Help! Child Not Gaining Weight But Growing in Height


Do you wonder Child Not Gaining Weight But Growing in Height every day when you look at the skinny arms and legs of your baby? We can help you find an answer to it and tell you what to do to make the needle of the scale start to move up.

For many moms, the ideal baby is a chubby baby with chubby cheeks. If the baby from diapers thin, in most cases, it causes parents to worry. Sometimes it is absolutely unnecessary! Often it is enough to change very little so that the karapuz started to gain weight. And the main thing – to understand the causes of low weight babies.

Is Your Child Not Gaining Weight but Growing in Height?

If your child seems to be shooting up in height but not gaining weight at a comparable rate, it can be concerning. This disparity in growth can happen for several reasons, so don’t panic just yet.

First, every child grows at their own pace, so your child may just be going through a growth spurt. Their appetite and weight gain will likely catch up over time. However, if your child doesn’t seem interested in eating or is avoiding entire food groups, it’s a good idea to talk to their doctor. They can check for any underlying issues and may refer you to a nutritionist.

It’s also possible your child has a fast metabolism or is very active, burning more calories than they consume. In this case, try offering calorie-dense snacks like nuts, dried fruit, avocados, and nut butters. You can also add extra healthy fats like olive oil to meals.

Gastrointestinal issues like acid reflux or celiac disease can sometimes decrease appetite and inhibit weight gain. If your child frequently complains of stomach pain, nausea, or other symptoms, consult their pediatrician. They may want to test for food allergies or intolerances as well as other digestive problems.

The most important thing is providing your child with a healthy, balanced diet full of vitamins, nutrients, protein, and calories. Limit distractions at mealtimes, set a regular meal schedule, and be patient through the process. Every child will reach their ideal height and weight in good time. If you continue to have concerns, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s doctor for advice.

Understanding Normal Growth Patterns in Children

If your child seems to be growing taller but not gaining much weight, don’t panic. During growth spurts, it’s normal for kids to slim down as they shoot up. However, if your child’s weight gain seems to have stalled for more than a few months, it’s a good idea to talk to their pediatrician.

Kids grow at different rates, but in general, most children gain about 4 to 7 pounds each year from ages 2 to 7. From ages 7 to 12, kids gain around 3 to 5 pounds per year. If your child’s weight gain has slowed or plateaued for a prolonged period, it could indicate an underlying issue that needs attention. Some possible causes for lack of weight gain in children include:

  • Appetite changes: Growth spurts often temporarily decrease a child’s appetite. If their appetite doesn’t rebound after a few weeks, it may lead to slower weight gain. Encourage your child to eat more calorie-dense snacks and meals to make up for it.
  • Hyperactivity: Very active or hyperactive kids may have a hard time gaining weight because they burn more calories. Providing nutritious high-calorie snacks and meals, especially before bedtime, can help.
  • Medical issues: Conditions like hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or digestive problems could contribute to weight gain issues. See your child’s doctor right away if you notice other symptoms or have concerns.

The most important thing is not to obsess over the numbers on the scale. Focus on providing healthy, balanced meals, limiting distractions at mealtimes, and maintaining a regular eating schedule. If your child seems otherwise healthy and energetic, their weight gain will likely normalize over time. But don’t hesitate to consult their pediatrician if you have ongoing concerns about their growth and development.

Child Not Gaining Weight But Growing in Height: Top 5 Main Reasons

Child Not Gaining Weight But Growing in Height
Child Not Gaining Weight But Growing in Height

Reason 1: The baby does not gain weight, because he is not full of milk.

This is possible even if the baby spends half the day at your breast. There may be several reasons: the baby does not suck well, falls asleep while eating, you do not have enough milk. To find out how much milk the baby drinks at a time, weigh him before and after feeding, and record the numbers. Then be sure to show your notes to your pediatrician.

If it turns out that the baby eats less than normal, the doctor will teach you how to attach the baby to the breast, and if necessary, recommend tools that enhance lactation. In some cases, the doctor may recommend feeding the baby with formula (if the baby is less than four months old) or vegetable puree (after 4-5 months).

