is right on with all of his developmental milestones.

The comments I got were actually the opposite… that he was fat, because I was breastfeeding him so much. If I would just put him on formula, then he would only be eating once every four hours or so, and he wouldn’t be so fat. (Clearly, that’s ridiculous, on so many levels.)

I think there’s still such a big lack of education about breastfeeding and bottle feeding is still such the norm that people open their mouths thinking they know what they’re talking about. Well, it’s irritating, but it’s wrong. Not only, as you mentioned, is there a growing trend of childhood obesity, which breastfeeding seems to help combat (by teaching satiety and being perfectly balanced for each child), but like you said–children come in all sizes.

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mama k September 29, 2009 at 7:51 pm

DS1 was breastfed for 2 years. He was always in the 90′s for height. He was in the 90s for weight until he hit 6 months old and started getting more active. He continued to gain weight but didn’t stay in that high area of the growth chart. He has never looked “skinny” and wears clothing a size bigger than his actual age. When I checked the WHO charts his growth pattern followed that one more. The Dr did give me a hassle when his percentage started slipping. They suggested grilled cheese with butter and supplementing with formula. I didn’t take either suggestion. :)

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Stephanie_Momof2 September 30, 2009 at 8:51 am

This is exactly what I needed this morning!

When my son was born in Nov 2007, my milk was slow to come in & he took 6 weeks to regain birth weight. After that he hovered in the 5% until he was about 6mos, and then he shot up. Due to a bad experience with a pediatrician, and first time mom jitters, he was supplemented a few ounces a day from the time he was 3 weeks old on. Now at almost 2, he is over 36 inches tall and weighs about 32 lbs.

My daughter was born this past May weighing 6lbs 12oz. She lost a bit in the beginning too, and once again my milk was slow to come in. My pediatrician was probreastfeeding this time, and she was only summplemented 2oz a day for 2 weeks until she regained birth weight. At 4 1/2 mos old she is 10lbs 4oz, just about 5%.

For some reason, this time around I am listening to other people about her weight instead of focusing on the fact that I have a healthy child. Reading everyone’s stories on here has made me remember that babies come in all shapes & sizes and my daughter doesn’t need to be supplemented or start food early just because of someone else’s opinion. We all grow in our own time, and she is fine!

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Erin M November 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

This is also what I needed to see/read/hear. My son is 6 months old, he is 14lbs 12 ounces at his checkup this week. The doctor seemed a little “interested” in his lack of a big weight gain in the past month. He is in the 7th percentile for weight, 45th for height. He is active, happy, healthy and FULL of energy. He is a breastfed baby – receiveing expressed milke 2-3 times a day at daycare. He is not a big eater. He rarely finishes a full 6 ounce bottle and prefers to nurse. We have started some solids and he enjoys them but really isn’t too bothered to eat. He makes slow gains but is continuing to meet his developmental milestones. I constantly feel the need to defend myself to some family and friends about my choice to continue breastfeeding. I’ve received several comments about just feeding formula or adding cereal to his bottles to help him get fat. I know that in 15-20 years he’ll probably be glad he’s not a big eater. I too, feel that some people assume a fat, chunky baby is a healthy baby. I am working on blocking out comments and concentrating on my baby! It is refreshing to hear about others who face the same things that I am.

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BalticAdriatic November 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm

A good friend of mine and me both had babies around 3 months apart. Both of them were exclusively breastfed 6 months and continued to breastfeed until now (around 18m). The only period of time when my boy was rapidly gaining weight and had characteristics of somewhat rounded baby was until 6m. As he was more and more active, he was gaining weight more slowly and looking more slim. He loves breastfeeding and until cca 15m he was not very good eater of solids.
As opposite, my friends little boy looks like Michelin baby until now. Around 1y of age, his skin on legs was hanging over socks :) If I did not know he has very similar breastfeeding experience I would think he is overstuffed with formula :)

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Shureice December 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm

My daughter was taken to see her aunt, and at 7 months, she was breastfed exclusively. The aunt proceeded to call her frail, and complained that she had no hair. When I went to see a nutritionist she found out I was breastfeeding, and told me to ignore the growth charts. My “frail” daughter is walking, clapping and cooing happily at only 9 months, She’s probably 17 pounds now. Even now when I take her to see her grandfather the first thing that comes out of their mouths is SHE GAIN WEIGHT YET? Boy, she’s small. your supposed to be bigger than this huh? It really hurts, but it will absolutely NOT stop me from doing whats best for my little girl. People are uneducated, and happy that way. I even read a published study that overweight babies with fat rolls on their arms aren’t exactly healthy… either.

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Samantha S July 24, 2011 at 10:20 am

I am a mother of one, 8 month old girl, and she was exclusively breastfed until we recently started adding finger foods into her diet and she has always been average or slightly above average in weight, but exceeds the 99th percentile in length. I get a lot of comments about how skinny she looks, but when I tell those people about how she is above the 99th percentile for length and average or above average weight for babies her age, they seem to be satisfied. (As if it is any of their business in the first place.)

