One of the most common concerns new parents have after their baby is born is how to tell if the baby is getting enough milk. The early days after your baby is born are full of uncertainties, doubts and a whole lotta new information!! The Mama Coach has a great article titled How do I know my baby is getting enough breastmilk? Check it out for a list of things to watch for to make sure your baby is getting enough. Here, I am going to go over the average weight gain for healthy term babies.
All babies lose weight after they are born
Whether you are breastfeeding, formula feeding or a combination of both babies lose 5-7% and up to 10% of their birth weight in the first 5 days. Depending on the policies of the hospital you deliver at you baby may or may not be weighed before you are discharged home. You should, however, expect either your family doctor or a public health nurse to see and weigh your baby within the first week.
Babies should ideally be back to their birth weight by about 10-14 days after birth
After that and for the first 4 months they should be gaining 150-230 grams (5-8oz) per week. And should double their birth weight by about 4 months old. After the 4th month babies that are breastfed and babies that are formula-fed begin to gain weight at different rates. Breastfed babies tend to gain a bit more slowly. Make sure your doctor is aware of how your baby is feeding and is using the appropriate growth chart.
During month 4-6 breastfed babies gain 90-130 grams (3.25-4.5 oz) per week and during 6-12 months 50-80 grams (1.75-2.75 oz) per week. Most breastfed babies will be 2.5-3 times their birth weight by one year old.
Of course, it is always important to keep in mind that babies don’t always gain at a steady rate. They go through growth spurts and times when weight gain seems to stall. They may have had an illness or just started solid foods. Genetics and heritage do play a part in the size of your baby. Parents need to use some intuition and discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider.