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Most parents tend to worry about their newborn baby's weight and wonder whether it is normal and healthy or not. To be able to judge if your baby's growth rate is healthy, it is necessary to know the average normal weight for a baby in his different developmental stages to determine whether his weight may be a cause for concern. Let's find out more about average baby weight according to growth charts and how to determine if your baby's weight is within the healthy average.

What is a baby growth chart?

The average healthy weight for children can be determined through the World Health Organization's international baby growth rate charts (WHO). Your baby's paediatrician monitors his weight along with other measurements to ensure the baby's healthy development. Regular visits can help you track your baby's growth and physical development using the WHO chart for children 0 to 2 years of age. You can also look at baby weight charts in-between visits to make sure your baby's on the right track.

It's important to note that what is considered a normal weight for a baby may vary due to many discrepancies like genetics, health conditions, nutrition and other factors that we will go through in more detail in this article. 

What is the Average newborn weight?

The average baby weight at birth for babies born after 37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy ranges between 2.5 to 4 kg. Any weight below 2.5 kg is considered to be below the average newborn weight. Soon after birth, newborns can lose 10% of their initial weight due to loss of fluids and regain it again in a few weeks.

Normal baby weight in kg from 1 to 12 months

MonthGirlsBoys
14.24.5
25.15.6
35.86.4
46.47
56.97.5
67.37.9
77.68.3
87.98.6
98.28.9
108.59.2
118.79.4
128.99.6

How to measure baby weight correctly?

You can follow simple steps to measure your baby's weight correctly and compare it to the baby weight chart above. Here are some tips on how to measure a child's weight:

  • Use a digital scale on a stable surface.
  • Take off the child's clothes and shoes for an accurate reading.
  • Help your baby stand in the middle of the scale.
  • In case the baby is unable to stand, record the weight of an adult person alone and then with the child.
  • Subtract the smaller number from the larger one to get the approximate weight.
  • Check the baby's weight against the weight chart according to his age and gender.

What are the factors that influence baby weight?

  1. Maternal health before and during pregnancy

    The mother's weight before and during childbirth can affect baby weight genetically. Additionally, the mother's diet, health and nutritional habits before and during pregnancy can affect the infant's weight.
     

  2. Gender

    The newborn's gender, whether a male or a female, affects the weight, as evident in the weight rates in the chart above. Newborn boys will typically weigh slightly more than newborn girls.
     

  3. Medications and hormonal issues

    Some medicines that contain Glucocorticoids may slow down baby growth. Similarly, hormonal issues like growth hormone or thyroid hormone deficiencies can lead to delayed growth.
     

  4. Genetics

    Genetic syndromes such as Down, Noonan or Turner syndrome can influence a child's growth and weight.
     

  5. Birth condition

    If a baby is born before the due date, he can be premature and therefore weigh below average newborn weight.
     

  6. Formula and breastfeeding

    Breastfeeding in the first year encourages a baby to gain weight naturally, but it is, in fact, slower than the weight gain rate of formula-fed babies in the first year.
     

  7. Other health issues

    Some health problems or conditions such as chronic kidney disease and other diseases that affect the ability to eat or the digestive system can hinder normal weight growth.

 

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/html_charts/wtageinf.htm
  2. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=90&contentid=p02382

 

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