Average weight of a baby at birth

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Parents often wonder if their newborns will attain the perfect birth weight. They understand that the average weight of a baby at birth is indicative of the newborn’s health. If you are one of such parents, you should know that there is a wide range of acceptable body weights for newborns. If your baby is feeding, excreting waste and sleeping well, there is no need to worry too much about your baby’s body mass.

What do newborns weigh?

Ob-gyn experts have pinned the average weight of a baby at birth at 3.5kg. However, it is normal to find healthy babies weigh between 2.5 kg and 4.5 kg. Within the first few days of birth, babies lose about 0.23kg. They regain this weight by the time they are about two weeks of age. Subsequently, the baby may gain up to 0.23kg each week.

Important factors that influence the average weight of a baby at birth:
A wide range of factors influences the baby’s size, length and weight at birth. One key factor is the length of the pregnancy. A baby born prematurely is likely to weigh less than a baby who is born around the expected date of delivery.

Here are other factors that play a role in the newborn’s physical attributes and characteristics.

1. Genes

Huge parents are likely to birth newborns that exceed the average weight. On the other hand, smallish parents are likely to birth offspring that fall slightly below the average birth weight.

2. Birth Position

Firstborn babies tend to weigh less than their younger siblings do at birth. Women can expect the size of their babies to increase alongside the number of pregnancies.

3. Woman’s antenatal health status

Maternal health status can influence the average weight of a baby at birth. Cardiovascular diseases and other antenatal complications can cause the newborn to weigh less than average. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy can adversely affect the unborn baby.

4. Sex

Females often weigh less than male babies. At birth, the differences in size are barely noticeable.

5. Nutritional value of prenatal diet

Well-nourished pregnant women often have healthier babies. Babies get all the necessary nutrient from their mothers. Eating a healthy diet is the only way to guarantee that your child will not be underweight or overweight.
If you want your baby to fall within the healthy birth weight range, eat a strictly nutritious diet.

Take dietary supplement so that your baby can gain the right amount of weight.

6. Multiple births

Women who have multiple pregnancies should expect to have small babies. “Twins, quadruplets or more have to share available resources in the womb,” says Patrick Eze, a gynecologist at Enugu State Teaching Hospital. “And they often have to be delivered earlier than the expected ate of delivery.” These factors influence the average weight of a baby at birth.

7. Fetal health

Birth defects can affect a newborn’s birth weight. Pregnant women should also protect themselves from contracting infections as they can affect the way the child grows in the womb. If your baby has a medical condition, chances are that the birth weight will be less than average.

Other important facts to note about the average weight of a baby at birth

Parents often assume that the birth weight determines the child’s physical attributes in adulthood. A small twin can grow into a big and tall adult. A big baby might grow up to be petite.

Genes play a big role in the child’s size. Tall and huge parents tend to have huge children. Smallish parents are likely to have smallish kids. But genetics isn’t the only determining factor. Nutrition can also affect a child’s growth rate. Experts say that well-nourished babies tend to grow into big and strong children. Feed the child a diet that is rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins.

Giving the baby adequate love and attention can help promote the child’s growth and development.

Irrespective of your baby’s birth weight, your baby can grow into the big, strong child of your dreams. Give your baby the necessities of life, and you will be surprised at how fast and big they can grow.

Resource: NHS

Also Read: Baby development and milestones: your 2 month old

Written by

Julie Adeboye