Written by Sindhuja Prabhu
One of the first aspects everyone tends to focus on when it comes to a newborn, is their weight. “how much did your baby weigh” is a question you will answer multiple times in the first few weeks. A baby’s weight is an important factor that can tell us about their health. Your newborn’s weight will always be a concern for you as a new mother.
How does one determine if the baby is of the right weight or not? Is there a benchmark to compare the baby’s weight against? What is the ideal range and what happens if your baby does not fit into this range? Find out all about a baby’s weight and more here.
In This Article
We are all different from the day we are born. Newborn babies differ in size and weight. A baby born to tall or big parents can be both heavy and lengthy. Similarly, if the parents are thin or small made, the baby can be too.
On average a newborn can be the size of a winter melon at 37 weeks and a small pumpkin at 40 weeks; weighing roughly between 2.5kg to 4kg. However, babies can be either bigger or smaller than this size at birth. Though in both cases, the baby can be perfectly fine, doctors will pay a little more attention than usual to rule out any complications.
Not really. A tiny baby can be very delicate and difficult to manage. However, the size cannot determine anything. If the baby is more than 4kg or big made, it can complicate the birthing process. In many cases, vaginal delivery may not be possible, resulting in a cesarean section. Sometimes a heavy baby can even indicate other health issues.
The average weight of a baby born between the 37th and the 40th week is roughly anywhere between 2.5kgs to 4 kg. Anything lesser than 2.5kg is considered underweight while more than 4kg is considered a big baby.
As mentioned earlier, there are many factors that can influence this. Just because your newborn does not fit into this size or weight range, does not mean there is anything wrong with them. Unless the doctors have medical reasons, there is nothing to worry about here.
Some of the factors that can affect a newborn baby’s weight are:
In most cases, the size of the parents has a direct impact on the size of the baby. Big-made parents – big baby; small-made parents – small baby. Then again, this is not a hard and fast rule. Sometimes, taller babies can be born to combination or short parents. Genetics plays a major role in deciding the height and weight of a newborn baby.
People from different ethnicities are different in size and weight. The same applies to babies too. However, if both parents are from different ethnicities, one can never guess the size of the baby.
If your baby has to share the uterus with more siblings, it can affect their size and weight. Since the space is limited, the baby’s growth will be too. Such babies pick up after birth and
Usually, the firstborn baby is smaller in size compared to others.
If the mother has suffered gestational hypertension, diabetes, or other ailments, it could lead to a low birth weight baby. Similarly, if the mother was on any drugs or medications, it could lead to higher birth weight baby.
Birth defects and other medical issues can have an impact on the baby’s birth weight.
If there were any complications or an accident during the pregnancy, it can affect the baby’s growth. Sometimes, hormonal injections or medications to ensure the safety of the baby during such events can lead to bigger babies.
All babies lose a little weight after birth and regain it slowly. Since the baby is in the amniotic fluid until they are born, their body absorbs a lot of the liquid.
In the first 2 weeks after birth, babies lose this water weight. Their weight will then increase depending on their feeding pattern.
[Read : Baby Weight Loss After Birth]
Yes, they are perfectly normal. Babies experience a growth spurt every few months. However, this is not identical for all babies. While one baby might experience a growth spurt in the third month, one baby might experience it in the first month itself.
Babies grow in height and gain weight at a faster rate, during this growth spurt. You are most likely to notice this with their clothes. Suddenly they may seem to be outgrowing clothes at a fast rate and then it will slow down again.
It is natural for a newborn to lose some weight in the initial 2 weeks. however, what if they lose too much? How can you manage this? Here, are a few ideas:
It is not medically recommended to start your baby on solid foods or “weight-gaining” foods until the baby is 6 months old. If you want to do otherwise, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor first.
Everyone loves a growing baby. A baby gaining weight can be delightful for the parents. What if the gain is too much? You can manage this excessive weight gain in babies in the following ways.
Your baby’s weight is bound to fluctuate in the first year. One month the weight gain could be steady while in the next month it can be drastic. If your baby is gaining too much weight too fast or losing weight every week, it is time to consult a doctor.
If you notice the following in your baby, you need to consult a doctor immediately.
Your newborns’ weight may worry you. It is necessary to understand that every baby is different and so is their weight. While weight can be an important measuring factor, one should not compare it with other babies’ weights and worry too much.
Yes, it is very normal for a newborn to lose some weight in the first week after birth and regain the weight over the next two weeks. Both the weight loss and the weight gain will be gradual and not very drastic.
A baby should gain anywhere between 500 gm to a kg every month. This will vary depending on the birth weight and feeding pattern.
A healthy baby can lose between 7% to 10% of their birth weight within the first 2 weeks after birth.
A healthy newborn can gain anywhere between 100gm to 200gm every week. Babies on formula milk might gain a little more than those on breast milk.
It is not feasible to check your newborn baby’s weight every day. On average a baby must gain approximately 30gm per day.
Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.
Acrocyanosis in Newborns – What is it, Causes and Symptoms
Developmental Supportive Care For Newborns in NICU by Dr Lathiesh Kumar Kambham
Cot Mobiles For Babies – How it Helps in Baby’s Development
Tickling Babies – When Can You Start and When to Avoid
Itsy Bitsy Spider Rhyme For Babies
Pat a Cake Rhyme For Babies