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While every baby is different, it’s important for them to gain weight at a somewhat steady pace once they’re born to ensure proper growth and development. But how much should they gain in a certain amount of time? How much is too much?

According to the Mayo Clinic, an infant’s weight should be double their birth weight by the age of five months, which would mean gaining between five and seven ounces a week. By the time they reach the age of one year, they should be triple their birth weight, which would work out to approximately three to five ounces of weight gain per week.

Your baby’s weight will go up and sometimes down as they get older. In fact, they’ll most likely lose some weight in the days after they’re born. While they may gain weight quickly in the first year or so, once they become more mobile, they may begin to lose some weight as they exert themselves and burn more calories. All that crawling and the steps that come after are like exercise! This is why it’s important not to panic if they seem to be slimming down some, as long as their diet is kept on track with their needs.

When it comes to their diet, the amount they consume and what they consume will also change. In the beginning, your baby will eat every two to three hours, either formula or breast milk. Once they hit four months in age, you’ll begin introducing solid foods into their diet, probably working toward weaning them off formula or breast milk all together. It’s important to make sure they’re eating a balanced diet that provides the fat, protein, vitamins and minerals they need.

But how much is too much? While no one can deny how adorable a little chubby baby is, you need to make sure your baby remains in a healthy percentile for their age and height. Here are some tips to make sure they gain the correct amount of weight:

  • Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods once they begin eating solids.
  • Don’t give them solid foods before they reach four months of age.
  • Skip the juice, which can be high in sugar.
  • Encourage active play as they get older instead of turning on the TV or handing them a device.
  • Try other methods of soothing/rewarding them before offering foods, especially at night.
  • Introduce them to fruits and vegetables of all varieties to help them develop a taste for them early in life.
  • Don’t always feed them your meal when dining out.

Your doctor will check your baby’s weight every time they come in for an appointment. Looking at the amount of weight gained and the rate, they can tell you if your baby is on track, or if any changes to their diet need to be made. If their weight becomes stagnant, or if they aren’t urinating or making a regular bowel movement, the doctor may need to do some additional examination to determine the cause.

Watching your baby grow and change is simply magical, so cherish every little roll, and rub that little belly — they’ll change again before you know it.

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