When your baby is still in your womb, you wait for your ultrasound scan days to find out how well your baby is doing. But after you give birth, your full attention is focused on normal weight gain in your newborn. You check which percentile he is in. These are markers of his good health and wellbeing. So what’s the average baby weight chart in Singapore?
It’s too easy to fret about your baby’s weight — including losing it and not gaining enough (in your eyes). Interestingly, newborn weight loss is quite common and usually happens in the first few days after birth.
However, by familiarising yourself with the information presented in this article about newborn baby weight gain and loss and the baby weight chart in Singapore, you can spare yourself of this worry — and also know when worry is warranted.
Average Baby Weight Chart In Singapore: Newborn Weight Loss And Gain
Your Baby’s Weight At Birth
Before checking the baby weight chart in Singapore, parents should know that genetics, as well as your health and nutrition during pregnancy, will determine your baby’s birth weight.
According to the Health Promotion Board of Singapore (HPB), the average baby weight chart in Singapore (at 40 weeks) weighs 3.2 kg, with most healthy newborns weighing between 2.5 to 4.5 kg.
However, it’s not how much your baby weighs at birth that’s important — it’s the rate of his weight gain and growth pattern over the next few months. Keep this in mind when you check the baby weight chart of Singapore.
Newborn Weight Loss During The First 14 Days
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “a 5 per cent weight loss is considered normal for a formula-fed newborn and a 7 to 10 per cent loss is considered normal for breastfed babies.” The Australian Breastfeeding Association reiterates this: a maximum weight loss of 7 to 10 per cent is considered normal in breastfed babies.
In fact, according to a study published in Pediatrics, exclusively breastfed newborns (in the study cohort) lost as much as 10 per cent or more of their birth weight in the first few days post-birth.
The same study noticed a slight difference in weight loss among vaginal and C-section-born babies. With 5 per cent of the former losing at least 10 per cent of their birth weight and 10 per cent of the latter losing the same amount of weight.
This immediate weight loss in your newborn is generally no cause for concern because babies are born with extra weight to sustain them until you get breastfeeding.
Dr Jennifer Shu, paediatrician and co-author of Heading Home With Your Newborn, also reassures new mums by pointing out that the colostrum your breasts produce immediately after delivery has everything your baby needs at this point.
Two to five days after birth, your breastmilk should come in. Following this, you should notice a gradual climb in your baby’s weight — and he should regain his birth weight when he’s around 14 days old.
During this time, neonatal experts say you should document a normal weight gain in your newborn of at least half an ounce daily.
A baby weight and height chart will help you monitor your baby’s growth.
Baby Weight Chart In Singapore: Making Sense Of Your Baby’s Growth Chart
From the day your baby is born, his weight will be assessed and recorded in a weight-for-age growth chart of Singapore. The most common chart (and the one that is used in Singapore) is a percentile chart based on World Health Organisation growth standards.
Importantly, the World Health Organization’s growth standards are based on healthy, exclusively breastfed babies from six countries across five continents and can be used whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed.
They more accurately show how a healthy baby should grow in comparison to older versions based on information gathered from only formula-fed infants.
You can find the World Health Organization child growth standards for baby weight chart that can be used for your child in Singapore with percentile charts and tables here:
Image Source: iStock
But don’t immediately start to worry if the results you find in your baby are not what you expected from the weight chart of Singapore. Children will grow along their own ‘curve’, and as long as your baby follows his curve consistently, there is no cause for concern.
For example, a baby in the fifth who has always been in the 5th percentile is less concerned than a baby in the 50th percentile who suddenly starts to drop.
“If we see an infant falling significantly on the chart, say from the 60th to the 10th, we’ll have the baby come in for more frequent weight checks and try to feed her more,” says Dr Shu.
“If she’s eating well but still not gaining [weight], we’ll run tests to rule out an underlying cause, like a food allergy.”
Newborn Weight Loss And Gain: Keep These Points In Mind
Breastfed Babies vs. Formula-fed Babies
Babies on formula will have much less trouble gaining weight than breastfed babies. Formula-fed babies may even gain too much weight because the formula is more concentrated than breastmilk, and often, parents want their baby to finish the whole bottle.
Dr Jack Newman, an internationally reputed breastfeeding expert and paediatrician, says that too much weight gain is less of a concern for breastfed babies.
This is because breastfeeding babies stop when they’re done (rather than when the bottle is empty) and, therefore, can self-regulate the amount of milk they drink.
