Q. Though my baby is exclusively breastfed, why does he fail to thrive?

Answered by
Dr. Faisal Abdul Karim Malim
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 09, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jun 22, 2021

Hi doctor,

My baby was born at 37 weeks due to growth restriction. His weight was 5 lbs 3 oz. He was in NICU for seven days due to low blood sugar. He is 7 months old and weight 11 lbs 6 oz. He had reflux issues and lip and tongue tie. It was fixed at two months. The reflux was fine after 5 months of age. Initially, he was also constipated for around three months. We started solids at 6.5 months of age, and it made his constipation much worse. He had a barium enema to rule out Hirschsprung, and he was not able to get all the barium out. He is not pooping and refusing any food. He freaks out when I try to nurse him. Doctors are saying it as milk protein allergy, but I do not believe so. What else could be causing constipation and failure to thrive in a breastfed baby? Please help my baby.



Welcome to

  • Please note that the weight gain of your baby is fine. Normally birth weight doubles by the age of 6 months, which I think it has.
  • As for 7-1/2 months of age, the weight is only a very little bit lesser probably because of reflux issues.
  • Also, babies pass stools either 10 to 15 times a day or once in two to three days, so I do not think there is constipation.
  • I feel that if the baby had any major problems, then the child will not be able to become double of birth weight by 7 months of age.
  • According to me, the child is having a fair amount of weight gain, which is slightly on the lower side probably due to the reflux which will go away eventually with age.
  • Also, you can give Multivitamins and Calcium supplements to help the baby. Also, give mashed foods along with breast milk to the baby.

For further information consult a paediatrician online -->

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