Your baby's weight: The first few months

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Regardless of which centile your baby starts on, as long as he continues to follow it roughly, then he's gaining weight as expected. It's hard to say how much or little your baby should put on week by week but, generally, it's quite quick to begin with (175 to 225g or 6 to 8oz a week) doubling his birthweight at 6 months. After this, weight gain gradually slows down.

If your baby jumps up or down to the next centile, or begins to go beyond the zone altogether, speak to your health visitor. But it's not usually anything to be concerned about. Babies will often go through growth spurts, gaining nothing for a couple of weeks, then catching up in one go.

Some little ones may not follow the growth charts very well but this doesn't mean they're ill. Exclusively breastfed babies, premature babies or twins all show slightly different weight gain progress. In this case, your health visitor will use different, specialised charts to check your child is gaining weight properly.

Don't worry

But it's not practical to have his weight checked at the baby clinic every week until he goes to school. And bathroom scales don't give an accurate indicator of your baby's growth. So it's helpful to have some less scientific, though no less helpful, rules of thumb.

Continued below...

Babies cry when they're hungry, this much is true. But if only it were that simple. They also cry when they're too cold, hot, fussed over, lonely or sleepy. And it can be hard to tell which one is which. Crying for food isn't limited to newborns, either. Toddlers will cry for a biscuit or a drink when really they're hurt, insecure, tired, unhappy or just bored. So how do you know when you've given them the right amount for them to grow?

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