The rate of weight gain of a newborn is an important criterion for a harmonious morphological state of health. Shows the degree of development of internal organs and skeleton in children under one year of age and older. Doctors and mothers closely monitor this indicator in order to identify pathology at an early stage, if any, and conduct a course of treatment.
Why watch for weight gain
After birth, the development and establishment of the digestive system takes place, there is a leveling of metabolism and the normalization of heat metabolism. The infant changes the musculoskeletal system, subcutaneous tissue and internal organs.
He begins to gradually gain weight. There are accepted values, and a comparative analysis of the child’s data with these norms allows one to judge the harmony of development, whether there is enough breast milk. Weighing is carried out in the hospital every day, after discharge from the clinic every month. Each age period has its own characteristics.
Baby’s weight in the first month
The first month of a baby’s life is one of the most critical and responsible periods. A baby is born, which is stress in itself. He gets used to extrauterine life, his organs and systems adapt to the new diet, hormonal changes and weight fluctuations occur. Consider the rate of weight gain in newborns in more detail.
Body weight is calculated while still in the womb. According to various parameters, figures are determined during an ultrasound scan – but they are not accurate. The exact figure will be found out after birth. As soon as the umbilical cord is cut, the baby is wiped off and placed on the scales.
For girls, the norm is values in the range of 2.8 – 3.7 g. Below 2.8 – malnutrition, intrauterine growth retardation, above 3.7 – paratrophy, excess weight.
For boys, the norm is 2.9 – 3.9 g. Accordingly, they can also have deviations in any direction.
When assessing the increase, you need to focus on the duration of pregnancy, the nature of the mother’s diet during gestation, her bad habits, and concomitant diseases.
Baby’s weight at discharge from the hospital
In the first 3 – 5 days in the baby, the indicators on the scales decrease. This is due to the release of large amounts of meconium, evaporation of fluid through the skin and lungs. Plus, mom has no milk, only colostrum. Loss of up to 10% of the initial body weight is physiological and does not require nutritional adjustments. For a full-term newborn, this is 320 – 330 g.
After this, the baby begins to gain body weight. But at discharge from the hospital, the numbers will be lower than at birth. In the future, when calculating the rate of weight gain in newborns, it is the lowest values that will be taken as a basis.
How to calculate your child’s normal weight
When the baby and mother come home, they begin to adapt to the new conditions. There is enough milk or formula for the baby and he begins to quickly add.
The rate of increase depends on the type of nutrition of the baby (breastfeeding, artificially adapted formula or mixed), body weight values at birth and at discharge, on the feeding regime. The appetite of babies and their state of health, the presence or absence of diseases, also affect.
Weight gain for the first six months
To calculate the norms for the weight of newborns while breastfeeding, you can use special formulas.
For the first six months, the formula m + 800 xn is used, where m is the mass at birth, n is the number of months, 800 is the average monthly body weight gain of up to six months.
So, for a 5-month-old baby with a body weight of 3,400, upon discharge from the hospital, we will carry out calculations as follows: 3,400 + 800 x 5 = 7,400 g.
From six months to a year
For children over six months, a different formula is applicable: m + 800 x 6 + 400 x (n – 6).
For example, let’s calculate the optimal weight for the same child at 9 months: 3400 + 800 x 6 + 400 x (8 – 6) = 9000 g.
As you can see, older children add less intensively. At this age, they move a lot, begin to crawl and walk, so they spend a lot of energy.
Table of approximate increase in WHO
The World Health Organization has developed tables that show the norms for weight gain in newborns by month, depending on the initial weight and gender. There is no need to calculate anything in them, just find your graph and see if your numbers correspond to normal ones.
For boys, use the following table.
The median column is the optimal numbers. 1S means above average, and -1S means below average – these are also valid values.
A separate plate has been developed for girls.
How to notice underweight
The norms for weight gain in newborns established by the World Health Organization (WHO) are conditional. You need to be guided by them, but you always need to take into account the peculiarities of the development of each particular baby. In addition, mothers do not always have the opportunity to take measurements: sometimes the child is restless, that parents are not up to weighing, or there is no suitable apparatus at home, and often it is not possible to go to the clinic.
Then how can you avoid missing out on insufficient weight gain? Experts recommend paying attention to the following parameters:
- The volume of urination, that is, how many times a day you change diapers or diapers. There are comparatively fewer of them, which means you need to look for the reason;
- Skin condition – there should be no dryness, wrinkles, color – pink, the skin is soft and smooth to the touch;
- The condition of the fontanelle – normally it should not sink.
What to do with a bad increase
Try to figure out the cause of the underweight yourself. The most common reason is that the mother does not follow the feeding rules:
- constantly changing breasts, while “hind milk” is the most nutritious, the baby does not get it;
- does not feed on demand;
- quickly removes the breast, does not allow the child to get enough;
- gives water, which “interrupts” the appetite;
It is also necessary to exclude maternal factors: concomitant diseases in the mother, the presence of bad habits, lack of nutrients in the diet (diet, vegetarianism without additional intake of vitamin and mineral complexes), stress, lack of milk, medication.
- short frenulum of the tongue when it cannot grasp the nipple;
- congenital heart defects, while the baby does not have enough strength to suck;
- colic, when food intake intensifies pain and the baby instinctively refuses to breast;
- sores and inflammation in the mouth, in which milk causes pain;
- pathology of the nervous system.
If any deviations from the norm are found, the doctor will send you for examination if he suspects a specific pathology, or will help you establish lactation / pick up a mixture if it is impossible to continue breastfeeding.
Values should be analyzed regularly. If you carry out weighing yourself, at home, write down all the values in the table. So you will see the dynamics. Be sure to consult with your pediatrician so that you don’t miss anything and adjust your nutrition in time.
Types of newborn scales
Purchasing quality scales for weighing crumbs is an excellent solution. We will tell you what to look for when choosing:
- Mechanical more durable, do not require a power supply;
- Electronic more accurate. They can even be used for check weighings. They are easy to use and easy to handle.
Both types of table scales have a base with a scoreboard or measuring scale (rocker) on which the bowl is installed. Some modern devices can be used when weighing children up to 20 kg.
How to weigh correctly
To get the correct result, it is necessary to weigh the newborn only in diapers or panties. The balance must be on a solid surface. First, turn on the electronic device, put on the diaper, click on the “TARA” option so that the weight of the diaper is not taken into account.
On mechanical devices, you will have to subtract the mass of the diaper from the resulting result. It is recommended to calm the child down before the procedure. Put it or put it on a bowl, wait for the numbers to fix. On mechanical devices, you do it manually.