REMEMBER! An artificially-fed baby may not be full, either. Sometimes a baby needs a larger portion than recommended at his age. If your baby is having trouble gaining weight, write down how much formula he eats in a day. The pediatrician will analyze your records and may recommend that you increase the portion or change the formula.

Reason 2: The baby is not gaining weight because he does not like the taste of new foods.

Many babies flatly refuse to change from a breast or bottle to a spoon. They refuse fruit and vegetable purees, cottage cheese, porridge. If a baby from the first days of introduction of complementary foods is capricious and refuses to eat, do not worry. Be consistent and offer him complementary foods every day – sooner or later the baby will try adult foods and enjoy them.

REMEMBER! Do not give up in any case, and do not refuse to introduce complementary foods. After six or seven months, mother’s milk alone is not enough for normal growth and development of the baby. The baby needs more calories, vitamins, nutrients. If you do not introduce complementary food in time, the karapuz may weaken the immune system and even develop anemia.

Reason 3: The child does not gain weight, because you made a wrong diet.

And you don’t even know it! Maybe your toddler’s diet is lacking in fats. You need to add 3-5 grams of vegetable oil or butter per 100 grams of vegetable soup. If your baby is not gaining weight well, this amount can be more. Skinny toddlers oil should also be added to cereal and some desserts.

Monotonous food and too much sugar in the food you give your baby (sugar impairs the absorption of nutrients by the body) can also be reasons for his or her underweight.

REMEMBER! If your baby is slim, don’t give him juices (especially those with pulp) often. They are quite caloric: 100 ml has about 40-60 kcal. After them, the child may refuse the main meal.

Reason 4: The child is not gaining weight, because he is very mobile.

If a baby can not sit quietly in one place, he is constantly crawling, turning over, actively waving his arms and legs, then he naturally spends a lot of energy. Accordingly, the fat is not deposited, because the calories from food quickly expended.

REMEMBER! If your fast baby slowly put on weight, but rarely gets sick, is developing well and is in a good mood, nothing to worry about.

Reason 5: The child is not gaining weight, because he is sick.

If the baby is developing well and suddenly stops gaining weight, you need to talk to your pediatrician about this. Sometimes this can be caused by certain illnesses (e.g. cystic fibrosis, celiac disease).

REMEMBER! Also, the cause of poor appetite and low weight can be the presence of parasites in the baby’s body.

Child Not Gaining Weight But Growing in Height
Child Not Gaining Weight But Growing in Height

Should I be worried if my child is not gaining weight?

Probably. You should not worry about underweight a child in such cases:

  • If the toddler has been sick recently. He may have lost some weight because of the illness, but after recovery he will quickly return to his previous performance and continue to gain weight further.
  • If the child has not lost weight, but just started to gain weight at a slower pace. This situation is a normal growth retardation.
    In general, a baby should be gaining weight, not losing it. To understand how normal is the addition in weight chad, compare his growth chart with a statistical average (this will help your pediatrician).

Take into account that children grow at different rates. But if your toddler was consistently in the norm (e.g., was in the 80th percentile) but fell behind (dropped to the 10th percentile), discuss it with your pediatrician right away. If your child has stopped gaining weight and you think he’s gradually dropping to the low percentile, talk to your doctor about it, too. But in general, a slow decline in the rate of weight gain in children is not a concern.

When Slow Weight Gain May Be a Concern

If your child seems to be growing taller but not gaining weight at the expected rate, it could be a cause for concern. Some signs that slow weight gain may need to be addressed:

Very low body mass index (BMI)

If your child’s BMI falls below the 5th percentile for their age, it could indicate they are underweight. While some children are naturally slim, if your child seems to have little interest in eating or is missing important nutrients, it’s best to talk to their pediatrician.

Lack of appetite or interest in eating

While growth spurts can temporarily decrease appetite, if your child never seems hungry or refuses meal after meal, it could indicate an underlying issue like gastrointestinal problems or other medical concerns that need evaluation.

