Parenthood is one of the most wonderful experiences. With the arrival of the bundle of joy, new parents face several questions that usually leave them bewildered. The most pertinent of such questions as, “Is my baby gaining proper weight?” This usually follows with trickier questions such as “How do I weigh my baby?” and “How often?”
Ensuring one’s child’s health is paramount, especially when it comes to a healthy weight; new parents are often confused about what the optimal weight is and how to measure it. A weighing scale is an easy answer to most of the questions. There are a few things to keep in mind before weighing the baby using baby weighing machines:
- The baby’s weight at birth is important. It is well-remembered and will be a defining factor regarding his health. The average weight of infants at birth is about 7.5 lb. Babies born within a range of 5.5 lb to 10 lb are considered healthy.
- Three main factors lead to disparities in the weight of the babies. The nutrition and health of the mother during her pregnancy, the baby’s gender, boys are usually 0.7lb heavier than the girls; and the DNA of the parents.
- Parents pass on certain genetic characteristics to their children, which are specific to a particular region only.
- Other than the factors already mentioned, the infant’s height also may be linked to its weight.
How Does Infants Gain Weight?
Infants gain weight rapidly, and a considerable amount of growth takes place in the very first few years of infancy and childhood. Periodically weighing the infants allows the parents to have a more comprehensive idea about the child’s health. As children cannot express how they are feeling, establishing a chart recording, the growth of the child’s weight is a proper way of assessing his health.
There are several ways why an infant might lose weight. The primary reason is the amniotic fluid, which eventually drains out. Neonates are born saturated in water as they have been floating in amniotic fluid, which is made up of electrolytes and water. Adapting to digest milk also takes a toll on them. For nine months, these infants have only been fed through the umbilical cord. Thus, they lose up to 10% of their birth weight.
Infants must start to regain the lost weight once they are about two weeks old. The newborn’s weight is also affected by the kind of food they are having. Some researchers have shown that babies that are formula-fed tend to gain more weight than those who are breastfed.
There are certain cases where the mother cannot breastfeed the babies; thus, they have to rely on bottle feeding. Parents can now choose which formula to feed their babies, depending on how the newborns are gaining weight.
The Right Way to Weigh Your Baby
The general opinion suggests weighing the baby once every month. But with advanced technology, parents now can weigh their babies as many times they wish to at the comfort of their homes using weighing scales. Investing in a proper baby weighing scale is important.
There are various kinds of weighing scales available in both online and retail stores. Selecting one that suits your baby is the best option. There are, however, a few things that you must keep in mind while buying and using the weighing scale, they are:
1) No sharp edges or rough patches: The most common mistake while purchasing a baby weighing scale is choosing an attractive and fashionable scale. Parents must pay attention to functionality than the attractiveness of the scale. Too many fancy colors and added functions shouldn’t dilute the main objective of the machine. They should thoroughly examine the scale to see if there are any rough patches or sharp edges that can be harmful to the infant. The task of the scale is to effortlessly record the weight of the baby without causing them any harm.
2) Investing in a scale that will weigh babies as heavy as 40 lb: Buying a scale is an investment, and it must serve the purpose of weighing babies for a longer period of time. It is advisable to look for such scales that are capable of weighing babies up to a weight of 40 lb. Not only does this scale last longer, but also the child will not feel uncomfortable with being cramped up while lying on the scale.
3) Using the correct setting: The most significant and vital things to remember while weighing newborns is to set the weighing scale at 0. If not done properly, the readings will be inaccurate and beat the whole purpose of buying a scale.
4) Weight registration: Whether parents buy a smart scale or a regular one, they must take down the weight of the baby properly. All the readings, if noted down properly, will help in the better assessment. Parents can then take better measures to ensure the health of the baby.
5) Keeping things simple: The simpler, the better. It is essential to take care that the babies do not feel scared of panic while being weighed. Weighing them while they have fallen asleep is advisable.
6) Not a replacement for doctor’s visit: Having a weighing scale at home is handy and gives a comprehensive idea about the newborn’s growth, yet it cannot be a replacement for a regular visit to the doctor. Doctors are indispensable and are capable of examining the infant for any internal issue if there is any.
New parents will always be apprehensive about their infants’ health. Having a weighing scale at home eases that a little bit. The busy lifestyle sometimes makes it difficult for the parents to make very regular visits to the doctor. These parents can use the weight readings that they have collected over time and share it with their doctor over mail or a phone call.
The doctor will have a better knowledge of the baby’s health and weight, which will able to prescribe needed measures and medicines for the baby. They will be able to act on the problem once detected immediately.