Understanding your baby’s growth and FTT
What is Failure to Thrive?
Failure to thrive (FTT) is a diagnosis that your doctor would make that describes children who either gain weight at a rate significantly lower than the expected rate, or who lose weight over time.
While it’s true that children and babies aren’t all the same size, under normal circumstances they should grow at a similar rate. That’s why doctors measure and weigh them at every visit.
Babies with certain diseases or medical conditions are most at risk for FTT.
Especially those who have trouble feeding and/or swallowing as a result of their conditions. This can be called “organic FTT.”
But often, FTT isn’t caused by illness.
Some babies simply don’t eat enough to gain the weight they should. Others have trouble gaining weight because of repeated vomiting or diarrhea. And some just need more calories than other babies. This may be called “non-organic FTT.”
It’s important to remember that for most babies, FTT is just a stumbling block, not a permanent condition.
The first 2 years are extremely important
Proper nutrition is always important, but especially during the time between conception and a child’s second birthday.
This is a period when their brains develop in ways that will help them well into the future. It’s also a time for them to start growing strong muscles.
Why do some babies have poor growth?
There can be several causes. An infant who fails to thrive:
- Might not be eating enough
- Might need more calories than other babies
- Might have an illness that makes it harder
to eat enough
(possibilities include congenital heart disease, chronic lung disease, respiratory syncytial virus, neurological syndrome or neuro-disabilities, and cystic fibrosis)
But most babies with FTT do not have any of the illnesses mentioned above. If you’re concerned about your baby’s growth, you should talk to your baby’s doctor.
UNDERSTANDING GROWTH CHARTS
Your doctor will use growth charts to monitor your baby’s growth at each checkup, and can tell you whether there’s any cause for concern. Growth charts are designed to show how most normal, healthy children grow.
Your doctor may use the word percentile when discussing your baby’s growth. For example, if he or she says your baby’s weight is in the 40th percentile, that simply means that out of 100 healthy babies of the same age and sex, about 40 would weigh less, and about 60 would weigh more.
But keep in mind:
A lower percentile number isn’t necessarily anything to worry about. It’s normal for some babies to have lower numbers, as long as they’re growing as expected.
Your doctor can explain more about growth charts and tell you whether your baby is growing as he or she should.
Speak with your healthcare professional to see if Fortini is right for your baby
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