Happy Babies Have Tears Too

Dr's Visit

Yesterday was Ava’s traumatic 15-month checkup. Traumatic isn’t even an exaggeration. Nothing happened out of the usual… she just knew what was going on.

She knew she didn’t know this lady. She knew the crinkly paper was loud and not nice. She knew she didn’t like the cold stethoscope on her chest. She knew it wasn’t normal when mama held her head still so this lady could stick something in her ears. She knew this was not fun.

And then the shots happened, and that didn’t help her trust the Dr any more. Three shots, to be exact. MMR, chicken pox, and flu. One of those they said really hurt, and even left a bruise. Poor thing.

The nurse practitioner we saw today explained that this is completely normal, and most kids even go through phases of trusting/not-trusting the doctor, but that this age and 3-year-olds are the worst. At least we made it through the first “worst”.

Long story short, Ava is “perfect” weight-wise! I guess we no longer need to fatten her up, huh. We were actually told to “keep doing what we’re doing” and not worry about her weight. She’s found her new curve at the 10-12th percentile, and she’s 20lbs 4oz. She’s 30.5″ long, at the 50th percentile. She’s walking and talking (31 words!), has 6 full teeth and is working on her molars. She likes reading and picking out hair bows and shoes to wear. What a big girl.

Just for fun, I wanted to share Ava’s list of words. She says these on almost a daily basis, and it doesn’t include the words she repeats just because we say them.

  1. Zorro (or ZorZor)
  2. pancake
  3. highchair
  4. mama
  5. dada
  6. hi
  7. bye
  8. cat
  9. dog
  10. milk
  11. up
  12. hotdog
  13. baby
  14. stir
  15. cupcake
  16. ball
  17. bow
  18. shoe
  19. hat
  20. no (“nooo nooo noooo” while shaking her head)
  21. book
  22. nose
  23. toe
  24. eyes
  25. knock (she says “knock knock” while knocking on her head. Thanks, Granny!)
  26. head butt (Daddy taught her this–she actually bumps heads with him)
  27. sock
  28. Hey Jack (yeah… Daddy is a Duck Dynasty fan)
  29. night night
  30. bath
  31. star

Avie’s also working on using tissues, and it coaxed a smile out of her after her tear-fest at the doctor’s office. Enjoy your day! May you have someone this adorable to wipe your tears, too.

tissue

Update: How to Fatten a Toddler

I can tell you right now… this task is not for the faint of heart!

I’m just kidding. But it’s definitely not easy.

I started out giving Ava whole milk cheeses, veggies slathered with butter, nut butters, muffins, banana bread and ice cream. Things were going well for awhile (a week or so) but she wasn’t gaining weight as quickly as I wanted (only a 1/2 lb), so I added carnation instant to her milk for one meal of the day.

You guys. Don’t do that.

My girl went from being a great eater to preferring her meal substitute drink. You might be like me and think she can just eat it along with her meal, but that doesn’t quite work. It kinda fills her up to the point of not wanting anything else. You might say “Don’t give it to her at meal time,” and I will say to you that it still doesn’t work. If you give the yummy milk in between meals, she still won’t be hungry for the next one. We tried giving her diluted carnation, but she would still suck it down in the blink of an eye. And ask for more.

Our doctor recommended we give this to her, and I can honestly say we tried it. But it didn’t help her gain weight. She started out at 18.5 lbs and she remains 19lbs.

So Friday we decided to take away the carnation and see how she did.

When she woke up that morning, I offered her peaches and french toast (with butter) right away, and she ate an entire fruit cup and a half a piece of the french toast. And she seriously inhaled it. Once she seems to be slowing down, I let her have her milkies. Trade off is that she only drank about half her cup verses the whole thing.

Lunch time rolled around, and she ate better again, although she still didn’t eat the way she used to. Dinner was also better than it has been, but she was functioning with no afternoon nap, so I’m hoping that played into her smaller appetite.

This is a very frustrating process. Especially since it seems as though we’ve broken what didn’t need fixed.

Oh, I do have to add that all this extra food is going somewhere… We measured her length the other night, and she has grown an extra inch longer since her appointment. The doctor can’t tell me she’s not growing. This also means we’ll be moving Ava up to a convertible car seat this week, so that’s pretty exciting! I’ll let you know which one we go with!

How to Fatten a Toddler

We took Ava to her 1 year check up yesterday, and despite the fact that we thought she has grown so much, the doctor told us yet again that she needs to gain weight. We’ll see him again in 6 weeks for a weight check, and if she hasn’t gained, she will be tested for different things.

It’s a little concerning, she eats quite a bit for every meal, and drinks her whole milk like a pro. We don’t have to push her at all. 

The doctor’s concern comes from the lack of consistency in her weight curve. When she was 2-4 months, she was in the 90th percentile, and she’s slowly trimmed down, and now she’s in the 12th percentile at 12 months. At first, I must admit I got very defensive. She’s a very active baby, and I assume that’s probably the reason why she’s so lean. However, I looked up “how to fatten up a toddler” on Google, and came across this board on The Bump. Turns out, a lot of babies have this issue. Someone explained that the doctor is concerned that the baby’s body isn’t able absorb the nutrients to make them grow. Our doc didn’t explain it like that. I promise I wouldn’t have gotten so defensive if he had. 

So it makes sense. Mission Fatten Up Ava commences! In the board, mommies from all over share what has worked for them, and I feel a whole lot more confident that we can give Ava the chance to gain weight by eating healthy fats. I also referred to this site for picky eaters (even though she’s not picky, it gives great tips on how to slip in more calories!) The Poop Whisperer is a blog I just came across as well, and her post here was extremely helpful and confirmed what the other two sites said, only with more specifics. So great. Here’s what I’ve compiled…

Good fatty foods include: 

  • Dairy products made of whole fat milk- I have been giving Ava yogurt made for babies, but I’m gonna skip that and go with regular whole fat yogurt. 
  • The Poop Whisperer mentioned mixing whole milk with half and half. It’s worth trying!
  • Put those whole dairy products on everything: veggies, breads, pastas, etc.
  • Avocados – guacamole works too.
  • Hummus
  • Almond or Sun Butter – These have more healthy fats that even peanut butter!
  • Olive Oil – cook veggies in it, drizzle over pasta, etc.

Other foods to help weight gain:

  • Butter. On everything.
  • Carnation Instant Breakfast in milk at least once a day.
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Rich pasta sauces, like Alfredo
  • Baked goods such as banana/zucchini bread, muffins, etc.
  • Ice cream =)

So, after work today, I’ll head out to the store. I have hope that she can gain weight. Most importantly, she’s still the happiest baby I’ve ever met, regardless of her size. 

I’ll update as the weeks go on. We’re going to try to weigh her periodically. Ever dealt with this? If you have tips I didn’t include, please share!