Jul 7, 2009

Failure To Thrive

Do you have a child (or a nephew/niece or knew somebody else's baby) whom you think is not able to meet his/her developmental milestone or his/her expected weight? It might be due to Failure to thrive.

Failure to thrive is a medical term which denotes poor weight gain and physical growth failure over an extended period of time in infancy. As used by pediatricians, it covers poor physical growth of any cause and does not imply abnormal intellectual, social, or emotional development. Failure to thrive is weight consistently below the 3rd to the 5th percentile for age. Treatment aims to restore proper nutrition.

Diagnosing and treating a child who fails to thrive focuses on identifying any underlying problem. From there, doctors and the family work together to get the child back into a healthy growth pattern.

(About Failure to Thrive) Most babies double their birth weight by 4 months and triple it by age 1, but kids with failure to thrive often don't meet those milestones. Sometimes, a child who starts out "plump" and who shows signs of growing well can begin to fall off in weight gain. After a while, linear (height) growth may slow as well.

What I've also learned about FTT is that babies must have a consistent caregiver and that their needs should be attended. Bonding with them and giving attention will help the babies achieve their ideal weight and developmental milestone.