My second-born had FTT as well. It was so awful. He was so skinny, and I hate looking at pictures of him because he looked so ill, just skin and bones. We had to change a LOT to get him healthy. My baby was also clear of Pyloric Stenosis, and he had a cow's milk protein intolerance. At 2 years old, he was also diagnosed with celiac disease, and he is now in the 21st percentile of weight for height (35th for age). When first diagnosed with FTT, he was under the 2nd percentile weight for height (1st percentile weight for age). This is a list of changes I made to get my baby up to a healthy weight.
1. Feed every 2 hours, even through the night. 2.5oz per day per pound of body weight. My baby would throw up bigger bottles no matter what. My baby was 7 pounds at this rate (born 7lb14oz). We offered 12, 1.5 oz bottles at first. Yes, this meant very little sleep for a while. My OH and I switched up on night feedings so we could each sleep as much as possible in a stretch!
2. Similac Brand Alimentum (we live in the US). He still threw this up if given a larger bottle, so the small bottles were an absolute MUST. (I BF for the first few months but now make my own goat milk formula for my fourth-born... and chunkiest baby by far! Let me know if you/she want(s) the specific recipe I use. I'll never go back to commercial formulas, but it is a bit of effort to make - and controversial since not everyone is as much of a hippie/naturalist as I!)
3. When my baby kept throwing up the small bottles pretty frequently, we added 2 tsp of white rice cereal at the very end of each bottle. So, we'd feed baby, and then feed a couple of bites of cereal. He was under 6 months and still had tongue thrust, but we HAD to get his weight up.
4. Feed baby sitting up. Keep baby upright for at least half an hour after each feeding. We had a Rock 'n' Play sleeper that he would stay in for half an hour if it was during the night, so we could get as much sleep as possible. I'd only recommend this if baby is also going to sleep and won't try to climb out of the thing, but there are straps to buckle baby in and make sure he's safe.
5. Probiotics in baby's evening bottle (which he was least likely to throw up). I thought this was important because a low-weight baby isn't going to have the best immune system, and probiotics will help a lot. I use Garden of Life Raw Probiotics for Kids, which is safe for babies.
6. Early weaning. My baby started putting on weight with all of this effort, but we had to get him on solids sooner to help hold the liquids down as much as possible. We started with cereals (mixed with formula) and eventually mixed 1st fruits in with cereals to keep them heavy and add sugar and calories.
It felt like all we were doing was feeding the baby or talking about feeding the baby or holding the baby after a feed, all the time, for months. But he'll be 4 in June, and he is amazing, bright, funny, wonderful, and thank goodness he is so very healthy! I hope your friend's baby follows the same path and gets healthy, too. This is a huge struggle. Sometimes, babies just don't seem to wanna keep anything down. Keep a change for at least 2 weeks before deciding it's not working, and I really hope you update on the state of this baby!
I know a lady whose baby had severe severe reflux and couldn't ever keep anything down. The doctors gave him a ng tube (feeding tube) until about 7 months when he could start eating solids and then he was able to keep more down.
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