The Ideal Newborn Weight Gain
The concept of “newborn weight gain” has been bugging moms for a long long time now.
If your mother-in-law says you have not been feeding the baby well, or if you keep on comparing your baby’s newborn weight gain with your best friend’s, or your colleague believes that your baby is not outgrowing his clothes for quite some time now, then STOP! Stop focusing on what other people say. To be on the safe side , check the baby milestones chart below to see how your little one is growing.
A baby’s birth weight depends upon many factors including the mother’s health and diet, genes and family structure. It is also interesting to note that the babies born in Asia will have a different average birth weight than those born in the Europe or Africa. Upon discharge time, the newborn sheds off a couple of pounds that was generally due to swelling at the time of birth.
Use the information below as a general comparison only. If you feel your baby is way behind or is gaining weight too fast, only then you need to consult the doctor. Remember, every child has a different body structure, height and metabolism.
Whats The Average Baby Length
The average length for a full-term baby at birth is 20 inches, however, between 18 and 22 inches is considered normal and healthy, says Dr Cichi. According to the University of Michigan, your babys head will grow at its fastest rate during the first 4 months after birth than at any other time. This increase is the result of rapid brain growth. The average head circumference at birth is roughly 13.5 in. . By the end of the first month, it increases to roughly 15 in. .
Baby Weight Percentiles Explained
The higher the percentile is, the bigger your baby is compared to others of the same age and gender the smaller the percentile is, the smaller your child is.
To track what percentile your baby is in, during the first 2 years your babyâs provider will plot your babyâs weight on growth charts like these:
On baby growth charts, percentiles are marked by curved lines that depict a steady and predictable rate of growth over time. Thereâs no one ideal percentile to be in rather, the goal is for your child to show a fairly predictable pattern of growth.
Here are the percentiles typically shown as curved lines on growth charts to give you an idea of what they mean:
Healthy, well-fed babies typically gain weight at a predictable rate, meaning that if they weigh in at the 50th percentile at 2 months old, they will likely still be in the 50th percentile at 6 months old. However, as mentioned above, there are occasions when your child may not grow at the expected, steady rate.
Keep in mind, your babyâs weight will be checked against her age, as well as against her length to check she is growing proportionately.
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Baby Growth Chart Interpretation
Before you check out the charts to know about your baby weight, you should know how to interpret the growth charts.
In the below Simplified field charts there are 5 percentiles 3% , 15%, 50%, 85%, 97%
The 3rd centile line gives an indication where the lower end of the normal range is actually 3% of normal infants and toddlers will be below the 3rd centile.
The 50th centile is where 50% of the population will sit.The 97th centile gives an indication where the upper end of the normal range is actually 3% of normal infants and toddlers will be above the 97th centile.So anywhere between the 2nd and 98th centiles is appropriate growth.
Lets discuss with an example with image above
Girl Baby As birth weight was 2.7 kg, you can see the above chart it comes under the 15%
After the completion of One year Baby A weighs 7.8 kg
Interpretation I would say Baby A has a normal growth and weight gain as she has followed the percentile line.
See the below chart, this is a chart from WHO. So you can plot the weight according to age and see if your baby is following the line, So if I plot for Baby A , she follows the 15% percentile closely which is good. A minor deviation is not considered significant.
When should you be concerned ?
For example if Baby As weight is 5.8 kg on completion of 1 year, I would be seriously worried and that warrants a complete nutritional and developmental check up.
What Are The Percentiles
The baby growth cart shows which percentile your child is in compared with others of the same age and gender. Percentiles are shown as curved lines. For example, if your child is in the 70th percentile for length-for-age, this means 30 percent of babies the same age and gender are longer, and 70 percent are shorter.
But, this one point doesn’t provide the complete picture. Your provider will assess several values over time to see the trend of how your child is growing in comparison to the average growth curve shown on the chart.
Try not to get too focused on a single number. There is a wide range of healthy sizes and lengths, and many factors influence your childâs growth, including genetics, environmental factors, nutrition, activity levels, and health problems. When babies have growth spurts also varies. For example, breastfed and formula-fed babies grow in slightly different patterns. Breastfed babies typically put on weight more slowly than formula-fed babies, and formula-fed infants typically go through a growth spurt and gain weight more quickly after 3 months of age. In terms of weight, the normal growth rate for a baby is to double in weight by 5 or 6 months and triple it by the time sheâs 1 year old. Your pediatrician is the best person to explain whether your child is on track.
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Baby Weight Chart: Whats The Average Weight For A Newborn
Find out the average baby weight for your child by using our baby weight chart.
Every baby is unique and each childs weight and length will differ, but there are some factors that can contribute to how much your baby weighs, such as genetics and the substance of their food which can depend on the mothers diet. If you yourself were a bigger baby, theres a chance your little one is more likely to be bigger too. And if you ensure youre eating plenty of nutrients, your breast milk will have all the ingredients to help your baby grow as big and strong as possible.
In a recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology, researchers from the University of Bristol concluded that avoiding alcohol completely throughout pregnancy will also help babies to reach a healthy birth weight even before they are born.
The first thing babies do on their pattern of growth after birth is shrink. It takes a while for your newborn to get used to drinking milk rather than getting food through the placenta , which means they can lose up to 10 per cent of their weight in the days following birth.
But by about 10 days old, your baby should start to put it on again.
