Want to raise a happy & healthy Baby?
Caring for your Newborn
Updated on 21 November 2023
Bringing a new life into the world is a beautiful experience, but it can also be quite overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. One of the biggest concerns that new parents face is ensuring that their newborn gets all the nutrients they need to thrive and grow. While some babies are born with a healthy weight, others may need a little extra help to increase their weight and reach their developmental milestones.
In this article, we'll provide you with some helpful tips on how to increase newborn baby weight, so you can feel confident that your little one is growing up strong and healthy.
Newborn babies in India typically weigh between 2.5kg to 4kg. Most babies are born with healthy birth weights above or below these standard ranges. Babies born over 4kg are considered to be obese and may have congenital disabilities. Babies born with a birth weight below 1.5kg are deemed to be at risk. These babies are often put in incubators with special feeding tubes to improve their weight.
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Before we understand how to increase baby weight after birth, let us understand the factors affecting the weight of a baby. A newborn baby's weight can be affected by the following factors:
A newborn's weight and size are heavily affected by the genetics of their parents. If the parents are both tall and well-built, then there is a good chance that they will have a similar built baby. Short and thin parents often have smaller babies with lower birth weights.
The mother should constantly have fresh, nutritious food. The physical and mental development of the baby depends heavily on how much nutrition they get during the gestation period. Mothers who eat nutritious food during pregnancy usually give birth to healthy babies with good birth weights.
Apart from eating nutritious food, pregnant women also need to take care of their health. Health issues like fluctuations in blood pressure, gestational diabetes or other illnesses can adversely affect the baby's development and birth weight.
Many experts have opined that firstborn children often have a lower birth weight when compared to their siblings.
Another critical factor influencing a baby's birth weight is whether it is a single birth or multiple births. The birth weight of a single-birth baby is considerably higher than the birth weight of twins and other multiples.
This is because, in the case of a single birth, all the nutrition is absorbed by a single baby. But, if the mother carries twins or multiples, the food is divided among all the babies. Due to this reason, most multiples have a lower birth weight than single-birth babies.
Now that we know the average weight of newborn baby in India and the factors that can affect newborn weight, let us understand how to increase baby weight after birth:
When a baby starts feeling hungry, they will display alerts like - sucking their hands, becoming fussy and bobbing their head. As soon as you notice these cues, get your baby's food ready. Feeding at this point will help your baby to gain weight faster. Waiting for your infant to cry before feeding them is not advisable as the baby may get too tired and cranky. Also, avoid giving a pacifier to your baby when he is hungry, as it will reduce their interest in feeding.
It is common for newborns to feed once every 2 to 3 hours a day. As each baby is different, it is impossible to predict how much milk they need to be fed in a day. Feeding the baby on demand is an excellent option for parents who worry about how to make baby gain weight fast. Feeding on demand means feeding the baby formula/breastmilk whenever they are hungry irrespective of the feed frequency.
Some moms want to know how to make newborn baby gain weight fast with breast milk alone. The only way to increase a newborn's weight with breast milk is to ensure its steady supply. Moms should monitor their breast milk production and eat nutritious food to promote lactation.
If recommended by a healthcare professional, supplementing breast milk with formula milk can be an option to ensure adequate calorie intake. You may also discuss with your pediatrician about using a formula with higher caloric density.
Some newborns are called sleepy babies because they do not wake up regularly for feeding. Parents of sleepy babies worry a lot about increasing their baby's weight. You should carefully monitor their feeding schedule and wake them up regularly for feeding. This will help the newborn to gain weight healthily.
In conclusion, newborn weight is an important aspect of an infant's growth and development. By following the tips mentioned in this article on how to increase newborn baby weight, such as breastfeeding frequently, supplementing with formula, and seeking medical advice when necessary, you can help your newborn achieve healthy weight gain and set them on the path to a healthy and happy life. Remember, every baby is different, so it's important to consult with your pediatrician to determine the best approach for your little one.
1. Worobey J, Lopez MI, Hoffman DJ. (2009). Maternal behavior and infant weight gain in the first year. J Nutr Educ Behav.
2. Pesch MH, Levitt KJ, Danziger P, Orringer K. (2021). Pediatrician's Beliefs and Practices Around Rapid Infant Weight Gain: A Qualitative Study. Glob Pediatr Health.
Priyanka is an experienced editor & content writer with great attention to detail. Mother to a 10-year-old, she's skilleRead More
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