Monday, January 10, 2011

Expert vs mother's instinct?

So, on Friday my beautiful babies turned 18 months.

I was changing the toys around and they thought it would be fun to jump in (C) and on her brother (K)

We had their vaccinations scheduled (I like things done exactly on the day, if at all possible) with my wonderful Sister Carla and if we're not seeing our paed Dr S, I always get a wellness check done too.

He only wants to see them again at 21 months (6 months out from the 15-month check-up) so that's what we had done.

Kendra
Weight 8.258 kg
Height 76 cm
Head circum 46.6

Connor
Weight 10.630 kg
Height 82 cm
Head circum 48.8

When she weighed Kendra, she double-checked her scale because K has lost weight. There is a funny moment though as she said, "I think it may be wise to have her seen by a paediatric nutritionist" and K's eyes popped wide open as did her mouth as if she knew what was being said. Funny little girl!

Sr Carla is very level-headed and totally practical and normal so that gave me pause!

Connor has also lost weight and that's where I start to doubt myself.

I could have SWORN they are both a kilo heavier (they certainly feel that way, esp. K) and even though I looked at the scale myself, I can't believe it.

They both eat like horses except for those 3 days K was a vegetarian on holiday (but then she still ate cereals, yoghurts, breads, etc.). My mother even said, "gee, these children eat a LOT" - they really do.

So, I know beyond a shadow of doubt we're not starving them - they are eating all they want to because they tell us "more, more" when they're still hungry or just want more of things they like (mealies/ corn, carrots, peas).

Here's K signing more (I can't remember for what, but obviously not for food. Maybe kisses?)

I told her they're VERY active but she said still, they should be gaining very, very slightly, or even staying the same, but not losing weight.

Back to Kendra
12 months - Sr Carla - 8.293
15 months - Dr S - 8.04 (at the time he said there must be something wrong with her scale :))
18 months - Sr Carla - 8.258 (even though a gain from 15 months on Dr S's scale, still a 35 g drop in 3 months with a 1cm increase in height)

and back to Connor
12 months - Sr Carla - 10.936
15 months - Dr S - 10.8 (consistent with K's measurements so def could be scale :))
18 months - Sr Carla - 10.630 (he's lost weight on both Dr S's scale, and Sr Carla's scale with a 4.5 cm increase in height)

Now here's the thing - I am not about to start feeding them oily, sugary food just to make them gain weight as that just goes against everything I believe in, AND it will set them up for bad eating habits in life.

I have already started feeding them supper-type meals for both lunch and supper (usually they have a sandwich for lunch with fruit) and that's as far as I'm prepared to go, for now.

We got a referral to a paediatric nutritionist but I'm leaning towards trying this for a month, then going back to weigh them at Sr Carla's and then only going to see this other lady.

I honestly, HONESTLY don't think there's a thing wrong with them. In fact, I think they're perfect :) In my view, they eat lots of good, nutritious food, enough milks, etc. and I really just think we've caught them at a growth spurt.

D has always been worried about our little K and his natural instinct is to rush to this nutritionist but he's agreed to go with my way for a month. He thinks we should maybe even make the appt now as you do tend to wait to see specialists.

But what do you think? Should I worry? Have you experienced anything like this?

12 comments:

  1. Have you ever had them dewormed? Surprisingly, most people actually have parasites, did you know that? Especially kids. They leach nutrition from our food and our bodies. It's a good habit to deworm at least every 6 months.

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  2. We had very very slow weight gain, but not losses. I also want to mention de-worming. Also make sure to de-worm the adults too (including nanny V). Especially after a sea-side holiday.

    Paediasure - buy some and feed it to them after dinner in milk.

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  3. It's never nice when other (professional) people are concerned about our kids. Chris always says that as long as they're following their curve, they're fine but they shouldn't start crossing curves. If it was a growth spurt then surely she'd be shooting up lengthwise? 1cm in 3 months isn't a lot. Ava is pretty average height-wise (at her 18 month check she was 11,4kg and 84 cm). At her previous check at 16 months she was 82cm and at 14 months she was 79cm, so she averages 1cm or more per month. I would seriously consider putting her on Pediasure for a couple of months. The thing that always worries me is that if they were to get really sick or a bad gastro bug then if they're very skinny, they don't have much in reserve. I would also go and see the nutritionist as it might be just a few easy changes and at least they'll tell you how to do it the right way. Friends of ours have a daughter with Cystic fibrosis and they(CF sufferers) need to eat about twice the number of calories that normal people do, to get the same intake and she was on Pediasure even while she was being breastfed (she had to be breastfed as long as possible).

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  4. Sorting out baby food is really stressful! If they are happy and content, that's the most important thing. Ellyn Satter's books are really good on this kind of thing - she is a nutritionist who is adamant that doctors tend to stress way too much about what kids weigh! But she is also pretty firm about the need for fat in childrens' diets- they need a lot more than we do. After reading her book 'child of mine' I now tend to add butter to most of their meals!

    Good luck with this - it's hard trying to work this stuff out!

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  5. I think you would know if your kids weren't well you would know if they were not thriving... that being said they may be eating well but ... I am going to go there too... I would start by getting them worm medicine - really easy... you get it at the chemist and they take two teaspoons of medicine from a tiny bottle - and you don't have to think of it again.... that's it.
    I do all my kids about twice a year - they don't even know and just think it is some sort of wellness medicine!!! It is the only medicine they ever get - not even vaccines, but we live in South Africa and our kids all play in sand...
    Often it resolves lots of issues like bad sleeping because worms can creep out and make them itch at night - delightful I know, but then they don't sleep well... and if they don't sleep well...

