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Newborn’s Weight: Losses, Gains, and What’s Normal


Shortly after delivery, your baby will be taken for an exam to make sure all is well - one of the things that the doctors will look at for a sign of health is your baby’s weight. On average most babies will weigh about 7.5 pounds, but it’s considered normal if your baby weighs between 5.8 and 10 pounds. After your baby is born, there will be changes with their weight, this is completely normal, if you are wondering what you can expect, here’s a few ideas of what you might see happen and guidelines for when you need to be concerned.

When your baby is released from the hospital, they will have lost up to 10% from their birth weight. This is completely normal and should be expected. If you are breastfeeding, your milk likely hasn’t come in and your baby has lost a lot of fluid after the birthing process. Formula fed babies will typically gain weight a little faster than breastfed babies, so keep in mind your feeding choice when taking a look at their weight progress. When your little one is about five days old, they should start to regain the weight. The goal you want your little one to achieve is to be back to birth weight by 14 days old. Your pediatrician will likely want to see your baby around 2 weeks old so they can check in. If it seems like your little one is struggling, they may recommend coming back in a few days for a weight check.  

In the first six months of your baby’s life you can expect them to gain about 5-7 ounces per week, and by five months they should double their birth weight. From 6-12 months their rate of growth will slow to about 3-5 ounces a week. Keep in mind that those numbers are just “averages”, your little one will gain. Some weeks you may see them gain less, while other weeks you may see a larger “jump”- typically during a growth spurt. Growth spurts normally occur at six weeks, three months, six months, and nine months. 

***You can find out more information about growth spurts in this article (maybe link to Growth Spurt article)***.

If you aren’t sure that your baby is on target with their weight gain, you may not be able to check their weight at home, since your home scale isn’t as sensitive as it needs to be, there are a few things you can look for in order to get reassurance: 

  • Keep track of the diapers - Your baby should have an average of 6-8 wet diapers, and 3-4 soiled diapers each day.  If you are breastfeeding and your milk hasn’t come in - it may be a little less, and after your milk comes in you may see more soiled diapers than the average - but this is a good average to expect.  
  • Make sure you are feeding your little one an average of 8-10 times per day.  
  • When you are breastfeeding your baby, make sure you are nursing them on each side for an average of 10 minutes. While nursing, you should be able to hear them swallow. Also, when they are done, they should seem satisfied.  
  • Even though a normal home scale shouldn’t be used to monitor your baby’s weight- there are some scales that have been created for the specific purpose of “at home” weight monitoring for infants. You can purchase one of these scales from various places including Amazon. These scales are sensitive enough for you to weigh your baby on and get an accurate idea of their weight progress.  

Some of the things you will want to call the doctor if you see are:

  • Your baby refusing to eat. Some feedings they may not be interested in, but if they regularly refuse to latch or take a bottle, you should give your doctor a call. 
  • Your baby seems listless or unresponsive. This is never a good sign, so if you see this seek medical attention. 
  • You notice a dramatic drop in weight. Aside from when your baby first comes home, you shouldn’t notice any drops in weight that are dramatic (even then, it shouldn’t be more than 10% of their birth weight).  

As always, if you have a concern about your baby’s weight - give your doctor a call. They are there to help!

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