12 Reasons for Weight Loss in Babies (And Why They Shouldn’t Bother You)

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Weight loss in babies is something that worries a lot of moms. I realized this after a conversation with a friend of mine.

My friend and I had a chitchat as she came to our native village for attending her cousin’s marriage. The moment I attended the call, she started pouring her heart over the comments of cousins and relatives made about her baby.

She had been subjected to a variety of comments ranging from “Your baby looks so small and tiny” to “Don’t you feed your baby well, she looks like a feather”. But then this one was ultimate comment – “We asked you to start ragi and other solids from her 28th day onwards, And you didn’t listen to us right? Now your baby is suffering. Look at her weight now !”

weight loss in babies

Like any other mom, she was quite pissed off, and asked me what was wrong with her relatives and whether her baby was underweight. I laughed and comforted her by telling her that, “As long as your daughter is healthy , active and achieves the milestones according to her age, there was nothing to worry” . She was relieved but hurt by the sarcastic comments made by her family.

I am sure many of you have been subjected to this.

The comments made by the elders and other ‘experienced’ moms can send us down a spiral of self doubt.

This post gives you the 12 Reasons for weight loss in babies, plus the solutions!!

12 Reasons for weight loss in babies:

People (even me) love chubby babies. Let’s be honest here – the whole chubby cheeked dollopy baby attracts everyone’s attention!

But according to WHO, such babies are often prone to heart ailments, cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity in the future. So if your baby is lean, slender and doesn’t have that rolls of fat on her cheeks, tummy and bums, thank your stars !!

#1. Activeness of your baby

hyperactivity As long as your baby is healthy and active , there is nothing to be worried about weight . Certain babies are super-active, so their metabolic rate would be high and starts losing weight due to the activities and fussy food intake. If he is gasping or panting for breath post crawling or walking, he needs more energy, so consult his paediatrician.

#2. Worm infection

Worms can affect your baby’s weight! Worms in baby’s intestine prevent the absorption of nutrients from the food provided. Check with your paed for the possibility of worm infection , he will prescribe medicines to get rid of worm problems, there by helping your baby to put on proper weight.

#3. Genes

genes

Low weight could also be hereditary. See if anyone from your or hubby’s parents side are on the thinner side, your child would have acquired his / her genes then.

#4. Long gap between meals

child eating

Refrain from keeping a long gap between 2 meals of baby. Ideally a baby should be fed simple and small meals/ snacks every 3-4 hours. If you feel that feeding the child a heavy meal after a long break will help, let me tell you, it does not.

#5. BREASTFED / GIVEN WATER ALL THE TIME – Loads of water , milk or breast milk could curb the hunger of the baby and reduces the intake of food

#6.  High intake of fiber rich foods

pasta

Avoid too much of high fiber foods like whole grain pasta , brown rice etc, the fibers in it can fill up your little one’s tummy for long and thereby his food intake would be reduced

#7.  No variety in foods offered to the child

Certain babies spit out the food offered , cause they don’t like the taste or they are fed up of the same food given everyday . You can refer to the month wise food charts to get an idea of various meal options

#8. Poor/ no absorption of nutrients

praline

This can be fixed by adding high calorie foods like Kerala banana, sweet potato, cheese , full cream milk , butter, peanuts, ghee, eggs etc as part of your baby’s daily intake . But that doesn’t mean you have to force chocolate milk or high calorie chocolates everyday.

Note: If your child isn’t gaining weight despite eating a balanced, calorie dense diet, let your child’s doctor know.

#9. Weight loss due to high metabolism

crawling

Babies do tend to lose their weight once their activities increase. Generally they lose weight once they start walking /crawling. This is nothing to be worries about. Just modify their meals accordingly. If you aren’t sure about how and what to feed them, you can have a look at our food charts.

#10. Loss of weight due to illnesses

illness

You may notice a dip in weight after a bout of fever,cough, cold  or HFMD. This again is not something to be worried about. Kids generally don’t eat enough when they are down with some illness. It should get better after they get better.

#11. Weight loss post weaning

diet post weaning

Some babies lose weight after weaning. His / her food should be well balanced with whole cream milk, water , fruits , veggies and cereals.

#12. Not getting enough hindmilk

If your child is exclusively breastfed, then the child not getting enough of the calorie and fat rich hindmilk could cause a lack of weight gain. You can avoid this by letting the child have enough time on one side so that they get the hind milk too.

Must Read:

When should the weight loss be a cause for concern?

We spoke about the reasons why your baby’s weight has dropped. But what if it something else? What if the weight loss is something that requires a trip to the paediatrician?

Does your child have any of the following symptoms-

  • Drowsiness
  • Increased/ decreased urination
  • Excessive thirst
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constant stomach aches
  • Bloody stools or presence of mucous in stool

Note: In some kids refusal to eat is not due to lack of appetite but due to the presence of mouth ulcers. Another reason could be a tongue tie or fatigue arising due to over use of pacifiers.

