How Much Weight Should My Baby Gain?

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Becoming a mother is one of the most exciting moments in a women’s life! Ideally, the time should be filled with excitement, happiness, and enjoyment. 

However, it’s also completely normal to have feelings of overwhelm or questions and concerns that your baby is healthy and well. 

Many parents want to be sure that their baby is growing and gaining an appropriate amount of weight. 

How Big Are Newborns?

Most full-term healthy babies are born weighing between 5 pounds 11 ounces and 10 pounds.

The average baby will be born weighing 7 pounds and 5 ounces. 

There are many factors that affect a baby’s birth weight. Among those factors include the parent’s birth weight, prenatal care and pre-pregnancy health, the baby’s gender, whether the baby is a singleton or not, and the baby’s race. 

Will My Baby Lose Weight?

In general, yes, your baby will initially lose weight following their birth. Typically babies will lose  5-7% of their birth weight. Some babies may lose up to 10% of their birth weight. 

You can learn more about babies losing weight after birth in this article

How Much Weight Should My Baby Gain? 

The Mayo Clinic reports that babies typically gain weight faster for the first 5 months of their life. Their weight gain then slows from months 6-12. 

On average, babies will double their birth weight by around 5 months. 

You can expect that your baby will have tripled, or be close to triple, their birth weight on their first birthday. 

How much weight should newborn gain per week?

Healthy newborns, on average, will be back up to their birth weight by 2 weeks of age. You can then anticipate that your baby will gain approximately 5-7 ounces a week. 

How much weight should my baby gain by 2 months?

Babies tend to gain an average of 1-2 pounds a month for the first 6 months of life. 

Therefore, you can expect your baby will gain between 2-4 pounds by their 2nd month. 

baby on scale weight

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Average weight gain of a breastfed baby

Breastfed babies typically follow a slightly different growth pattern than babies that are fed formula. 

Do breastfed babies gain weight slower? 

Breastfed babies that are healthy and growing well, tend to gain weight at the same rate as formula-fed babies for the first few months of life.

Babies that are breast-fed, tend to gain weight at a slower rate from months 4-6. 

Prior to 2012, it was common for pediatric healthcare providers to use growth charts developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These charts were developed using information gathered from babies that were primarily fed formula. 

By using these charts, babies that were breast-fed appeared to be falling off their growth curve, as they were not growing as fast as the formula-fed babies the curve was based on. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended, in 2012, that the growth charts developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) should be used for children aged 0-2. 

The WHO growth charts were developed using a larger group of babies and therefore accounts for both formula-fed and breast-fed infants. 

Breast-fed babies tend to follow the growth curve on the WHO charts more-so than they did when the CDC growth charts were the standard. 

How can I help my breastfed baby gain weight? 

The best way to help your breastfed baby to gain weight is to continue to offer them the breast to nurse. 

Breastmilk is a demand and supply system. Your body will make more milk as your baby demands. 

It is important to watch your baby for cues that they are hungry, as well as watching the clock. 

Breastfed babies need to eat every 2-3 hours. Meaning a new feed needs to start two to three hours after the previous feed started, not ended. 

However, if your baby does not exhibit hunger cues, and it has been three hours since they began their last feed, then you need to encourage your baby to nurse. 

If your baby does not seem to be gaining weight, the latch is painful, or they are not having enough wet and/or dirty diapers you should try to locate a local lactation consultant for evaluation and assistance. 

Side Note: If you are breastfeeding (or planning to) then you will want to take this course! It’s the BEST online breastfeeding course available. If you’ll be pumping, she also has a “back to work pumping” class and a class just for those that are planning to exclusively pump! You can’t go wrong with any of these classes!

Average weight gain of a formula-fed baby

Babies that are fed formula tend to gain weight at the same rate as breastfed babies for around the first four months of life. After that, formula-fed babies tend to gain weight at a faster rate. 

Babies tend to gain around 5.5-8.5 ounces each week for the first four months. 

From months 4-6, babies, on average, gain 3.25-4.5 ounces a week. 

On average, babies gain 1.75-2.75 ounces each week from 6-12 months. 

How Much Weight Should My Baby Gain?

It is important to watch your baby’s growth pattern and weight percentile. We want to be sure that your baby is following their pattern of growth and not falling off their curve. 

This is something your child’s healthcare provider will follow at each well-child check-up.

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Brooke has been helping families as a board-certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, since 2007. Prior to that, she spent 4+ years working as a Registered Nurse in both pediatric and postpartum nursing. Brooke holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing. Additionally, she is dual-licensed in her state as both an APRN and RN.

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