All new parents worry about their baby’s weight. They often face doubts about the normal baby girl and baby boy weight. Here, a proper 1-year-old baby weight chart in kilograms might help, a lot.
By Dr Gaurav Jawa
"How is my baby growing?", "What is the ideal weight for her age?", "How much weight should a baby put on gradually every month?", these are the commonest questions that most pediatricians face from worried parents.
New parents who have just started out on this new and exciting but stress-filled journey of parenthood, are anxious to know if their baby is growing well or not. Hence, doctors advise parents to refer a standard child growth chart or an infant weight calculator to keep track.
And the most popular and scientifically established growth chart for parents to keep a steady track of their baby girl or baby boy weight by month in kilos is the weight graph from the World Health Organization (WHO). It takes into account that every child all over the world has the same potential to grow. Also we must always remember that it is the growth pattern, and not a single weight value of the baby that matters.
According to an article, The development of growth references and growth charts, by TJ Cole, published in 2011, growth references describe how children grow, and the references can be applied to other children to establish whether or not their measurements are typical of the reference group.
But before we get to the chart, let’s understand weight gain in babies.
When a new baby is born, one can give about a 10 per cent cushion of acceptable weight loss (nature allows for this until the mother’s milk comes in). Most babies will lose two to three ounces of weight in the first 24 hours as their soggy skin dries out and they pass their first meconium stool (the dark green substance forming the first faeces of a newborn infant).
At birth, an average Indian boy weighs 3 to 3.2kg at term and a girl weighs 2.8 to 3.2kg. In the first three months, weight gain is faster with an average of 800-1000g per month. Over the next three months, it slows down to 600-800g and between 6-12 months, it is not more than 500g usually.
In simpler terms, a baby must double his birth weight by the time she completes four months and triple it by the time she turns one. This is of course provided that there are no other health issues involved.
Breastfeeding exclusively till 4-6 months is highly recommended, even if the baby is not as chubby as you expected. When monitoring weight gain, keep in mind that this is not the sole growth criteria. The head size/circumference, length of the baby and developmental milestones, are also to be taken into consideration along with weight at every visit to the paediatrician.
If the child does not show adequate improvement in growth parameters, the pediatrician must try to assess the cause first. In the case of exclusive breastfeeding, make sure that your baby intakes hind milk. Hind milk refers to the milk at the end of a feed, which has a higher fat content than the milk at the beginning of the feed. And after six months of age, breast milk cannot sustain good growth of an infant. A proper weaning plan and introduction of healthy and calorie-dense semi solids is key.
If, however formula milk is being fed to your baby, check and see how you are preparing it and if you are following the instructions and proportions appropriately. Sometimes, wrong methods of preparation like excess of water to mix the formula, can result in low weight gain.
Besides feeding, there are certain other factors, which contribute to a baby’s weight. If both the parents are heavily built or overweight, there are chances of the infant being born on the heavier side as well.
There is also a greater likelihood of a baby being born with a more than normal weight, due to factors such as the mother’s ethnicity, weight gain during pregnancy, fetal chromosomal abnormalities or the mother having diabetes before or during pregnancy.
Further, overweight babies may have metabolic abnormalities (low blood sugar and calcium), traumatic birth injuries, higher haemoglobin levels, jaundice, or various congenital abnormalities.
Similarly, certain babies are underweight. And if a baby is born small, it could be due to various reasons:
1. Preterm birth: when babies are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy are completed.
2. Mother’s health condition: Mothers may be suffering from medical conditions like high blood pressure, and heart or kidney disease.
3. Malnutrition: A baby may need to have his temperature, glucose and haemoglobin levels closely monitored to ensure normal weight gain, if he is not receiving the right nutrition.
Here is the baby weight chart for reference. The following numbers are the 50th percentile weight for male and female babies. 50th percentile means that 50 per cent of babies of the same age weigh more than your baby, and 50 per cent of them weigh lesser.
Birth: Male (3.5), Female (3.4)
1 months: Male (4.4), Female (4.2)
2 months: Male (5.2), Female (4.8)
3 months: Male (6), Female (5.4)
4 months: Male (6.7), Female (6.2)
5 months: Male (7.4), Female (6.7)
6 months: Male (7.9), Female (7.2)
7 months: Male (8.4), Female (7.7)
8 months: Male (8.9), Female (8,1)
9 months: Male (9.3), Female (8.5)
10 months: Male (9.7), Female (8.8)
11 months: Male (10), Female (9.2)
12 months: Male (10.3), Female (9.5)
All babies grow at their own pace, and what matters at any given point of time is the growth pattern and not weight value. At your paediatric visits, the healthcare provider will plot your child’s growth on a baby growth chart to make sure she’s on track. The chart might look daunting, but your doctor can help you understand this useful tool and what the results mean for your little one. Kindly note, that the inputs and tips mentioned in this article must be done under the guidance of your doctor. As the factors involved to determine proper weight gain might differ from baby to baby. With that being said, relax and enjoy your new parenting journey!
About the author:
Writeen by Dr Gaurav Jawa on 31 March 2019.
Dr Gaurav Jawa is a Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Apollo Cradle.
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