A newborn baby is a beautiful milestone in a couple’s lifespan. The drive to the hospital, the moment the mother went into labor, and all the family discussions in between. Those are memories engraved in every parent’s life. But the first thing that every parent asks a doctor, ‘Is the baby healthy?’ So now what are the parameters to declare a baby healthy? First things that everybody checks, the average weight of a newborn baby! For a newborn child, the variance in weight could be because of many reasons – mother’s diet, age of mother, ethnicity, and weight of the mother. Apart from these factors, there could also be other reasons for a variation in the average weight of a newborn baby. Before a doctor declares a baby healthy, he checks their weight, height, and circumference of the head.
In India, doctors follow the WHO reference chart to verify the average weight and height of a newborn baby. Instead of providing a standard value, the health of a child is referenced in percentile. With the combination of height and weight, a doctor would compare it against the weight and height of children of the same sex and would then provide a percentile. So if your child has a 50 percentile, that means, 50% of the kids would like in the same percentile.
Let’s get one thing clear, there is nothing to worry about in case your newborn has a low or high average. With proper care and treatment, the growth can be controlled.
So basically if you want to know if your baby’s growth is on track, then you can reference the table. But before you print this table, and place it in front of your bed…
Here are some facts to remember if you want to know more about the average weight of newborn baby:
1. Premature birth would lead to a low average weight of a newborn baby.
2. The baby tends to lose a few grams right after they are born
3. The average weight of newborn baby doubles in the first three months and triple in the first thirteen months.
4. Baby girls’ growth chart will be very different from that of their male counterparts
5. In the first 6 months, breastfed babies tend to grow and tend to increase weight faster than formula-fed babies.
Let’s also understand a little about the reasons affecting the average weight of a newborn baby:
1. The weight and height of the mother and father have an effect on the newborn’s average height and weight.
2. As mentioned earlier, premature kids might have a lower average weight and height percentile.
3. The lifestyle of the mother and the family also affects the child’s birth weight and height.
4. Giving birth to twins, triplet? As per research, the average weight of the other kid/s would be lower.
What could be possible reasons for the child to not follow a proper growth pattern?
1. If the kid is facing difficulty sucking, then the probability of not following a proper growth rate is high.
2. If your kid vomits or gags on milk, then its time to visit the doc.
3. If there are any ensuing medical conditions, then that could also hamper a kid’s normal growth pattern.
4. If the average weight of a newborn baby is low or high, or if your kid is not following a normal growth pattern, then do consult a doctor.
But if you want to make sure that there is no problem at birth or after birth, then maternity health is of utmost importance. One needs to be sure that the new mother is not undergoing postpartum blues.
Top Tip: As for the father, make sure you do not drink, smoke or eat unhealthy food. You can’t expect to tease the mom all the time and ask her to control her cravings. Make sure that the kid is breastfed and as per the doctor, make sure that you follow a proper diet chart. The diet chart is definitely for reference, but it is not a rulebook. If you find your child’s number varying, do not panic, consult a doctor.
by Ankit Mohan