Everything you need to know about your baby’s weight

New moms often worry about their baby’s weight and wonder whether their child's weight was normal at birth and ask about foods that help increase the baby’s weight. They ask questions like: what is the average baby's weight? Is the baby’s weight normal on the baby weight chart? And what are the signs of weight gain in infants? Answers to these questions and more can be found in this article

Dr. Marwa Yahfouf
Published on:Mar 23rd 2022 |Updated on:Apr 10th 2024
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 What is the normal weight for a newborn?

Usually, a baby born at full term, meaning after the 38th week of pregnancy, is between 2.5 Kgs and 3.8 Kgs. A newborn weighing less than two kilos is considered underweight and might need to go into the incubator as he won’t be able to adjust his body's temperature without interventions. A newborn baby weighing more than four kilos is considered overweight, is more is at risk of having low blood sugar after birth, as well as more risk of getting stuck in the birth canal. Premature babies born before the 38th week of pregnancy have different weights than full-term babies.

What is the average baby weight gain?

Mothers often wonder how much weight babies lose after birth. In the first week after birth, babies lose about 10% of their birth weight. This weight loss is due to the loss of the extra water retained in the infant’s body, or the insufficiency in breastfeeding at this stage, which is normal and not alarming. Two weeks after birth the baby will gain between 20 to 30 Grams a day. This allows the baby to almost double his birth weight at six months of age and triple it by their first birthday. This rate declines with time, and instead of tracking grams and kilos the pediatrician tracks the baby’s overall growth to make sure it is normal and that the baby stays within the same percentile. Therefore, it is very important to always go to the same pediatrician to keep a steady track of the baby’s growth.

Signs of baby’s weight gain

1-Visible signs

Such as the baby’s growth, which can be seen in overgrowing clothes and diapers, and becoming heavier. In addition to the chubby cheeks and thighs.

2-Physical signs

The most important of these signs is the number of wet diapers and stools. Which is something different from one child to another, the important thing is to have consistency and continuous growth without any regressions.

When should a newborn see the pediatrician?

It is very important to take the newborn to see his doctor one week after his birth to check on his weight and to check on the levels of Jaundice if the baby developed it. The next visit should be during the second week after birth, to weigh the baby and make sure the lost weight was restored. Another visit is recommended when the baby is one month old to track his weight and growth. The recommended vaccines for infants are given at two months, four months, and six months, these are perfect occasions to visit the doctor and have the baby weighed and checked. These are the recommended visits if the baby is not facing any health issues, and if the parents don’t have any questions or concerns that need to talk to the doctor about.

Are there quick ways to increase a baby’s weight?

I don’t recommend overfeeding babies, I recommend satisfying the baby’s needs from milk and solids, whether these needs meet our expectations or not. If the infant is spitting the milk after feeding him more than he needs, this is considered overfeeding which is not recommended since it is harmful to the child’s health. Studies have shown that not responding to the infant's satiety, creates a feeling that they are not in control of their satiety, which makes them prone to childhood and adolescent obesity. It is essential that to respond to a child’s satiety whether the baby feels full fast or needs to feed every hour then his needs must be fulfilled as well.

Other factors affecting the baby’s weight

-Newborn sleep affects his weight, not getting enough sleep leads to poor weight gain in infants.

-Biological factors, such as digestive problems and other diseases.

-Genetics; if the parents are not overweight and are somehow petite in size, it is only normal that the baby’s weight is moderate as well. The important health indicator is ranking within the normal percentiles on the baby growth chart which ranges from the 5th

percentile to the 95th percentile.

Breastfeeding and Baby’s weight

Breastfeeding moms are often convinced that their milk is not enough, especially if their babies don’t have chubby cheeks and thighs, so they quickly rush into supplementing with formula. The popular belief was that formula contains more calories than breast milk and this will lead to a quick gain in the infants’ weight. But the fact is formula is made to simulate and resemble breast milk to a great extent, hence the similarity in the number of calories in both kinds of milk. The differences rest in the flow of milk and the effort put in by the baby while feeding. Breastfed babies put a great effort while feeding to get the milk they need; they might feel tired and stop when full. While bottle-fed babies have milk easily poured hence the larger amount of milk they get. But in this case, there is a risk of overfeeding, which again makes breastfeeding more advantageous.

Foods that increase baby’s weight

It is imperative to know that food during the first year of the baby’s life has one goal: to develop and widen the baby’s palate, by introducing him to different structures and flavors of foods. And the main source of feeding remains the milk, whether breast milk or formula. High-calorie foods help increase the baby’s weight, but the main focus should remain on giving them milk.

Check out Omooma: a source as trusted as your mother

Dr. Marwa YahfoufPediatrician

Dr.Marwa is a pediatrician, She received her Doctor in Medicine degree from the American University of Beirut. Then she completed her pediatric residency at Kansas University School of Medicine. She is an American board-certified pediatrician. Doctor Marwa currently practices at Clemenceau medical center in Dubai. With many years of experience in pediatric medicine, Dr.Marwa considers herself to be the child's advocate and the parent's friend. She has a great passion for children’s health and a special interest in general pediatrics and preventive care. In addition to protecting children from disease through vaccines. Dr.Marwa applies the latest medical recommendations, based on the most recent medical research and studies. To ensure offering the best care for her little patients, and to oversee children’s health and growth positively.

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