If  your child has any of the symptoms mentioned above, then you should get your him/her tested to rule out any issues.

Also make sure you don’t miss any of the routine check-ups. During  these check-ups the doctor will be able to see if the child has achieved the required weight according to his/her age and height.

But the most important thing that I would like to share with you is that you should not compare/ set unrealistic weight expectations for your child. Do not let the weight alone be a yardstick for his/her health.

Hope you are relieved now after reading the 12 Reasons for weight loss in babies  . See your baby playing , cuddle him and treasure each and every moment with him / her . Throw that “my baby is underweight ” and your relatives comments out of the window 🙂 Chill Maadi !!

About Author

Sangeetha is the owner of Bumps n Baby and a super cool mom of a 4 year old princess. Her life revolves around laptop and kitchen these days as she is mastering the art of multi-tasking.

43 Comments

  1. My baby is 7 months old old but she looks 2months old, she weighed 3. [email protected] birth but shes’s currently wieghing 5kg. I weep everyday when i see her condition. I can’t even afford the hospital bill if at all I’m to take her to the clinic. My heart burns. Please help me

  2. My baby s nw 10 completed 11 months. Doctor told it s under weight. I m giveing nice food to baby. But I don’t know y she not put on weight. Please give some tips mam

  3. I have 2 years baby boy he is very active in playing g when he get up almost 4 hours spend to time with playing now days jose eight aksidente si g that’s why I’m very sorry about here health nd weight gain pls give me some suggestion for here weight gain

  4. Hi Sangeetha!
    Firstly I love bumps and baby , it’s very informative and interesting:)
    Why haven’t I found you before , just recently started following your post .
    Well I am little concerned about my baby intake of food and also weight gain
    My baby is 14 months old weight 20 pounds and height 31 inches .His birth weight 8lb 5oz
    He is a very lean baby ,super active baby , he walks the entire house .he doesn’t take rest in between except nap time doesn’t like to sit to play .
    I am so concerned as he is not gaining weight and more over he is a very fussy eater , have to spoon feed him and takes half an hour to one hour and takes only few bites .
    This is my chart what he eats
    8 am – 8 ounce bottle
    10 am – half banana & one fried egg / half dosa / half apple / half bread / few bites of upma with 3 ounce water
    12pm-8 ounce bottle
    1-3 pm -nap time
    4 pm -pasta &one fruit or veggie pouch / small chappati with vegetable curry or dal /chicken pieces / vegetable soup & biscuits
    6 pm- 8 ounce milk
    8 pm – if he wills rice with curry / chappati with dal
    9pm-8 ounce bottle and sleeps
    1am – 4 ounce milk
    6am – 6-8 ounce milk

    He doesn’t like any cheese , yogurt , grapes , berries
    He sucks his thumb all the time , even while sleeping .
    Please help me what should I do
    Thank you 🙂

  5. Breastfeeding in NO WAY could cause weight loss in babies. In fact in the first one year of your babies’ life it is an extremely nutritious and fatty component of their diet. Please make sure you get your facts right before posting such points on these forums, Sangeeta.

  6. Lokeswari Pramodh Kumar on

    Hi Sangeetha,

    Thanks for giving the usefull information about babies. My son’s age is 22 months..when he borned his weight was 3.5 Kgs,now his weight is 9.5 Kgs. It is too low for his age.He is not crossoing the same since 6 months..Some times he will have food in a nice manner and some times he use to do strike (by this time he will not take only rice items,rest of things he will eat). I had given BF for 9 months.Apart from this weisght issue rest of the things he is doing very well. He sleeps well.He is very active.
    As most of the mom’s were saying about their babies weight and relatives comments..even i am also facing the same problem..and their comments were horrible.I felt too bad as i don’t like to compare the babies with any other baby. I just don’t know how to increase my son’s weight.
    I use to give the follwing items to my son. (few items not on daily basis)

    Pure Buffalo milk 3 to 4 times in 24 hrs. ,idli ,dosa,chapathi,vada,banana,potato,vegetable fries,white and red meat,fish, rasam rise,curd rice,dall rice,only curd,chocolates,Egg raagi jaava & dry fruits (these 3 will give max of 6days of a week) seasonal fruits ,sometimes ice creams & sweets and whatever i use to prepare for us..that to i will make him to taste it.

    Herewith i am requesting you to kinldy let me know,how to increase my son’s weight.
    and also let me know which milk powder is good for babies to add in milk (like pediasure,Jr.Horlicks etc)

    With Thanks & Regards,

    Lokeswari Pramodh Kumar.
    Tirupathi

  7. Hi mam my son is 10month old weight 8.30kg all relatives are scolding me he is so lean but he is active pls suggest

    • Samu, first don’t let anyone’s comment let you down. No one can judge the health of a baby/ person just by the physical built. If your baby is happy and active, do not worry about his weight. Hope this helps.

