Healthy Weight Gain For Baby Is Crucial

When an infant is born, the mother, especially a first-time mother, will be curious to know How Much Weight Should Baby Gain at its various growth stages. Such mothers have several questions that they need answers to, as they prepare to receive their newborns.

Some of these questions are; the ideal weight of the baby as at birth, the baby’s weight gain by weeks, the baby’s height and weight gain by months, recommended foods to eat while breastfeeding, and methods of increasing the baby’s weight among others. Once the mother manages to answer all these questions, then she is said to have gained extensive knowledge on what to expect from the baby’s weight.

Mothers are advised to seek their medical practitioner’s advice, whenever they notice anything amiss with their babies’ weight gain progress. This article will readily give answers to the question of how much weight should baby gain?

Ideal weight for new born

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The ideal weight of a baby at birth ranges between 5lbs and 10lbs. The weight of a newborn is surrounded by several factors. Some of the factors surrounding a baby’s weight at birth are; gender, birth order, the mother’s health and nutrition during the gestation period, the number of babies born, and the gestational age.

Boys are born slightly heavier than girls while the first children are mostly born lighter than their younger siblings. In cases where the mother suffered poor health or indulged in practices such as smoking or consuming alcohol in large amounts during pregnancy, the baby will have a weight lower than the ideal one at birth.

If the mother gives birth prematurely, her baby will be weighing less than the expected weight at birth. Multiple babies born of the same mother at once, for instance, twins or triplets, will have a lower weight than a singleton.

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Toddler Meal Plan

Average weight gain by weeks

A healthy baby will shed quite a bit of its weight post-partum. This is because, after birth, the baby will lose Vernix caseosa”. This is a protective coating looking like a fluid that babies are born with and that dries up a few hours after birth. However, the baby will regain the lost weight in a window period of about a fortnight.

Before seeking to know how much weight a should baby gain by average, the mother is supposed to appreciate the fact that her baby is an individual and will, therefore gain weight at a unique rate. Generally, a baby’s weight in the first few weeks will be tracked by the appointed child health nurse during the pre-natal appointments.

This tracking will help to access the baby’s weight gain by weeks. Mostly, newborns’ weight gain ranges between 150g and 200g weekly in the first 0 to 12 weeks. The weight gain range in the next 12 weeks reduces to between 100g and 150g. By the time the baby is 25 weeks old, its weight gain range is between 70g to 90g weekly. In their first weeks, babies experience growth spurts. This rapid growth lasts for 2 days to 1 week.

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Height and weight gain by months

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At one month, babies are more often not sleepy. It is at this period that they start developing regular feeding patterns. At one month, they gain an average of a pound, over their regained weight after birth. At 6 months, the baby’s weight will mostly be averaging at 16 pounds to 17 pounds.

For the first six months, the baby gains an average weight of about one pound monthly. By the time the baby is 12 months old, its weight gain has slowed down. It is important to note that at 5 or 6 months, a baby’s weight is two times the weight it had at birth. Six months later, when the baby is one year old, its weight then will roughly be 3 times the weight it had at birth.

Generally, the baby increases its length by an inch, monthly, for the first six months. This growth rate reduces to about 0.5 inches for the next 6 months. Boys are normally slightly taller than girls, with the former having an average length of about 26.5 inches and the latter 25.75 inches, at 6 months.

Just like weight, there are factors that determine a baby’s height gain. To begin with, the height of the baby’s close relatives will have the most significant effect on the baby’s height gain. This explains why a tall man will almost always have equally tall children. Other factors are sleep patterns, physical activity, and overall health.

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What should I do to increase the baby’s weight (Breastfeeding Or feeding formula)?

For a long time, there has been a debate seeking to find out whether choosing to feed your baby by breast milk or the formula brings about a difference in how much weight should baby gain. Breast milk contains nutrients that are essential in the growth of the baby. These nutrients are proteins, water, fats, and carbohydrates. The most commonly used baby feeding formulas are made up of purified cow’s milk, vegetable oils, lactose, and casein.

Both breast milk and feeding formulas have major nutrients which are proteins, carbohydrates, and oils. With this, we can conclude that both options, can increase the baby’s weight. However, breastfeeding is most recommended because of various reasons. Some of the reasons are; breastfeeding does not cost a dime and therefore, the mother will be able to breastfeed her baby as frequently as possible.

This will most obviously increase the baby’s weight. Secondly, breast milk contains antibodies that help prevent the baby from getting infections frequently. A healthy baby will most definitely increase its weight because it is feeding properly. A baby will easily digest breast milk as compared to feeding formula, or foods to help baby gain weight, thus preventing scenarios such as constipation and a gassed stomach. A mother having an overabundant supply of breast milk will most definitely increase the baby’s weight.

Learn More About Healthy Growth For Baby

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my baby losing weight after birth?

There are two main reasons as to why your baby might be losing weight after birth. The first reason is that the baby does not need a lot of food, then. Secondly, babies lose weight after birth because the protective fluid they were born with, dries up hours after birth

Can a baby gain too much weight?

Yes. Several reasons lead to a baby gaining too much weight. The first reason is that you may be breastfeeding your baby with feeding formula which has many calories leading to too much weight. Introducing solid foods to the baby’s diet before six months can lead to baby gaining too much weight.

What I eat while breastfeeding?

A breastfeeding mother needs to check on what she eats while breastfeeding; it’s advised that she eats a balanced diet. She also needs to abstain or take some foods in moderation. This is because whatever the mother eats gets into her bloodstream and therefore the baby will take it while breastfeeding.

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Final Thoughts

How much weight should baby gain is a broad topic and one that expectant mothers need to be conversant with because the baby’s weight gain is mostly dependent on them. For instance, the mother’s behavior during the gestation period greatly affects the baby’s weight at birth, while her behavior in terms of nutrition will affect how much weight the baby gains at different intervals, in cases where the mother is breastfeeding her child.

A baby’s weight gain is dependent on several other factors which will more often than not be different for different babies. Therefore, different babies will have very different growth rates.

A baby losing weight is a major concern for most mothers but this should not be a cause for alarm as such is bound to happen. In conclusion, mothers should not hesitate to seek a medical practitioner’s help when their babies seem not to be gaining weight as is expected.

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