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Growth and weight gain in newborns

Weight gain: Term babies may lose up to 10 % of their birth weight in the first few days of life due to loss of water through skin, burning of fat and glycogen stores to generate calories and energy. They typically start putting on weight when mothers milk kicks in, especially in babies who are on exclusive breast feeding. They regain their birth weight by 10 to 14 days of life. To ensure that your baby is receiving adequate amount of milk, we check their weight at day 4 of life to confirm the weight loss is within 10% of birth weight. If your baby has lost more that 10% of his birth weight then it is important to evaluate milk production and explore ways to add more calories by giving top up feeds to few days till mother’s milk kicks in. We may advise you to come back to the hospital after discharge to check for breast feeding, weight gain and jaundice. Or you may elect to follow up with your child health nurse for the same.

 Age   Weight gain
 First 3 months of age  30 g a day
 3 to 6 months of age  20 g a day
 6 to 12 months of age  10 g a day
 2 years to puberty  2 kg a year

Infants double their birth weight by 4 months of age and triple their birth weight by one year.
Compared with formula-fed infants, breastfed infants gain weight relatively rapidly during the first 3-4 months of life and relatively slowly thereafter. The weights of breastfed and formula-fed infants are similar by 12 to 23 months of age