How To Gain Weight As A Baby [+Video]

August 29, 2014

[Bailey Bravo]

WGTFW-Bailey-Meal-4If you are interested in skipping the story and going straight my adorable baby pictures then click here to skip to Bailey’s baby pictures.

When I was born I weighed 7lbs 8oz. And as I understand it, that is a respectable weight for a full term newborn. Overall I was quite proud of myself since Mom and Dad are kind of small to begin with and therefore I was likely to be small as well.

For the first few months I had a very healthy appetite (if not a focused attention) when breast feeding and was doing a good job of gaining weight. At my 3 month visit with the doctor I weighed a healthy and expected 11lbs 7oz (4/21/14).

It seemed I was growing like a champ. If you ask Mom & Dad they will tell you that it definitely seemed like I was getting heavier….or maybe I was just making them hold me more.

Over the next couple of months my eating habits didn’t seem to change much. Mom thought I was being a little more fussy during meal time but from the other babies I’ve talked too that’s pretty normal. So nothing to worry about there.

Well when it came time for my 5 month visit (6/19/14) I was only at 12lbs 4oz.

That is a gain of only 7 ounces!

In reality I am suppose to be gaining about an ounce a day. And I was a little annoyed since I’m working towards that football scholarship Dad keeps talking about. But for Mom, Dad, and the doctor they wanted to keep a close eye on my weight to make sure I’m growing properly.

After all, as a baby, my number 1 concern is to grow. If I don’t have the calories coming in or the fats to help give me energy to grow, I may have other issues later in life.

A couple of things the doctor pointed out to us was that breast fed babies tend to be smaller then their chunkier, formula fed, counterparts. If I were one of those babies I’d probably live up to one of Dad’s nicknames for me, “Daddy’s little fatty“.

Either way the doctor did a good job of explaining to us that  there could be various reasons for my lack of weight gain and that for the time being it wasn’t something to be super worried about.

Even still we went over a few options to try and figure out what is going on and hopefully get me up to par with my fatty baby friends.

Why I May Not Be Gaining Enough Weight

The first thing we discussed was possible reasons for why I am not putting on the pounds like other babies. Since I was still very alert, active, and happy we ruled out me being sick or anything like that.

In the end it really came down to two possible reasons, (1) I’m not getting enough milk from Mom, or (2) my body isn’t processing the milk correctly.

If I’m not getting enough milk from Mom then that would mean either that she’s not producing enough milk or that I am not doing a good job of getting it out of her. Either of those are easier to fix then if my body isn’t processing the milk correctly. The last thing I need to be is Mom-lactose intolerant.

Knowing this we decided on a few options that would eventually get me to where I need to be (remember Dad’s aiming for football).

Step 1: Start with solids

Since I was still nursing fine the doctor suggested our first step should be to add solid foods.

I was a little skeptical when this option was presented. After all I’ve really enjoyed my liquid diet and the alone time I get to spend with Mom. Dad helps when possible (bottles of course) but usually it’s just me and Mom bonding.

Also, in all honesty, adults eat some weird stuff. Different textures (Dad lets me put my hands in things if he’s done eating), random shapes (who is this Papa John guy and why can he only make circle and triangle shaped food?), crazy colors (browns, greens, whites, reds…and that’s just the salad). But it’s doctors orders so what could I do?

The first thing we decided to try was avocados. Not bad…not bad at all.

Dad says I like it because I’m part Mexican. Mom says I like it because she ate A LOT of avocado when I was in her belly. Personally I like it because it makes a great pattern when I dig it out of my mouth and slap it on the table.

SPLAT!!!!

They first tried mixing it with breast milk but that didn’t really go so well. Check out the video below to find out what I mean.

We eventually figured out that I like avocados like my scotch, straight up! (j/k about the scotch).

Avocados were first (yummy), followed by sweet potatoes (yum yum), then peas (ehh), then squash (gross!), and now (8/28/14) corn (yum).

We’ve only done one food at a time to make sure I am not allergic to any of them (I’d have a rash in various places if I was) and so far so good. Also I only eat solids once a day, Mom’s boob the rest of the time.

And although at first I enjoyed this new kind of culinary resource, another situation presented itself as a result.

I was constipated. I just wouldn’t go even though I know Mom and Dad could hear me straining and pushing. It just wasn’t happening.

Now keep in mind that they only let me go about 2-3 days without going before the called the doctor to help “move” the process along. Granted to say this was not the highlight of my weight gaining adventure.

