Weight and growth – how to weigh your baby

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Weighing Your Baby

A baby’s most important job is to grow and weight gain is a key sign that your baby is getting enough nourishment and developing well. Don’t worry if your baby loses weight in the first ten days as this is normal. After this babies should get progressively heavier each month.

At each visit to your doctor, midwife or early childhood service, your baby will be weighed. However some parents like to weigh their babies each week, especially in their first 6 months, just to keep an eye on their weight gain. Baby-Arabia has put together a number of different methods for weighing your baby and making sure you are feeding them properly.

Baby Scales

Having a baby scale at home enables you to weigh your baby whenever you like! Baby scales are available for purchase in a variety of different styles and prices. It is important that the scale registers weight in increments as little as 10 grams to ensure an accurate measurement. Purchasing your own scales can be an expensive and another option might be to hire one. Whichever you choose make sure the scales are accurate.

Some pediatricians will allow you to drop in periodically to weigh your baby, although they may ask that you call first. Similarly surgeries and medical centers sometimes have scales available for use by parents wishing to weigh their baby. Some pharmacies also offer this service – check with your local one to see if this is the case.

Tips to help you weigh baby using baby scales:-

  • Set the baby on the scale, preferably naked. For safety, keep one hand hovering over, but not on, the baby’s chest. Read the weight and record the baby’s weight in a notebook.
  • If the weather is too cold, weigh your child’s clothes separately and then dress your child for the weigh-in. Subtract the weight of the clothes from the weight shown on the scale.
  • Set the scale on a sturdy, flat surface. Your dining room table would work as would a wood or linoleum floor.

Use a Set of Standard Adult Scales

By far the least effective method, using adult scales to weigh your baby has obvious drawbacks. Firstly adult scales generally only measure to the nearest kilogram or at most the nearest 100 grams. While this is acceptable when weighing an older child or adult, it is insufficient to obtain an accurate weight for an infant. In addition there is the safety consideration of weighing an infant on a scale simply not intended nor fit for the purpose.

Tips on weighing your baby using adult scales:-

If you have no other option, this is the safest method for using an adult scale.

  • Weight yourself and make a note of your current weight.
  • Pick up your baby and step back onto the scale.
  • Subtract your own weight from the measurement you obtained for both of you and that will give you an estimate of your baby’s weight.

How much weight should your baby gain?

From birth to age 6 months, a baby might grow about 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters a month and gain about 140 to 200 gram a week. Expect your baby to double their birth weight by about age 5 months.

As weight fluctuation happens often, it is best to weigh your baby every two weeks to measure longer term gains or losses. Don’t worry too much about short-term weight gains or losses, unless your child seems ill or is having feeding problems. In that case, check with your doctor.