4 year old too skinny


Old 01-27-07, 05:30 PM
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4 year old too skinny

I have a 4 year old daughter who is healthy and very active. I share joint custody with her mother and we each have equal visitation. About a month ago her Mom pulled her from the daycare/preschool she had her in 11 hours a day during her visitation. Now my daughter stays home with her moms boyfriend while she is at work.(she works 24 hour shifts) Recently I am really concerned about how skinny she is getting. I can feel and see every rib and back bone stick out. It has become very hard to get her to eat anything when she is here. Her Mom never lets her eat anything sweet. She says Mom feeds her only salads and yogurt or pb any j she complains of her tummy hurting all the time. she never sleeps a whole night through anymore. I want to make sure I am feeding her right when she is with me. Any daily menu idea's would be helpful. I filed a motion for right of first refusal to a baby-sitter since she works such long hours at a time. also the boyfriend is a heavy drinker which concerns me. In a few months we revisit the custody situation due to her starting school. Recently to my surprise I learned her Mom is planning to home school her. I don't know the pros and cons or the courts opinion on home schooling. I do know it would deprive her from social interaction with other kids. Worst of all her Mom turns everything around on me. lately she said "look at your daughter, she tells me how you refuse to feed her anything," or" well I have to homeschool her because you didn't want her in daycare." I didn't like the 11 hour a day part not the preschool part. Also she has a problem with her feet. I took her to the doctors and got a referral to a podiatrist her Mom refuses to let me take her. now she is going for full custody because I took her to the doctors without her Mom, I put her in a 5 hour a week preschool program[which she loves] without her knowing first. Worse of all the court always sides with her because I am a male. Also in a few weeks we are expecting A baby girl . I would like the girls to grow up together.But her mom hates that she will have a sister here. Her mom never thinks of how she hurts her daughter or does what is in her best interest. She only tries to hurt me but who is really getting hurt here. any advise would greatly help. Thanks
Old 01-27-07, 06:34 PM
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The weight loss is a concern. Did the doctor do a complete physical examination? Were there any signs of physical abuse? Sexual abuse? Get a second opinion from another pediatrician. If there are problems with the daughter's feet that need medical care and the mother refuses to seek proper medical care, then this could be considered neglect.

Until a physician rules out any underlying health issues, all you can do is to provide your daughter with a nutritious meal in a happy, secure environment when with you. If she is hungry, she will eat.

"She (daughter) says Mom feeds her only salads and yogurt or pb any j she complains of her tummy hurting all the time. she never sleeps a whole night through anymore." "She (mother) said "look at your daughter, she tells me how you refuse to feed her anything." Parents use kids as weapons, and kids quickly learn what they can say or do that gets the parents dancing their dysfunctional dance step.

You may need to get social services involved. You may also need to get your daughter evaluated by a counselor to determine if there are any signs of physical or mental abuse.

"In a few months we revisit the custody situation..." Sounds like you have some work to do before you go and you need an attorney. If you have joint custody, you may have a say in schooling, religious upbringing, and medical care. These issues can be hopefully worked out at the custody hearing. If you are a non-custodial parent, about all you get is visitation. Custody laws tend to vary from state to state.
Old 01-28-07, 08:11 AM
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The pediatrician and an attorney are needed. Be prepared, this is likely going to get ugly and expensive.
Old 02-06-07, 08:16 PM
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You definitely need an attorney for both you and your daughter. Also, I would request a home evaluation to make sure that your ex-wife is providing a secure and safe environment for your daughter. Remember, your daughter's best interest is most important here.
Get an Attorney quickly!!!
Good luck and hold her close to your heart
Old 02-09-07, 03:15 AM
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I can't comment on the custody situation or the daycare situation, but, a couple of years ago my daughter, now 7, was having problems gaining weight.

At her annual checkup she was less than 1 percentile for weight. She didn't gain any weight from the time she was 3 to the time she was 6.

She also said she had tummy aches, and often wouldn't eat anything. She certainly wasn't being abused, and there was plenty of food around. We were very frustrated, and would give her anything - junk food, candy, just to get some nourishment into her.

Turns out she had a problem moving things through her system. She was literally full of crap, and there was no room for anything else. Some kids get in the habit of holding their bowel movements either because they are embarrassed or because it hurts. The problem gets worse over time, and everything gets stopped up.

The doctor had us do a "bowel cleansing procedure" and then put her on a daily laxative treatment to keep things moving, and her appetite and weight improved. She is still thin, but she has gained several pounds, and eats much better now.

