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The incredible shrinking baby.

2009-04-09 - 4:56 p.m.

I'm not a baby expert, but I'm pretty sure they're not supposed to shrink.

-Gregory House on the show House M.D.

So I took the Biscuit for his weigh-in today. While his height is a hair under average, he was down to the 10th percentile for weight at his 9-month well-baby check-up. As a result Ive made sure Ive never passed up an opportunity to stuff some calories into the little guy. He wants to feed every hour or two all night long? So be it. Were out and about and he starts to fuss a little? My boob gets thrust into his mouth automatically; modesty can take a backburner to my guys need to feed. Rice cereal automatically gets a little powdered formula mixed into it so it will stick to his ribs a bit more. So, naturally, I wondered if he had gained any ground on the chart.

Hes moved a whopping 3 ounces in weight. Downward.

Yep, at 10 months, hes actually lighter than he was at 9 months, and has now dropped off the bottom of the weight chart. Out of a hundred randomly-picked babies his age, hed be lighter than, well, a hundred of them.

The protocol in this situation is a referral to a paediatrician, which my family doc is setting up for us. In the meantime, Ive gotten three more kinds of formula to try to see if hell like any of it. Were going to continue to try him with solids and hope for some more progress in his acceptance of them and Im happy to report that in the last couple of weeks hes started opening his mouth for a few spoonfuls voluntarily, though progress is slow but Ill take anything thatll bump his calorie intake right now. Ive also bought some Milupa oatmeal cereal, which looks to be a bit richer than the plain, grain-only stuff so Im hoping he might take a shine to that.

To be clear, Im not panicking: hes a healthy-looking, cheerful, active, friendly child and I dont believe hes actually sick. BUT, I do want to plump the little fella up a bit for sure, if for no other reason than when he is sick with something temporary like a cold, he has some fat reserves to tide him through. Hes very active and I think he is getting adequate nutrition in terms of nutrients, so its just pure calories I think hes lacking. His sister went through something similar, though not as dramatic, and the answer was, ultimately, wait until she started catching up with her peers again. She's still a petite kid, but she's well above the 10th percentile she used to be at.

Lets hope Im right that this is no big deal. And that Operation Fatten-that-kid-up succeeds somewhat so I don't have to worry about it.

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