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The baby’s weight during the first year is a major concern for all mothers. Tracking weight since birth is essential to ensure health and proper development. A mother is usually confused about the healthy weight gain at each stage and whether the baby is under or overweight; people’s comments make things worse for anxious moms.
According to The World Health Organization, the normal average baby weight is between 2.6 to 3.8 kilograms. However, no rule applies to all as weight is multifactorial. Generally babies – breastfed or formula-fed – lose weight during the first two weeks because they are born with extra fluid.
Here is a full guide for your baby’s weight during the first 12 months. Make sure to check your baby’s weight at each pediatrician appointment to make sure you’re on the right track and to learn more about healthy nutrition according to the baby’s weight.
Factors that affect baby’s weight
- Genetics: The baby’s weight is affected by the weight of parents regardless of other contributing factors such as nutrition. Some babies might be underweight just because it runs in the family.
- Mother’s age: Not only does the weight of the mother have an effect on the baby’s weight, but a mother’s age is an important factor too. Studies show that 36% of women who give birth before the age of 20 are more likely to have babies with low birth weight. The same goes for women above the age of 35.
- Length of pregnancy: The week on which the baby is born has a great impact on his/her birth weight, as most of the weight is gained during the last weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, a baby that is born at 32 weeks will weigh less than a baby that is born at 40 weeks. This is obvious in premature babies who are born during the beginning of the third trimester
- Pregnant mother’s health: Any medical condition of the mother during pregnancy can either cause loss or gain of baby’s weight. Anemia, high blood pressure, and heart diseases can put the baby at risk of being underweight, while diabetes and obesity can cause weight gain for the baby.
- Mother’s habits during pregnancy: Smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking certain drugs are related to a newborn’s low weight.
- Gender: Normally a baby boy weighs more than a baby girl, taking into consideration the factors previously mentioned and the individual differences.
Baby’s Weight Chart
|Age||Baby boy||Baby girl|
|Birth||3.3 kg||3.2 kg|
|1 month||4.5 kg||4.2 kg|
|2 months||5.6 kg||5.1 kg|
|3 months||6.4 kg||5.8 kg|
|4 months||7 kg||6.4 kg|
|5 months||7.5 kg||6.9 kg|
|6 months||7.9 kg||7.3 kg|
|7 months||8.3 kg||7.6 kg|
|8 months||8.6 kg||7.9 kg|
|9 months||8.9 kg||8.2 kg|
|10 months||9.2 kg||8.5 kg|
|11 months||9.4 kg||8.7 kg|
|12 months||9.6 kg||8.9 kg|
Weight in premature babies
Premature babies, born between weeks 24 and 29, are always underweight. They weigh between 1.5 to 2.5 kilograms. Premature babies often stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they develop a healthy weight and medical state. What makes their nutrition more difficult is that babies don’t develop the sucking reflex until week 32, so they are always given pumped or formula milk through a tube.
A growth spurt is a period in which your baby has an intense growth rate. Each baby experience a growth spurt at a different time, but generally growth spurts usually happen at week 3, week six, 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months. During this period, they want to nurse more frequently, wake up more frequently in the middle of the night or even during naps, and their mood is always cranky.
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Sources used in this article:
- 10 Factors That Affect A Baby’s Birth Weight – Marsden
- Epidemiological Factors Affecting Low Birth Weight – JK Science
- Factors associated with birth weight inequalities in Jordan – Wiley Online Library
- Child growth standards – World Health Organization
- Understanding Baby Growth Spurts – Healthline