Yesterday we took Charlie for his second well check-up. He weighed in at a whopping 15 lbs 4 oz. He has almost doubled his birthweight! I was so proud...
But the pediatrician told us that he is overweight (greater than the 95th percentile for weight) and that we need to try to get him down to eating three ounces every three hours. (He currently eats an average of four ounces a feeding - sometimes more, sometimes less. Feedings during the day tend to be around two hours apart. At night they tend to be three or four hours apart.)
Edited to add: Charlie is in the 75th percentile for height and 80th percentile for his head.
I was very taken aback by this because it's not like we're forcing food down his throat - he's just a big eater. He doesn't spit up a lot, so we thought all was okay. The pediatrician recommended that we try to get him to take a pacifier more often, but Charlie doesn't really care for pacifiers. He will sometimes take one, but it's not a sure thing like it is with some babies. To me, it's great that he's not totally dependent on a pacifier: less weaning we have to do later.
My first instinct to the doctor's suggestion was a WTF one. I was just shocked at the thought of putting Charlie on a diet. I even asked the doctor about just feeding him when he's hungry, which is what we've always done. To me, it does not make any kind of sense to try to schedule a seven week old's feedings. Charlie has always let us know exactly what it is he needs.
But after we left, I began to feel really bad, like I had somehow failed as a mother because I'd let my kid eat too much. Roy and I spent some time discussing it and realized that we felt that the rules had somehow changed all of a sudden - after all, the other pediatrician (who did Charlie's circumcision and saw him for his first well check-up) said that we should just feed him when he's hungry and that you can't really put a baby on a diet. That pediatrician is in the same practice as ours, by the way. Talk about mixed messages!
But we decided we'd try out our doctor's recommendation. So I spent yesterday trying to distract Charlie from eating as much as often. It was okay at first, because he took a nice long nap. But after that it was truly a disaster. I ended up with a much-too-fussy baby for entirely too long. And then I ended up breaking down and feeding him more because I knew that's what he wanted. Sure enough, he went right to sleep afterwards.
By the end of the day, we pretty much threw the pediatrician's recommendation out the window and went back to feeding on demand. So he's a big baby! I have always felt that in time his weight gain will stabilize as he becomes more mobile. I find it hard to believe that we are damning him to a life of obesity just based on how much formula he consumes. If he is anything like Roy or me, he will actually be skinnier-than-skinny through his childhood and into younger adulthood, when he will eventually settle into his body (and hopefully won't become overweight).
I don't think that this pediatrician is evil, but it seems to me that he is a member of the "scheduling" movement, and we really aren't - at least not right now. I think Charlie is still too young to be on a rigid schedule. This is a fundamental difference that we didn't pick up on when we interviewed him. So we're in the market for a second opinion and probably a new pediatrician as well.
Anyone want to weigh in on this? Anyone out there with similar experiences?