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Average Newborn Weight Gain

Average Newborn Weight Gain

From what I can tell, most new moms worry about whether or not their baby is getting enough to eat, especially breastfeeding moms who haven’t a clue how much milk their baby is actually eating at each feeding. Parents can take comfort from knowing whether their baby is on track for what’s normal in terms of average newborn weight gain.

So, what is normal?

A newborn is expected to lose between 5-7% of their birth weight in their first 3-4 days of life. Even up to a 10% weight loss can be considered safe, although it is generally recommended that if that much weight has been lost, the breastfeeding mother should consult with a licensed lactation consultant. By about two weeks old, the baby should gain enough weight to bring it back to its original birth weight.

Beyond this, the average newborn will double its birth weight by the time they are three to four months old. Furthermore, by a baby’s first birthday, they should weigh 2.5-3 times their original birth weight. Babies typically experience around five growth spurts in their first year of life. It may suddenly seem that your newborn has outgrown his or her clothes overnight! They may seem extra fussy, even if it seems like you’ve just fed them. It is normal for babies going through growth spurts to start demanding to eat every hour. This can be frustrating to parents who have just managed to establish a feeding routine that works for them and their baby. But fear not, growth spurts do come to an end and the baby will establish a new “normal” again.

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Please note, weight charts are specific to baby girls and baby boys. The following charts can be found originally at this link.

Weight for Age Girls
    Weight for Age Boys

      Here is a chart depicting the averages for height-to-age.

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      Baby Height Age Chart

        And finally, a chart to help you see your child’s percentile compared to national averages for their head circumference-for-age.

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            The differences between breastfed vs. formula-fed babies

            In general, exclusively breastfed babies can expect a higher average newborn weight gain than their formula-fed peers for the first two or three months of life. However, at age 6-12 months, formula-fed babies tend to weigh more than exclusively breastfed babies.

            A few things to keep in mind when evaluating newborn weight gain

            • Be sure to calculate weight gain based on the lowest your baby’s weight has been, not by their original weight.
            • Accuracy can only be expected when your baby is weighed without clothing or a diaper, and is weighed on the same scale consistently, as scales widely vary in their margin of error.
            • The scale should be set to “zero” before your baby is placed on it. The baby should be placed in the center of the scale. The more calm and still a baby can be during a weigh-in, the more accurate the reading will be.
            • If you are concerned about your baby’s weight gain between weigh-ins, a good way to tell if your baby appears to be getting enough nourishment is to check the frequency and quality of your baby’s elimination habits. See the chart below (Source).

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            Newborn Output Chart

              You can calculate your baby’s weight compared to age and height using these charts.

              A note about chart-reading

              Once you find the point on the graph where your baby’s weight and age intersect, follow the line exactly horizontally to find the percentile reading. For instance, if you have a reading of 72%, this tells you that your child weighs more than 72% of his or her peers, and less than 38%. If it seems that your child is troublingly high or low in any category, be sure to express your concerns to your doctor. Often, pediatricians are more concerned with an overall growth patterns (that is, increase in low numbers over time, or a dramatic drop) than they are in your child’s percentiles on any given day.

              Take heart, moms and dads of newborns — you’ve got this!

              Featured photo credit: Owen Newborn-2/Ginny Washburne via flickr.com

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              Published on January 30, 2019

              How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

              How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

              In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

              The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

              According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

              This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

              Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

              This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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              The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

              Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

              What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

              Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

              1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

              Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

              Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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              As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

              2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

              I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

              However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

              Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

              When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

              3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

              This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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              I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

              Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

              4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

              No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

              Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

              5. Don’t keep score or track time.

              At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

              In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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              The Bottom Line

              To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

              The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

              But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

              On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

              Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

              Reference

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