Doctor’s Advice: Should I Introduce Solid Food?

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Ashley:

Hello,

My little guy is going on 15 weeks old. He is purely breastfed. He was 8.4 pounds at birth and 20.5 inches long. He currently sleeps 9-9.5 hours at night and usually takes 1-2 one-hour naps (2 hours total) during the day. My concern is that he has been gaining weight VERY slowly. He currently weighs 10.2 pounds and is 24 inches long. Some days, he’ll nurse 6-7 times; some days, it’s all day. My husband and I recently decided to give him 3 oz pumped in the morning and at night, in addition to nursing, to monitor how much he gets. Not much change yet and it’s been 1 week. He is able to sit up if propped against something, coughs on his own, burps on his own, and is getting a tooth in. Developmentally, he’s meeting all his milestones; he can almost roll over. I’m just really concerned with his weight. I’m thinking about introducing avocados, a VERY small amount. What do you think? My pediatrician says no food until he reaches 13 pounds, but I definitely think he’s ready. He watches us eat, eats at his hands none stop, drools like a faucet, and when you touch his nose, face, cheeks, etc. during playtime, he tries to eat them, or put them in his mouth.

Your advise is greatly appreciated. 🙂

Ashley

Dr. JJ:

The opinion as to when to start solids really varies among pediatricians, as you can see. Certainly, by 20 weeks he should have doubled his birthweight, and he is slow to do that. Of course, there are factors like your body type and your hubby’s… If you are both small and slim, then genetically, your little man may be growing like you. However, sit with your pediatrician and look at your baby’s growth chart. If he is falling off the curve for weight gain, it’s time to get more calories in him, and he is certainly showing signs of readiness. Personally, I would support your gut instinct to think about solids now, but please do sit with your pediatrician and make sure there is no other reason that your little man is growing slowly!

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About Dr. JJ Levenstein

Dr. JJ Levenstein is a board-certified pediatrician and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and in 2012 retired from her thriving private pediatric practice in Encino, California. She served on the staff of CHLA and Encino Tarzana Hospitals for 20 years and was consistently voted one of the Best Doctors in America® from 2003 through 2012. Drawing from her experience as a pediatrician and mom, Dr. Levenstein serves as president and co-founder of MD Moms, makers of Baby Silk, the first personal care line for babies developed by pediatrician moms. She serves on the board of United Cerebral Palsy LA, is an active writer and sits on the advisory boards of several child-centered websites. She is an accomplished chef and completed culinary school in 2013! She has had a lifelong interest in child nutrition and all things related to preventive health.

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