Baby Weight Gain: The First Three Months

After birth, watching your baby's weight gain will be an important clue as to whether or not he or she is thriving and doing well in those first three months.

When you bring your new bundle of joy home after giving birth, one of the first things people will ask is how much your baby weighs. And this question will continue on for at least the first year of your child's life. So you won't be bothered by people's intrusion it is good to know what to watch for and what are warning signs of inadequate weight gain.

First off, all babies gain differently no matter what their weight at birth. A four pound baby could be twenty pounds at one year while a ten pound baby could be 18 pounds at one year. There are many variables to be considered.

The first essential component to monitoring your baby's weight gain is how much is going in and how much is going out. If breastfeeding, frequency and duration of breastfeedings is crucial to keep track of. This will determine if your baby is eating often enough and for enough of a time period to receive the important hindmilk. Formula fed babies will follow a more strict schedule regarding length between feedings and how many ounces consumed.

Watching the output of your baby is just as important. A newborn should wet four to six diapers a day and usually poop one of more times each day. Breasted babies are more likely to have a small amount of stool after every feeding and as they get older maybe only every couple days. The variety is infinite.

The first weight check at your baby's two-week doctor visit will be an important factor in knowing how well your baby is gaining. By that visit most babies have regained their birth weight and sometimes even exceeded it. Don't be alarmed if your baby is a few ounces shy of birth weight by that time. All babies are different and no number can tell you where yours should be.

After that point, babies can gain as little as 4 ounces per week and as much as one pound a week. It all depends on how often your baby nurses and really, what your baby's individual growing pattern is.

What concerns health care practitioners in those first three months is a baby who does not gain enough weight. Dehydration is one sign of that and it shows up in a darker urine color in the diapers and less frequent output each day. A dehydrated baby will also appear more lethargic and be harder to wake for feedings.

Watching your baby's behavior and feeding patterns and reporting anything unusual to the doctor will be the key to being sure your baby is thriving in the first three months of life.

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