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Q&A: 10 Month Old Gaining Enough Weight

Dr. Christine Wood, M.D


Q: My baby doesn't seem to be gaining much weight. My friends are saying he is skinny - 10 months and weighs 19 pounds but he is long and very active. Is there something I could do to encourage him to eat more? He is eating gerber foods no,w but does not want to eat the other solid baby foods I am giving him. Any help, please. Thank you

A: A 10 month old who is 19 pounds is at about the 25 percentile on weight. If his height is also in this range, he sounds like he is growing fine. Many babies, after 9 or 10 months, start to thin out and gain less weight, and even fall in percentile. This is because they are getting more active, and using large motor muscles to crawl, pull up to stand and walk with support. In addition, they are usually more distracted at meals. There are now too many new interesting things they can get into, so food is a lower priority. By 10 months, many babies are not as interested in the jar foods and being spoon fed. They want to become more independent. They will often be interested in self-feeding, so I would try small, soft cut-up pieces of food (bananas, soft fruits, steamed vegetables, bread, Cheerios or Oatios) and see how he does. You can still spoon feed in between his attempts of self-feeding, as long as he will allow it. He will get to a point where he will refuse being spoon-fed.

One of the biggest mistakes I see parents make is trying to force their babies or children to eat more. We have to respect their internal signals, and allow them to choose how much to eat. I tell parents that their job is to offer the food choices, it is their child's job to choose what of that to eat.

Don't worry about what other people think. If he is following the growth curve, and his pediatrician is not concerned about his growth, then he is fine. Our concern is for weight loss or a plateau in the growth.

For further information on feeding healthy, please feel free to consult my website at

Christine Wood, MD

Dr. Christine Wood is a practicing pediatrician in Southern California. She is the author of "How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It," a book that addresses the issues of why and how to feed kids healthy. You can visit her website at http://www.callyou
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