Is my child's less weight gain a matter of concern?
Q: My daughter is exactly 4 months old. Her birth weight was 3.17 Kg and today she weighs 6 Kg. She has gained only 450 grams during the last month, prior to that she was gaining 750 grams to 900 grams per month. She is exclusively breastfed and I've never given her top feed or water. The milk production is very good but I have noticed that during the last 20 days she has been demanding less feed even during the day. Her activity level is high, she babbles a lot when she is awake and likes to have someone around to play with or talk to. She is an active child and can laugh aloud. She has not had any illnesses and her immunisations are done regularly. I would like to continue breast-feeding her till she is 6 months old. Her doctor examined her and said that she is fine but will wait for another ten days to see if I need to give solids. Please tell me if her weight gain is a matter of concern and if I can continue to feed her?
A:Please do not worry about your baby's weight gain. A baby normally doubles birth weight between 3-6 months of age. Your baby has already doubled birth weight at 4 months, which is entirely satisfactory. As they grow in size and age they are able to extract milk faster from the breast or in other words they extract milk more efficiently and therefore need less time to fill their tummies. They also tend to get distracted more easily and therefore feed for shorter times. There is no reason why you should not exclusively breast feed till 6 months. If you feel at any time that your baby is demanding very frequent feeds or has gained very little weight then you could consider adding a fruit like banana or apple puree as a substitute for one breast feed. Remember that weight gain in the first three months of life is much faster than in the later months. Also remember that at the end of one year you would expect your baby to be three times the birth weight (9-10 kilos).