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Last updateTue, 28 Oct 2014 9pm

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A newborn's weight is influenced by many different factors, including (but not limited to) heredity, maternal health, time between pregnancies, geographical location, and race. In the United States, the average weight of a newborn is 7 pounds 8 ounces.
 
Since we know that babies differ in size, the following are terms used in the medical field to describe large, small, and extremely small infants:
  • Babies who are large for gestational age (LGA) are those whose birth weight is greater than the 90th percentile.To be classified as LGA, a baby will need to weigh > 4000 grams (8 pounds 13 ounces).Typically, babies who are LGA are born to diabetic mothers.
  • Babies who are small for gestational age (SGA) are those whose birth weight is less than the 10th percentile. To be classified as SGA, a baby will need to weigh < 2500 grams (5 pounds 8 ounces).
  • A baby who weighs less than 1500 grams (3 pounds 5 ounces) is classified as very low birth weight (VLBW); while a baby weighing less than 1000 grams (2 pounds 3 ounces), is classified as extremely low birth weight (ELBW).
During the first week of life, babies will lose up to 10% of their body weight and should return to their birth weight by 2 weeks of life. As a general rule, babies double their birth weight by 4-6 months (gaining 4 to 7 ounces per week), triple their birth weight by 1 year (gaining 3 to 5 ounces per week), and quadruple their birth weight by 2 (gaining ½ a pound to a pound a month). Growth spurt typically occur around 2-3 weeks of life and then around 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months of life. During these growth spurts, your baby may demand more frequent feedings and may wake during the night or during naps to eat. Keep in mind that during growth spurts, your baby nurses frequently to stimulate your body to increase milk production. Growth spurts typically last about 2-7 days.
 
As your baby grows, your pediatrician will monitor your baby's height and weight. Here are the new World Health Organization growth charts to take with you in the event your pediatrician is still using the old charts. Download your chart here...

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