Failure to thrive is not a disease or disorder itself. Rather, it’s a sign that a child is undernourished. In general, kids who fail to thrive are not getting enough calories to grow and gain weight in a healthy way. When kids can’t gain weight, they also often may not grow as tall as they should. Kids need to get enough calories to learn and develop well. So kids with failure to thrive might start to walk and talk later than other kids, and can have trouble learning in school. Sometimes a mix of things leads to failure to thrive. For instance, if a baby has severe GER and is reluctant to eat, feeding times can be stressful. The baby may be upset and frustrated, and the caregiver might not be able to get the baby to eat enough. Many babies and kids go through brief periods when they don’t gain as much weight as expected. But if a child continues to not gain enough weight or loses weight, doctors try to find out why.
Refer a Patient. Your doctor will want to do tests looking for intestinal problems in your child, ranging from infections like parasites to chronic diseases like inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Underweight adults Underweight adults Keeping your weight up in later life. He or she will decide if further tests or treatments are needed. Page last reviewed: 21 April Next review due: 21 April Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. By clicking the button, you agree to our policies and to get emails from us. He may also do some scans or blood tests to rule out serious problems that can be causing the weight loss. Underweight adults Underweight adults Keeping your weight up in later life.
During the toddler years, it is normal for your child to gain between three to five pounds a year. Babycenter states that proper nutrition is essential for mental and physical development. If your toddler is suddenly losing weight instead of gaining, it can be a result of a variety of different issues and needs to be dealt with to help your child grow properly. Your toddler’s doctor will use growth charts to track her weight as well as her height and head circumference. The chart will indicate how her height and weight match up and how her size compares with national averages. A weight percentile that is suddenly lower than it has been in past visits may be a cause for concern.