Inability to keep up with peers

If your child tires easily, seems delayed in motor skills or speech, or just can’t keep up with other kids their age, it could be a sign they need more calories and nutrients to support their development. Some conditions like cystic fibrosis or hypothyroidism can also cause slow growth and weight gain.

Little weight gain over 3-6 months

If your child hasn’t gained a few pounds over the course of several months, especially for infants and toddlers, it’s a good idea to consult their doctor. They can check for any medical issues and may refer you to a registered dietitian nutritionist who can evaluate your child’s diet and growth.

The good news is there are often simple solutions for helping underweight or slow-gaining children, such as:

•Offering high-calorie, high-nutrient snacks and meals with plenty of healthy fats like nut butters, full-fat dairy, and avocados.

•Giving your child nutritional supplements or shakes to boost calories.

•Increasing the frequency of meals and snacks. Four to six smaller meals may be easier for your child to consume rather than three big meals.

•Being patient through growth spurts when appetite may decrease temporarily. Continue offering a variety of nutritious foods and your child’s appetite should return.

•Consulting your child’s doctor for any recommended tests or referrals to a nutrition expert. They can help determine if any medical causes need treatment and the best ways to support your child’s growth and development.

Common Reasons for Poor Weight Gain in Children

As a parent, it can be worrying if your child isn’t gaining weight as expected. Before panicking, know that there are several common reasons why kids may have trouble putting on pounds.

Increased activity level

If your child has recently taken up a new sport or physical activity, their appetite may not have caught up yet. Growing bodies need extra calories to fuel growth and activity. Offer nutritious snacks, especially proteins and healthy fats, to boost your child’s calorie intake. Their weight gain should rebound once their appetite increases.

Picky eating

Some children are naturally picky or selective eaters. They may refuse entire food groups or subsist primarily on starchy carbs and snacks. Work with your child’s doctor or a nutritionist to identify nutrient deficiencies and the best strategies for broadening their palate in a healthy way. Don’t force your child to eat, but do continue offering a variety of nutritious options at each meal. Their tastes will likely become more adventurous over time.

Underlying health issue

In some cases, a lack of weight gain could signal an underlying health issue like digestive problems, hyperthyroidism, or other growth disorders. Watch for other symptoms like chronic diarrhea or constipation, excessive thirst or urination, or delayed development milestones. See your child’s pediatrician right away for screening and diagnosis. They may order blood tests, stool samples, or other procedures to determine the cause and best treatment plan.


Some children are just naturally thin or petite. If your child is active, eating a healthy diet, developing normally, and has always tended to be on the smaller side, their growth curve may simply be a result of genetics. As long as their growth follows the same percentile over time, and they seem to be healthy and thriving otherwise, a slim build alone is usually not a cause for concern.

With patience, persistence, and perhaps some medical guidance, most kids will get back on track to gaining weight steadily and healthfully. But when in doubt, always talk to your child’s doctor. They can evaluate your child’s unique situation, allay any worries, and make sure their lack of weight gain is not due to a serious underlying issue.

Signs Your Child Is Not Getting Adequate Nutrition

If your child seems to be growing taller but not gaining weight, it could be a sign they’re not getting the nutrition they need. Some things to watch out for:

Loss of appetite or picky eating

It’s normal for kids to go through phases of picky eating, but if your child seems disinterested in eating or is limiting themselves to only a few foods for a prolonged period, it could indicate a nutritional deficiency. Offer meals and snacks with a variety of healthy foods and keep trying – it can take many introductions before a child accepts a new food. If picky eating persists for more than a month or so, talk to your pediatrician.

Slow weight gain or weight loss

Children should gain weight steadily as they grow taller. For most kids, maintaining a weight that plots along the same growth curve is healthy. If your child’s weight gain slows or they start to drop percentiles on the growth chart, it could be a sign they need more calories, especially protein and healthy fats. Offer nutritious snacks in between meals and consider temporarily supplementing with nutritional shakes or smoothies.

Fatigue or decreased activity

Kids have lots of energy, so if your child seems unusually tired, irritable or less active, it may be a sign they’re not getting the fuel they need. In addition to extra snacks, make sure your child is drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Getting enough rest and physical activity are also important for overall health and development.

