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Babies are such a blessing to have and they bring so much joy into your lives. They also come with many responsibilities as well as their own unique set of challenges.
One major responsibility is to make sure you baby is growing healthy and at the right rate. The best way for parents to monitor their baby’s weight is by weighing them in at home.
Here’s what you need to know about weighing your baby at home:
Find the baby’s weight by using a kitchen scale
The first step to figuring out how much formula you need for your baby is to find their weight. You can do this by weighing them on a kitchen scale or getting the information from their doctor.
Baby’s should be weighed regularly, especially during growth spurts, so that you know how much they are eating. Make sure that the baby weighs at least 5lbs before using these calculations as the minimum requirement.
Determine how many ounces per pound of body weight are needed daily:
1) If your baby weighs between 5-8 lbs., divide 590 by your child’s weight in pounds (590/weight). The result will give you an approximation of how many ounces per pound child needs daily (ex: for a five-pound child, the result is 100, so he/she needs 100 ounces of formula per day).
2) If your baby weighs between 9-12 lbs., divide 490 by your child’s weight in pounds (490/weight). The result will give you an approximation of how many ounces per pound child needs daily (ex: for a ten-pound child, the result is 50, so he/she needs about 50 ounces of formula per day).
3) If your baby weighs between 13-17 lbs., divide 430 by your child’s weight in pounds (430/weight). The result will give you an approximation of how many ounces per pound child needs daily (ex: for a 16-pound child, the answer is 26, so he/she needs about 26 ounces of formula per day).
4) If your baby weighs between 18-22 lbs., divide 395 by your child’s weight in pounds (395/weight). The result will give you an approximation of how many ounces per pound child needs daily (ex: for a 20-pound child, the answer is 31, so he/she needs about 31 ounces of formula per day).
5)If your baby weighs more than 22 lbs., divide 375 by their weight in pounds (375/weight). The result will give you an approximation of how many ounces per pound child needs daily (ex: for a 24-pound child, the answer is 30, so he/she needs about 30 ounces of formula per day).
Add 30-40 ounces to the total:
Once you have determined how many ounces per pound your child needs daily, add 30 to 40 ounces to that amount (ex: if your baby weighs 13 lbs., he/she will need about 65-75 ounces of formula a day.
This is because 100+30=130 and 130/13=10.8, or 11, so they would round up to about 75 ounces of formula a day). Formula should be fed in divided feedings throughout the day.
Remember that these are only estimates as every baby is different! If you find that your baby is not taking enough at first, slowly increase how much formula they get until you find their sweet spot!
Weigh yourself first, then weigh the baby
We, parents think that the modern weighing machines will weigh the baby weight accurately. But, it is suggested to weigh our weight first then our baby’s weight.
1. Weigh yourself first, then weigh the baby (empty diapers included).
2. Subtract your weight from both scales to find the weight of the baby.
Benefits of weighing baby at home
– No need to spend extra money for weighing baby at every visit to the doctor, saving you time and money.
– You can monitor your newborn’s weight gain on daily basis, improving health outcomes of your new born baby.
– Less waiting time as you don’t have to wait for your turn with other mothers.
– No more fuss among doctors if baby’s weight is not reaching the required amount.
– Babies grow and develop at their own pace. While the first few months of a baby’s life are important, each child is different and your doctor should be the only person who knows what weight, length or head circumference they should reach by a certain age.
– Your maternity hospital might not be able to provide you with the date of birth and circumcision for your child – especially if your baby was born early – making it difficult to find out how much he/she weighed exactly at birth.
– You can track a lot more than just a single weight: head circumference, length, abdominal girth and mid-upper arm circumference in only a couple minutes!
Disadvantages of weighing baby at home
– Too frequent weighing can ‘wear out’ baby.
– Parents can become obsessed about their child’s weight gain, which is tiring and stressful for the whole family. It can lead parents to give bottle feeds instead of breastfeeds to ensure that the child gains weight. Studies show that this increased quantity of formula milk reduces the amount of breastmilk intake by up to 500ml a day, resulting in reduced breastmilk supply. Formula feeding may also result in lower IQ scores for babies at age 8 years old compared with those who are exclusively breastfed during infancy .
– Weighing your baby too often can make them feel stressed, possibly resulting in poorer sleeping patterns, reduced appetite or failure to thrive.
– Some mothers feel that frequent weighing of their child makes them ‘loss sensitive’ i.e. they need to know how much milk their babies are getting every day, whether the baby is feeding well etc.
– Parents are not always able to accurately measure their baby’s weight using scales where you stand on the platform and read the measurement on a scale – if the baby moves while standing or stepping off, this can result in an inaccurate reading. If your baby cannot stand safely on these scales, it may be difficult to get an accurate weight reading for him/her.