Just a side note, I was breastfed for almost two years and out of the three girls in the family, I am the tallest (5’10″), my sister who was breastfed for 15 months is second tallest (5’9″) and my sister who was breastfed for 6 months is shortest (5’6″). Interestingly enough, my sister who was breastfed shortest also has the most issue with maintaining a healthy weight and I have the least.

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Adrienne November 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm

At birth, my son started out 80ish% for weight (8lbs, 7ozs) and 99% for height (23.5 inches) . . . even though his height has stayed in the 99%, his weight has fallen so that at 4 months he was arguably somewhere between the 25th and the 15th percent, depending on what chart you look at . . . now at one year he has pretty much stayed exactly the same, despite now eating at least three large meals of food per day in addition to 5/6 breastfeeding sessions . . . babies comes in all shapes and sizes, and an overall gauge of health is much more important than a spot on a chart.

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Donna February 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Great article. My own mother (former nurse) is trying to scare me into formula feeding, saying that my 7 week old is small. She was born small, but she IS gaining weight, is active, eats, poops and pees at the rate a breastfed child should and is nursing very well. Why do people try to make breastfeeding mothers feel that they are doing something less than natural and good for our babies?

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Mary July 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

I am very petite and my childhood growth charts from the 70s put me at the 10th percentile for height and weight. My son was born above average for length and below average for weight. (90th and 10th!) He was exclusively breast fed for 6 months, as pediatricians recommend and he followed the normal breast fed infant growth patterns. He gained very quickly and bumped up to 90th percentile for weight by three months. Then his weight gain slowed down. At one year, he was 75th percentile for height, 25th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for head circumference–according to charts for formula fed babies. On the WHO chart for breast fed babies, he was still very tall with a large head, but his weight is average. So far, he’s been a perfect example of breast fed growth and has shown all of the benefits of breastfeeding.

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jill August 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I breastfeed exclusively for 6 months andy daughter self weaned at 18 months. She was in the 99% for weight until about 6 months when she stopped gaining. She was like the Michelin man because she was so short like the 20%. At 2.5 years she is 50% and 50%. So why worry?

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Sierra Roberts November 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm

My baby was born 29 weeks and 6 days premature with IUGR she was 2lbs 13 oz at birth I exclusively breastfeed she is now 5 months and 20 days weighing 15 lbs 5 oz and some grams breastfed babies digest food better and reach all of their milestones earlier she also has her two bottom teeth coming in the other premature babies who are formula fed are 5 lbs smaller. She has caught up beautifully I still get remarks she is small and I reply your fat , to tall , old , ugly to much make up they get my picture.

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Julie December 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

My daughter is 2yrs and 4 months old. She was born a week later than her due date, they had to induce me but I did my labor without any drugs, epidural etc because that was my choice. I only gained 35pds of pregnancy weight. She was 7pds, 14oz and 21.75 inches long. I breastfed my daughter for 11months. The first week after her birth she was not gaining much but once my milk finally came in about 4-5days after birth, she gained over 2ounces in just 24hrs. Doctor was very shocked and pleased. Well the rest is history, my daughter has always been a chunky girl and always nursed well. She liked to nurse every 3hours and would nurse on each boob for 15mins making a total of 30min. When it came to eating solid, I made all her food and pureed it and I portion controlled it. She ate very well for a baby. It was like she ate for the taste not the hunger factor. She was always in the 95-98% on the charts for her weight and height. Dr was never concerned. She is very healthy and has not been a child that gets sick easily. Now at 2 she is still a little chunky. Her legs are pretty lean, but her belly and her face are fuller than most toddlers. She is also tall and on average as tall as most 3yr olds. She is in 4t clothes. I am only 5’6 and my hubby is 6’0. We are not overweight and never were as kids growing up. At her 2yr check up Dr was little concerned with her weight being 98% while her height had dropped to 85%. Dr went over the types of food I feed my daughter to how much milk, juice etc that she drinks. He did not find that her diet needed altering. So he said lets wait till she is 3 to really look into her weight if she doesn’t lose some of the belly fat. I still have not seen any change or slim down and starting to worry if there is something else wrong with my child. I am wanting to have her hormones and thyroid checked and I am trying so hard to be patient and not obsess about this but I just want to help my daughter if there is something else really wrong. Anyone else have a child with a similar weight issue? Oh and I feed her a very healthy diet as I am very healthy and cook everything fresh, homemade and do not eat processed foods. We don’t go out to eat but maybe on average about 2x a month.

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Lisa Lord December 17, 2013 at 2:12 am

Julie –
You deserve a lot of credit for giving your daughter a great start in life by having breastfed her and by providing her with healthy, unprocessed, homemade foods. It can be normal for children’s growth to be non-linear; body proportions vary by child and change over time. However, if you feel very concerned about her growth and health, we encourage you to talk to your doctor again to express your concerns.

If you would like to connect with other parents or API Leaders, you may wish to post on the API Forum. A link to sign up for a login and password can be found in the upper right corner of the Forum home page.

~ Editor

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