If you would like to weigh your baby at home, the good news is it’s a fairly simple thing to do.
Many people already have at least one device they can use to measure their baby’s weight, although it’s important to understand some do’s and don’ts so you end up with an accurate reading you can trust.
Let’s take a look at how to measure a baby’s weight at home, the pros and cons of each method, and why you may want to weigh your little one in the first place.
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Why It’s Important To Weigh A Baby
Your baby will of course be weighed after they have been born and during your hospital stay, and during any paediatric visits that you have scheduled.
But given the latter might only occur every 1 to 3 months during your child’s first year, it’s important for parents to know how much their baby weighs in between those check-ups.
Here are some of the most common reasons why you will want to know how much your little one weighs.
Check They Are Growing Well
If you are able to regularly and accurately weigh your baby – say once per week – then it makes things much easier in determining whether they are growing at a normal, steady rate.
According to experts, babies tend to gain weight fast and then slow down.
For example, in the first few months, a baby typically gains about 1 ounce (28 grams) a day, which slows to around 20 grams a day at 4 months and 10 grams per day at around 6 months old.
If you don’t regularly weigh your baby, it’s hard to know if they are following the growth rate mentioned above.
To Know If Your Baby Is Losing Weight
Perhaps the most important and serious reason for wanting to weigh your baby is to check whether they are losing weight.
Because babies are born with some extra fluid, it’s normal for them to drop a few ounces when they lose that fluid in the first few days of life.
A reduction in weight of around 7% to 10% is normal within the first few days, and this weight should be regained within the first 2 weeks after birth.
From then onwards your baby’s weight should be on the up at an impressive rate, which means that a loss of weight may indicate something is wrong and they aren’t taking in enough food.
Spotting that your baby is losing weight early can help reduce the chances of the situation becoming more serious.
Test weighting or weighted feedings involve weighing your baby before and after they’ve nursed from your breast, in order to determine how much milk they took in.
Quite simply, the difference in weight before and after the feed is the amount your baby drank during the feeding session.
To Be Able To Tell People Their Weight
Finally, who doesn’t want to be able to tell those eager friends and family members how much their precious new arrival weighs?
Not knowing the answer can be a bit awkward, which is why a lot of moms and dads want to know exactly how much their infant weighs.
3 Ways To Weigh A Baby At Home
If you want to weigh your baby or newborn at home, it’s worth keeping several things in mind to help ensure you’ve selected the most appropriate method and your reading is accurate.
Three simple and easy ways for you to weigh your little one at home are:
1. Kitchen Scale
If you are wondering how to weigh your baby at home, chances are you might already have the perfect apparatus in your kitchen.
Ideally, you’ll be using a digital scale as these will give you a more accurate reading.
The method for weighing your baby using a kitchen scale is:
- Place a large bowl with a towel on the scale.
- Press the “tare” button to zero out the scale.
- Finally, carefully place your baby inside the bowl and take the reading.
- Most people already have kitchen scales in their homes.
- Most kitchen scales have a limit of around 11-15 pounds, which your child may exceed after they reach anywhere from 2-6 months on average.
- Not the safest method if your child wriggles around.
2. Baby Scale
Those of you looking to weigh a newborn at home might be better off purchasing a baby scale thanks to its accuracy.
Baby scales are specifically designed to do the job at hand, which means they can measure down to the pound and ounce.
The process couldn’t be easier – simply place your little one on the scale and take the reading.Beurer BY80 Digital Baby Scale, $39 from Amazon
- Highly Accuracy – some models can measure up to 0.01 pounds.
- Ideal for weighted feeds / test weighing.
- Some models can support a child up to 66 pounds – that’s the age of a typical 9-year-old!
- More expensive than other home kitchen or bathroom scales (see below).
3. Bathroom Scale
Finally, much like a kitchen scale, many of us have at least one bathroom scale somewhere in our house.
This can be a useful tool once your child is a little older, when precision down to the ounce isn’t necessary.
To weigh your child using a bathroom scale, you will need to weigh yourself first, and then immediately again while holding your baby.
The difference between the two numbers is how much your baby weighs – just subtract your weight from the total weight of the two of you, and you’ve got your reading.
- Most of us already have one lying around at home.
- No maximum weight limit to worry about.
- Less accurate than the other options above because they often don’t measure down to the ounce.
- Not recommended for weighted feeds.
Other Tips For Weighing Your Baby At Home
- Weigh your child at the same time each day so you can better compare readings. You might want to opt for the morning because, without food or any poop inside, you’ll likely get a truer reading.
- Again, to get a more accurate reading you should remove most or all of your baby’s clothes, leaving them in no more than a diaper and perhaps a onesie.
- Seek advice if you think your baby has lost weight or isn’t growing or developing as expected.