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Understanding your baby's weight

Baby Weight
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We explain your baby's weight and how the centile chart works

It's not the size that your baby was at birth that's important, it's the rate at which he puts on weight afterwards.

A steady weight gain is one of the signs that your baby is healthy and feeding well.

Losing weight

Most babies lose weight in the early days after birth. This is because it takes a while for feeding to become established. It's not uncommon for a newborn to lose up to 10% of their birth weight however, by day 14 four out of five healthy babies are at or above their birth weight.

Your baby will be weighed to make sure he has regained his birth weight and you'll be offered support if this doesn't happen.

Your health professional will ask you about how feeding is going and look at your baby's health in general. This is particularly important if your baby has lost a large amount of weight or hasn't regained his birth weight.

How often should my baby be weighed?

After the first two weeks your baby will be weighed no more than:

Of course, you can have your baby weighed more often than this if you want to - some mums find it reassuring. If there are concerns about your baby's health or growth, your doctor may want to weigh him more frequently.

Centile charts

Your child’s height and weight should be recorded on centile charts in his personal child health record book. The Indian Academy of Paediatrics has published WHO guidelines on Indian babies’ development and Growth Charts. The centile charts show the pattern of growth that healthy children usually follow and allow you to see how your child is growing.

The centile lines are the curved lines on the charts. These show the average weight and height gain for babies at different ages.

If your child's weight is on the 25th centile, this means that if you lined up 100 children of the same age in order from the lightest to the heaviest, your child would be number 25 and 75 children would be heavier.

Boys and girls have different charts because boys tend to be heavier and taller and their growth patterns are slightly different.

What the centile lines mean

Centile lines are just guidelines which show how healthy babies are expected to grow. It's quite normal for a child's weight to be anywhere within the top and bottom centile lines on the charts.

Don’t worry if your baby’s weight doesn’t follow a centile line exactly. His measurements may go up or down on one centile line but it’s less common for them to cross two centile lines. If this happens, it could be because your baby has had a growth spurt, may have been ill or maybe he’s just started solids. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Your baby's weight gain

Usually, weight gain is quickest in the first six to nine months and by six months he will have probably doubled his birth weight. You will probably find that as your baby becomes more active his weight gain will gradually slow down.

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