10 Newborn Baby Weight Hacks, Ideal Weight & Right Way to Measure
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Mar 21, 2020
Before I begin, I wish to reiterate that every baby is unique and so is his or her growth chart. That being said, doctors across the world measure the newborn baby weight as per designated parameters to keep a track of how well they are growing. Being a general indicator of wellness and good health, growth is essentially linked to being healthy. And one such indicator of a baby growing well and being healthy is baby weight. After birth, there are numerous ways to keep your baby's weight in check and many things that can be done to make sure your baby is growing into a healthy individual.
How Is A Baby's Weight Measured?
Baby weight is a significant way to measure how she is growing and progressing during the course of pregnancy and even after birth. It also holds significance since parents and doctors can take immediate action if something is amiss. Most pediatricians measure the growth of a baby between the regular appointments for the first year, with a lot of focus in the first 6 months. Weights are recorded and become a guide to how a baby is growing individually. It must, however, be noted that these measurements are relevant only to individual babies, and should not be used for comparisons. A steady weight gain between appointments is just what the doctor is looking for.
Must-Know Important Facts About Baby Weight
When it comes to a growing baby, the way the needle on the weighing machine moves, can change the way we perceive our children. But is that all that there is about children's weight? Here we collect 10 important points that
- Start Early: Your baby's birth weight is largely dependent on you. The weight of a woman throughout her life is more important than just the pregnancy per se. So a well-balanced diet, even before conception, helps in having a healthy weight baby. This is why pre-conception planning has assumed a lot of importance lately
- Weight Gain is Maximum in the Last Stretch: Many women worry when they do not gain a lot of weight during their first and second trimesters of pregnancy. However, unless your doctors tell you to fret, keep those anxieties away. The maximum weight gain of a fetus is in the last trimester, most likely in the 8th and 9th month. If the fetus is found to be lesser than average weight during an ultrasound scan, mothers are advised to add certain foods to their pregnancy diet to increase baby weight. A pregnant mother should focus on having a well-balanced diet in these months to have a healthy baby
- The Average Weight of Indian Babies: The average weight of an Indian infant, which is considered healthy, is between 2.7 to 2.9 kgs. The average weight gain is highest during the first three months, after birth. It is approximately 200 grams per week. The world health organization terms any baby weighing less than 2.5 kgs as underweight babies, no matter when they are born
- The Formula Makes Babies Chubbier: Formula-fed infants tend to have a higher weight gain as compared to breastmilk fed infants. Experts believe that this is because of the lack of self-regulation, according to the hunger (that is there in breastfeeding). Where breastfeeding is based on demand-supply, in a formula the child will drink as much as served to him possibly. But this is not always a healthy situation. Chubby infants are necessarily not healthy
- Every Child is Unique: Every child starts with different weight and has her own growth rate. It is not absolute body weight, at different ages, but her growth pattern which is more important. The child should be gaining weight over a period of time
- Weight Gain Timelines: An infant, getting optimum nutrition would double her birth weight by the age of 5 months and triple her birth weight by the age of one year. From birth till about 6 months, babies gain about 140 to 200 gms every week. After 6 months to their first birthday, babies gain 85 to 140 gms every week
- Second-year Weight Gain: During the second year, weight gain is slower. The total weight gain for the entire year is 2 kgs to 2.5 kgs. In the third year, the weight gain further drops to 1.5 kgs to 2 kgs for the entire year
- Different for different babies: There is no fixed weight which can be said as an ideal weight or a healthy weight. A healthy weight for each child is individual, within the standard ranges (+/- 10%). For e.g., if for a 2-year-old boy's standard weight is 12.5 kgs, we accept the range of 11.25 kgs to 13.75 kgs, which is +/-10% of 12.5 as the healthy weight
- Weight is not the only growth indicator: That weight gain is not the only indicator of the growth of the child. Height gain is an equally important growth indicator of the child. So, at times if your child is not gaining much weight but gaining good height, it means they are doing well. There is always a correlation in growth and babies do have times when they do not gain much weight and may even lose on a few grams
- Do not make your child obese: Do It is very important that a child should not be obese. If a child becomes obese or overweight in childhood itself, the chances of becoming obese or overweight as an adult are high. This happens because the number of fat cells becomes higher in the child's body. If the number of fat cells increases during childhood itself, then it becomes difficult to reduce the number of these fat cells later in adult life. This predisposes the child to obesity. [Read - Food to Increase Baby Weight in Pregnancy]
What Should be The Average Baby Weight At Birth?
A full-term baby born between 37 weeks and 40 weeks can weigh anywhere between 2.7–4.1 kg and the worldwide average is 3.5 kg. Babies who weigh less than 2.5 kg, irrespective of when they are born are termed as low birth-weight babies. Twins and triplets are often born prematurely and weigh under 2.5 kgs. Babies who weigh 4 kg or above at birth are referred to as macrosomia and are considered heavier than normal. Large babies are born to mothers who have gestational diabetes, are obese or gained more than the recommended weight during pregnancy. Babies who are born two weeks after their due date may also be heavier than normal.
What Is Normal Newborn Baby Weight In India?
A baby's birth weight can vary greatly, and is dependent on the mother's weight – pre-pregnancy and gain through the gestation period as well as the nutrition that she takes in. That is why the pregnancy diet assumes a lot of importance. Babies come in all sizes, with varied growth matrices. In India, a baby weighing 2.5 kg to 3.1 kg is considered close to ideal, considering the baby is full term. Babies who weigh less than 2.5 kg are termed as low birth weight babies as per the World Health Organization (WHO).
