Weight loss in a neonate is an issue of concern to parents, nurses and doctors. There are several theories about why neoonates lose weight. The most common theory is that babies are born with extra weight to help with the stress caused by labor and the transition to extra-uterine life. Also the extra fat stores are there because mother's mature milk does not come in for 3-5 days. A weight loss of 5% in the first week of life is considered normal for the bottle fed infant. A loss of 7% is average in the first week for the breastfed infant, 10% is the absolute maximum. If the baby loses 7% in the first 72 hours, breastfeeding should be observed by a trained professional for proper technique and milk transfer. If the baby is nursing well, appears otherwise healthy, and has appropriate stooling patterns another weight check should be scheduled in two days. As a parent you will need to monitor your child`s weight at home. If you don’t have a scale at home, you can monitor your baby’s intake of food and certain behaviors. By about week one, your newborn should be having at least 5-7 wet diapers a day and at least about 3-4 dirty diapers a day. Your baby should seem satisfied at least for a little while after feeding. Your baby should remain alert during the “awake” times and not seem overly sleepy. If you notice any of the above mentioned concerns in your child, contact your child`s doctor right away.
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.