How Much Weight Should My Baby Gain Each Month?

Weight gain varies from baby to baby, and things like genetics, eating patterns, and whether a baby is breastfed or formula-fed. Read on for typical baby-growth guidelines.

Babies vary in shape and size as much as grown-ups do. How much weight your baby gains each month can depend on genetics, how often they eat, and whether they're getting breast milk or formula.

For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exclusively breastfed babies typically gain weight faster in the first two months than formula-fed babies. But these same infants tend to grow less rapidly than their formula-fed counterparts through the remainder of the first year.

Though there is a wide range of normal, you can use some rough guidelines to gauge that your baby's on track with their growth. Read on for typical weight-gain patterns from birth through 2 years.

Newborn Weight Gain

How much should a newborn gain a month? Well, the average newborn gains 2/3 to 1 ounce a day and grows 1 to 1 1/2 inches in length over the whole month. Remember that most babies lose some weight during the first few days of life. But they usually regain this weight over the coming days.

According to a 2016 study published in Pediatrics, 50% of newborns were at or above their birth weight by nine to 10 days. By two weeks, 14-24% were not yet back to birth weight, and by three weeks, only 5-8% remained below their birth weight.

1 to 6 Months Weight Gain

Babies usually gain 1 1/2 to 2 pounds and grow 1 to 1 1/2 inches each month during their first four months. During this time, your baby may begin looking chubby. However, as their activity level increases, those baby rolls will soon be replaced by developing muscle.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most babies double their birth weight by 5 to 6 months. However, a 2021 Pediatrics study found a 37% difference in doubling birth weight at 4 months. Researchers hypothesize that the increase in earlier rates of birth rate doubling may be due to overfeeding.

1 to 2 Years Weight Gain

According to the National Library of Medicine, growth in the second year is not as rapid. Between years 1 and 5, you can expect your child to gain about 5 pounds yearly.

By 12 months, most babies have usually tripled their birth weight—70% of the 98 infants in the above-referenced study tripled their birth weight by that time. In addition, babies typically grow 10 inches from their original birth length by 1 year.

By 24 months, most babies will gain another 4 to 6 pounds and add another 2 to 3 inches to their length.

Tracking Growth Over Time

At each of your baby's well visits, a health care provider will track your child's weight, height, and head circumference on a growth chart developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). This standard chart was developed from data using national surveys, and health care providers use it to determine the progress your baby is making compared with other babies of the same age and sex.

Many parents worry if their baby's measurements are on a high or low end of the chart. While these concerns are understandable, remember that your child's percentile is not as important as the fact that they're growing consistently. If a health care provider isn't concerned about your child's size or growth patterns, you can probably relax about it, too.

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