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Babies come in all shapes and sizes, but parents often worry that their infants aren’t gaining enough weight. Here’s how to tell whether your baby is eating enough–and what to do if you’re worried about her weight gain.
How much weight should a baby gain?
A baby is born with about a 10 percent cushion of acceptable weight loss (nature allows for this until the mother’s milk comes in). Most babies will lose two to three ounces of weight in the first 24 hours as their soggy skin dries out and they pass their first meconium stool.
Once a newborn gets on established feeds, a daily weight gain of half an ounce to one ounce is typical. Since the brain grows 180 percent by weight in the first year, this huge need for energy drives the appetite of a small baby way up. As a result, babies usually double their birth weight by five months of age and triple their birth weight by 12 months of age.