Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Official Six Month Update

I took Z to see Dr. Landefeld yesterday for his 6-month checkup. Our boy is healthy and growing and he got an overall good report. I say "overall" because there is one area that needs substantial improvement: his weight. He weighs just 12 lbs., 11 oz. As Dr. Landefeld said, "he sort of fell off the charts for his weight." Sigh.

We just presumed - because until yesterday there was never any mention of concern about his weight - that he was just a small kid. Both PG and I were small kids, and we're not big people now. Plus, we tend to eat healthily. We don't overstuff ourselves; we stop when we're full. That's the pattern we've noticed with Z, so we had no concern - especially since he is super happy, super healthy and SUPER content.

The news was a huge blow to me since I am breastfeeding. Most every book - even the book published by the American Academy of Pediatrics - says that breastmilk is sufficient to meet all nutritional needs of babies until they reach 6 months of age. So, of course, my mind sorted to this logic: if solids are not necessary until 6 months of age, then I must not be able to meet all the nutritional needs of my child. Great. Try on THAT mommy/female guilt.

And it's not like I starve the poor kiddo. I nursed him 6-8 times daily until we started "solid" foods (rice cereal, stage 1 fruits and vegetables) at 5 months. Our doctor said we could start any time between 4 months and 6 months, and I chose 5 months because Z and I were finally home from Tallahassee and were settled into a nice daily routine. When he reached 6 months, we added a second meal of solids. After receiving the news yesterday, we have added a third meal of solids AND a supplemental bottle of formula.

Z has taken to solids just okay - sometimes he is an eager feeder, other times he puckers his lips and shakes his head from side to side and whines until we relent and let him suck his food from a loaded pacifier. We are working toward eagerness with every bite.

I am very proud of my decision to breastfeed Zane, and I'm proud of my perseverance when it would have been waaaaaaay easier to just feed him formula. I believe it has given Zane the best possible start in life. And, to be honest, I'm more than a little sad that our new feeding routine will likely cause him to wean from the breast sooner than I had hoped. Logically I know that it is time for him to receive nutrition from other sources, and I totally get that I'll have more freedom. I just hope our bond and attachment to each other will remain intact.


karen said...

Kill the formula. Feed solids and nurse - you're right that adding formula will encourage weaning sooner. Unless Z is at the top of the chart for height, I wouldn't worry too much about his being at the bottom for weight. Both of our boys have been lower on the weight than on the height and they are perfectly healthy. I have trouble buying pants (there are about 2 companies that make "slim" sizes) but otherwise, it's FINE. Trust your instincts.

karen said...

P.S. I meant to add that Ross has often been off the chart bottom for his weight. He's a small kid! It's no big deal.

Anonymous said...

Your Grandmama has told me that she use to worry so about me when I was a baby/child. She would cry and ask the doc (on numerous occassions) what was wrong with me because I was so tiny and rarely gained weight. The doc told her to quit fretting ... that I was just small and was fine. Grandmama then adds ... "and just look at you now"!!!

Baby Z looks just perfect to me!

love you,

Aunt J

*pab said...

@Karen (aka Queen of All) - thank you, thank you, thank you. If my boy were pale, wan, listless and fussy, I would worry. But, he's not. He's happy, and I just know he is perfectly healthy. I keep thinking, "if he were hungry, he would let us know it!" I am nursing him four times daily and we are feeding him fruit in the AM, veggies & cereal at lunch, and veggies/meat & cereal at supper. So far, his supplemental bottle has done nothing but help him sleep better. If he starts showing less enthusiasm for the breast, I will 86 the bottle faster than Cletus can slap a tick.

@Aunt Janny: your point is very well-taken. Every human body is different. Z is just a small little dude right now. PG was a small kid, and so was I. I have no doubt he will grow into a normal sized human.

LMP said...

I hear this all the time from fellow mommies. A friend of mine has a friend whose doctor informed her she would be required by law to call social services if her baby hadn't gained weight by their next appointment. The child was in otherwise perfect health and today, is growing just fine and fit as a fiddle. The only one NOT fit is that mentally abused mother. The poor woman was convinced she was a horrible mom, despite doing everything by the book. How sad that we begin to obsess about the number on the scale before we are even a full year in age.

He eats well. He knows he's loved. You can practically watch him grow. They hit their growth spurts at different ages. Tell the doc to stop harshing your mellow.