Parents wait nine months for their little bundle of joy to arrive worrying at every little thing that something might be wrong. However, the worries of pregnancy are nothing compared to the worries that arise once the baby arrives! One common concern new parents have is how much weight gain is normal for an infant each month. Parents want to know their baby is thriving and if not they want to be able to recognize it and bring it to the attention of the pediatrician. The following information will help you understand a little better about the normal weight gain an infant should experience.
Breastfed versus Formula Fed
Believe it or not but the milk you feed your baby will affect his weight gain. In general, babies who are breastfed gain less weight and gain slower than babies who are formula fed. A breastfed baby should gain between four and seven ounces every week during the first month of life. The first six months of life the baby should gain one to two pounds per month. Then, from six months to one year the average growth rate is one pound per month. Lengthwise, babies will grow about one inch per month until six months and then about one half inch per month until their first year. In general, the growth pattern for breastfed and formula fed babies is about the same for the first few months, and then the formula fed babies gradually begin to gain at a faster rate. This equals about a one pound difference between formula fed and breastfed babies over the course of a year.
Keep in mind as well that babies burn calories at different rates depending on their metabolism and body shapes. Some babies gain weight faster than others while other babies grow in height faster. All of these elements must be taken into consideration to determine if your infant is growing at a normal rate. Remember, too, that your babys personality will affect his weight gain. If he is a laid back baby who simply enjoys watching life pass by he will probably gain weight faster than a baby that is always active and moving around.
Your doctor can let you know the averages for your child and if he is growing at a sufficient rate. Generally, as long as your infant is growing in length and weight each month at a normal rate then he will be just fine!