Newborn Baby Weight Gain – Breastfed vs. Formula Fed Baby
If you have been in the circle of newborn mothers, you will often hear them comparing the weight of their babies. One will say their baby is gaining weight while another will say their baby is losing weight.
Why is the weight of your baby so important?
This is because it is an indicator of whether your baby is growing or not. As a matter of fact, the weight of your baby is used as a marker of general health. It, therefore, becomes important for you to monitor the weight of your baby.
Birth weight and changes
Babies who are born at full term, which means between 38 weeks and 40 weeks, usually weight 6-9lbs. The difference in birth weight is due to factors like:
- Pregnancy gestation at birth
- Gender of the baby
- The mother’s health at the time of pregnancy
- The parent’s build
- Nutrition during pregnancy
- If it is a multiples birth like twins
- Baby’s health at birth
This is not to mean that babies who are not 6-9lbs at birth are unhealthy. They may still be perfectly healthy.
During the days of life, your baby will lose some weight. Don’t be alarmed. It is quite normal. A breastfed baby will lose about 10% of his weight while a formula-fed baby will lose 5%.
By the 10th to 14th day, your baby should be regaining his or her lost weight. However, this could be negatively affected by factors like a baby who is sick or premature. In such cases, the baby may take up to 3 weeks to get back their birth weight.
The difference between formula-fed and breastfed babies
In the first few months, newborns gain about 5-7oz on a weekly basis. So, in about three to four months, your baby will double his birth weight. It is at this point that the weight differences between breastfed and formula-fed babies begin to appear. From the 4th month, researchers say that breastfed and formula-fed babies begin to grow at different rates.
Newborn gaining weight check-ups
In the period that the newborn stays in the hospital and even 48-72 hours after birth, newborns are frequently weighed. A week after birth, they are weighed again. They can even be weighed after two weeks after birth. In most cases, when you take your baby to the hospital for regular check-ups and screen tests for the first months, they will be weighed again.
If you don’t have a weighing scale at home, you can track your baby’s weight gain by how much food he takes. Try these methods:
- After the first week, newborns should have at least 5-7 wet diapers and 2-4 dirty diapers in a day
- Monitor if your baby gets satisfied a little while after feeding
It is very important that you monitor how much weight your baby is gaining or not losing. After the first week, your baby should be gaining weight. When the baby is losing too much or not gaining enough, you should see your doctor.
There may be an underlying cause for that. While for adults gaining weight is not so desirable, weight gain is an important indicator of whether your baby is growing or not.