  8. Hello sangeetha ji
    My baby is 11 month old and his weight is 10.5 kgs. I exclsvly bf him for 6 months after that gradually reduced nd and started solids(all my elders were aftr me). I feel he is not a chubby baby n everyone comments on that which really hurts. Otherwise he is vry active n is reaching all his milestones. I want to ask if not bf him is affecting him. Should I give him bf.he eats well n sleeps well.
    Plzzzz help as i m in a state of a breakdown.

    • Gurneet,

      His weight is fine. Babies do lose their chubbiness once they start crawling and walking. Hence you need not worry his weight or chubbiness. Chubbiness of a baby is not in anyway related to health either. Dont worry about what others say as long as your baby is happy n active 🙂 Breastfeed as long as you can.

  9. Your information is so helpful. My baby is 4 months old andshe weighs only 4.9 kg. She is on bottle feeding from one and half months of age. Heard that bottle fed babies look much chubby. But she is not. Please help me

  10. Hi sangeetha..really happy to have such an informative blog.. i am concerned about my daughters weight. She was born with 2.3kg nd now completed 6 months..shes 4.5kg only.. am so much worried abt her health.. am going to start solids from tomro. Pls tel me how should i start my first day for her . Just one meal per day wit breastmilk? Wch r the gud first solid foods for weight gain given for a 6 month old baby?

  11. Hi sangeetha,
    My daughter is 32month old. N she is just 11 kg but active kid. She eats very slowly( takes 1 hr to finish 1 roti) n dont like to eat as much. She just started going to preschool. So everyday she had glass of milk in morning at 8 am before going to school but she is able to finish tiffin in the school because of slow eating n then directly had lunch at home at 1 pm. Due to this she is loosing her weight. I m very tensed n worried. Please help me, wt to do to increase her weight?

  12. hai sangeetha,my baby wt is 10.7.ht is 80cm.she completed 11 months.is it k ????but now the problem is she is decreasing the wt.what should i do now?????????

  13. Hi Sangeetha,
    Hw r u?? My baby’s born weight was 3.200. But now she is like 7 months old baby. Her weight is 6.400. is this weight is ok or not. What to food give to my baby?? How to increase my baby weight?? Plz reply me… Thanks……

  14. My baby is 12 months old but he started becoming thin from 7 th month may b due yo motions at the time of teething..
    N even now i can wear his drees of his 2 nd month he is same from then but he is in increasing weight and height
    Can u please suggeste to become my baby chubby and fatty…

  15. hii sangeetha… my sis is having twins.. breastmilk is not enough so dr recommened to give dexolac stage1 . now they are 65days but wen they take milk one baby is vomiting too much. why so…

  16. hi sangeetha… thanks for ur reply. my baby is 3 month and 2 week. she cries alot in night and when I feed her she drink and den start crying. and wen I carry her and walk she stops. she wont lay on bed too… after some hours she will drink milk and will sleep… why so?

  17. Thanks a lot for your prompt reply dear 🙂 one ,should I need to cook the home made cerelac in milk for 2/ 3 min, or directly mix the powder in milk and give it ??

  18. Hi sangeetha

    Just wanted to ask you that I will be trying home made cerelac for for kiddo soon. But since she is quite underweight in terms of her age ( I3 months 7.5 kg), is it safe to give all that whole grains mentioned in the receipe ?? I mean she can digest it properly right ??

  19. Hi, I am not getting kerala banana as adviced by you. I reside in Kolkata, west Bengal. cn u suggest sme oder banana variety containing hi calorie value ?????

  20. Hi Sangeetha. Let me at first congratulate you for presenting us bumps n baby. I find it really informative n interesting 🙂 my daughter was born at 27+ weeks with a body weight of 850 gms… Now she is 7.8 kgs at 12 months. she is an active child otherwise and is also achieving her milestones slowly… what do you think is she ok in weight now ?? Can you candly suggest some calorie enriched receipes or foods that would help her gain weight. Thanks in anticipation

  21. my baby was born with a weight of 2.900. nw she is 2month and 22 days her weight is 4.600. is this weight ok. all are suggesting me to give her food after 3 months. what should I do. is it good to give food after 3 months?

    • Nadia,

      Just stick to breast milk or formula till she attains 5 – 5 and a half months. Introducing any foods than these can pose many risks as your baby’s tummy is not matured enough. Her weight is fine, trust me.

  22. Soooo much relieved after reading ur post, my baby was born wit a weight of 2.8,she is 10 months now and still weighs 6.7kg.the doc says its absolutely fine, she is an absolutely healthy baby, has never fallen sick,and is extremely active.but I’ve gone through the sarcy comments as well.am going to try ur recipes and foods for weight gain.thank you so much sangeetha☺

  23. Pingback: 3 Surprising Reasons for Poor Weight Gain in Babies IBumps n Baby

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