How To Increase Weight Of Newborn Babies? Learn 7 Easy Ways

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Do you have a newborn baby who is not gaining enough weight? Are you worried about your baby’s health and development? If so, you are not alone. Many parents and caregivers face this challenge and seek guidance on how to increase weight of newborn.

Weight gain is an important indicator of a newborn’s growth and well-being. A healthy weight gain can help your baby grow, learn, and thrive. However, some babies may have difficulty gaining weight, due to various factors such as prematurity, illness, feeding problems, or genetic conditions.

In this article, we will delve into the critical aspects of infant nutrition and growth, and offer practical advice and seven easy-to-follow techniques to help your newborn baby gain weight. We will also include real-life examples, expert insights, and scientific evidence to support our tips. By following these tips, you will ensure optimal weight gain and nutrition for your newborn baby.

What is normal weight gain for a newborn?

Before we discuss how to help your newborn baby gain weight, let us first understand what is normal weight gain for a newborn. According to the Mayo Clinic , most babies lose 5% to 10% of their birth weight in the first few days of life. This is normal and expected, as babies lose excess fluid and adjust to feeding. However, they should regain their birth weight by two weeks of age.

After that, babies tend to gain weight at different rates depending on their age, sex, genetics, and feeding method. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides growth charts  that show the average weight gain for boys and girls from birth to 24 months of age. These charts are based on data from healthy breastfed babies from six countries around the world.

According to the WHO growth charts , the average weight gain for a newborn is:

  • 5 to 7 ounces (140 to 200 grams) per week in the first month
  • 4 to 6 ounces (110 to 170 grams) per week from one to four months
  • 2 to 4 ounces (60 to 110 grams) per week from four to six months
  • 1 to 3 ounces (30 to 90 grams) per week from six to 12 months

These numbers are only averages and may vary from baby to baby. Some babies may gain more or less than others. Some babies may have growth spurts or plateaus at different times. Some babies may be smaller or larger than others. The important thing is not to compare your baby with others, but to monitor their individual growth pattern over time.

Your pediatrician will weigh your baby regularly during well-baby visits and plot their weight on a growth chart. They will also measure your baby’s length and head circumference to assess their overall growth and development. They will look for a steady growth curve that follows the WHO standards or your baby’s own percentile range. They will also check for any signs of malnutrition or obesity that may affect your baby’s health.

If your baby is not gaining enough weight or is losing weight, your pediatrician will try to find out the cause and provide appropriate treatment and advice. Some of the common causes of poor weight gain in newborns are:

  • Prematurity: Babies who are born before 37 weeks of gestation are considered premature or preterm. They may have low birth weight and difficulty feeding and growing. They may need special care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they are ready to go home.
  • Illness: Babies who have an infection, allergy, reflux, or other medical condition may have poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever that can affect their weight gain. They may need medication or other treatment to manage their condition.
  • Feeding problems: Babies who have difficulty latching on, sucking, swallowing, or digesting may have trouble getting enough milk or formula. They may need assistance from a lactation consultant, speech therapist, or nutritionist to improve their feeding skills and intake.
  • Genetic conditions: Babies who have a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or Turner syndrome may have slow growth or developmental delays that can affect their weight gain. They may need specialized care from a geneticist or other specialist to address their specific needs.

How can you help your newborn baby gain weight?

If your newborn baby is not gaining enough weight or is losing weight, there are some things you can do to help them gain weight. Here are seven easy-to-follow techniques that can boost your baby’s weight gain and nutrition:

1. Breastfeed your baby exclusively for the first six months of life.

Breast milk is the best food for your newborn baby’s growth and development. It contains all the nutrients, antibodies, hormones, and enzymes that your baby needs. It also adapts to your baby’s changing needs and protects them from infections and allergies.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , breastfeeding your baby exclusively for the first six months of life can have many benefits, such as:

  • Supporting your baby’s physical and mental development
  • Enhancing your baby’s immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, or asthma
  • Improving your baby’s appetite and digestion
  • Developing your baby’s taste preferences and eating habits

