Taking care of newly born babies is a very delicate process. When it comes to the health of infants, the weight of newborn babies is a good indicator of their overall health. Though there are minor differences between the weights of newborns, healthy babies generally follow a definite and predictable trend in weight gain.
Normal weight gain standards:
Though there might be minor fluctuations depending on the health of the baby, a healthy baby’s weight gain occurs according to the following trend:
Under 1 month:
The baby may lose up to 5-7% in the first week after birth, but regains it within 10-12 days. Get the baby checked by a pediatrician if weight is not regained by two weeks. At this age, the baby should only be on breast milk, unless otherwise specified by pediatrician.
The baby should steadily be gaining weight now. The baby may grow 0.5-1 inches (1.5-2.5 cm) in size and 600-1000 grams in weight per month. The baby should be breastfed once every 2-3 hours (about 8-12 times per day).
The growth continues steadily. The baby may not wake up so often in the night for breastfeeding and the frequency continues to decrease.
The rate of weight gain somewhat slows down and the baby may still continue to gain 400-500 grams per month. By 5 months of age, the weight of the baby should be double of newborn weight.
At the end of 5 months, some babies are ready for solid foods. If the baby is able to hold head steadily, can sit while supported, and takes interest in what you’re eating, the baby is gearing up for solid food intake. Introducing solid foods is a very delicate process and consult your pediatrician before doing the same. Start by introducing baby cereals or purees in small quantities and if the baby responds negatively, try again after a few days.
the baby should be steadily gaining weight such that the weight at the end of a year is about three times of that of birth weight. Gradually start introducing more solid foods, finger foods, fruits, and vegetables in addition to breast milk.
Ways to increase weight:
Sometimes, due to a variety of factors, babies do not gain weight in a healthy manner and remain underweight. Here are a few simple and proven tips that can help with baby’s weight gain:
- Do not start semi solids before six months as the baby must get the goodness of breast feed and moreover solid food items that babies eat have fewer calories and nutrients as compared to breast milk.
- Sleep close to the baby to increase the frequency of breastfeeding.
- Experts recommend nursing every 3-4 hours during the daytime and at least once in the night to help with baby’s weight gain.
- Make sure that the baby completely finishes sucking off one side before offering the second side. Lookout for cues (the baby voluntarily pulls out and looks satisfied, sleeps off etc) and do offer the second side after the baby finishes sucking one side.
Pump for a couple of minutes before nursing as this removes the low-calorie milk and the baby receives high-calorie hind milk.
All babies must be started on oral Iron supplements from 6 months on wards since breast milk & semisolid diet is unable to match up the iron requirements essential for physical growth & cognitive development.
At Cloud-nine, we care beyond the delivery of your child. Our expert team of pediatricians specializes in all the aspects of baby care. Be it weight related issues or any other developmental problems, our dedicated pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) provide you with a complete range of medical facilities and services.