Fluctuations In My Baby’s Weight: How can I tell what’s normal?

Your baby’s stomach size is really small at first. At the first to third day of life, your baby’s tummy is the size of a cherry or 1 grape and can only hold a teaspoon of milk ie. 5-7 mls per meal.

By day three to five, it is the size of a table tennis ball or walnut. From six days old up to 3 weeks old baby’s stomach is the size of an egg and so on.  Knowing this should restrain you from overfeeding your baby which could cause undue discomfort and distract you from the real cause of why our child may be fussy.

Weighing a Black Baby
The only way of confirming changes in your baby’s weight is by weighing your baby.

All babies lose no more than 10% of their body weight within the first 5-7 days of life before returning to their birth weight by week 2. Baby’s weight should increase by 50% at 6-8 weeks old and double his/her birth weight at 4-5 months old.

Growth Charts

Changes in your baby’s weight is another source of anxiety and potential conflict with loved ones as far as a first-time mum is concerned. These fluctuations are expected and should be verified during your well-baby visit after delivery using an appropriate infant weighing scale.

Any deviation from the trend described above may then prompt investigation of your baby’s nutrition or breastfeeding practices. You baby’s weight and length measurements should be entered in a chart. This chart usually comes with your immunization card if you live in Nigeria.

Each entry is benchmarked against the normal range for baby’s age within your society/race which is also usually shown on the chart. Looking at a chart showing a baby’s weight over time gives a more objective view of if your baby is being adequately nourished.

Second part of my chat with Dr Mims were we talk about growth charts

Signs that your Baby is being Adequately Fed

A well-fed baby will :

  1. Have 4 -6 wet diapers (urine) and 3-4 poopy diapers daily. Note that exclusively breast-fed babies can go up to 3 days without passing stool at 3 months old. Formula-fed babies can get easily constipated. This happens if you fail to follow the instructions for proportions of water to formula while preparing their meal.
  2. Gain weight in accordance with the normal range for his/her age and race. Your entries will be entered in the growth monitoring chart mentioned above.

See how to use a newborn check sheet to objectively assess your baby.

Is there a need for vitamin supplements in infants?

Formula-fed babies do not need multivitamins, however, babies being exclusively breastfed are required to get vitamin D drops. We have found that breastfeeding mums have low levels of vitamin D in their breast milk. We’ll delve into this topic in another post.

See also: Getting The Best Out Of Your Breastfeeding Journey: The Bras You Need