What to Do If Your 2 Year Old Is Not Gaining Weight?

Although lack of proper weight gain is not considered abnormal, many parents still take the situation seriously when their child is not gaining as much weight as they should. Having said that, know that despite failure to having a clear cut definition even today, it is usually accepted as a condition wherein the 2 year old not gaining weightis unable to take or maintain the calories being fed to them, which in turn would help them grow physically. However, it may also indicate some health conditions with your toddler.

So, Why Does It Happen?

Please know that not gaining weight in itself is not a disease. Rather, it pinpoints to certain underlying causes which may lead to your child not gaining weight. What can these causes be?

  • A metabolic disorder
  • Infections (like UTIs, parasites) which force your body to consume more nutrients as opposed to nutrients consumed during regular days
  • Not consuming the correction ratio of fat, carbs and protein
  • Not consuming adequate amount of calories
  • Intolerance to certain foods (this is different than food allergy)
  • Illness or infection
  • Digestive tract diseases/infections

Is Lack of Weight Gain a Serious Issue?

In a word, yes. If your child continues to be undernourished, they will eventually:

  • Become lethargic
  • Become fussy
  • Not grow to their full potential
  • Be physically weak
  • Have permanently stunted height
  • Face nutrition based diseases like diabetes and obesity when they grow up
  • Have a lack of emotional and intellectual development

These are just some of the many serious conditions which occur if your 2 year old not gaining weight.

What Can You Do If Your 2 Year Old Is Not Gaining Weight?

When it comes to your child's nutritional development, there are certain measures that you can take on your own to ensure they grow up to be healthy kids. So, what are these remedies?

1.      Maintain a Routine

Their body will not be able to adjust if you feed them at irregular time periods. Start maintaining a proper schedule according to your baby’s needs, not your own.

2.      Proper Feeding

If you bottle feed your child, make sure that their body position is correct. They should be placed comfortably and if they’re lying down, then their heads should be raised a little above their body. Encourage them to feed by themselves.

3.      Cleaning Off Food

Make sure you wait till your child has finished their meal, before you start cleaning it up. Let the child be as messy as they want to be – they are a child, after all. You can clean up the mess afterthey are done with their meal. There’s no rush.

4.      Eating Environment

Sometimesit’s not what you’re feeding your child or how you’re feeding it, but where you’re feeding the food. Try changing the area where the child eats and see if that works for you.

5.      Relax!

When it comes to your 2 year old not gaining weight, you have to remember one important rule. When you eat around your child, you have to be calm and relaxed. Keep arguments away from them. Make eating a positive experience for them, something they will look forward to every single day. Plus, your good eating habits also have a high chance of rubbing off on your child.

6.      No Distractions

TV, radio, games, phones, tablets, loud music – turn everything off or keep it all away from the baby during their feeding time. It’s not that big of a deal, especially when you consider your child’s health is at stake.

7.      Patience Is Key

Children are bound to dislike new foods. Don’t let that discourage you. Keep trying to feed your child those foods over and over again over a period of time. If your child is autistic, you might have to present the same food to them 20-30 times before they finally accept it.

8.      Hygiene

Sometimes, infections and diseases force your child to remain underdeveloped. If these are due to hygienic reasons then you need to pull up your pants. Make sure you wash your food before cooking it, inspect it for any infestation of insects, wash and sanitize your own hands before cooking the food, and not serving old/expired food.

When to Involve Professionals

Why is your 2 year old not gaining weight?If the answer doesn’t lie in the points shared above, then it’s time to rope in the opinions of professionals. Who can you ask for help and what can they do for your child?

Professionals you can talk to

  • Pediatrician
  • Registered dietician
  • Primary care doctor
  • Specialists (if you think your child has a medical issue)
  • Psychologists (if your child has mental issues)
  • Therapists (who encourage successful feeding behaviors)

Dieticians help with not only identifying the foods your child may be intolerant to, but also help you come up with a diet chart that has an adequate amount of macros (carbs, protein and fats) for your child that will help them gain weight. Your primary health care provider helps you by identifying any underlying medical problem that your child might be having, which is preventing them from thriving on their diet. Make sure their shots and vaccinations are all up to date. Sometimes, specialists might be asked for their opinions if your child is facing a particular type of medical problem (gas, allergy etc.).

Refrain from giving a child a diet of selective foods based on half knowledge. Never reduce or eliminate any major or minor food group from your child’s diet without properly consulting a professional first, because you might end up doing more harm than good to your baby.

Coming to your 2 year old not gaining weight despite involving doctors, then you may have to consider the possibility of their malnutrition being strong. In which case, they will have to be hospitalized and their food intake will be monitored round the clock by doctors and nurses alike. This process will roughly take 2 weeks, even after which your child will easily take many months to recover and grow up to be a healthy child.

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