The baby’s birth weight is the starting point for growth. Whatever the birth weight, the growth rate in all the babies is approximately the same. The overall growth pattern depends on the proper food and adequate care of the baby. However illness, starvation, serious neglect or emotional disturbances would make his weight gain to fall.
Calculating your baby’s expected weight
|Calculation||Baby’s expected weight|
|Start with birth weight||Birth weight||3.2 kgs|
|Subtract 40 gm/day for 1–5 days||Weight at 5 days||3.0 kgs|
|Add 40 gm/day for days 6-10||Weight at 10 days||3.2 kgs|
|Add 30 gm/day or 170–230 gm / week from 10 days to 3 months||Weight at 1 month||3.7 kgs|
|Weight at 2 months||4.6 kgs|
|Weight at 3 months||5.5 kgs|
Height or length of the baby matters too
Getting taller is also included in the growth pattern of the baby. Weight gain is not the only way to assess a baby’s growth. Children are meant to get bigger overall and not just fatter and fatter. The baby’s weight increases faster than the length. Whatever be the baby’s length at birth, approximately 2cm (3/4”) will be gained each month or just over 5cm (2”) in 3 months.
There is a consistent relationship of weight & height in the normal growth pattern of the child.
Exception to normal growth patterns
- Pre–term babies: They are very slow to get started on their feeding, and therefore their growing. The weight tends to remain in a low position for a long time.
- Babies who are ill immediately after birth or in the first weeks. These babies fall short of gaining weight or may actually loose some. Good care may lead to a spurt of “Catch–up growth”, so that the baby’s personal growth curve moves upwards towards the normal.
- Babies who are bottle–fed from birth: These babies may loose weight in the initial days. First few days might show some weight gain. They may gain very fast from the beginning, which also depends upon the formula food given. An even greater rise occurs in the babies weight when solids are added in addition to the over–concentrated milk.