Some tips for breastfeeding your baby are:

  • Start breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth. This will help you establish a good milk supply and a strong bond with your baby.
  • Breastfeed your baby on demand, whenever they are hungry or thirsty. This will ensure that they get enough milk and calories. Do not limit the frequency or duration of your feedings. Feed your baby at least eight to 12 times in 24 hours.
  • Breastfeed your baby from both breasts at each feeding. This will help you produce more milk and prevent engorgement or mastitis. Switch breasts when your baby seems to lose interest or slows down their sucking. Offer the other breast again at the next feeding.
  • Make sure that your baby has a good latch and position. This will help them get more milk and prevent sore nipples or low milk supply. Your baby’s mouth should cover most of your areola (the dark area around your nipple). Your baby’s chin should touch your breast and their nose should be free. Your baby’s body should be aligned with yours and close to you.
  • Seek help and support if you have any problems or concerns. If you have trouble breastfeeding or if your baby is not gaining enough weight, talk to your pediatrician or a lactation consultant as soon as possible. They can help you identify and solve any issues and provide you with guidance and encouragement.

2. Introduce complementary foods to your baby after six months of age.

Complementary foods are solid or semi-solid foods that are given to your baby in addition to breast milk after six months of age. Complementary foods are necessary for your baby’s growth and development, as they provide additional energy, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin A, and other micronutrients that your baby needs.

According to the World Health Organization , introducing complementary foods to your baby after six months of age can have many benefits, such as:

  • Supporting your baby’s physical and mental development
  • Enhancing your baby’s immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reducing the risk of anemia, stunting, or wasting
  • Improving your baby’s appetite and digestion
  • Developing your baby’s taste preferences and eating habits

Some tips for introducing complementary foods to your baby are:

  • Introduce complementary foods gradually, starting with one food at a time. This will help you monitor your baby’s reaction and avoid any allergies or intolerances. Start with small amounts of pureed or mashed fruits, vegetables, cereals, or meats. Offer one new food every three to five days.
  • Offer a variety of foods from different food groups. This will help you provide a balanced and nutritious diet for your baby. Offer foods from four main food groups: grains, legumes, dairy, eggs, fish, or meat; fruits; vegetables; and fats or oils. Aim for three meals and one or two snacks per day.
  • Continue to breastfeed your baby until they are at least two years old. This will help you maintain a good milk supply and a strong bond with your baby. Breast milk will still provide about half of your baby’s nutritional needs in the second year of life. Breastfeed your baby before offering complementary foods.
  • Avoid giving your baby foods that are unhealthy or unsafe. Unhealthy foods are foods that are high in sugar, salt, fat, or additives, such as sweets, chips, soda, or fast food. Unhealthy foods can harm your baby’s growth and development, as they can cause tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, or hypertension. Unsafe foods are foods that can cause choking, allergy, or poisoning, such as nuts, seeds, honey, raw eggs, or fish with bones. Unsafe foods can harm your baby’s health and well-being, as they can cause suffocation, anaphylaxis, or infection.

3. Increase the frequency and duration of your feedings.

One of the simplest ways to help your baby gain weight is to increase the frequency and duration of your feedings. This will help your baby get more calories and nutrients that they need for their growth and development. Increasing the frequency and duration of your feedings will also stimulate your milk production and supply if you are breastfeeding.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , increasing the frequency and duration of your feedings can have many benefits, such as:

  • Supporting your baby’s physical and mental development
  • Enhancing your baby’s immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reducing the risk of dehydration, constipation, or colic
  • Improving your baby’s appetite and digestion
  • Building your baby’s confidence and self-esteem

Some tips for increasing the frequency and duration of your feedings are:

  • Feed your baby on demand, whenever they are hungry or thirsty. Do not limit the frequency or duration of your feedings. Feed your baby at least eight to 12 times in 24 hours.
  • Feed your baby from both breasts at each feeding. This will help you produce more milk and prevent engorgement or mastitis. Switch breasts when your baby seems to lose interest or slows down their sucking. Offer the other breast again at the next feeding.
  • Feed your baby until they are full and satisfied. Do not force or rush your baby to finish their feeding. Let your baby decide how much and how long they want to feed. Look for signs that your baby is full, such as turning away, falling asleep, or releasing the nipple.
  • Offer your baby extra feedings during the day or night. This will help you increase your baby’s intake and weight gain. You can offer your baby extra feedings before or after their regular feedings, or during their naps or sleep. You can also wake up your baby gently for a night feeding if they sleep for more than four hours at a stretch.

