Average Baby Weight Gain

What's Normal? What's Healthy?

I've really noticed since having my baby that average baby weight gain is a big issue that can be really scary and confusing for a lot of new mothers (and dads too).

The World Health Organisation's Growth Charts are the charts that almost everyone uses to compare your baby to "what's normal and average baby weight gain". I get so many mothers coming in to see me who are worried because their baby is in one of the lower percentiles.

Believe me, wrongly intoned words from a well meaning child health worker, be it your doctor, nurse or obstetrician, can really cause a lot of extra, unwarranted stress for new parents. So my first tip to you, as a breastfeeding mother who knows that to increase your milk supply and give your baby's digestion the best start to life you can is to have your baby weighed by someone who is also a breastfeeding advocate.

If your baby is truly failing to thrive or gain weight "quickly enough" (and remember these are just average charts - are you average height and weight? Did you have all your milestones at the same time as everyone else?) rather than stopping breastfeeding, or supplementing with formula there are a few things you can try (and remember - DO NOT FEEL GUILTY IF THE FOLLOWING AREN'T THE RIGHT THING FOR YOU - EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT, I RESPECT YOUR DECISION NO MATTER WHAT IT IS xox)

  • Get your baby assessed for reflux or other digestive related problems that cause low weight gain
  • Assess if your baby has any intolerances (this can be things like dairy or gluten in your diet)
  • If you really think you have low milk supply ask for help from a lactation consultant who has breastfeeding as their main goal for you too
  • Know that if your baby was large at birth and you are not a large person then they are likely to drop down to a lower percentile which is more in line with where they should sit anyway
  • Know that a baby who's mother had gestational diabetesis likely to be heavier at birth from a bit of retained fluid
  • Know that one lower readin is not an issue - it is a continued trend down over at least 3 months that you really need to worry about (unless there's a huge weight loss in a really short space of time -but there would have been illness associated with this)

Essentially, if your baby is looking healthy and has some chubby bits on their legs (even if they're little ones) you most likely don't have to worry.

A recent study examining the weight gain of formula fed, expressed breast milk fed and breastfed infants has shown that breastfeeding helps to limit the likelihood of obesity. It's exciting to know that you are helping your baby off to such a healthy start by breastfeeding.

This study followed 2000 babies over the first year of their lives and monitored weight gains. The results show that babies fed with a bottle gained 71-89g per month more than those who were exclusively breastfed.

Some other pages which you may find useful:

Back to Breastfeeding Benefits for Your Baby from

Average Baby Weight Gain

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