Good luck, sounds like a challenging situation.
Old 02-23-07, 01:19 PM
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this post and your other post just make me want to cry. what a mess.

my first thought about the stomach pain is that she is probably holding back bowel movements, because when you're 4 years old, you usually are still asking for help wiping after a #2, and look who she's having to ask to help her - some strange OLD GUY who's twice the age of her mom!!! i know i'd hold them back if that's who i had to ask for help. try exploring that avenue. ask her about that.

or maybe you already know that she's wiping herself. anyway, just a thought. (i have a 5 year old who still asks for help wiping, so that's where i'm coming from). but if she doesn't know how to wipe herself, TEACH HER NOW!!! no 55 year old strange guy should be doing that for/to your daughter. teach her to take care of that job herself.

i would also check that guy out & make sure he doesn't have a criminal record of any kind.

as for menu ideas: if she's active, she's probably burning tons of calories, so feed her anything she'll eat (within reason) even if it's the same things over & over! try to have a fruit and/or veggie with lunch & dinner. like my kids dip everything into applesauce (no sugar added kind) - like their chicken nuggets, fish, hot dogs, you name it! they also like bananas & apples, and some canned fruits like manadarin oranges, peach slices, & pear slices. most kids like carrots, green beans, corn, peas, & sweet potatoes. the basic veggies - nothing wierd or creepy like spinach or eggplant, etc. corn on the cob is kinda fun to eat & you can get frozen 1/2 cobs that are a good size. and remember that while she may not like some cooked veggies, she may eat them raw. kids love to DIP food. if you can find a dip she likes, be it Ranch dressing or honey or applesauce or ketchup - let her dip anything she wants into it! chicken nuggets, corn dogs, & fish are favorites. mac and cheese, string cheese, PB&J's, bologna sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches (all using whole wheat bread - and there's some new bread out now that's 100% whole wheat but it's pretty close to tasting like white bread - it's by Sara Lee, called "white bread fans" bread), scrambled eggs.... if she likes milk, serve milk with each meal (even if it's chocolate or strawberry flavored). stay away from blatant empty calorie stuff like soda pop. make sure juices are all 100% juice, not just 10%. white grape juice and apple juice are good & won't stain like purple grape juice will.

also remember that kids go through spurts - they'll have a growth spurt & be tall & skinny, then they chunk up before the next growth spurt, then they're skinny again.....over & over.

good luck & God bless.

P.S. no offense to you guys 55 or over........i just meant that to a 4 year old girl with a 26 year old mom & 30 year old dad, a 55 year old man must seem like a really old grandfather-aged guy. that's all.

Last edited by Annette; 02-23-07 at 02:27 PM.
Old 02-23-07, 02:42 PM
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Stomach aches

I will leave the legal to others, but you may try checking if she is lactose intolerant. This causes constant stomach aches and general aversion to eating. Soya milk, goat's milk or rice milk. I drink soya milk and actually like the taste better, no cheeze, no yogurt, etc.
Old 03-22-07, 07:36 AM
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any progress?

I'm a concerned stay at home dad of 5 year old twins that just came across this forum-first post I read was yours. everyone has given sound advise-

weight gain -comes and goes with growth sprouts

tummy aches-usually coincides with bowel movements, too loose or not enough fiber to make it happen=lots of raisins, grapes, strawberries at every meal or for snacks

food items-let her decide, gives kids control, choices, makes them a part of their own responsibility, more confident-my boy is a struggle, depends on the day-my girl has a appetite that won't quit but both are within 2 lbs of each other? the boy weighing more

potty time-I agree, every day you can, teach her how to wipe herself-most kids seem to want a little privacy with potty trainning or soon after-

follow your instincts as much as you can-talk to your daughter everyday, even on the phone, make sure she knows she can always depend on you for anything-the more she talks to you the more information you actually have, even if it is only hear say-just be careful, do not put any words into her mouth at all, ever-they will haunt you and backfire-YOUR DAUGHTERS HEALTH & SAFETY SHOULD BE YOU MAIN CONCERN AND FOCUS. I've seen grown 40 year olds (who were educated and even worked in social care enviroments) act like children themselves in divorce cases, putting their own children in the middle of their problems.

legal advise and quickly-the best your money can buy and it will cost you-
Its a very thin line here, custody battles and it sounds like your ex might be over the edge all ready allowing her new houseguest to give complete care to her own 4 yr old- again, every state is different-

a criminal record search is a good thing-there is a website produced by "americas most wanted" host that can actually show you where some criminal elements live and work- maybe try to find out where this new beau use to live?

hope all is well and your daughter has started to gain a little weight-

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