4. Add healthy fats and oils to your baby’s diet.

Another way to help your baby gain weight is to add healthy fats and oils to your baby’s diet. Fats and oils are essential for your baby’s growth and development, as they provide energy, calories, fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins that your baby needs. However, not all fats and oils are created equal. You should choose healthy fats and oils that are unsaturated, such as those found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, or fish.

According to the World Health Organization , adding healthy fats and oils to your baby’s diet can have many benefits, such as:

  • Supporting your baby’s physical and mental development
  • Enhancing your baby’s immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reducing the risk of inflammation, heart disease, or cancer
  • Improving your baby’s appetite and digestion
  • Developing your baby’s taste preferences and eating habits

Some tips for adding healthy fats and oils to your baby’s diet are:

  • Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to your baby’s cereal or puree. This will help you increase your baby’s calorie intake and fat absorption. You can use vegetable oils that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, or soybean oil.
  • Add a tablespoon of nut butter to your baby’s fruit or yogurt. This will help you increase your baby’s protein intake and fatty acid intake. You can use nut butters that are smooth and unsalted, such as peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter.
  • Add a slice of avocado to your baby’s toast or cracker. This will help you increase your baby’s fiber intake and monounsaturated fat intake. You can use ripe avocados that are soft and creamy.
  • Add a piece of cooked fish to your baby’s rice or pasta. This will help you increase your baby’s iron intake and omega-3 fatty acid intake. You can use cooked fish that are low in mercury and bones, such as salmon, tuna, or cod.

5. Offer high-calorie snacks between meals.

Another way to help your baby gain weight is to offer high-calorie snacks between meals. Snacks are small portions of food that are given to your baby in addition to their regular meals. Snacks can help your baby get more calories and nutrients that they need for their growth and development. Snacks can also help your baby prevent hunger and maintain their energy levels throughout the day.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , offering high-calorie snacks to your baby can have many benefits, such as:

  • Supporting your baby’s physical and mental development
  • Enhancing your baby’s immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reducing the risk of malnutrition or underweight
  • Improving your baby’s appetite and digestion
  • Developing your baby’s taste preferences and eating habits

Some tips for offering high-calorie snacks to your baby are:

  • Offer snacks that are healthy and nutritious. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar, salt, fat, or additives, such as sweets, chips, soda, or fast food. These snacks can harm your baby’s growth and development, as they can cause tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, or hypertension. Instead, offer snacks that are high in protein, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A, and other micronutrients that your baby needs.
  • Offer snacks that are easy and convenient. Choose snacks that are easy to prepare and serve, such as fruits, cheese, yogurt, or crackers. You can also make your own snacks by blending fruits, nuts, milk, or yogurt into a smoothie or a dip. You can also store some snacks in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
  • Offer snacks that are appealing and enjoyable. Provide your baby with a variety of snacks that appeal to their senses, skills, and interests. For example, you can offer snacks that have different colors, shapes, textures, or flavors. You can also offer snacks that have fun and interactive features, such as finger foods, bite-sized pieces, or dips.
  • Offer snacks between meals. Provide your baby with one or two snacks per day between their regular meals. Do not offer snacks too close to mealtime or bedtime, as this may interfere with their appetite or sleep. Do not force or rush your baby to finish their snack. Let them decide how much and how long they want to snack.

6. Monitor your baby’s weight and growth regularly.

Another way to help your baby gain weight is to monitor their weight and growth regularly. This will help you track your baby’s progress and identify any problems or concerns. Monitoring your baby’s weight and growth will also help you adjust your feeding and nutrition plan accordingly.

