Since learning that Avery needed to gain weight at her 9-month well visit, I’ve been tirelessly trying to get her to gain the weight that she needs. I’ve had doctors suggest that she needs to be put on formula or Pediasure, but I knew that there were other ways of helping her gain weight before going to those extremes.
After doing a little bit of research and listening to the wonderful advice that readers have left in the comments in my other posts, I’ve successfully gotten Avery to gain some weight. We went to our GI appointment today, and she gained one pound in the last month, which is great for her.
I knew one of the reasons that she wasn’t gaining weight was because of the fact that she is an extremely distracted nurser. She wasn’t nursing as often as she needed to and that caused my milk supply to decrease. I was able to help increase my supply, but I still needed to add some extra calories to her diet. I’ve made some small changes in her diet so that she can get the extra calories that she needs. These are changes that she hasn’t even noticed, but they have been working great so far!
1. Nurse Often
Avery is a very distracted eater. She’s probably the most distracted when she nurses. Her GI doctor suggested that I try to pump breast milk and then feed it to her in a bottle to make sure that she is getting enough milk. However ,when I tried doing that, she was just as distracted and I was left with milk that ended up going bad because she didn’t want to finish it. I now nurse her as soon as she wakes up from a nap and after eating solids. This ensures that she is getting a good amount of milk.
2. Add Infant Oats To Meals
This is another suggestion from her GI doctor. I add it to her yogurt in the morning and her fruit purees. We additionally wanted to add this to her meals to get the extra fortified iron because the doctor thought she might have an vitamin deficiency. Although we were cleared of that, the doctor would still like me to add it for a few extra calories. She doesn’t seem to notice it’s added to her fruits and it makes some thinner fruits a little bit thicker and easier to feed to her.
3. Serve Foods With Good Fats
This has been a must. Thank goodness avocados are Avery’s favorite food because she has them often. I give her a whole milk yogurt every morning for breakfast and it is her absolute favorite. We just started adding whole milk cheese and I am soon going to add egg yolk to her diet.
4. Olive Oil
I make all of Avery’s baby food so that I know exactly what goes into it. Most of her food is just pureed organic vegetables and fruits that I have steamed. I add a little bit of olive oil to all of her vegetables just as I am about to serve it to her. It’s a great, healthy way to add extra calories to her meal that she doesn’t even know she’s getting.
5. Coconut Oil
When I first solicited for your advice on safe and effective ways to help Avery gain weight, a couple of people suggested giving her a spoonful of coconut oil. I’ve been putting it in a medicine dropper and giving it to her. There are so many health benefits to coconut oil other than helping her gain weight. It’s also said to help her immune system and aid in digestion. There are also great benefits for nursing mothers, so I’ve started to take a spoonful as well.
6. No Snacking
I used to give Avery snacks throughout the day, especially if we were out on the go because it helped keep her distracted. I found that the more snacks she ate, the less likely she was to nurse or eat her dinner. I’ve limited her to one snack a day (if that) so that she can be hungry enough to eat her full meal or nurse for the full amount of time she needs to nurse.
7. Wake Her Up For A Night Feeding
This has been critical for us because Avery nurses the best at night when she is sleeping. I usually wake her up a couple hours after she has fallen asleep and she will nurse for 15-20 minutes. I never get that long of a nursing session in during the day. It has also helped her sleep later into the morning as well which is an added bonus.
Writer’s Note: Please note that I am not a doctor. This is what has worked for us after discussing options with Avery’s GI doctor and some research that I’ve done on the internet. Always consult with your doctor if you are unsure about what to feed your baby.