What is it?

Failure to thrive is a term usually referring to an infant or a child who does not gain weight, according to the weight charts. Reasons for failure to thrive include organic and non organic conditions. Organic conditions may include gastrointestinal problems that cause the infant not to be able to take in nutrients from food or formula. Non organic conditions usually derive from the way the baby is taken care of and fed. Lack of food may be due to poverty, poor understanding of feeding techniques, improperly prepared formula and inadequate supply of breast milk.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Pediatric failure to gain weight

Signs & symptoms

Failure to thrive symptoms may include poor sucking, hard to feed baby or infant, vomiting, diarrhea, a sleepy baby or a baby that does not sleep enough, weak cry, stiff or hypotonic muscles, developmental delay,and apathetic baby.


Diagnosis of failure to thrive starts with thorough medical history and questioning of the parents regarding the baby’s feeding. Further exams may be done in order to evaluate the cause for FTT, including blood work or imaging tests. Frequent weight monitoring is suggested.


Failure to thrive treatment includes making sure the baby gets sufficient nutrition, treating the underlying disorder and long term social support.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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