How To Weigh Your Baby At Home Using A Regular Household Scale
Many parents enjoy tracking their baby’s growth and development. Certainly, when you visit your pediatric health care provider, she will weigh your baby and record his growth; however, you may also wish to track your baby’s weight at home. You can do this through a variety of ways.
One way to weigh your baby at home is to use a pediatric scale. These scales are specifically made to accurately measure your baby’s weight right down to the ounce. However, these scales can sometimes be expensive, and often won’t serve any other purpose after your baby is too big to use it. Pediatric scales typically work for weights up to around 25 pounds. If your baby has difficulty eating or other nutritional or developmental concerns, your pediatric health care provider may wish for you to purchase a pediatric scale and to record your baby’s weight on a daily basis.
Another way to calculate your baby’s weight is to use a regular home bathroom scale. While pediatric scales give a more precise reading, effectively measuring down to the ounce, home bathroom scales are typically sufficient for most parents. To figure out your baby’s weight using a bathroom scale, first weigh yourself and jot down your weight. Then, climb onto the scale while holding your baby. Subtract your weight from this second number to get your baby’s weight.
In addition to weight, you might want to track your baby’s growth in other ways. Two other common measurements can include length (or height, once your child can stand) and the circumference of your baby’s head. You can then use these measurements, together with weight, to plot your baby’s growth on a growth chart.
Your baby’s length can be measured in a variety of ways. The simplest way to to this at home is to use a simple tape measure. To do this, you will first lay your baby on her back. position her head against a wall or other flat surface. Then, you will need to hold your baby’s knees together and press on them gently so her legs stick straight out. You can then use the tape measure to calculate the distance from the wall down to the baby’s heels. This is often easiest to do when one person holds the baby and another holds the tape measure. Use inches or centimeters, whichever you prefer, to record your baby’s length.
Measuring your baby’s head can be somewhat tricky. The best method is to use a fabric measuring tape. Place this measuring tape around the largest part of your baby’s head. This should be just above the eyebrows and ears, and will go around the entire head. This measurement is known as the occipital-frontal circumference, or OFC, and is generally taken in centimeters.
There are a variety of growth percentile calculators and growth charts that you can the, if you wish, use to see where your child falls in comparison to the average baby.