The rate at which your baby will gain weight is determined by a number of factors. Breastfed babies will tend to be leaner than formula fed babies. Many pediatricians say that breastfed babies are healthier because of this.
Infant weight gain in a breastfed infant will be right around four to seven ounces a week during the first month. Formula fed infants will gain approximately the same amount of weight in this first month.
Breastfed babies will then continue to gain an average of one to two pounds a month for the first six months. After that, the weight gain slows to one pound per month from six months to one year.
Formula fed babies will gain weight faster starting at about four months of age. When the weight of breastfed babies and formula fed babies were compared in a study, it was found that breastfed babies gained on the average, one pound less a month during the first year.
The extra weight gain in formula fed babies is thought to be because of more water retention and a different composition of body fat. Therefore, the standardized growth charts that are being used may not reflect accurate growth rates for breastfed babies.
Infant weight gain can be influenced by more than just diet. A baby’s body type can determine how much weight they gain. Some babies are long and lean due to heredity. Pediatricians will call these babies banana babies because of their shape. Banana babies burn off calories a lot faster than apple or pear shaped babies.
Apple and pear shaped babies are plumper. They will become rounder before they become taller.
Infant weight gain can also be affected by a baby’s temperament. Mellow babies will tend to gain more weight than their hyperactive counterparts. A baby that seems to be on the go all the time will burn off calories a lot quicker than a baby that is content to sit quietly in a play pen or in a stroller.
Breastfed babies who are given unrestricted feedings tend to gain weight faster. This will include infants who sleep next to mother and given unrestricted night feedings.
The infants who are fed on the parent’s schedule will gain weight slower. This will include those infants who are not fed during the night.
Studies have now shown that breastfed babies consume less calories than formula fed babies. The baby’s body has an amazing ability to self regulate it’s calorie intake according to individual needs. These studies have also proven that breastfed babies are less likely to have obesity problems as an older child and an adult.
Infant weight gain is determined by a number of factors. The type of feedings, the frequency of feedings and heredity play important parts in the amount of weight that an infant will gain in the first year of it’s life.
AskDrSears: How Much Weiht Will My Breastfeeding Baby Gain
American Preganancy Association: Monitoring Your Newborns Weight Gain
NY Presbyterian: Slow or Poor Infant Weight Gain
KidsGrowth.com: Tables of Normal Growth
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: Does Weight Gain in Infancy Influence the Later Risk of Obesity
Acta Pediatriciaca: Rapid Infancy Weight Gain and Subsequent Obesity