Pale skin or dark circles under eyes

Certain nutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D are essential for blood health, energy levels and growth. A pale, unhealthy complexion or dark circles under the eyes can sometimes indicate a deficiency in these areas. Talk to your doctor about whether a multivitamin or other supplement may help support your child’s needs.

The most important things are offering regular healthy meals, nutritious snacks, limiting distractions during eating, and keeping an eye out for any warning signs. Every child grows at their own pace, but if you have ongoing concerns about your child’s nutrition or growth, be sure to consult their pediatrician.

How to Boost Your Child’s Calorie Intake

To boost your child’s calorie intake, try the following tips:

Offer nutrient-dense snacks

In between meals, provide snacks that pack calories and nutrition, such as:

  • Peanut butter on whole wheat bread or crackers
  • Yogurt with granola and fruit
  • Cheese and whole grain crackers
  • Trail mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit and chocolate chips
  • Avocado toast
  • Smoothies made with Greek yogurt, fruit, nut butter and milk

Add extras to meals

At mealtimes, include high-calorie extras to increase portion sizes without filling up your child. For example:

  • Add butter, olive oil or nut oils when cooking and serving
  • Top foods with cheese, bacon, nuts or nut butters
  • Serve meals with a glass of milk, fruit smoothie or milkshake

Be flexible and patient

It can take time and consistency for a child’s appetite and weight gain to increase. Some tips:

  • Don’t force your child to eat or clean their plate. Let them determine how much they want to eat at each meal.
  • Make mealtimes relaxed and fun. Turn off electronics and focus on enjoying the food and each other’s company.
  • If your child doesn’t seem interested in a meal, offer a preferred snack or side dish to ensure they get calories. Don’t argue over food choices.
  • Have healthy snacks readily available for when your child says they’re hungry.

Track progress and make adjustments

Weigh and measure your child regularly to ensure weight gain and make any needed changes to their diet or calorie intake. You may need to further increase portion sizes or the number of snacks. Consulting your child’s pediatrician can help determine appropriate weight gain goals and the best ways to achieve them.

With patience, flexibility and the right nutrition plan in place, you can get your child gaining weight and continuing to thrive. Keep offering encouragement and help make eating an enjoyable experience for your child. In time, their appetite should continue to build.

Ways to Stimulate Your Child’s Appetite

Getting some extra calories into your little one when they’re not gaining weight as expected can definitely be challenging. Here are some ways to stimulate their appetite and encourage them to eat more:

Offer snacks frequently

Instead of just three big meals a day, offer your child smaller snacks every 2-3 hours. Things like yogurt, granola bars, trail mix, cheese and crackers are easy options. Keeping their stomach from getting too empty will keep them interested in eating.

Make mealtime fun

Turn off the TV and phones during meals so you can focus on eating together. Play games like ‘guess the food’ or have your child help with simple food preparation. The more engaged they are, the more they’ll want to eat. You can even set a timer to make it a game to finish before the timer goes off.

Add extras whenever you can

Mix in butter, olive oil, cream, cheese, or nut butters into foods. Add protein powder or nut butters to smoothies. Top pancakes, yogurt or ice cream with granola, nuts or chocolate chips. The more you can boost the calorie density of foods without changing the volume too much, the better.

Keep favorite snacks on hand

Stock up on snacks your child already enjoys and keep them visible and within easy reach. Things like trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, pretzels, cheese, avocados, hummus and crackers are all good options. When they’re hungry, the first foods they see will be the most appealing.

Be patient and encouraging

Don’t force your child to eat or punish them for not eating enough. Stay positive and encouraging, complimenting them when they do eat well. It can take many attempts before a child accepts a new food, so offer the same food again even if they don’t eat it the first time. With your support and patience, their appetite will increase over time.

The most important thing is not to stress over your child’s lack of weight gain. As long as they’re growing in height and maintaining their energy levels, their weight will balance out when they’re ready. Focus on keeping mealtimes positive, offer nutritious snacks frequently, and add extra calories whenever you’re able to. With your encouragement and patience, their appetite will grow.

