Sunday, February 17, 2013

Growth Charts

Thank you all so much for your encouraging comments! Actually, RIGHT after I posted on Friday night, I started doing more online research into the difference in growth between breastfed and formula-fed babies. And I wish I had done it sooner! The buddy is not exclusively breastmilk fed anymore (like he was for pretty much the first 6 months of his life, wahoo!), but up until the past few weeks he had AT LEAST 3/4 breastmilk and 1/4 formula. And the past few weeks it has been more like 1/2 breastmilk and 1/2 formula, which is still pretty miraculous considering the fact that I have never produced a single ounce! :-)

ANYWAY, when you look at babies in the US, fewer than 50% of babies are breastfed AT ALL (in 2008) after 6 months, and by 9 months that number is around 30%! And only 18% of babies are breastfed exclusively up until 6 months! Even at 1 week, the number of exclusively breastfed babies is just SLIGHTLY above 1%! So, the buddy has been getting WAY more breastmilk than the average American baby! (All of this fascinating information came from this article on Check it out! There are TONS of charts and graphs and it's SO interesting!!)

Anyway, this got me interested in seeing if I could find a growth chart that was based more on babies fed breastmilk and so I looked at the WHO (World Health Organization) growth chart information. Apparently most babies around the world are breastfed, so this chart is supposed to be used for breasfeeding babies in the US up until 2 years of age. I had to convert all of the buddy's weights from lbs. to kgs., but I'm pretty confident that our pediatrician used the CDC chart (based on ALL American babies) instead of WHO because this is what it looked like when I plotted the buddy's weight along the WHO chart.

That's pretty much RIGHT along the 3rd percentile curve, especially once he hit the 1-month mark. Sure, he's still little, but I am beyond annoyed that our pediatrician, who knows that he's given 1/2-3/4 breastmilk would use a chart where the vast majority of babies are given all formula by his age! Formula has more calories, so of course other babies having formula would not only weigh more than he does, but also grow faster!

I'm going to continue with my plan to give him good fats and boost his calorie intake, but I refuse to stress out about it and try to force our sweet, happy baby to eat. And you better believe that when I take him in for his weight check I will not only be bringing in this growth chart, but all the other research I found below and the information about how many babies breastfeed. The question here is: Why did I have to find this information myself? Why isn't our pediatrician using the WHO chart, which has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2010!? Ack! I seriously don't think she's stupid, but I think that SO MANY babies are formula-fed (especially among the population she sees, sadly) that she rarely (if ever) has had this issue among her patients and is just so used to the CDC chart. There's part of me that's afraid that I've somehow calculated this all wrong, so I'm going to do some double-checking before I show this to her. I WILL also say that I've tried so many times to plug his numbers into those "calculators" online, but I can't find one for the WHO chart, only the CDC!

Anyway, we'll take him to his weight check to the same doctor, but we will definitely be going somewhere else for his 12 month check-up, regardless of how this visit goes. I just really, really, really hope we get into the practice that everyone raves about! The buddy deserves fantastic care!

WHO Growth Charts
More on difference in growth between breastmilk-fed and formula-fed babies

Thanks again for all the support! Also, turns out the buddy LOVES cheese! And tonight I'm going to make him liver and avocados! Think our method of feeding our baby is crazy? So would I before I did some research. Here's a snippet of good information and I'll include more later, JUST in case you're dying for lots of reading on feeding babies. And mostly to prove to you that I'm not crazy... hehe. :-)


  1. I truly wish you could find a family practitioner like my daughter and grandson see. She has been very supportive of Rebecca's feeding decisions for Kenny. Kenny was almost exclusively on fruits & vegetables until he had enough teeth to handle fish & chicken at which point he was feed from the food they ate with homemade food supplements. She did feed him some rice cereal but she made that as well.and primarily used it to thicken some of the fruit & veggies. He has been thriving, meeting all developmental milestones (which is what their doctor focuses on) & still prefers fruits & veggies over anything else except vanilla wafers. :-) Stand your ground, do your research and aim for a family practitioner over a pediatrician. The only down side to Kenny not seeing a pediatrician is that Rebecca has to take him to the health department for his vaccinations because he's the only infant in the practice. Big whoop! Mom & dad are happy, baby is doing well, that's all that's important. Good luck! Be confidant you are making good choices for Nathaniel.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Beth! That's a good idea, to focus on finding a family practice dr. :)

  2. The impresssion I've gotten is that, unfortunately, most pediatricians/family doctors still use the CDC chart instead of the WHO one. And I don't think that makes them stupid. However, I do think that, as parents, as a society, we put way too much trust in our doctors. We expect them to know everything and they (obviously) don't. I also think we have a responsibility to educate ourselves, which is a neverending process. I suspect when you utake that chart in to the buddy's MD (which I think is a great idea! Wish I'd done it when Baby E's pediatrician was questioning his weight gain), it'll be possible she's never really look at it (or that it's been years). We are our children's advocates in so many areas. Lucky buddy to have you be his :)

    1. Yes, I agree! We realized this when we went to the fertility treatment. That we have to advocate for our own health. We thought we could just smile and nod at the Dr. and do our thing, but it's harder than we thought!

  3. I have no idea where the chart I used was from, but it also put him in the 3rd percentile. You are wonderful, fun parents, feeding him healthy foods. You're so right about not stressing and not forcing him; keep having fun with him. He is learning and growing and the cutest little thing I ever saw.


Comments are the online version of a hug! Thanks for showing the love by commenting! :-)