Growth & Your Newborn
In their first year, newborns grow a big way, most triple their birth weight and double their length.
Your Pediatrician will keep track of weight, length, and head size from your baby’s first day. Growth is an important indicator of general health, and babies who are progressing well are generally healthy, while poor growth could be a sign of a problem.
Newborns come in a range of healthy sizes. Most babies (born between 37 and 40 weeks) weigh somewhere between 2.5 Kg and 4.0 Kg. Even if your baby is lighter or heavier than the average range, it is probably perfectly fine but might require extra attention from your pediatrician after delivery just to ensure that there are no problems.
Baby’s size at birth can be affected by multiple things such as the length of the pregnancy and parents’ size. Other factors include:
– Multiple births: If you’re having twins, triplets, or more, you can expect your babies to be relatively small as multiples not only have to share their growing space in the uterus, but also are often born early, which leads to small size at birth.
– Birth order: Later brothers and sisters are sometimes bigger in size than first babies.
– Gender: Girls tend to be smaller, boys are larger, but the differences are slight at birth.
– Mother’s health during pregnancy: Mother’s health problems during pregnancy such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or use of cigarettes, alcohol, or illegal drugs are all factors that can lead to a lower birth weight. On the other side, if the mother has diabetes, the baby may have a higher birth weight.
– Nutrition during pregnancy: Proper nutrition is essential for your baby’s growth in the uterus and beyond. A poor diet during pregnancy not only can affect how much a newborn weighs but also how the infant grows.
– Baby’s health: child’s birth weight and later growth can be affected by birth defects and certain infections acquired during the pregnancy.
How do Newborns Grow?
Babies are born with some extra fluid, so it is perfectly normal for a newborn to drop a few grams when that fluid is lost in the first few days of life. A healthy newborn is expected to lose some of the birth weight but should regain that weight by about 2 weeks after birth.
During their first month, most newborns continue to gain weight at a rate of about 30 g per day. They generally grow in height about 2.54 to 3.81 during the first month. Many newborns go through a period of rapid growth when they are 7 to 10 days old and again at 3 and 6 weeks.
Should I Be Concerned?
Newborns are tiny, and it can be hard to know if your baby is gaining weight the way it should be. You may worry that your baby has lost too much weight in the first few days or isn’t taking enough breast milk or formula. Most likely, everything is fine. But you always have to check with your pediatrician to follow up.
Birth weight doesn’t necessarily mean a baby will be small or large later in childhood or as an adult. By the time they’re adults, kids tend to resemble their parents in size. Genetics, good nutrition and your attention, will play a large role in determining how your baby grows in the years to come. Whether your baby starts out large, small, or in between, in the next few months you can expect your infant to keep growing fast.