“I wouldn’t worry about the rapid growth in a breastfed baby who is content and healthy,” says Dr Newman.
How full or dry your infant’s diaper is, is a good indication of if he’s getting enough to eat or not.
Monitor Those Early Diapers
In the first three days post-birth, your little one will pass dark stools or meconium. By day three or four, his stools should be soft and yellow (if breastfed) or darker and firmer (formula-fed).
If your baby’s stools are not changing in this manner, then experts advise that he may not be getting enough milk. This will affect the normal weight gain in newborns.
Another indication that he may not be getting enough milk is if he is not producing enough wet diapers a day. Generally, a newborn baby aged two days old will have two to three wet diapers a day. But this should ideally increase to six to eight by the time he is a week old.
If you feel your baby isn’t producing enough wet diapers or notice something odd with his stools, please contact your paediatrician without delay.
Average Weight Gain In The First Year
While the general understanding is that a baby should gain, on average, between 140 to 201 grams (five to 7 1/2 ounces) per week in the first three months, Dr Newman advises parents not to get too obsessed with monitoring these averages.
Instead, Dr Newman suggests you should keep in mind that:
“A baby following the 95th percentile on the growth chart will be gaining significantly more. A baby following the third percentile gains significantly less than that. That’s one reason growth curves are a better way to judge how the baby grows.”
Remember that your baby’s average growth rate will slow to between 105 and 147 grams per week between three and six months of age. And between six and 12 months, it further slows down to 70 to 91 grams per week.
In general, babies will double their birth weight by around five months and triple it by a year.
If your baby is not latching on properly, this could interfere with his weight gain.
When Your Baby Is Not Gaining Enough Weight
There may be several reasons for inadequate weight gain** in an infant or newborn weight loss (also known as failure to thrive), including the following:
1. Your Baby Is Not Latching On Properly
It may look simple enough, but helping your baby latch on properly takes practice for mummy and baby. If you think your baby is not getting enough breastmilk, Dr Newman says the first step is to improve your little one’s latch.
“It’s important that the mother know when the baby is getting milk rather than just ‘nibbling’ at the breast. When the baby is not drinking much, using compression can help,” he advises.
Breast compression means squeezing your breast while the baby is sucking but not drinking. It’s like hand-expressing milk into the baby’s mouth.
If you are struggling with getting your baby to latch on, please consult your paediatrician, or a lactation consultant/nurse without delay, as they can guide you with the correct techniques.
2. Your Baby May Have Tongue-Tie
Some babies have tongue-tie, meaning the lingual frenulum. It’s the piece of skin that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. Is it too thick or too short? This interferes with the movement of the tongue, making it hard for the baby to breastfeed.
A clue to watch out for that may indicate he has this condition is if the tip of his tongue curls under when he cries with his mouth open.
If you suspect your baby has tongue-tie, mention this to your paediatrician or lactation consultant, who can check. The remedy for this condition is a doctor’s quick clipping of the frenulum.
Tongue-tie is more of a problem for breastfed babies than bottle-fed ones, as the latter use their tongues to get milk from the bottle. This might help in having normal weight gain in newborns.
Is your baby too sleepy to nurse?
3. Your Baby Is Not Nursing Often Enough
Newborns should be nursing around every two and a half hours, or, according to La Leche League International (LLLI), about eight to 12 times in 24 hours.
Dr. Shu says some little ones tend to be sleepy and forego some feeds. But at this stage, the need to feed him regularly overtakes your need for a long stretch of sleep — at least until your paediatrician says you can reduce feeding frequency.
When your little one doesn’t frequently nurse, especially at the initial stages, your body doesn’t get enough stimulation to make more milk, meaning your baby may not get enough nourishment. This, in turn, can make him too tired to nurse.
If you find your baby is drifting off at your breast, do your best to rouse your little sleepyhead by rubbing his feet or stroking his cheek. If these methods fail, take him off the breast to wake him up, then re-latch, suggest lactation experts.
Prevent supply issues from occurring by making you you get plenty of breastfeeding support at the outset
4. You Have Supply Issues
While it’s difficult to tell if your baby is getting enough breastmilk, as long as he produces the recommended amount of wet diapers and pooing frequently, you’re doing a great job.
However, to keep up your supply, you don’t just need your baby to latch on frequently — you also need loads of support.
Supply issues often develop when new mums initially don’t have enough support, hurting their full supply.
Talk to a lactation consultant, other breastfeeding mothers or a doctor early on and frequently.
Always mix your baby’s formula following instructions precisely.
