Within 3 months of birth, babies gain double their weight from the time of birth. Mothers often tend to get worried if they don’t see enough growth in their babies. However, a little weight loss after their birth is considered normal. In the first 5 to 7 days formula fed babies lose up to 5% weight whereas breastfed babies lose up to 10% weight. This loss of weight is regained by the time the baby is 14 days old.
Weight gain is not always a sign of good health and weight loss cannot be considered as a sign of bad health. But, both these situations cannot be ignored. It is always safe to take a pediatricians advice before coming to any conclusions. Due to the influence of external factors, babies can lose weight during any month after their birth.
Reasons of weight loss in babies:
The reasons mentioned below are the possible causes of weight loss in babies -
Few babies are extremely active due to which they would have had a high metabolism rate and this can be one of the reasons for weight loss. Loss of weight under this circumstance is a healthy sign. You need to worry only when your baby is gasping or panting for breath after walking or crawling. It means your baby doesn’t have sufficient energy hence it is better to consult a pediatrician.
Infection due to worm
Worms in a baby’s intestine can affect the weight of the baby as they absorb all the nutrients from the food you provide. In case of any possible worm infections, pediatricians give proper medicines to get rid of worms and help your baby gain weight.
Low weight in babies can be hereditary too. To know if this is the reason for your baby’s low weight, it is important to understand your husband’s family tree. Check if anyone from your husband’s parent’s side were thinner.
Long interval between meals
Preferably, a baby should be fed every 3-4 hours. The food can be a simple meal or snacks. Instead of feeding so often, if you feel, you can feed a heavy meal just twice a day then you are wrong. Babies require their nutrients at regular intervals.
Administering a lot of water and milk can restrain the hunger of your baby and reduce his food intake. If you are breastfeeding even after 5 months, that too can reduce the hunger of your baby.
High fiber foods like whole grain pasta, brown rice can stay for a long time in your baby’s stomach. Hence, it is better to avoid such foods as your baby needs more time to digest it which in turn results in less food intake.
Even babies like a variety in their food. If you feed your baby the same food everyday they tend to get fed up and refuse to eat it. Try to make your baby’s food as tasty as possible and present different varieties through the limited ingredients.
Poor/lack of nutrition
If you keep feeding your baby just milk, rice or dal, he won’t get enough nutrients required. Add more healthy items like ghee, Kerala banana, butter, eggs, cream, and sweet potatoes to make your baby’s food rich in nutrition.
Metabolism in babies increases when their activeness increases. Babies tend to lose weight when they start crawling or walking. Though this situation is a healthy sign, just make sure you slightly change their diet and add more nutrition foods.
Post-weaning weight loss
Babies lose their weight when the weaning process begins. Weaning is a process where a baby takes food from other sources than your breast.
Babies lose weight when they are suffering from fever, cold or a cough. This is normal as babies don’t feel like eating food when they are sick. You can balance this situation once he recovers.
Not receiving enough of hind milk
Hind milk is the high-fat, rich milk your baby gets at the end of a feeding. This milk is richer than the milk your baby gets once he starts feeding. So, let your baby have enough time on each side.
Symptoms of weight loss in your baby: Take your baby to the doctor
At times, the reason for weight loss can be something beyond all the above reasons. You definitely want to take your baby to a pediatrician if you see the following symptoms in her –
• Increased/decreased urine
• Lack of appetite
• Excessive thirst
• Bloody stoles or presence of mucus in stools
• Regular stomach aches
You need not worry about any of the above factors if you take your baby to a doctor for regular checkups. During the checkups, the doctor will see if your baby has gained enough weight for his age and height. Growth patterns differ for each baby so never compare your baby’s weight with other babies. Don’t have unrealistic expectations regarding your baby’s weight even if he doesn’t have chubby cheeks, it is alright. The only thing that matters is the good health of your baby, so take good care of him and give him all the love he needs.