Baby Weight

Looking at your baby after giving birth is a wonderful time for expectant mothers. But before that, you may want to learn about your unborn baby and what to expect when the most awaited date of delivery finally comes. However, once the baby is born, there are many factors that are taken into consideration to know if the baby is normal. One of the key indicators of a normal delivery and a normal baby is the average baby weight.

In time, you may become worried about your baby’s size and shape after delivery. You might wonder if your baby is in good condition or your infant’s weight is appropriate for his age. This article can assist you in knowing if your baby is growing properly.

Newborn baby weight

Average height of baby: At full term, the normal baby will be about 51cm long

Average weight of baby: At full term, baby will weigh approximately 6 to 9 pounds (2700 to 4000 grams). This is about the average weight of a baby at birth. It is important to take the measurement of the average baby weight at birth seriously, because it may be a vital indicator of a possible underlying health problem.

Classifications of newborn baby weight:

  • Large for gestational age (LGA): Weight is above 2.72 kilograms or more than 6 lbs at gestational age
  • Appropriate for gestational age: Average birth weight
  • Small for gestational age (SGA): Weight is below 2.49 – 2.72 kilograms or less than 5.5 lbs at gestational age
  • Low birth weight (LBW): Weight is below 2.49 kilograms or 5.5 pounds at birth. Most normal babies weigh 2.49 kilograms by 37 weeks of gestation raises grave health risks for children.
  • Macrosomia: Weight is above a defined limit at any gestational age.

Special considerations to prevent the situations stated above:

  • Avoid alcohol, drugs or smoking during pregnancy.
  • Follow a healthy, well balanced diet.
  • Have a regular but not strenuous exercise. Walking and stretching may help.
  • Rest and have enough time for sleep.
  • Have a regular consultation with your physician throughout the pregnancy.
  • Ask your doctor about prenatal vitamins such as Iron and Folic acid.

To find out more about the average weight appropriate for baby’s age week by week please check their website:

Factors affecting babies weight

A lot of factors can affect a baby’s size at birth. The gestational age is essential. Babies that are born after their expected due date appears to be larger than the normal. Babies born before the expected date of delivery tend to be smaller than full-term babies.

Other factors include:

  1. Heredity Parents that has big body built may have larger than average newborns. Short parents may have smaller babies compared to average newborns.
  2. Birth order First babies are mostly smaller than the succeeding siblings.
  3. Gender Girls appears to be slightly smaller than boys and thus, are often lighter in weight than boys.
  4. Multiple births If you’re having twins, triplets, or more, you can count on your babies being relatively small. Multiples not only have to share their growing space in the uterus, they also are often born early, which leads to small size at birth.
  5. Mother’s condition during pregnancy The mother’s high blood pressure, cardiac condition, or smoking, alcohol consumption, and exposure to drugs during the pregnancy can cause a low birth weight. If the mother has diabetes, the baby may have a higher birth weight. All conditions that can affect a baby’s weight should be closely monitored by the mother’s doctor.
  6. Pregnancy nutrition Good nutrition is important for the baby’s growth in the uterus and beyond. A poor diet during pregnancy can affect how much a newborn weighs.
  7. Baby’s health. Any kind of medical problems in the fetus and the baby, like birth defects or infections acquired during pregnancy can also adversely affect the health and thus, the weight of the baby.

Baby’s weight

As your baby grows, the change in height and weight is inevitable. Most babies lose weight during their first week and then get back up to their birth weight by the time they are two weeks old. Regardless of what weight your baby starts on, as long as he continues to follow it, then he’s gaining weight as expected. It’s hard to say how much or little your baby should put on week by week but, generally, it’s quite quick to begin with (175 to 225g or 6 to 8oz a week) doubling his birth weight at 6 months. After this, weight gain progressively slows down.

Some babies may not follow the growth charts very well but this doesn’t mean they are unhealthy. Exclusively breastfed babies, premature babies or twins all show slightly different weight gain progress. But if your baby’s weight gain is consistently exceeding his gain in height, the physician may advise you to take one or more steps to try to slow your baby’s weight gain.

The Maternal and Child Health Service uses percentile growth charts to compare your child’s height and weight to other children of the same age to help assess their development.

When reading the percentile charts, if a baby is on the 10th percentile for height and weight, it means that 90% of babies are taller and heavier than they are. A baby on the 80th percentile for height and weight is taller and heavier than 80% of other babies.

Newborn baby head circumfrance

Maternal and Child Health nurses use percentile charts from the World Health Organisation for children between 0 and 24 months of age, which measure:
Boys: weight for age and length
Girls: weight for age and length
Boys and girls: head circumference

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