Breastfed babies generally tend to grow rapidly within the first four months than formula fed babies, though they may start off with the same weight. Formula fed babies tend to pick up by the seventh month. Though it is good for a baby to gain weight appropriately, a very rapid gain can become a potential problem especially for the formula fed baby. If a baby takes more than 1.8 liters of formula every day, that baby may soon be overweight, depending on the built. This is because; there will be a lot of water retention which leads to excess weight gain. Again, there is more calorie consumption in formula feeding, than in breastfeeding as a baby might be unable to regulate intake in the former.

For breastfed babies, rapid weight gain concerns are not as prevalent. This is because a baby can control intake or simply refuse when full. Again, the weight of a breastfed baby is a pointer to the amount of milk being produced by the mother. For most mothers, with sufficient flow, it’s a win-win as not only is breastfeeding a form of weight watching and contraception, there is some level of delight from seeing the result of countless moments of breastfeeding and  pumping tell on the baby’s body.

This is where the point lies, as some women tend to over feed or breastfeed their newborn because they may have concerns about the baby’s size.  There’s really no need to rush for a baby to catch up as long as the baby feeds well and is healthy. You should remember that more often than not, a baby’s birth weight is not just dependent on health and diet, but on genetics too. Of course, diet is a major factor too as babies tend to burn calories based on the variation of their metabolism. Other factors to consider are the baby’s length, the head circumference and the attainment of developmental milestones.

What’s important is to keep a chart with which to always evaluate weight and growth rate, whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed. You may need to get a scale or two in order to keep track as well as observing the baby’s breast area.

To help you kick start, consider the following:

  • The average baby will weigh about 7½ lbs at birth, with a height of about 20 inches long
  • Weight loss of about 7-8 ounces will averagely occur after a couple of days
  • The baby’s weight gain will be about  4-7 ounces weekly, within the first month
  • The baby will gain an average of 1-2 pounds every month, within the first six months with a height of about 2.5cm monthly.
  • In the first six months, the baby will take about 24-25 ounces of milk every day. This may later increase.
  • Subsequently, the baby may gain about 1 pound from the seventh month till about one year and a height increase of about one-half inch

Rather than speculating, a growth chart can help you keep accurate track of your baby’s growth rate. All growth patterns are not the same, especially when comparing a formula fed and breastfed baby. A breast fed baby is likely to slow down on weight gain after the fourth month, until they are about a year old. This is perfectly normal as they are now consuming less milk( calorie &excess water intake)  than the formula fed baby.

Remember that the first four months of weight gain in the breastfed baby may be very rapid and may sometimes be confused as normal with no intervention plan made to regularize weight. In the same vein, the formula fed baby may also be overweight especially with the introduction of solid food. This can lead to childhood obesity and you should be mindful of this.


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