Elliot was born right smack in the 50th percentile for weight, length, and head circumference. We were elated that we gave birth to a perfectly healthy little boy. And I was grateful that he was not over 8 pounds like the ultrasounds predicted. Because ouch.
Right from day 1 Elliot was a great eater and I was a proud mama. Going to the doctor for his well visits was always an exciting day because I’d get to see how well he was growing.
Then around 3 months, Elliot started spitting up. A lot. (Read more about his story with reflux).
His weight gain slowed down, but he was still growing so we were not too concerned. Elliot was now 23rd percentile for weight. Our doctor said to add some baby cereal to his milk, so we did that.
Elliot kept growing, slowly, and reached 16 pounds by 7 months. Not bad. (10th percentile)
But then Elliot’s weight gain completely stalled. He wasn’t too into solid food, and wasn’t drinking enough breastmilk to compensate. He still spit up a little, which didn’t help with keeping his precious calories in him. He started crawling everywhere nonstop and he was a super active baby. He would spend hours pulling himself up to stand and squatting. He’s definitely got mama’s strong legs.
On top of that, Elliot started going to daycare 2 days a week so that I could focus a little on my food blog Babaganosh. And of course he started getting colds from daycare, as expected.
The problem was that Elliot didn’t want to eat much for about a week every time he got a cold. So he would go through these cycles of gaining a half a pound between colds only to lose those hard-earned ounces again.
Right before his first birthday, we made the decision to pull him out of daycare. It was a tough decision because mama needed some free time to not lose her sanity, but also because Elliot was always in such a good mood after daycare. He never cried there. The teachers adored him. And the best part – he ate more solid food in daycare than he did at home.
So Elliot stayed home with me full time, and during this time my sole focus was on feeding him. Through distractions and pressure tactics (I know, I know, this did backfire later) he gained 3 pounds from the time he was 12 months until he turned 15 months.
And then he totally stopped eating. At 15 months, Elliot was 19 pounds (0.9 percentile). At 16 months, Elliot was 19 pounds (0.5 percentile). It was stressful to see the numbers, it felt like my baby was dwindling.
No parent wan’ts to hear the words “Failure to Thrive” from their doctor.
Elliot was a teeny tiny little thing, but thank goodness he was a happy little guy with lots of energy. When we went on vacation to Mexico City, a kid came up to us on the playground and said “chiquito pero peligroso” – small but dangerous. 🙂
Luckily Elliot’s head circumference growth was still going strong, hovering around the 45th percentile. And he was on track for most developmental milestones. Elliot walked early, at 10 months. He was a little behind on speaking but he was making good progress. You can’t be the best at everything, right?
Just a side note about the growth charts. The percentiles I’ve been listing in this post are according to the CDC growth chart. Now, we know that Americans are larger than most people around the world. There is another growth chart from the World Health Organization (WHO) that has lower weight expectations for babies 0-2 years old. Doctors in the US are actually starting to use the WHO growth chart for tracking growth so as not to encourage childhood obesity.
Elliot’s ranking on the WHO growth chart was a bit better, so I sometimes used that to calculate his weight percentile, just to make myself feel better. I know, that makes no sense because it doesn’t change how much he actually weighs. But there it is, me turning crazy thanks to dealing with Elliot’s eating issues!
So anyway, here we are now, at just over 16 months. Elliot had a breakthrough with eating recently thanks to a few changes we’ve implemented (stay tuned to read about those!) and I am excited and hopeful to track his growth further.
We’ll see how things go in the next few months! You can only take things one day at a time with a picky eater.
Here is a link to the CDC growth chart calculator and the WHO growth calculator. The website looks like it was built in 1992, but it works pretty well both on the computer and on your phone. Just be a little patient with it, it takes a few seconds to load.
What does your baby’s growth chart look like? Are there gains and plateaus? Do you see a pattern of when your baby gains weight and when your baby stops growing? Tell me all about it in a comment below!