Weight is an important indicator for the baby’s health
Ministry of Health, Al-Amiri Hospital
Weight is an important indicator for the baby’s health. It is necessary to notice the baby growth (weight, length and head circumference), especially in the first few months.
The average infant birth weight is 3.5kg, while the normal birth weight ranges between 2.5kg to 4.5kg.
In general, the first baby is usually lighter than later siblings; boys are usually heavier than girls, and commonly large parents have large babies, as well as small parents having small babies.
The average length of a full-term baby is 50cm, although the normal length range is 45.7cm to 60cm.
During the first 4 months after birth, the baby’s head will grow at a faster rate, and this is due to the rapid brain growth during this period.
Providing good nutrition and variety of food is the first key to having a healthy growing baby. Calorie requirements are highly needed in both the infant age (under the age of 1 year old) and the adolescence age (10-18 years old). During these two periods, the body requires this high amount of energy in order to help the baby achieve normal growth and development.
Poor nutrition intake or excessive nutrition intake both can negatively affect the baby’s health and growth.
Babies with cleft lip or cleft palate are at risk of being underweight due to the poor nutrition intake. This situation can be managed by seeking a better way to feed the baby, and it can be either by breastfeeding or using special cleft lip baby bottles; or in rare difficult cases, through tube feeding. The Physicians, along with the Dietitians, can decide the route of nutrition that is suitable for the baby’s case.
Preterm babies are also at high risk of being underweight and having delayed growth, due to the immature organs. High-energy requirement is important especially in the first few months to help the baby reach the normal growth rate of other babies in his age.
Signs of Poor Feeding
Signs of Good Feeding
It is common in few parents to believe that the chubbier their baby is, the healthy he is, which is considered a false belief. Overweight or obesity during childhood is the main reason behind many chronic diseases when getting older, such as: diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, breathing problems, etc.
The best method that can be used to compare the child’s height and weight with the children of the same age group is by the growth chart. It is a tool used by the doctors’ or/and Dietitians to notice the flow of the child growth and whether there are any abnormalities. Growth charts are divided according to gender, age group, height or weight measurement. Children who have certain physical disabilities have a special growth chart to compare them with other children of the same case.