5. You Aren’t Mixing Formula Properly
Dr Shu explains that some parents add extra water to the formula to save money or because they think formula constipates their baby.
Stick to the correct measurements. Too much water and not enough nutrients can be fatal to a newborn. If you are giving him formula and not breastmilk***, for whatever reasons.
Why is your baby is so skinny? Are you giving her enough milk?”
“Wow! Your baby is so chubby! I think you are over-feeding her”
We’ve all heard these comments from well-meaning family members and friends, and as parents, we will naturally worry about our little one’s health and development.
But when you hear others commenting about your baby’s weight, it can sometimes make you feel even more concerned, and you may question whether you are feeding your bub too little or too much.
However, your baby’s growth cannot be determined simply by physical appearances alone. A more accurate gauge would be to regularly weigh your baby, as this will allow you to note whether she is growing as expected.
But how often should you weigh her, and how can you do it accurately?
How much should a baby weigh?
The Department of Neonatal & Developmental Medicine of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) says that most healthy newborns weigh around 2.5kg to 4.5kg, and a low birth rate is below 1.5kg.
According to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), this is the rough guideline for your little one’s normal growth according to average weight:
3 months – 5.5kg
6 months – 7.5kg
9 months – 9.0kg
12 months – 9.5kg
3 months – 7.5kg
6 months – 7.5kg
9 months – 9.5kg
12 months – 10.5kg
How Often Should You Weigh Your Baby?
Don’t add unnecessary stress to yourself by getting obsessed with weighing your little one every day.
A tiny baby’s weight may fluctuate daily due to how much milk she’s had right before the weigh-in or even how much she’s pooped!
You should only have her weighed at specific times according to her age:
- Two weeks to six months – Only once a month
- Six months to 12 months – Once every two months
- Over 12 months – Once every three months
Your baby’s doctor will be weighing her at each scheduled visit anyway, so you don’t have to worry too much about keeping track of her growth by weighing her every morning.
Three Ways to Weigh Your Baby
If you want to know just how well your little one is growing, there are three easy ways for you to determine her weight:
Schedule a visit to the clinic
Singaporean babies are required to get vaccinated and go for regular health check-ups at a family clinic, polyclinic or paediatric clinic — so when you are there, your baby will get measured and weighed to keep track of her growth.
If you are not scheduled for a visit but want to find out your baby’s weight for that month, you can call the clinic to schedule an appointment, or some places will provide the service for free.
Pros: Very accurate; Can be done free of charge at most clinics.
Cons: Hassle of scheduling an appointment and travelling down to the clinic.
You’ve seen the fancy-looking baby scale at the clinic and have wondered if you can get your hands on one to keep at home so you can weigh your little one as and when you want.
Well, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to buy a baby scale for personal use, and this method of weighing your baby is probably the most convenient one of all!
Pros: Very accurate; Convenient for you and your baby.
Cons: Expensive investment; Bulky item which takes up space at home.
You probably already have a weighing scale at home, so this is quite a convenient (and cost-efficient) way to weigh your baby.
You simply have to weigh yourself first, take note of the weight (for example, it is 60kg), then weigh yourself once again while carrying your baby as well (you might get something like 65kg) and the excess weight (in this case, it is 5kg) is how much your little one weighs.
Pros: Free or cheap method; Your baby is less likely to fuss while being weighed since she is happily in your arms.
Cons: Not 100% accurate.
Is a Heavy Baby a Healthy Baby?
Most babies born in Singapore weigh around 2.8kg to 3.5kg, and any neonate weighing more than 4kg at birth is considered large.
Dr Christopher Chong, who owns Chris Chong Women and Urogynae Clinic at Gleneagles Hospital, says that the weight of newborn babies in Singapore has increased by nearly 13 per cent compared to that of newborns 15 to 20 years ago.
“Women have better food, nutrition and supplements, so their babies tend to be larger”, he explains.
But experts warn that if your baby is too heavy, this might delay crawling and walking, and even though a large baby may not necessarily become an overweight child, a child who is obese has a higher chance of growing up to be an obese adult.
On the other hand, according to SGH, having an underweight baby who had a low birth might also pose a lifetime of health challenges as they are generally more prone to diseases such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease as adults.
How to Know If Your Baby Is Healthy
It’s no wonder parents get so anxious about their baby’s weight. Being too heavy can lead to obesity and developmental delays, but too light might spell severe other health issues!
Here’s what the doc says:
Don’t worry too much about weight!
