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by Mary

My baby hasn’t gained any weight in the past three weeks and I wonder if I underfeed her?

My baby is 3.5 months old and drinks milk for 5 min (breastfeeding) every 2-3 hours. Sometimes 4 hrs. I feel like I’m underfeeding her, but she doesn’t drink milk after those 5 min. She was 2.25 kg during birth, and now she is 4.7 (3.5 months old). She seems to be active and passes urine frequently. She doesn’t pass urine at night for 3-4 hours, that maybe because I wrap her in a woollen cloth and she tends to be warm when I pick her up for feeding.

Is this normal? What should I do to increase her weight?

Baby Help Line:

No Weight Gain at 3-4 Months – What To Do

Apart for the last couple of weeks it seems to me as if your daughter has been gaining weight good. But you are quite right that at this age babies “should” gain weight continuously. Has she been ill at all; a cold, flu or something like that? Being sick is often a reason why young babies don’t gain weight for a while and then they tend to compensate.

Is her health provider worried at all about her weight development?

At 3.5 months babies’ weight gain does slow down. The weight increases very rapidly during the first three months, but then it often levels off. So a few weeks of very little weight doesn’t have to be a problem at all.

Also, at this age, many babies are quite efficient while nursing. 5 minutes may very well be enough for her.

Anyway, if you do believe she is gaining weight too slowly, then you can do a few things to help her:

  • If she tends to only want to feed for 5 minutes, make sure it is always only from one breast. That way she gets the fat milk that is the last to come out of the breast (the hind milk).
  • Also try to feed her as much and often as possible in the morning and before lunch, when your milk tends to be the fattest.
  • You can of course also offer the breast more often in general unless it makes you too exhausted.

Here are some other tips that have shown in research to increase babies’ weight:

  • Carry your baby around in a sling or carrier. Body contact has shown in studies to help babies’ weight gain.
  • Baby massage has alos shown to be beneficial for babies’ weight development.
  • Nurse your baby at least every 2 hours in day time and at least once every night.
  • Always offer (don’t force) the other breast also after really emptying the first. Sometimes the baby might drink a little bit from the second breast as well.

I hope this helps!


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Comments for “No Weight Gain For 4-Month-Old Baby”

Oct 01, 2013

Tips to make sleepy baby feed longer
by: Carrie

I had a similar problem with my oldest son. One thing that worked for me was to strip him down, and wipe his face and hands with a warm wet cloth – anything that would get him good and awake so that he would nurse longer.

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