Average Baby Weight Growth & Loss in Newborns (2021)

Your Newborn’s Weight: Normal Gains and Losses and What the Average Baby Weighs

Average Baby Weight Growth & Loss in Newborns related questions are never dwindling among nursing mothers and expectant mothers.Most new parents are always concerned about their baby’s weight at birth, and as a parent, you might be wondering if your baby is growing and developing normally. Weight is probably the only aspect where parents desire an average for their babies and not an above average. Too low weight and parents start to worry if their baby is ill or suffering from health conditions, they begin to fret about their baby being overweight.

Growth is generally a good gauge of a baby’s overall health and wellbeing. Babies who are developing well are healthy in general, and the weights of two babies of the same age can differ as no two babies are the same.

However, it is vital to note that average weight differs from normal weight and therefore aren’t the same. If a baby’s size is relatively small, it does not essentially mean that he is not healthy or affects his overall growth and development.

Factors that Determines or Influences a Baby’s Weight

A number of factors influence a newborn baby’s size and determine if the baby will be of average size or above average.

Here are some of the factors.

Baby’s Gender

A baby’s sex at birth has a good influence on his size, and female children tend to have a smaller size compared to male children.

Birth Order

This influences a baby’s weight at birth as first-born babies sometimes have a smaller size than babies born after them or subsequent babies.

Size of the Baby’s Parents

The size of a baby’s parents is a good determiner of how big a baby is going to be. Babies whose parents are larger may have a weight above average, and those with smaller parents may have an average or below-average weight.

Mother’s Diet before and During Pregnancy

A mother’s nutrition before and especially during pregnancy has an effect on baby’s weigth at birth. A mother who feeds well and adequately will mostly deliver a healthy baby with a healthy weight, while one with poor nutrition during pregnancy can affect the baby’s weight and development.

Pregnancy Length

This has a role in the weight of a baby, and babies born when due tend to weigh more and healthy than those born earlier than expected or prematurely.

Mother’s Lifestyle or Habits During Pregnancy

A mother’s when pregnant may affect how much her baby weighs. Habits like drinking, drug, and smoking have a tendency to cause a reduction in the size of a baby.

Maternal Issues

Certain maternal issues or ailments can affect the size of a newborn baby. Conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can influence the weight of an infant. The former can cause a lower weight, while the latter can promote a higher birth weight.

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Mother’s Age

This can have an effect on an infant’s weight. Studies show that older women tend to have bigger babies, while younger women often have smaller babies.

Multiple Births

Twins, triplets, or other multiples tend to have smaller birth weights than single babies.

The Role of the Mother’s Health in Average Baby Weight

A mother’s genetics has a significant role to play in the weight of a baby and his overall wellbeing. A baby weighing below average, average, or above-average could be due to the parents’, especially the mother’s health.

An infant acquires half of its genes from his mother and the other half from his father. The infant’s own ensuing genetic composition plays a key part in his birth weight. Research shows that the child’s genes and its effect make a considerable contribution to his weight at birth. However, only about 25% of the effects of the genes were recognized to be from the mother that weren’t acquired by the baby but instead, they affect the baby’s development by influencing certain factors in the baby’s surroundings during pregnancy.

Studies also show that certain parts of the genetic structure  can be connected to the birth weight directly from the baby & indirectly from a mother. A number of these were observed to work in conjunction, with the mother and child genetic effects forcing birth weight to the same path, while other effects had the opposite impact. For instance, certain factors that increase a mother’s sugar levels work to increase the baby’s weight because the child generates more insulin, which makes the baby gain weight. 

Average Weight Loss of a Baby after Birth

Babies’ loss of weight after delivery is completely normal, and parents need not fret about it. At first, babies lose weight because they are born with some additional fluid, and it is perfectly normal for them to lose a few ounces when they get rid of the fluid in the early days of their lives. 

A healthy newborn baby is anticipated to shed 6% to 10% of his birth weight but should get back the weight within the initial two weeks or thereabout after birth. A large number of newborn babies go through a span of speedy growth and development when they are between 7 to 10 days old and grow quickly again between 3 to 6 weeks old. 

What Causes Excessive Weight Loss in a Baby?

Babies regain their lost weight and make up for the loss after delivery. However, excessive or abnormal weight loss may occur if;

  • Your baby is suffering from some unknown underlying health conditions.
  • Your baby doesn’t feed or eat well and often. It is important to feed a baby well when requested for and at regular periods as failure to do so may lead to drastic and abnormal weight loss.
  • Your baby isn’t getting sufficient breast milk due to an uncomfortable feeding position or fastening. This could be one of the causes of your baby’s loss of weight while wet-nursing.

Is Excessive Weight Loss Dangerous For a Baby?

Though a baby’s weight loss shortly after birth is completely normal and not risky for your infant, any form of excessive loss of weight may be of great risk to him. And that is because immoderate weight loss may lead to abnormal loss of water, which in response may make the baby’s blood thicker. This may make it difficult for your baby’s heart to function properly, and under complicated circumstances, the vessels of the blood may congest, resulting in grave difficulties. Low quantities of fluid in the baby’s body system may raise the sodium measures in his body and may negatively affect the body cells. Dehydration or excessive water loss and high sodium measures may result in deadly complications for the baby.

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How to Prevent Abnormal Weight Loss in a Baby?

It is important to check with a baby’s weight to avoid consequential loss of weight. Some actions or measures can be taken to avert excessive weight. Here some of the precautionary measures to do so.

  • Ensure your baby feeds well and adequately 
  • Make sure your baby isn’t in an uncomfortable position when breastfeeding to ensure he is feeding suitably.
  • Be aware and attentive to detect changes in your baby easily, and it would help you know if there is any problem that requires medical assistance. 
  • If there is an issue that you can’t attend to on your own, do not delay in asking for assistance and act on time.

Growth Spurts in Newborn Babies

Newborn babies usually undergo their first growth spurts between the first and third week, with the next occurring between the sixth and eighth week. Afterward, more spurts may be anticipated when the baby’s at its 3rd month, 6th month, and 9th month. Growth or development spurts do not last for long, with most lasting for only two days, after which your baby will get back to his normal weight.

Signs a Baby is Undergoing a Growth Spurt

As a parent, there are signs to look out for to help recognize if your infant is currently going through one of his growth spurts. These signs include;

Incessant Feeding

A baby going through a spurt will feed more often than usual and get hungry faster. If your baby is one that feeds every three or four hours, he will now want to feed every one or two hours, and that’s fine. Regular suckling will stimulate an increased milk supply as the more he feeds and the more breast milk is produced.

Late Nights

A baby undergoing a spurt will be up more frequently at nights and will sleep for shorter time lengths than usual. If your baby sleeps for five or six hours at a stretch, he will start sleeping at intervals.

Crankiness & Grumpiness

He will become crankier as those late nights he keeps up don’t help his mind and temper frame. He will get more irritated and fussy if he doesn’t get enough milk when needed. 

A baby’s average weight is of great importance as it influences and tells a lot about his overall health and wellbeing. If you’re bothered about any detail of your baby’s growth, do not hesitate to communicate it to your doctor or pediatrician so they can guide you properly on what to do to prevent complications. In most instances, your baby’s growth will, in due course, become stable as time goes.

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