While every baby is unique and grows at their own individual rate, most babies do follow a fairly consistent growth path and that’s why doctors use a growth chart as a tool. It alerts them to possible problems that may not be easily detectible from a visual examination.
For breastfeeding moms, knowing how much weight a baby should gain can provide valuable insight into if your baby is getting enough breast milk and if a milk production problem exists.
Most doctors and health care professions use the following chart to determine how much weight a baby should gain.
- 0 to 4 month old babies should gain almost an ounce a day. 6 ounces per week.
- 4 to 6 month old babies should gain around half an ounce a day. 4 ounces per week.
- 7 to 9 month old babies should gain almost half an ounce a day. 3 ounces per week.
- 10 to 12 month old babies should gain about 2 ounces per week.
Tips for Weighing Your Baby
- Use an accurate baby scale. Any other kind of scale will not give you precise enough information to see the small changes in weight. An accurate baby scale can often be rented from hospitals, doctor offices, wic offices, or private lactation consultants. Or you can purchase your own from online retailers like Amazon.com.
- Weigh your baby about the same time of day for each weighing
- Remove all of your baby’s clothes and the diaper each time. This will give you more consistent results.
- Write down the information. At a minimum record the date, time and weight so that you can see how baby’s weight is changing (or not changing!) over time.
If your baby is not consistently gaining weight at the rates listed above it may mean he is not getting enough calories. To increase the calories you may need to:
- Increase your milk supply if you are breastfeeding or pumping.
- Increase the amount or frequency of formula feedings, if you are formula feeding.
- Increasing the amount of solid food being given if baby is eating solid foods, or increasing the amount of breast milk or formula given in addition to solid foods.
- Possibly start a supplement to be given along with breastfeeding.
Be sure to see your health care professional to determine what is best.