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Normal Infant Weight Gain

by Laura Roberts, studioD

Growth and health usually go hand in hand within the first year of your baby’s life, making weight patterns a good indicator of overall well-being. Your pediatrician tracks your baby's weight gain on a growth chart at each appointment to compare with national data. MayoClinic.com reports that doctors are not looking for individual jumps or declines, but the overall pattern of these statistics.

First Week

Full-term babies generally weigh between 6 and 9 pounds. Factors affecting this difference can depend on genetics, the mother’s health and nutrition, multiple births and even gender. Expect water weight loss within the first week -- around 5 percent for babies who are formula-fed and up to 10 percent for babies who are breastfed. By the first two-week doctor's visit, your newborn should be back to his birth weight. Premature infants may fall into “low birth weight” classification, which simply means they weigh less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Any baby weighing less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces is labeled “very low birth weight” and receives immediate medical attention in a neonatal unit. Premature babies may take up to 3 weeks to regain weight lost after birth, according to KidsHealth.org.

0 to 6 Months

Within your baby’s first six months, you should see a weekly weight gain of 5 to 7 ounces, averaging around 2.2 pounds per month for the first three months, and 1.1 pounds per month after that, according to charts at KidsGrowth.com. By the time your little one is 5 months old, the scale should show double his birth weight. Around 4 to 5 months, his growth pattern may change, depending on whether your child is formula-fed or breastfed. Be sure your doctor is aware of your child’s feeding method.

6 to 12 Months

The World Health Organization reports that the normal weight for 6-month-old girls ranges from 13 to 20 pounds, while boys range from 14 to 21 1/2 pounds. From this point, you'll see a gain of 3 to 5 ounces per week. By the time your baby blows out his first birthday candles, he should be around triple the weight of the day he was born, according to Dr. Jay Hoecker at MayoClinic.com.


Don’t be surprised if you have a ravenous baby at 7 to 10 days, 3 weeks and 6 weeks of age, suggests KidsHealth.org. These time intervals mark normal growth spurts, when you tend to see a more rapid weight gain. If your baby’s weight drops significantly from one doctor's visit to another, or if she is not gaining weight from infancy, she may be labeled as “failure to thrive.” MayoClinic.com notes that pediatricians monitor any decline in weight but may not be overly concerned, unless the infant has not gained weight in 3 months. In general, if you do not have infant scale at home and are anxious to monitor your baby’s health, search for other clues, such as the number of wet and dirty diapers per day, alertness during awake periods and contentment after feeding.

About the Author

As a literature and grammar teacher, Laura Roberts began editing in 2002, gradually expanding her nonfiction writing to include new curriculum units. In 2008, Roberts began publishing her “Ask the Savvy Bride” column connected with her e-commerce wedding store. She holds a bachelor's in English education from Robert Morris University.

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