CARE AND FEEDING BASICS

Expected Weight Gain for a Breastfed Baby

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summary

It is common for newborn babies to lose some weight in the first few days after birth. A typical range of weight loss is 0-10%. Weight loss above 10% usually requires assessment and a feeding plan of care. After the fourth day of life, babies should begin gaining weight at a rate of around 0.5 to 1 ounce per day on average, or 4-7 ounces in a week. This rate is appropriate until around 3-4 months, when the rate of growth slows to 3-5 ounces in a week.

Equipment Needed:

• Baby Scale – the scale for measuring a baby’s weight should be precise down to 0.5 ounce. A scale for measuring milk intake should be precise down to 0.1 ounce.

• Growth Chart – There are two standards for expected growth rates in infants, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the WHO (World Health Organization). Breastfed babies should always be measured against the WHO percentile chart because the CDC data reflects growth rates aligned with formula fed babies.

Steps

  1. Aim to weigh your baby on the same scale over time whenever possible to help account for scale differences.
  2. Weighing your baby naked is the most consistent method when tracking growth.
  3. Ensure that the scale is set to 0 before weighing your baby
  4. Record weight on note or app of your choice

Follow Up:

If you are concerned about your baby’s rate of growth, please contact your healthcare provider (HCP) and a lactation professional to help assess and design a plan of care.

Resources:

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