Is my baby the right weight? Health care & safety Baby 1 Babies vary a lot in weight at birth, from about 2.5kg (5lb 8oz) to 4.5kg (9lb 14oz). The average British birth weight is 3.3kg (7lb 5oz). How much a baby weighs is determined by genetics and the health and nutrition of the mum in pregnancy. It’s not how heavy babies are at birth or in the following months that’s important though, it’s the rate at which they gain weight. Every child follows a growth pattern from birth.Charting your baby’s growthOne of the first your baby does in life is lose weight! Because it takes a while for him to get used to drinking milk rather than getting food through the placenta (and if you’re breastfeeding, for you to start making it), he can lose up to 10% of his weight in the days following birth. But by about 10 days old, he should start to put it on again.Whether he’s big or small, your baby’s expected to put on weight at a steady pace, staying in the same range on the growth chart, also known as a centile chart. The lines represent a zone within which your baby’s expected to grow normally. Just because he’s on the top or bottom line, or centile, it doesn’t mean he’s overweight or underweight.How much weight should my baby gain? In the early weeks about 175g to 225g (6oz to 8oz) a week. He’ll normally double his birth weight by six months. After this, weight gain gradually slows down.If your baby suddenly puts on or loses weight and jumps to the next centile, or begins to go beyond the zone altogether, speak to your health visitor. But it’s probably just a natural growth spurt or pause in growth.There’s also a good reason why some babies will not conform to conventional expectations. Exclusively breastfed babies, premature babies or twins, for example, all have a slightly different weight gain pattern to the standardized chart.Premature babies’ growthA premature baby may not put on weight at the same rate as a full-term newborn for as much as two years. They’re generally smaller and can grow in spurts. Their weight is often tracked on charts specially adapted for preemies.Premature babies have two ages – their true age taken from birth, regardless of how early this birth was, and a ‘corrected’ age. A baby born five weeks early would, at 10 weeks, have a corrected age of five weeks. So in terms of weight gain, he’d be assess like a five-week-old full-term baby. Slightly premature babies don’t necessarily need any special food to help them catch up, but those who were very premature may be given a mixture of nutrients via a tube in their leg until their tummies are developed enough to be able to cope with milk. Research shows that a technique called ‘kangaroo holding’ helps premature babies gain weight better. It involves snuggling the baby inside mum or dad’s shirt as if in a kangaroo pouch. The warmth, smell, breathing and heartbeat of a parent seem to help them thrive.When a premature baby isn’t gaining weight fast enough, the doctor may suggest giving him a special premature baby formula or adding special supplements to his usual milk. But the best thing can be to judge for yourself whether or not you think your baby’s developing as well as he should.Feeding twinsWhether by breast or bottle, feeding twins requires planning and dexterity. Timing is crucial to make sure they both get what they need – but at different times. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you get enough calories to keep up with demand (400-500 extra a day). Bottle-feeding means that someone can help, but you ideally need him or her there every time both babies need a feed at the same time. What to do with a very plump childEven if your baby does appear to be too heavy for his height and age, don’t drastically cut back on feeds or put him on a diet. The idea is not to lose the excess pounds, but to slow down the weight gain until his growth catches up. Providing there’s no underlying medical cause or illness, he should ‘grow into’ his weight.Meanwhile, there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re not giving him more than he needs, with your approach dependant on his age. Babies under 6 months*If he seems to be feeding for a long time at the breast or bottle, check he’s not sucking just because he enjoys the sensation. Though it varies, 20 minutes at each breast should be enough. Try taking him off after this and see if he settles. He may also just be after a cuddle, so comfort him in a non-feeding position. *In formula-fed babies, check your baby’s feed is diluted enough. Making each scoop over-generous can add quite a few more calories at every feed. Stick very closely to the feeding guidelines on the packet. *Don’t be tempted to over-dilute or substitute some drinks with water without taking medical advice. Even if your baby seems to be chubbier than others, for healthy development he’ll still need the fat and cholesterol provided by the recommended number of scoops.Weaned babies *Check you're cutting back on your baby’s milk as you add more solids. However, he should still have the equivalent dairy intake of 1 pint/600ml a day until he’s 2.*Don’t be tempted to put baby rice or pudding in a bottle, regardless of how runny and difficult it is to feed on a spoon! Gulping it as a drink will give a baby far more than is needed.*Offer plain water as an alternative drink to milk. If your baby seems to want something with a bit more flavour, such as juice, it’s important to make sure it’s well diluted.Toddlers *Give food only at proper feed and snack times. Avoid offering food treats when he’s hurt or grumpy, such as when he kicks up a fuss in the supermarket. Instead of quietening him with a biscuit or sweet juice drink, give him a small toy or a big cuddle to distract him.*In rare cases, it may be necessary to give lower-fat alternatives to some foods but, particularly in the case of milk, check with your GP as you may need to give vitamin supplements to replace lost nutrients.*With children of any age, it’s important to get them moving. Confining a baby to a sling or an older toddler to a buggy for a lot of the time won’t burn off calories and develop muscles. So get active!Thin childrenMuch of our size is determined by genetics, so if you or others in the family are thin, there’s no need to worry. As long as your child is generally happy, energetic and gaining weight steadily (however little), there's usually nothing to worry about. For more information on your baby, toddler and child’s development, don’t miss Practical Parenting magazine each month. Expert View Polls What mums are saying Image Gallery 1/ Related Products Products to buy By Follow 1 Comments Share Like this article? Showing of lohrie biona my daugther is a year old she is only 17lbs how can i help her gain weight?what is the rigth food for her?please help me thanks Uh-oh! You need to be logged in to do this... Sign In Sign Up Load more posts Write a comment Related Articles Food allergies and your baby Teething solutions Common baby winter illnesses What is flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly)? Is your baby's cough croup?