After a baby is born, the most common question asked by the new parents and family members is regarding the baby’s health. A baby’s weight is commonly considered as an indicator of general health of the newborn. Questions like – “what’s the weight of the baby?” or ‘how is the baby growing?’ are quite common. Parents are mostly clueless about the ‘normal’ weight and growth of the baby and the following information will help you gain insight about a baby’s weight and other factors related to it.
Weight of new born babies
Babies who are born full-term (born between 38 to 40 weeks of gestation) normally weigh between 2.8 kilos to 4.1 kilos. A baby may weigh less or more than the average range of weight specified and can still be hearty and healthy.
A newborn’s weight may be affected due to many factors such as
Weight Gain in Babies
A newborn will lose some weight in the first week after birth but will eventually gain back the lost weight within a fortnight. This happens because newborns are born with extra fluid in their body which they lose after birth which is seven to ten percent of the birth weight. A baby will gain weight in the first month itself by about 140 grams in a week. A baby who is unwell or premature may take a while (about three weeks) to gain back the birth weight. It is also seen that the growth and weight of babies vary depending on whether they are breastfed or formula fed. Babies who are formula fed grow quickly in size and weight when compared to breastfed babies but that does not mean that bigger is better as breast milk contains many health benefits which outdo any commercial formula. Both breastfed and formula fed babies will eventually grow normally.
Ways to keep a check on your baby’s weight
A newborn baby is constantly monitored and weighed during the stay in hospital after childbirth. Pediatrician’s visits will involve regular monitoring of the baby’s growth and progress. You may keep a tab on your baby’s weight by keeping a check on his feeding frequency and bowel movements.
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