The birth of a child is a moment of joy for the family as a whole. Whenever a woman becomes pregnant, there is a feeling or anxiety in her mind that the baby to be born to her should be healthy. Precautions are taken during the full period of pregnancy to ensure the safe birth of a healthy baby.
After the child is born the doctors ensure to take its weight and register it in the birth record of the child. It is a known fact that generally when someone asks about the new born, he asks about the weight of the baby at the time of birth. This is especially true in case of elderly people.
After birth the development cycle of the child begins and his organs start to develop. During the first 5 to 7 days of birth, the weight of the baby reduces by about 10 to 15%. This is a natural phenomenon and there is nothing to worry. It is after this time that the weight gets stable and begins to increase and the child is back to the birth weight by the time he is 14 or 15 days old.
There is no hard and fast rule which would suggest the weight of a child at any time after birth. The weight at any point of time also does not depend upon the weight at birth time but increase in weight does indicate that the child is thriving and doing well. It is due to this reason that whenever a newly born baby is taken to the doctor for routine checkups, the weight is measured. Inadequate increase in weight could be a sign of improper growth and may need special attention.
The weight at birth time depends upon a number of factors which include the gestation period, and the care of the mother and child during the period of pregnancy. This weight at birth does have influence on the weight that increases post birth time. The increase in baby’s weight in first three months depends upon a number of factors.
The weight gain after birth in case of breast fed babies and formula fed babies differs. As per World Health Organisation statistics, the formula fed babies grow faster as compared to breast fed babies. To enable your physician to ascertain as to the progress of your child, ensure that he is clear as to the method of feeding of the child. Also the weight gain differs between boys and girls. As a general rule, the formula fed child is approximately double the weight when he is 3 months old as compared to the weight when he was born, the weight of breast fed babies will be slightly lesser.
Though the doctors monitor the weight but if the parents have not got a weighing scale and are concerned about the development of the child during the intervening period of visit to the doctor, here are some thumb rules which will enable the parents to be assured of the growth of the child. These are:
- When the child is of about one week, he should wet 6-7 diapers per day. This will ensure that the child is adequately hydrated. Bowl movement should also be monitored. Formula fed babies have lesser bowl movement as compared to breast fed babies who pass stool virtually after every feed.
- The baby should feel satisfied after feed. Formula fed babies will be satisfied for a longer time as compared to breast fed babies. Normally a baby cries when hungry and this will indicate feed time. Formula fed babies follow a stricter feeding schedule as compared to breast fed babies.
- Baby should not be sleepy all the time and should be alert when not sleeping. If the bay is lethargic it may mean dehydration.
If all these factors are normal you can rest assured that your baby is growing properly and a slight lesser or more increase in weight will not affect his health. As the child is on liquid diet during first three months, it is essential to ensure that there is no dehydration. This is more important if the weight gain is not adequate. This can be ensured from the color of urine. If it is dark in color, it needs immediate attention. If all these factors are normal, a pound less or a pound more will not matter much.