Monitoring your baby’s physical growth

A common worry for many new mums is adequate weight gain in their newborn. It’s important to remember that all babies grow at different rates1, and while ongoing inadequate weight can be a sign that something is wrong, regular check-ups with your health care team will help keep this under control before it becomes a cause for concern.

Normal weight gain in infancy

It is completely normal for babies to lose weight after birth until your milk has come in1,2. However, when your milk comes in and your baby starts getting goodness from your milk, they will start regaining their lost weight and get back to their birth weight within about two weeks. They will then start gaining weight, about 20 and 30 grams per day, or between 150 and 210 grams per week.3

What you need to know about growth charts

  1. Growth charts are a guide that can help track your baby’s growth against normal growth rates, using height, weight and head circumference measurements.1
  2. Growth charts are included in the Well Child book you receive when your baby is born or can be found on the Ministry of Health website. There is a wide variation in weights and lengths that are all considered normal.1 Try to resist the temptation to compare your baby’s growth with other babies.
  3. Babies can jump to another centile line as they grow and this can be very normal. If your baby does jump to another centile line on these growth charts, it may be worth checking with your health care professional that everything is tracking fine.1
  4. These graphs are often difficult to read for the untrained eye. If your baby is happy, sleeping and eating well they are most likely perfectly fine and a chat to your health nurse or GP will put your mind at ease. Health professionals are more than happy to re-measure and weigh your baby and show you how to read your chart correctly.
  5. Remember to always take your Well Child book to appointments to record your baby’s progress.