Weight Loss and Weight Gain in Babies
Are you worried that your baby is losing weight?
One of the main concerns many Mothers may have is the weight of their babies. Most babies will lose weight immediately after birth, but it may be cause for concern if they lose too much weight.
Mothers who have been given a lot of IV fluids may deliver a baby who is then also full of IV fluids. This baby may seem to lose a lot of weight after birth when he/she is actually only losing the extra fluids. If your baby has lost weight, but is eager to eat and is swallowing well, is producing diapers and seems happy most of the time, then he/she is most likely thriving.
At the bottom of the page is an online infant weight chart resource for the breastfed baby.
Learn more about the signs to look out for in connection with whether your baby is drinking enough.
Weight Loss Straight After Birth
Average Baby Weight Loss:
The average weight for a baby to lose is between 5 and 7% of their birth weight in the first few days, this weight loss usually stops after 5 days.
Newborn Baby Weight Gain
The baby will then usually have picked up the initial weight that was lost by two weeks after birth.
Infant Not Gaining Weight
A baby that loses more than 8% of their birth weight is seen as an underweight baby and will need to be checked. The mother and her baby will be observed for signs of breastfeeding problems. If a baby has sucking problems, it could delay the onset of mature milk, which could cause a drop of 10% in birth weight or more.
Healthy Baby Weight Gain
After babies have regained the normal initial weight loss after two weeks, breastfed babies usually pick up on average the following amounts of weight:
• Breastfed baby boys typically pick up about 40g per day.
• Breastfed baby girls usually pick up about 34g per day.
Infant weight gain should not be less than 20g of weight daily.
The Growth of Formula Fed Babies Compared to Breastfed Babies
- A breastfed baby will usually grow more rapidly in the first 2-3 months than a formula fed baby. After this period, their growth slows down. This is why it is essential to check your baby’s weight gain according to breastfed baby growth charts if your baby is breastfed.
- The newest WHO growth charts can evaluate each individual baby’s growth according to breastfed or formula fed differences and individual ethnicity.
Looking for an infant height weight chart or baby weight calculator?
Here is a list of some online baby weight charts...
Breastfed Baby weight and height calculator by www.kellymom.com
Common Causes of Weight Loss
Excessive infant weight loss is a problem that is commonly associated with sleepiness and separation from the mother.
The best ways to avoid your baby from being too lethargic after birth is to avoid unnecessary medical interventions. Natural childbirth is always best. In my case, I struggled to breastfeed my first child after a c-section due to a weak suck (caused by medication given during c-section) among other issues. When I had my daughter 3 years later, I had an unmedicated VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) water birth at home. My daughter latched on immediately after birth, and I breastfed her for two years. Read my full story here.
Should I Give My Baby Just a Little Formula?
Your newborn's gut is open to all types of illnesses and allergies because it is still maturing. Two things are fundamental during the first few weeks of your baby's life, they are number one: your breast milk (to provide a safe gut-environment that protects your baby from infections and number two: time for the gut to mature. Therefore giving your baby formula should not be taken lightly. Just a little bit of formula can alter the PH of your baby's gut for a whole month! Please read about the protection that breast milk offers the gut.
So you might be asking, what if I don't have enough breast milk?
Keeping an Eye on Poos and Pees
Here is an article on specific urine and stool output guidelines from birth.
Should I Wake My Newborn For Feedings?
If you gave normal birth, your baby has had no medications, your baby is constantly by your side, and your baby eats well and is gaining weight, then you don't need to worry if he/she sleeps longer than three hours at once.
Unfortunately, this is not true for all babies. The baby who has been through a medicated birth (epidural or other medicated interventions) or who have been separated from mom after birth, will need to be woken up to feed every two hours.