Weight and height

After delivery, babies usually lose 5 to 7 percent of body weight. Newborns then usually regain their birth weight within the first two weeks. Their weight should be checked regularly during that time. If your baby loses a large amount of weight or doesn’t regain their birth weight, contact your doctor. 

How often should I weigh my baby?
After the first two weeks, your baby should be weighed:

  • once a month up to six months of age
  • once every two months from 6-12 months of age
  • once every three months over the age of one

Know the right weight of by child?
Most hospitals will provide you with a book that includes an infant growth chart. This book will then be used by the pediatric doctor to track your child’s weight and height. The charts in the books record the pattern of growth that healthy children usually follow, whether they’re breastfed or formula fed, or having a mixture of both. Boys and girls have different charts because boys tend to be a little heavier and taller, and their growth pattern is different.

What are infant growth charts?
Infant growth charts are usually calculated using the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) growth standards. These show normal growth in babies for the first 5 years. Infant growth charts allow health professionals to compare your baby’s growth with that of all other babies of the same age.

What to do if we don’t have the charts?
You can visit infantchart.com to see some examples of baby weight charts from many countries including charts from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

How to read infant growth charts?

The growth charts show weight or height by using ‘percentiles’. A baby on the 50th percentile for weight, for example, is right in the middle of the normal range: 50% of babies their age are lighter, and 50% are heavier. A baby on the 5th percentile weighs less than 95% of other babies of that age. A baby on the 90th percentile weighs more than 90% of other babies that age.

Your baby’s weight and height may not follow a centile line exactly. Their measurements may go up or down by one centile line, but it’s less common for them to cross two centile lines. 

Weight and height gain
Usually your baby will gain weight mostly in the first six to nine months. Their rate of growth will slow down as they become a toddler and are more active. If children are sick, their weight gain may slow down for a while. It will usually return to normal within two to three weeks. Once your child gets to the age of two, your doctor may use their weight and height to calculate their body mass index (BMI) and mark it on a centile chart. This is a way of checking whether your child’s weight is normal or not.

What to do if my child doesn’t gain enough weight?
If the weight gain is not normal, make sure you control the diet of the child. Newborns usually need sufficient milk to develop and gain weight. From the age of two, too much milk or fruit juices could be the reason they don’t gain enough, because they don’t get the nutrients that are found in solid food. 

If you are not sure or if you think your child is not developing normal, speak to your pediatric doctor. 

Sources:

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