How I got my heart baby to gain weight.

So I though I would put a post together about how I got Logan to gain a pound in 2 weeks.  I took the input from the comments that were left on a previous post and did a lot of trial and error as well. 

This is what worked for him. 

Also, I should first state that currently Logan is drinking Similac Sensitive formula.  I stopped pumping at 6 months.  After his first OHS (he didn’t come home until he was 5.5 months old) I just couldn’t keep up.  He wanted more than I could make. Pumping in the hospital is very hard.  Although, I did do it, you never make enough, you don’t eat or drink enough in the ICU (and you never want to leave to go pump either) anyway when we came back home I HAD to start supplementing with formula and then it was just a matter of 3-4 weeks before pumping was a completely fruitless effort.  When Logan started drinking formula I also begun him on some baby food.  Previously he had only had some rice or barley cereal.  When I was feeding him formula and baby food (jars and homemade)he wasn’t getting enough calories to grow or develop. If you make homemade baby

 food I HIGHLY recommend the Beaba BabyCook maker, its expensive but really worth it steams and purees all the food in one step!)   Both of my kids and I have heard many heart Moms say the say thing that their child is most likely to eat fresh food than jars of food. 

Once I was threatened with a G-tube I quickly learned some tricks that greatly increased the caloric density in Logan’s food.  I also have some other problems to deal with in regard to Logan’s feeding because he has a host of other GI anomalies that I have to contend with as well.  He has a VERY small stomach capacity and he eats tiny amounts constantly throughout the day, he has delayed gastric emptying, and is prone to constipation (these are all heterotaxy issues not necessarily cardiac baby issues).  So for me it wasn’t about feeding him more food it was about feeding very high calorie foods in small amounts.  We had tried various higher calorie formulas (22-27 calories) and he wouldn’t tolerate any of them.  I am not sure if this was due to taste/texture or if it was too hard on his digestive system but he vomited them all up.   So I began by adding a tablespoon of olive oil to every 4oz bottle of 20 calorie formula.  A tablespoon of oil has an added 120 calories.  He had no issue with this at all.  I experimented with different types of oils and I found that Flax seed oil has the least flavor and although it changes everything to a yellow color it is the least noticeable in terms of flavor.  I also added some type of oil to every feeding of baby food.  That quickly changes 15-30 calorie food into 135-150 calorie food.  Once I saw that he could handle all this oil (please remember he is prone to being constipated if he was prone to diarrhea all this oil may not have worked for him) I decided to try even richer foods.  I began to buy jars of baby food that were 70-130 calories (these were all stage 3 foods that had some meat in them).  I still added a tablespoon of oil so now he was eating meals that contain 190-250 calories. 

I should also mention that I tried Pediasure with Logan and he just wouldn’t drink it.  I know that Pediasure has 240-380 calories but my personal feeling is that it may have more calories but I do not believe it is an readily absorbed or used by the body than natural foods.  I have no proof of this other than the fact that when Logan eats formula or Pedisure (which is really just ready-made flavored formula) he poops like crazy.  I believe this is because most of it goes right thru him.  But it doesn’t even matter because he won’t drink it anyway, and I have tried multiple flavors.

Here is a list of foods that I have begun to feed Logan…

Store bought foods….

Earth’s Best Stage 3 Baby Foods – My first Soups and My first Dinner’s have the highest calorie content. 

Plum Baby (food in those new pouches)- there were only two flavors that really had a lot of calories 1. Sweet Potato, Corn, and Apple blend and 2. the Pumpkin and banana

Fage Total Greek yogurt-this has the most calories out of any yogurt.   This has 240 calories. I also add a TBS. of oil, some fruit puree, and some agave nectar. 

Homemade foods….(again with any of these I add a TBS. of some type of healthy oil)

Bananas & heavy whipping cream, or bananas with flax-seed oil.

Sweet potato with butter, cream, and cinnamon (this is Logan’s fav. meal)

potatoes, with cheese, butter,  (who wouldn’t like that?)

avocados

Baby pasta (Pastina) with butter and cheese or with butter and cinnamon, and agave nectar

Coconut Butter (not the oil but I found the butter at a health food store it is so yummy and has a lot of calories!) I mixed it into yogurt and he loved that! But he also ate it plain.

Almond butter thinned with cream and some agave a nectar

*Another tip I have is that I always a spoonful of low-calorie vegetable  (like peas or spinach) to some of these meals just to make sure he is getting a variety of nutrients*

*Also I use Smart Balance or Earth Balance instead of butter sometimes (supposedly it is made of heart healthy fats and oils)*

  

Oils I have experimented with…

Olive oil (works great is savory meals)

Flax seed oil

(Fav. oil works in everything and is super good for your heart!)

Coconut oil

Canola oil (doesn’t seem to like the taste of this one although it is the most affordable oil)

Grapeseed oil

avocado oil

and Hemp oil (this has a strong flavor and although it is exceptionally healthy I haven’t found a great use for it yet.)

 

I think this is an excellant topic and again, if anyone has any other tips please leave them in the comments and I will compile all the tips into a separate page for reference!

8 thoughts on “How I got my heart baby to gain weight.”

  1. What a smart Mom. I was born with Tetraology of Fallot. I grew up being called Boney Joanie. My Grandmother would fill my milk glass halfway with Half & Half and then whole milk.Keep in mind I was a youngster in the 5o’s and 60’s before all these yummy and healthier options.

  2. Wow,thanks! To get my heart baby to gain weight is such a struggle. He’s in the 2nd percentile for his age group. I will definitely be trying some of these ideas, i use whipping cream in a few of his foods but will be trying the oil.

  3. A quick question regarding the coconut butter. I found some (I think the same kind that you have posted), but it’s raw. There wasn’t anyone in the store who could tell me if it would be safe for a child under 2. Any input?

    1. Jenni – I don’t see why not it is just coconut and coconut fat. Other butters are fine (not peanut but almond and cashew butters are fine) I have never heard that coconut wasn’t an okay food but I could be wrong. Logan had no problems with it though. He loved it. Let me know if it worked for you.

  4. Hi , my little girl has pulmonary stenosis problem and she didn’t gain much of weight for past 3 months. Can I know if she consume virgin coconut oil, flax seed oil or olive oil , those oil will block the tube of the heart or not?

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