Being a mother, you must always be worried about your newborn baby weight. It is easier for some babies to gain weight, while difficult for others. Many breastfed babies gain weight consistently and fastly in just a short period of time. But if you feel, that even after taking care of your baby so much, your baby is not gaining weight, there might be several reasons for it. So, how to increase newborn baby weight?
Well, check out the blog to know what affects a baby’s weight and ways to increase it.
What affects Baby’s Birth Weight?
There are many factors that affect a baby’s birth weight.
- How close your baby is born to due date?
- Baby’s weight strongly depends on mother’s diet and health.
- Parents height and weight affect baby’s weight.
Reasons for Slow Weight Gain
1. Poor Latching–
This is one of the most common reasons for slow weight gain. It takes time for babies to understand proper latching. If the baby has a good latching, it means it can drink the breastmilk properly, if the latching is not proper the baby is not able to drink milk properly, also, it can cause you pain.
2. Infrequent Breastfeeding-
A newborn baby needs to be breastfed every 2-4 hours throughout the day for at least 3 months. If you feel, you are not able to produce that much milk, you can try formula milk.
3. Short Nursing Session-
Sometimes, newborn babies do not breastfeed properly. A good nursing session of a newborn should be about 8-10 minutes on each side. And this goes on, for at least 6 months till your baby starts to eat solid food.
4. Low Milk Supply-
This is one common problem, which many mother’s faces. You can see a delay in the onset of breast milk production, which is one reason for low weight gain in your baby. To deal with this situation, you can talk to a lactation expert or can start formula feeding too.
Risk Factors for Poor Weight Gain
Many newborns breastfeed easily and gain weight. It is difficult only for some of the babies. When a baby is not able to breastfeed properly, they have difficulty in gaining weight.
- Prematurely Born-
If the baby is born before 37 weeks, they are termed as Premature babies. These babies do not have much strength or energy to breastfeed for a long time. They face some medical issues and are sleepy most of the time.
Jaundice in new-born is very common, they have a yellow tone in their skin, this also makes babies sleepy and less interested in breastfeeding.
Many times babies spit out the milk they just drank, this not only causes the loss of milk but the acid reflux also irritate their stomach, which makes it hard for them to breastfeed.
- Oral Challenges-
If you have large, hard or engorged breasts then it is hard for babies with small mouths to breastfeed, resulting in less weight gain.
Weight gain and Feeding expectation in Baby’s first year
Let’s understand the baby’s growth and weight gain expectation in the first year.
When your baby is just born, you must notice they growing up so fast. Every month you can expect your baby to grow from ½ to 1 inch. This is the reason newborn onesies do not last long.
Regarding feeding, you will have to breastfeed your baby every 2-3 hours, this will be around 10-12 times in 24 hours.
After your baby has reached 3 months, they will start gaining weight slowly. If you measure every week, you can notice 110 grams of increase every week. Till month 5, your baby’s weight will double.
Many parents start solid food at 4 months, but if you can wait till 6 months it is good. Once you start solid food, the load on breastfeeding starts to reduce.
Your baby is now rapidly gaining weight. Every month you can see an increase of one kg. Till the first birthday, your baby will have tripled its birth weight.
How to Increase Baby’s Weight?
Now, we have a proper idea of how much a baby should weigh in his first year. Let’s look at the ways to increase a baby’s weight.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, you know your milk is the only thing your baby relies on to get nutrition. Here are few ways to increase a baby’s weight through breastfeeding.
Keep Practicing- Breastfeeding takes time and you should not give up easily. Every woman, who is a mother knows the way to breastfeed. If you feel, you are having a problem breastfeeding your baby, you can consult a lactation expert for proper latching and breastfeeding technique.
Have a Good Milk Supply- If you feel your milk supply is not able to fulfil your baby’s stomach, you can increase your milk supply. Nurse your baby every one to two hours, and check whether they are still hungry.
Not every mom is comfortable in Breastfeeding, you can also feed your baby with formula milk. Formula-fed milk helps to gain weight faster than breastfed babies. Still, if your baby is not gaining weight, try following things-
Consider changing formula- If you feel your baby is allergic or sensitive to formula milk, you can try changing the formula milk. You can also get breast milk from a milk bank.
Mix the formula correctly- It is very necessary that you mix the milk formula correctly. Follow the mixing instruction carefully, too much water in the formula means your baby is not getting enough calories.
If your baby has crossed 6 months’ milestone, then you can start giving solid food to your baby. Feeding solids to your baby will help your baby gain more weight. You can follow these instructions to help your baby gain weight-
Add healthy fats- It is necessary that you give your baby healthy fats like Olive oil and Avocado. They are rich in Oleic acid and helps to reduce inflammation and provide baby omega-3 fat.
Full-fat dairy products- You can add grated cheese to soups and rice which you give your baby. Also, giving full-fat yoghurt is good.
Give your baby fruits too- Daily you can introduce your baby to one new fruit like banana, pears and avocado.
Bonus Point to increase baby’s weight
- If your baby is smaller than 6 months, then decrease the intake of solid foods. Some solid food has fewer calories than your nutritious breast milk.
- Try to stay in touch with your baby as much as you can. This increases the chances of frequent nursing.
- Learn a proper way for baby massage, this helps to relieve gas, improve digestion and also help in weight gain.
- Increase in skin to skin contact has shown increase in baby weight gain.
- Let your baby first finish the milk of one breast, then switch to other.
So, above are some of the ways to increase newborn baby weight. Make sure you are taking proper care of your baby. Understand their emotions and give them proper feeding.
How do you take care of your baby’s weight?