Considering that I was…keeping my weight in, it was a little disheartening to find out that I only gained 3 ounces at my next doctors visit (7/18/14). 12lbs 6oz is no where near where I need to be for the NFL.

So on to option 3.

Step 2: Add in prune juice

With the addition of solid foods into my diet we hit an unexpected roadblock (get it?) which prompted my doctor to suggest we add prune juice into the mix.

She figured it was something I’d like since it’s sweet relative to what I’ve been eating my whole life. She also hoped that the added calories you’d find in prune juice would help me grow. Lastly of course she hoped it would “unplug me”.

At first I didn’t really take to it. Too….pruny for my tastes. Mom had to try a few different ways to get me to eat it since I didn’t really like drinking it from the bottle. It was a little strong for me. Mom and Dad agreed since they didn’t like the taste either.

So they first added a little water into it. Nope, I wasn’t having it.

Mixing it with milk clearly wasn’t a good idea either. So they took a different approach and decided to feed it to me by eye droplet. Surprisingly enough I was OK with that. A little messy, especially when I tried to grab it and feed myself, but it worked.

At the time of my next doctor visit (8/1/14) I still wasn’t gaining enough weight though. I was only at 12lbs 9oz. I only gained 3 ounces in a month. Yikes! I barely gained anything.

So on to option three.

Step 3: Measure the breast milk

Since adding prune juice and solid foods wasn’t helping our next step was to measure how much milk I’m getting from Mom.

Believe it or not breast feeding is not easy. Especially if it is the first time you’ve done it. Mom had always had a goal to breastfeed me for at least my first year. However as early as my first couple of days she understood why mothers switch to formula.

By the way did you know that Dad’s nickname for me is “Chompers“. That is because of how I like to eat. For some reason I like to chew more than suckle. Poor Mom.

We figured it out after a while but the first couple of months were pretty hard.

Anyways the doctor wondered if Mom was producing enough milk, and if not that could explain why I wasn’t getting enough calories and therefore not growing as expected. So poor Mom had to pump almost nonstop.

Seriously, she had to pump instead of feeding me straight up and put it into a bottle so we knew exactly how much I was eating.

The goal was 24 ounces in a day. Mom was pumping and Dad would feed me a bottle with anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces at a time.

Although my parents hate to admit; it I took the bottle like a champ. Between breast feeding and bottle feeding, my baby colleagues tend to prefer the bottle because the milk comes out easier and faster.

As we were going through this we figured mom was producing just barely enough milk. Maybe a little on the low side of 24oz. We only had to supplement a little with the storage.

Either way I felt good about my progress…until our next doctors meeting.

Step 4: Add Supplements

So the good news was that Mom had enough milk to meet demand. However, again, I was still lacking in weight gain.

At our next doctor visit (8/5/14) I was at 12lbs 11oz. Only a 2 ounce gain this time.

Keep in mind that if you look at the dates and weight you’ll notice I gained 2 ounces in 4 days. That definitely is an improvement in my eyes. But still not quite where I wanted to be.

During this visit we decided that it was time to add a supplement to my diet. Based on the doctors recommendation…and the free samples they gave us; we decided to start adding Enfamil Infant Formula to my diet.

This was a very hard decision for Mom & Dad. I know they were both keen on me being 100% boob feed but they also care more about my health then doing whats “natural”. So they agreed to start adding the Enfamil with my Mommy Milk.

And it worked…

On my most recent visit (8/19/14) I weighted a total of 13lbs 12oz. Woohoo! I gained 17 ounces!!!! We were only hoping for 10oz but we got a solid 17.

Everyone was very happy with that.

Raising Daddy’s Little Fatty

The fact that I wasn’t gaining weight like we all thought I should be is a pretty interesting concept.

It seems that I and my age-challenged cohorts are put into a model that defines what is right, normal, and appropriate. The truth is that I am my own kind of kid. And my parents are their own kind of parents.

They made a choice to focus on feeding me by boob for at least the first year of my life. And yet they decided that my health was way more important than what they wanted and what they perceived as the best thing to do.

The fact remains that I am now on my way to be “Daddy’s Little Fatty” and couldn’t be more excited about it. I know Mom& Dad were bummed about not being able to go the all natural route the whole time but you know what? I couldn’t careless.

It’s all the same to me and now I’m gaining weight like a champ.

 Pictures Of Bailey

WGTFW-Bailey-Meal-1 WGTFW-Bailey-Meal-2 WGTFW-Bailey-Meal-3
WGTFW-Bailey-Meal-5

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