Why Newborn Baby Weight Loss?
As a parent, you might be taken by surprise when your baby is weighed on his first appointment after getting discharged from the hospital. The baby weight would have dropped by about 5% to 10% from her birth weight. Now this happens with most of the babies at large and is due to the loss of fluids from the body. As the baby feeds less initially, she does not gain those lost grams immediately, but within about 2 weeks time, when she should be back to her birth weight, if not above it. So, essentially, there should not be a cause to worry when your newborn baby drops a bit of her weight after going home.
The best way to monitor weight is growth monitoring chart. Here, weight against age is plotted on a graph. This chart has preset graphs indicating normal, under or overweight against age. When periodically weight is plotted against the age of the child, we get to know about the correct growth pattern of the child. If the child is steadily gaining weight, though slowly, the curve is normal. You can get this chart from your pediatrician.
1. who.int › Weight-for-age - World Health Organization
2. medicalnewstoday.com › Average baby weight - Medical News Today
3. kidshealth.org › Your Newborn's Growth (for Parents) - KidsHealth
4. cdc.gov › Data Table of Infant Weight-for-age Charts - CDC
5. healthychildren.org › Tracking Your Baby's Weight and Measurements - Healthy Children
| Sep 11, 2015
@Kamna, Hi There is no need to worry. Though your baby was born with lower weight than average her growth and weight gain is good. According to norms her she must have tripled her birth weight that is 5. 4 kgs and in second year average weight gain for entire year is 2. 5 kgs maximum, which is 7. 9 kgs. So at 21 months your daughter is 9 kgs.
| Sep 11, 2015
Very nice article. My baby was born at 2. 6kg and now at 7. 5 months he weighs 7. 7kg. He is very tall so looks very thin. He had some cough for 10 days, wherein he lost 200grams. Is it something to worry about? I read babies should never lose weight. He is on formula and eats solids 3x.
| Sep 11, 2015
Hi puja, your article is a real mental ice breaker. Every time my 19 month old son becomes sick my heart will go for a toss not just for reviving him of the illness but on the dilemma how to get his weight back on track. His birth weight was 3kg and as i weighed him on his19th month he is 9. 9kg. Hope that is an average weight for this age group and i wouldn have to worry to the extent my neighbours and relatives term my baby as lean and skinny:(
| Sep 18, 2015
Hi !! My 2. 5 month baby has a reflux problem .he is on breastfeeding and formula both as he does not gain enough weight on breastfeed alone. he has cold since 10 days. He has not gained enough weight in last 2 weeks ... Plz help regarding what to do with cold n also about weight gain.. He was born 3. 2 kg and is 5 kg right now
| Sep 21, 2015
@Venkata, Hi, according to his birth weight, his weight seems okay for his age. To helps him increase his weight give more of these foods, whole milk, paneer, cheese, eggs/fish/poultry (if non vegeetarian habits), dals, beans, powdered almonds, walnuts, dates, raisins, banana, mango , cheeku, potato, sweet potato etc.
| Sep 23, 2015
Hi, m a new mommy to this blog... my son is nw 4. 5 mnths old... wn hd a last follow up in d mnth of 3. 5 he was 5. 76kgs... his birth weight was 3. 24... i really fl dt my son is gaining weight sometimes n at times fl dt he lost his weight wn i take him in hands.... als frm last week seems dt my milk production is low.... kindly help...
| Sep 28, 2015
A very informative article. Thanks for sharing. My daughter with birth weight 3. 14 gained 500gms in one week. After one month she was 5. 17 kg. 2kg in a month is it normal? She has completed her 2nd month now and she seems to reduced her weight. Please tell me is it normal or not. What is to be done. She is active, but she has reduced her feed time. Need your valuable suggestions. Thanks.
| Oct 01, 2015
Hi... my son Hridaan is 11 month old... His birth weight was 2. 250kg.. and now his weight is 7. 5. is he healthy? I give him all kinds of food and fruitstuff and breastfeeding for 3 to 4 times. .still he doesn't gain wt so much. ..but he is very active. ..
| Oct 14, 2015
Hi All... As a mom of five children, youngest one is 2. 3yrs, my request to all young mothers out there, please don't worry abt baby's weight as long as they are active. My older son was 2. 5kg at birth, 9kgs at age 1. He was consistently low weight until he was 11yrs, but always active. Now at 14yrs he is at a healthy weight of 50kgs, still active. The story is the same for the other four of them.
| Oct 16, 2015
That's a great information for few worrisome & negative mothers who constantly feel their daughter/son is underweight even when they are going well according to the length-weight growth matrix! I hope ignorance of negative mothers is defeated by such great resourceful articles! The chart for everyone's reference (birth to 36 months), I am not sure if it will be according to Indian standards, experts please verify! Girls : http://goo.gl/I4JQgk Boys: http://goo.gl/VHqnR0
| Oct 21, 2015
Hi, as mentioned in the blog, there is no fixed weight for infants but a range of weight. Similarly, absolute weight is not important but a baby should be gaining weight over a period of time. So if your baby is gaining, sometimes at slower or faster pace, is at double her birth weight at around 5 months and triple her birth weight at 1 year, the baby is doing fine. It could be little over or under this range but you should not worry.
| Dec 05, 2015
@arshita, @punya- you may read the following blog to help in weight gain. https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/a-guide-to-infant-weight-gain/622
| Dec 24, 2015
Thanks for the information.. It really helps... My child is totally breast fed so she looks thin but her weight is increasing she is of 3. 5 months now...