What you need to weigh your baby at home?
– Scales: There are basically two types of scales that can be used for measuring infants weight – Baby scales and kitchen/bathroom scales. If you’re looking to buy a scale, we recommend getting one that would last you a long time as this is your investment towards baby’s well-being.
You can get either digital or analog/dial type baby scales depending upon the convenience and preference. Digital ones weigh more accurately than their analog counterparts but they do come at a higher price tag.
– Infant scale: This is a must have if you want to measure the weight of your infant at home. While this can be used even after your baby turns one-year-old, it is mostly recommended for use under 6 months.
The reason being that infants are very vulnerable to any change in their surroundings or routine and could have issues with adapting themselves to new situations. If you are using an infant scale, it’s important that you take off all heavy clothes before stepping on the scales. This will ensure accurate reading.
– Scale tray: A tray comes in handy when weighing infants as it enables the caregivers to keep the bouncer/jumper in one place without worrying about keeping them steady while placing them onto the scales. It also protects the scales from getting spoiled if there are any spills or mess.
– Weight tape: Weighing your baby can be tricky at times because you have to hold them with one hand while keeping the tape in the other. It is common for babies to shift positions which can affect the measurement of their weight by a few grams.
A weighing tape eliminates this issue as it allows you to keep track of your baby’s position during the entire process. While some parents use regular tapes meant for adults, we recommend using those made specifically for infants as they are slightly wider and softer making them gentle on delicate skin (not only yours but also your child’s).
– An assistant: Weighing your baby with an assistant can help you take an extra measurement or two to truly stay on the safe side. This is perfect for first time parents who are always worried about their baby’s health and never like to take chances.
– A measuring tape: This helps in measuring the circumference of your baby’s head as well as height. It’s a great way to track physical growth and development of your infant during every visit to the pediatrician.
– A notepad and a pen: These come in handy when you’ve been asked by your pediatrician to keep records of your baby’s weight at birth as well as monthly basis.
How to weigh baby at home?
When it comes to newborn babies, they are very vulnerable and thus, weighing them is a must. In order to weigh baby at home safely and easily, you can follow some simple steps: –
1. Please take a small blanket or towel for placing the baby on the scales so that he/she doesn’t slip from your hands while being weighed. It will also give protection from hard floor of scales.
2. If you have tube scales, then please check whether they are set at zero otherwise put it at zero first before placing your baby on the same.
3. Now place the baby with its back towards you and hold him/her close to your chest then pick up – that’s what you have been doing since birth as well.
4. Keep the baby close to you but only keep the front part of the body on the scales as shown in the picture below. The head, back and legs must be kept on your hand rather than scales otherwise it will lead to wrong readings. So try to follow this step very carefully else you will end up with a wrong weight reading too.
5. Ensure that baby is not forced by tight clothing or swaddle cloths as they can cause discomfort to him/her while being weighed which leads to struggling during weighing session resulting in less accurate results.
6. If there are two persons available then one should hold baby while another keeps track of weights on scale then it becomes easier for both especially if your hands are full!
7. Do not try to take more than one reading in the same position especially if your baby is very restless. Take another reading by changing the position of your baby on scales so that you get accurate results which are devoid of any measurement error caused due to wrong positioning.
Tips for when you’re trying to measure your child’s weight
1. Pick the Right Time of Day: If possible, try to figure out when your baby tends to be hungriest and pick that time to weigh him/her. He/She may be less cooperative at other times throughout the day though. If this is not possible, don’t worry about it too much–just make sure you do it the same time every day so that it becomes routine for your baby (which will make it easier in future weigh-ins).
2. Make Sure They’re Hungry: If you try to weigh them right after they eat, it will not be an accurate reading because they will be heavier from the food that they ate. It is best to wait 1-2 hours after they eat before weighing them.
3. Remove All Clothing (If Possible): If possible, it’s easiest if your baby isn’t weighed with any clothes on (they should only have a diaper on). But again, if this is not possible try to follow these same guidelines as much as you can; especially when it comes to removing all clothing. Leggings and onesies are usually fine though–just don’t let your child hold anything in their hands or pockets during the weigh-in 🙂
4. Weigh Your Baby on a Flat Surface: Make sure that you are weighing your baby on a flat surface. If you have a scale with an uneven surface, place a towel underneath to make it as flat as possible.
So, now you know how to weigh your baby at home. The benefits and disadvantages of doing so are listed above.
Be sure that if you’re trying this for the first time or if it’s been a while since you’ve done it, do some research on tips for measuring weight with accuracy!
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