Failure to Thrive

Failure to Thrive

That is what my baby boy has been marked as. Been labelled as. Failure to Thrive.

It had crossed my mind that this would happen, but to see it actually written down by a Consultant Paediatrician has kind of knocked me for six, if I’m honest.

I’ve been documenting Baby’s slow growth on this blog, and yes it did (and does) worry me, but even more so after today. It’s something about those words. FAILURE TO THRIVE.

He shouldn’t be failing to thrive! Only children in 3rd world countries fail to thrive. Those living in poverty fail to thrive. Not us, and not him!!

So why isn’t he growing. Why isn’t my baby growing like he should be?

Now I feel guilty. Is it me? My milk? If I had taken him to the weigh in clinic sooner would it have been picked up earlier? Would we have stopped this, have altered his path, and not have him labelled as a child who is failing to meet the recommended criteria.

There is nothing I can do now. It’s written there in black and white. What we must do now is to get his weight up to where it should be.

Today we saw a really lovely Consultant Paediatrician who specialises in Gastroenterology. He checked Baby over fully and then gave us the low down.

As far as he can see developmentally wise, Baby isn’t too far behind target. He is trying to sit unaided, when placed on his front he has the right movement to try to crawl etc and he feels it’s more to do with not having the weight behind him to do it. He reckons, with a bit more encouragement, in 6weeks or so Baby will be sitting unaided.

Baby’s weight this week was a high cause of concern. When we saw the Health Visitors last week he weighed 13lbs 5oz. He had been sick the night before he was weighed as we had had Prancer off the week before with a sickness bug. He has been running a slight temperature in the evenings, which has caused him to be more sick. Now, I don’t know if their scales are wrong at the hospital (which I really hope they are), but today’s weight was marked at 5.22kgs or in old money is 11lbs 5oz, meaning he has lost 2lbs in one week!!

The course of action? The one word I really didn’t want to hear. Formula.

Baby definitely has reflux. He may also have some sort of intolerance. We have tried Gaviscon and that didn’t work much, so this is the next step to get his weight back up. He has been prescribed Enfamil AR. It is specifically for Reflux babies. The formula forms a paste in the stomach making it harder for it to come back up again. This will then help the weight go on, in theory. Only saving grace is that we do not have to completely stop breastfeeding. The formula is designed to be a supplement, not a substitute. We are also to stick to his 3 meals a day, giving him as much as he can take, and as high caloried as possible.

The Doctor has also arranged for blood tests to be done to check everything is ok and there is no underlying issue there.

We go back in one month, and hopefully we will have some weight gain.

Wish us luck!



  1. mrstutey
    May 21, 2013 / 5:37 pm

    i am not sure what to write. but want you to know you are supported. i can only imahine how shocked and upset you must feel. please dont blame yourself though. z is being sorted now. good luck with the new formula. hope he puts weight on fast. x

    • Confessions of a SAHM
      May 31, 2013 / 6:33 pm

      Thank you lovely. I am taking him to get re-weighed before we are back to the hospital, so will see if he has gained anything x

  2. May 23, 2013 / 12:28 pm

    Not nice to see in black and white regardless 🙁 I hope he starts gaining quickly for you x

    • Confessions of a SAHM
      May 31, 2013 / 6:32 pm

      Thank You Andrea. Really hope he starts gaining soon too!

  3. May 28, 2013 / 10:35 pm

    You are doing a great job and it is completely not your fault. Hope he fits their criteria soon so you don’t worry x

    • Confessions of a SAHM
      May 31, 2013 / 6:32 pm

      Thank You Bex x

  4. June 1, 2013 / 10:14 pm

    I am going through virtually exactly the same with my daughter who is 8 months old. She has been diagnosed with failure to thrive and I have just spent 10 days in hospital with her. We have known since she was about 12 weeks old that she’s cows milk intolerant but now she’s weaning she’s losing weight again, the heaviest she’s ever been is 12lb 14oz and when she was admitted to hospital was barely 11lb we still have no answers but are waiting on a MRI scan and ultrasound. She also isn’t sitting,crawling and doesn’t have the correct reflex reactions in her knees. Hope you get answers quicker than we have

  5. June 8, 2013 / 7:46 pm

    Rachel, I am so sorry to read this. Having been where you are, I can feel your pain. Pea’s dip on the growth curve happened much earlier on, as such we have been luckier, i.e. we made changes before she developed the dreaded ‘little and often’ habit you are now stuck with. When the Pea was three months old and finally put on the right medication (omeprazole works a treat, she’s still on it!) and after I stopped eating dairy completely (yip, even what I ate affected her through my breastmilk) and also gave her a hydrolised formula to supplement, she started to put on weight.
    The problem was, she had developed the habit of stopping to feed after only a couple of ounces, because she had learned that drinking more would cause her pain. It took a long time, a lot of patience and some quiet mummy to baby time to get her used to finishing her bottles. Now, almost six months later, she still only finishes every third bottle, but she loves her food (and is keen on feeding herself = what a mess!!). I know that having other children -is not really helpful in terms of some quiet mummy and baby time. But try to find at least two slots a day (maybe in the early hours and then again before bedtime?) to make him take his milk bit by bit, until he has finished it. In the beginning, it took up to an hour for the Pea to finish a bottle. Lots of burping in between. Lots of gentle rocking whilst feeding. Lots of humming and singing as well (most likely to keep my nerves calm, not hers).
    Stay strong! Sending virtual hugs your way,
    Deborah xx
    PS: What an awful phrasing by the way. No baby should be classified as failing, no matter what! Failure to be treated correctly, if you ask me…