Dr Jay Gordon, MD FAAP from the UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the medical consultant for CBS TV, reassures parents that as long as your baby is nursing, peeing clear urine and wetting her diapers well in the first weeks of life, she will probably turn out fine.
His advice to parents is to go through this checklist:
- Is your baby eager to nurse?
- How is her pee and poop?
- Is her urine either clear or very pale yellow?
- Are your bub’s eyes bright and alert?
- Is her skin a healthy colour and texture?
- Is your baby moving her arms and legs vigorously?
- Are her fingernails and toenails growing?
- Is she meeting her developmental milestones?
- Is your baby generally happy and playful?
- When your baby is awake does she have periods of being very alert?
If you have answered yes to the above questions, you should also ask yourself: How tall is mum and how tall is dad?
Besides comparing your baby to the normal weight gain in newborns according to the growth chart, you also have to consider a range of factors which will affect her growth. These are factors like height, bone structure, ethnicity, gestation period duration, genetics, whether she drinks formula or breast milk, and more.
“I cannot recall seeing a baby for whom slow weight gain in the first 2 to 6 weeks was the only sign of a problem. Older babies grow at varying rates at 2 to 12 months of age. Weight gain should not be used as a major criterion of good health”, he says.
Dr Gordon adds that your baby’s developmental milestones and interaction with you and others are more important than her weight.
But if you have any concerns about your little one’s growth and development or other health issues, always seek professional medical advice.
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Things To Remember During Your Baby’s First 100 Days
Aside from normal weight gain in newborns, the first 100 days of your baby’s life are highly critical regarding brain development. While the initial period may seem like your baby is sleeping a lot, a lot is going inside that little head of your newborn.
Babies are born to be social and willing to learn – which is why brain development occurs rapidly in the initial months and stays with them for life.
You must spend as much time with your baby as possible and engage them. Use this period to talk, read and sing to them. Research suggests that doing these things in the first 100 days will contribute immensely to the baby’s cognitive, social and behavioural development.
That’s why here are a few guidelines that you must follow for your newborn’s first 100 days:
1. Follow What Works For You
With your newborn in your lap and plenty of guests at your doorstep, the first few weeks will be overwhelming, and plenty of advice will come your way. Not just from friends and relatives, but the internet as well. At the end of it, you need to pick and choose what works for you and your baby.
From being breastfed to using a formula, opting for elimination communication or using diapers, these are decisions you need to take on your own. So the ultimate advice is to do what your gut says is right. Mothers instinctively want the best for their children, which will only make you feel comfortable.
2. Stay Connected With Your Paediatrician
As much as you want to follow your ways to raise the baby, remember to keep checking in with your paediatrician. If you have doubts about the baby’s growth curve, milestone, stool colour or rashes, connect with your paediatrician online or schedule a visit based on the necessity. The first 100 days are also extremely vulnerable for your baby, and you need to pay extra attention and care.
3. Buy What You Need, When You Need It
The fear of missing out may just prompt you to buy nearly the complete baby store at the start. But that usually ends up in most of the things going unused. So, buy what’s needed and only when needed for the baby and you. You can stock up on diapers and other essentials, but everything else can be saved later. The stores aren’t closing, so don’t worry about the same.
4. Keep A Notebook Handy
The first 100 days will see the baby undergo many changes, making it difficult to track everything. That’s why note your baby’s milestones in a separate notebook. The idea is to ensure that the baby’s growth curve is right, even if it’s slow. You can then compare the notes with your paediatrician for further guidance.
5. Learn How To Swaddle
A lot of the first three months will be about sleepless nights, so the one thing you can learn is how to put your baby to sleep the right way. It’s called swaddling and helps calm your baby down, whether trying to pacify him or just put him to sleep.
6. Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself
Yes, the baby will have your and everyone’s attention at home in the first 100 days of the delivery. But that does not mean you neglect your health. Pay attention to what you are going through – both mentally and physically. Postpartum depression is increasingly common among new mothers, and while it is a phase for some, it can lead to more complex mental health issues for others.
Remember to treat yourself. After all, you’ve just had a baby.
Parents, we hope you found this information useful. Remember not to compare your baby’s size or weight to other babies. Each little one is unique and will gain weight at a different rate. If you are worried that your baby is not gaining enough weight or is gaining too rapidly, do not hesitate to consult your child’s paediatrician.
Updated by Pheona Ilagan
Here at theAsianparent Singapore, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advice or medical treatment. theAsianparent Singapore is not responsible for those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend consulting your doctor for clearer information.