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Health Information For Parents
From your baby’s first day, doctors will keep track of weight, length, and head size. Growth is a good indicator of general health. Babies who are growing well are generally healthy, while poor growth can be a sign of a problem.
Newborns come in a range of healthy sizes. Most babies born between 37 and 40 weeks weigh somewhere between 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams).
Newborns who are lighter or heavier than the average baby are usually fine. But they might get extra attention from the doctors and nurses after delivery to make sure there are no problems.
Different things can affect a baby’s size at birth. The length of the pregnancy is important. Babies born around their due date or later tend to be larger than those born earlier.
Other factors include:
Premature babies generally are smaller and weigh less than other newborns. A preemie’s weight will largely depend on how early he or she was born. The time an infant missed being in the womb was growing time, so the baby has to do that growing after birth.
Many pre-term babies are classified as having “low birth weight” or “very low birth weight.” In medical terms:
Most babies with low birth weight or very low birth weight were born prematurely.
Premature babies get special medical attention right away after they’re born. A specialist called a neonatologist may help care for them. Many preemies spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) while they get medical care.
A baby with chubby cheeks and dimpled thighs once was many people’s picture of a healthy newborn. But a baby born much larger than average may have special medical problems that need attention.
Some very large babies — especially those born to mothers with diabetes, including gestational diabetes — may have problems for a few days keeping blood sugar levels up. They might need extra feedings or even IV (given into a vein)
to keep those levels from falling too low.
Yes, at first. Babies are born with some extra fluid, so it’s normal for them to drop a few ounces when they lose that fluid in the first few days of life. A healthy newborn is expected to lose 7% to 10% of the birth weight, but should regain that weight within the first 2 weeks or so after birth.
During their first month, most newborns gain weight at a rate of about 1 ounce (30 grams) per day. They generally grow in height about 1 to 1½ inches (2.54 to 3.81 centimeters) during the first month. Many newborns go through a period of rapid growth when they are 7 to 10 days old and again at 3 and 6 weeks.
Newborns are so small, and it can be hard to know if your baby is gaining weight the way he or she should. You may worry that your baby has lost too much weight in the first few days or isn’t taking enough breast milk or formula. If so, talk to your doctor, who may ask you about:
Being small or large at birth doesn’t mean a baby will be small or large later in childhood or as an adult. Plenty of tall teens began life as small babies, and the biggest baby in the family can grow up to be a petite adult.
By the time they’re adults, kids tend to resemble their parents in size. Genetics, as well as good nutrition and your attention, will play a large part in how your baby grows in the years to come.
Whether your baby starts out large, small, or average, in the next few months you can expect your little one to keep growing fast.
Advice and information for expectant and new parents.
Whether your baby comes home from the hospital right away, arrives later, or comes through an adoption agency, homecoming is a major event.
Find out what this doctor’s checkup will involve after your baby arrives.
These guidelines on breastfeeding and bottle feeding can help you know what’s right for you and your baby.
It may seem like all babies do is sleep, eat, and cry, but their little bodies are making many movements, some of which are reflexes.
By the time you hold your new baby for the first time, you’ve probably chosen your little one’s doctor. Learn about your newborn’s medical care.
Play is the primary way that infants learn how to move, communicate, socialize, and understand their surroundings. And during the first month of life, your baby will learn by interacting with you.
If you’re a first-time parent, put your fears aside and get the basics in this guide about burping, bathing, bonding, and other baby-care concerns.
From the moment parents greet their newborn, they watch the baby’s progress eagerly. But how can they tell if their child is growing properly?
Making a decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a personal one. There are some points to consider to help you decide which option is best for you and your baby.
Doctors use milestones to tell if a baby is developing as expected. Here are some things your baby may be doing this month.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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