Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips How much weight a baby should gain in their first year of life

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Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips

  • Immediately after birth, a baby will lose between 7% to 10% of their birth weight due to a loss of fluids. But within just a few weeks, your baby will pack those ounces back on, and then some.  
  • Infants are generally expected to double their birth weight by five months and triple it by 12 months.
  • When you visit the pediatrician, you’ll see a different growth chart depending on if your baby is a boy or a girl. Growth rate also depends on whether you’re feeding your baby breast milk or formula.
  • What pediatricians look for the most isn’t how much your baby weighs each month, but the rate they’re gaining weight and whether or not it’s consistent.
  • This article was reviewed by Sara Siddiqui, MD, who is a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Babies are born with doll-like proportions, so small in size that their weight is measured in both pounds and ounces. But as their little brains and bodies start to grow and develop, they’ll quickly start to pack on the pounds. Here’s what to expect after you bring your newborn home.

Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Newborns will grow about 0.5-1 ounce a day shortly after birth

The average newborn weighs about 8 pounds, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. However, immediately after birth, a baby will lose between 7% to 10% of their birth weight due to a loss of fluids. 

But within just a few weeks, your baby will pack those ounces back on, and then some. You can expect your baby to gain about an ounce a day for the first two months of life, says Dorota Szczepaniak, a pediatrician at Riley Children’s Health. 

“After that, infants are generally expected to double their birth weight by five months and triple by 12 months,” says Szczepaniak. 

Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips Babies will eat more and less frequently as they age 

During the first weeks of life, babies eat frequently. Expect your newborn baby to eat every two to three hours. Babies may only consume half an ounce per feeding during the first few days. But by two weeks, this increases to two to three ounces per feeding. 

The amount babies eat continues to grow with every additional month. The frequency of feedings, on the other hand, decreases over time. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlines how much babies eat by age:  

  • Two months: Babies eat four to five ounces of breast milk or formula every 3 to 4 hours. 
  • Four months: Babies consume four to six ounces of breast milk or formula every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Six months: Babies eat up to eight ounces of breast milk or formula every 4 to 5 hours. 

The AAP recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of your child’s life. Though, sometime between four and six months, your baby will likely be ready to try solid foods as well. 

The Mayo Clinic recommends starting small and simple — mix up a tablespoon of baby cereal with four tablespoons of breast milk or formula, and serve your baby one or two tablespoons to start.  

Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips How much your baby should weigh each month 

When you visit the pediatrician, you’ll see a different growth chart depending on if your baby is a boy or a girl. Growth rate also depends on whether you’re feeding your baby breast milk or formula, says Szczepaniak. 

“Your doctor should always track your child’s growth on the appropriate growth chart and share it with the parent at every doctor’s appointment,” she says. 

Here is a month-by-month look at the average weight (50th percentile) for girls and boys according to growth charts from the World Health Organization: 

1 month: 

  • Girls in the 50th percentile for weight are 9 lb, 4 oz
  • Boys in the 50th percentile for weight are 9 lb, 14 oz

2 months: 

  • Girls in the 50th percentile for weight are 11 lb, 5 oz
  • Boys in the 50th percentile for weight are 12 lb, 4 oz

3 months: 

  • Girls in the 50th percentile for weight are 12 lb, 14 oz
  • Boys in the 50th percentile for weight are 14 lb, 1 oz

4 months:

  • Girls in the 50th percentile for weight are 14 lb, 3 oz
  • Boys in the 50th percentile for weight are 15 lb, 7 oz

5 months: 

  • Girls in the 50th percentile for weight are 15 lb, 3 oz
  • Boys in the 50th percentile for weight are 16 lb, 9 oz

6 months: 

  • Girls in the 50th percentile for weight are 16 lb, 1 oz
  • Boys in the 50th percentile for weight are 17 lb, 8 oz

Every baby is different, so if your baby doesn’t match the growth chart, exactly it’s not necessarily a problem. What pediatricians look for the most isn’t how much your baby weighs each month, but the rate they’re gaining weight and whether or not it’s consistent. For example, your baby should be twice as heavy by five months as they were when they were born.

Weight loss weightloss weight loss programs weight loss foods weight loss tips How to know if your baby is eating the right amount 

Babies have a natural internal compass when it comes to eating, says Szczepaniak. “Babies usually eat just about as much as they should,” she says. 

Hungry babies will lick their lips, frequently touch their mouth, stick out their tongues, suck on anything nearby, and act generally fussy. 

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s unlikely you’ll overfeed your baby. However, if you’re feeding your newborn from a bottle, it’s a bit easier for babies to drink from a bottle’s nipple than breastfeed, which can lead to overfeeding. 

Once babies get distracted during a bottle feeding, it’s a sign that they’re full and you can stop feeding them. Stomach pains, gas, and vomiting are also signs that the baby has eaten too much. 

Researchers have found a connection between rapid weight gain in infancy and obesity later in life. But when in doubt about your baby’s weight gain, Szczepaniak recommends following baby’s growth rate and consistency with help from the growth chart.

“Just like grownups, some babies eat more and some less, but as long as their growth is normal there’s no need to worry,” says Szczepaniak. If you’re worried that your baby is gaining too much, or not enough, weight, check with a pediatrician.

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