When to Seek Medical Advice for Slow Weight Gain

If your child isn’t gaining weight at the expected rate, it’s a good idea to talk to their pediatrician. While every child grows at their own pace, there are some signs that may indicate a need for medical evaluation.

  • Your child’s growth seems to have slowed or plateaued over the last 3-6 months. For infants, this could mean gaining less than an ounce per day or having only one or two wet diapers. For kids and teens, little to no weight gain over several months could be a concern.
  • Your child seems very irritable, lethargic or less active. A decrease in appetite or interest in eating can sometimes accompany a slowdown in growth. If your child doesn’t seem to be acting like themselves, it’s best to have them checked out.
  • Your child is dropping percentiles in weight and height. While staying in the same percentile channel is normal, dropping percentiles over time could indicate a growth issue and warrants an exam.
  • There are underlying health issues like chronic medical conditions, gastrointestinal problems or metabolic disorders. Conditions like gastroesophageal reflux, cystic fibrosis or hypothyroidism can sometimes contribute to poor growth and require diagnosis and treatment.
  • Dietary issues are preventing adequate calorie or nutrient intake. If your child has a very limited diet or restricted calorie intake due to feeding difficulties or intolerances, it’s important to get guidance from your doctor on appropriate interventions and next steps to support growth.
  • There are psychosocial issues impacting your child’s growth. In some cases, a child’s home environment, relationships or emotional state can influence growth. Speaking to a pediatrician or counselor can help determine if any interventions are needed.

The most important thing is not to delay in contacting your child’s doctor if you have ongoing concerns about their growth or development. While many children do gain weight and height at their own pace, it’s always best to rule out any possible underlying issues by having your child evaluated. Early diagnosis and treatment of growth problems leads to the best outcome, so don’t hesitate to speak up if you think something seems off.

FAQ on Child Not Gaining Weight but Growing in Height

As a parent, it’s normal to have questions and concerns if your child seems to be gaining height but not putting on weight at the same rate. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about kids who are growing taller but staying slim.

Is my child underweight or just naturally thin?

Some children are naturally petite or lean. If your child seems otherwise healthy, is active, and eats a balanced diet, they may just have a fast metabolism or lean body type. However, if they seem listless, get sick often, or aren’t developing properly, they could be underweight and you should consult their pediatrician.

Should I try to get my child to eat more?

It’s a good idea to make sure your child is eating a balanced, nutritious diet with enough calories and nutrients to support healthy growth. Offer your child healthy snacks and meals frequently throughout the day. You can also try adding extras to meals like butter, avocado, cheese, nut butters or smoothies to increase calories. However, avoid forcing your child to eat if they don’t want to. This could lead to unhealthy habits and relationship with food.

How much should my child weigh?

There are growth charts that show the typical weight ranges for children of different ages. However, every child grows at their own pace. The most important thing is that your child seems happy, active and is following a steady growth curve, even if on the slimmer side of the normal range. Talk to your child’s doctor if you have concerns about their growth or development.

Should I give my child nutritional supplements?

Only under the guidance of your child’s doctor. In some cases, supplements or smoothies with protein powder, nut butters or oils may help. But too many supplements can be unhealthy and supplements are not regulated for safety and efficacy like foods and drugs. Focus first on calorie-rich whole foods before turning to supplements.

The most important things are that your child seems healthy, active and is growing steadily over time. While being underweight can be a cause for concern, every child’s growth is different. Talk to your pediatrician if you have worries, but also try to accept your child as they are and support them in developing a healthy relationship with food and their body.


So there you have it. While it can definitely be alarming to see your child shooting up in height but not packing on the pounds, try not to panic. Kids all grow at their own pace, and as long as your pediatrician isn’t concerned and your child seems otherwise healthy and happy, they’re probably just fine. Focus on offering nutritious meals, limiting distractions during mealtimes, and making eating an enjoyable experience. Their weight will catch up when the time is right. Every child is different, so avoid comparing your kid to others and appreciate them for who they are. Their growth will even out, and before you know it, you’ll be wondering where the time went and missing these early years. For now, just enjoy this stage – your little one won’t be little for long!