“Is my baby gaining enough weight?”
It’s a common concern for new parents and not necessarily an unfounded one. Low weight among newborns has been linked to compromised immune systems, making babies susceptible to illness, and could signal anything from a food allergy to a developmental issue. Scary as it sounds, though, low weight doesn’t always signal a problem.
“Small babies can be as healthy as big babies,” according to American Baby magazine. “The key is steady growth.”
The magazine’s latest issue breaks down what moms and dads can expect. In the first few days after birth, it is normal for a baby to lose a few ounces – water weight, according to experts. Around the two- to five-day mark, the baby will start to regain about a half-ounce per day and should be back at birth weight between days 10 and 14.
What are some red flags? If a newborn’s weight dips by more than 7 percent, if he takes longer than two weeks to return to his birth weight or if there is a significant drop in trajectory on the growth chart – for example, from the 60th percentile to the 10th – then it’s best to consult a pediatrician.