Average Doesn’t Mean Normal
Any number between the fifth percentile and the 95th is considered “normal.” So don’t get hung up on 50th percentile averages.
It’s important to keep in mind that one measurement neither predicts how your baby will grow nor does it necessarily suggest a growth problem. As long as your baby is growing steadily and consistently, there’s usually nothing to worry about.
Not to mention, there are lots of factors that affect the growth of healthy growing babies. For example, whether you decide to breast- or bottlefeed will influence your baby’s rate of growth in the beginning. Exclusively breastfed babies typically gain weight faster in the first two months of life compared with formula-fed babies. But these infants also tend to grow less rapidly than their formula-fed peers through about 1 year. Ultimately, however, neither breast- or formula-feeding has a long-term effect on a child’s growth.
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Why Is My Baby Big
A baby may be large at birth due to genetic factors, the mother’s health or, in rare cases, a medical condition that causes the fetus to grow too quickly.
Several factors can contribute to large birth weight. For example:
- the baby’s parents’ height and stature
- if the baby is a boy
- having older siblings
- a previous pregnancy in which the baby was large
- being overdue by more than 2 weeks
- if the mother has diabetes during pregnancy
- if the mother gains a lot of weight during pregnancy or is obese
- if the mother is aged 30 or older
In some cases, larger-than-normal birth weight doesn’t have a clear cause and can’t be explained.
Issues With The Balance Of Labor
People may experience an imbalance of labor when one caregiver takes sole responsibility for feeding the baby.
Infants eat many times each day, and this can leave the person who is breastfeeding with very little time.
Pumping milk is the better choice compared to formula, but it does not offer as many health and immune system benefits.
Some drawbacks of pumping breast milk include:
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Tracking Infant Growth: Average Baby Weight And Height By Month
Get informed on baby growth averages for every month, but keep in mind: Whether your little one is in the top or bottom percentile, your baby is probably doing just fine.
While newborns vary in size and shape as much as adults do, full-term babies tend, on average, to weigh between 5 pounds, 11 ounces and 8 pounds, 6 ounces. They’re usually between 19 and 21 inches long, with a head circumference of about 13 1/2 inches.
Your baby is more likely to be on the larger side at birth if:
- You and your partner are larger than average
- Your baby is a boy
- You developed gestational diabetes during pregnancy
- Your baby was overdue
Your baby is more likely to be on the smaller side at birth if:
- You and your partner are smaller than average
- Your baby is a girl
- You suffered from high blood pressure or asthma during pregnancy
- You had poor nutrition habits during pregnancy
- You smoked, drank, or used drugs during pregnancy
- You gave birth to multiples
As you can see, there are many contributors to birth size. Thus, it’s not possible to accurately predict childhood or adult size from how big or small your baby was at birth. A tiny newborn won’t necessarily be a petite adult, and a large baby isn’t guaranteed to grow up to be a football player.
What Should You Do If Youre Concerned About Your Babys Health
If youre concerned that your baby is underweight or overweight, talk to their doctor. They can show you your babys rate of growth and, if necessary, work with you on a nutritional therapy plan. This type of plan can help you determine the number of feedings you should supply per day.
If your baby is having a difficult time gaining weight and your supply of breast milk is low, your doctor may recommend to supplement breast milk with formula. Its usually recommended to wait until your baby is 6 months old to start solids, like rice cereal or purees.
If your baby is having trouble suckling, consider working with a lactation consultant. They can help you find comfortable positions to hold your baby and provide suggestions and support to make breastfeeding successful for you and your baby.
There are also suckling exercises you can try that may help them take your breast or a bottle more readily. Examples include massaging your babys chin or tapping on their lips.
One way to determine if your baby is taking in enough nutrition is to monitor the number of bowel movements and wet diapers they produce daily:
- Newborns may have as few as one or two wet diapers daily and produce stool thats very black in color.
- Infants and babies who are 1 to 2 months old may produce between four and six wet diapers daily and have three or more bowel movements each day.
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Who Child Growth Standard Percentile Table
These are simplified field tables for easy use and interpretation.You can view and download charts from the WHO Website as well.
What to do if your Baby is Underweight
If your baby is indeed underweight, its a good idea to get him checked out by a pediatrician to rule out any medical problems. If everything is fine, then its basically a problem with nutrition. Babies who cant latch on properly give up sucking after a while, which means that hes probably not getting the richer hind milk from your breast. When feeding a baby above 6 months of age, high calorie healthy foods like bananas rather than unhealthy options like ice cream. Click this link to know about the Weight gaining Foods For Babies.
It is important to remember that if youve had a premature baby or multiples, the standard numbers may not apply, and its best to consult your pediatrician in such cases. In any case, these numbers are not set in stone and will vary from baby to baby. Even siblings can show different patterns in gaining weight it doesnt matter as long as the baby is healthy, active and developing normally otherwise. So as I mentioned earlier, dont obsess with the scale, just relax and enjoy your baby!
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The 411 On Newborn Weight Loss
Nearly all babies lose some weight shortly after birth. This is even more common for breastfed babies. It is normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their birth weight in the first week of life. This means that if your baby was 3kg at birth , then it is normal for them to lose 300 grams in the first week of life. This is a natural occurrence since, while in the womb, your baby had regular meals delivered to him via his umbilical cord. After birth, he needs to figure out how to feed and eat while your body also has to figure out how to make milk which can take several days. Combining these two factors leads to a natural and expected weight loss shortly after birth in most babies.
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