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  6. I dewormed David with Vermox after taking the cat for her annual vaccination. The vet said if you have pets you have a very good reason to deworm and you should do it every 6 months. He also said his wife works at a preschool and you can't believe how often the kids have worms but the parents don't seem to notice. I was too scared to ask what they look like and how you would know, but I rushed out and bought vermox and did it to cover all the bases. I will def do myself too after the pregnancy even though I've been told it isn't necessary to deworm adults.

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  7. My ^annan was a skinny - always on the go baby too. And they really wanted me to go see a nutrionalist also. I dug in my heals and refused.

    I'^e seen WAY too many kids health ruined after they were "fattened up" buy those guys.

    And I was shocked when I read this book

    Suicide by sugar : a startling look at our #1 national addiction by Appleton, Nancy.

    to disco^er that Pediasure is almost pure sugar. Sugar with ^itamins - that sounds really healthy. Almost e^ery child I know what took that as a baby is now (as an older elementary, teen, young adult) struggling with sugar addictions, health problems, and too much weight.

    What can you do?

    Worming is a great place to start. But all the caregi^ers should be wormed at the same time. It's super easy to reinfect them.

    Add probiotics into the diet - yogurt is a good start, but store bought is not the best as it only offers a few of the bacteria the gut needs - do home made yogurt or kefir - or probiotic powder as soon as the worming has been completed.

    Antibiotics will kill off the fragile gut bateria and allow worms and bad bacteria to flurish.

    Add more protiens and fats (coconut oil, a^acodo's, etc) into their diet. It would be great to add a tsp or so coconut oil or fresh a^acodo to nearly e^ery meal for a while. The body has to ha^e fats to process calories properly and to grow.

    They may need more protiens or more carbs than they are getting in their diet. I like Mercola.com diet ad^ise - his diet works ^ery well for us when we follow it (Tim lo^es his processed carbs ... and he does the shopping.)

    I don't do ^accinations either.

    My kids are all o^er on the cur^e, but o^er time, they seem to follow one line for most of their check ups.

    Things like tra^el, sickness, getting ready to do a growth spurt, being more acti^e than they were (and babies will forget to eat to spend time practicing a new skill).

    ^annan is still my skinning girl - topping at around 80lbs - 2 years ago, she was only 55lbs. She is 5 ft tall. Kendra is the same height, but she is 105 lbs. Kendra is solid muscle.

    O^er the years, I'^e learned to follow my gut instinct - and my kids seem to be healthier for it. But I spend a great deal of time reading and researching too. I ne^er take any ad^ice at face ^alue. But that's me, and Kendra says, it's part of my being a meloncholy INTJ also.

    (My keyboard has a key not functioning - hence the funny words).

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  8. Anonymous11:34 pm

    Our pediatrician who is a laid-back sort of guy told us that generally a doctor only gets concerned when the child falls below whatever percentage track they were following. My babies are always heavier in weight )90-95%) and taller than average but rather than chastising us about obesity, our doc says, "I just want them to stay on that percentage band as they grow. If they start losing weight, I would be more alarmed." That is probably why your doc is recommending the nutritionist. I also think you have to take genetics into account. While it is unusual for a baby to lose weight between appointments, there are always going to be a handful of babies that are perfectly normal and don't fit the chart. You just might have those babies! You might want to ask your parents/in-laws about how you and your husband grew as babies. If one of you was/is a lanky string bean or a very small, petite baby, that could help explain things too.

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  9. If you think they're healthy...they probably are. Every baby grows at his/her own pace. I know kids more or less my daughter's age who either are at half what they're supposed to be or double - and they're all healthy and happy.

    In the end those graphs are just a guideline for average, aren't they?

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  10. First of all, I have to admit that I giggled a bit at the first comment on worming. I really did not realize it was such a big issue there! I have heard of children getting them occasionally here, but it's not very common I don't think. Still, if they are eating a ton and barring any other major change in growth or activity level, it sounds like a possibility.

    Both K and C just started walking, correct? Here in the U.S., many pediatricians will say that a levelling off (or possibly even a temporary drop) in the growth curve is pretty normal as they begin to get more active.

    I like your idea of waiting a month or so to see how it goes. Then too, I am of the belief that it never hurts to get a little early intervention if it might be needed. I totally agree that there is no need to change their diets just to add a little weight.

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  11. I'm with Deanna...I have never heard of this deworming stuff either (except for Dog).

    Hailey is a little tiny thing...she suffered more when I thought I was bf-ing, but really wasn't. She has always been in the 5th percentile and I have always worried about her more. That being said, I don't think there's anything "wrong" with her. I think she's just a skinny-mini!

    A nutritionist is not going to recommend "oily, sugary food" at all. He/She is going to give some ideas and possibly just tell you that you're doing fine. It couldn't hurt to do it if you have the time.

    Go with your gut though...you know your kids. Kids don't have to be chubby or fat to be healthy...mine aren't!

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  12. Personally I would not worry. You would know if there was an issue. They are not starving and possibly their weight is going through some kind of an adjustment period while they become more and more active.
    They are at an age where you can deworm. I have heard wonderful things about pediasure as well. Worth a try if you are really worried.

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