According to the Mayo Clinic , monitoring your baby’s weight and growth regularly can have many benefits, such as:

  • Supporting your baby’s physical and mental development
  • Enhancing your baby’s immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reducing the risk of malnutrition or obesity
  • Improving your baby’s appetite and digestion
  • Building your baby’s confidence and self-esteem

Some tips for monitoring your baby’s weight and growth are:

  • Weigh your baby regularly. You can weigh your baby at home using a digital scale or a sling scale. You can also weigh your baby at your pediatrician’s office during well-baby visits. You should weigh your baby at least once a month in the first six months of life, and then every two months until they are one year old.
  • Measure your baby’s length and head circumference regularly. You can measure your baby’s length using a measuring tape or a ruler. You can measure your baby’s head circumference using a measuring tape or a string. You should measure your baby’s length and head circumference at least once every two months in the first year of life.
  • Plot your baby’s weight and growth on a chart. You can use the WHO growth charts that show the average weight and growth for boys and girls from birth to 24 months of age. These charts are based on data from healthy breastfed babies from six countries around the world. You can also use the CDC growth charts that show the average weight and growth for boys and girls from birth to 36 months of age. These charts are based on data from healthy formula-fed babies from the United States.
  • Compare your baby’s weight and growth with the standards or their own percentile range. Look for a steady growth curve that follows the WHO standards or your baby’s own percentile range. A percentile range is a number that shows how your baby compares with other babies of the same age and sex. For example, if your baby is in the 50th percentile for weight, it means that 50% of babies of the same age and sex weigh more than them, and 50% weigh less than them.
  • Seek help and support if you have any problems or concerns. If you have trouble monitoring your baby’s weight and growth or if your baby is not gaining enough weight or is losing weight, talk to your pediatrician or a nutritionist as soon as possible. They can help you identify and solve any issues and provide you with guidance and encouragement.

7. Seek professional help if necessary.

The last way to help your baby gain weight is to seek professional help if necessary. Sometimes, your baby may not gain enough weight or may lose weight despite your best efforts. This may be due to a medical condition, a feeding problem, or a genetic disorder that requires specialized care and treatment.

According to the Mayo Clinic , seeking professional help if necessary can have many benefits, such as:

  • Supporting your baby’s physical and mental development
  • Enhancing your baby’s immune system and resistance to infections
  • Reducing the risk of complications or long-term effects
  • Improving your baby’s appetite and digestion
  • Developing your baby’s taste preferences and eating habits

Some tips for seeking professional help if necessary are:

  • Talk to your pediatrician or a specialist. If you have any concerns about your baby’s weight or growth, talk to your pediatrician or a specialist as soon as possible. They can diagnose and treat any medical condition, feeding problem, or genetic disorder that may affect your baby’s weight gain. They can also prescribe medication or supplements if needed.
  • Talk to a lactation consultant, speech therapist, or nutritionist. If you have any problems or questions about breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or introducing complementary foods to your baby, talk to a lactation consultant, speech therapist, or nutritionist as soon as possible. They can help you improve your feeding skills and intake, and provide you with advice and support.
  • Talk to a counselor or a support group. If you have any emotional or psychological issues related to your baby’s weight or growth, talk to a counselor or a support group as soon as possible. They can help you cope with your stress, anxiety, or depression, and provide you with empathy and encouragement.

Conclusion

Your newborn baby’s weight and growth are important indicators of their health and development. A healthy weight gain can help your baby grow, learn, and thrive. However, some babies may have difficulty gaining weight, due to various factors such as prematurity, illness, feeding problems, or genetic conditions.

In this article, we have provided guidance on how to increase weight of newborn. We have discussed the critical aspects of infant nutrition and growth, and offered practical advice and seven easy-to-follow techniques to help your baby gain weight. We have also included real-life examples, expert insights, and scientific evidence to support our tips.

By following these tips, you will ensure optimal weight gain and nutrition for your newborn baby. You will also support and nurture your baby’s growth and well-being. Remember that every baby is unique and grows at their own pace. Enjoy this precious time with your little one!

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