The normal birth weight of the baby (full term) is between 2.5 Kg to 3.5 Kg. A little more than 3.5 Kg is also considered as normal. But if your baby weighs much less than 2.5kg, you will hear the baby as having a very, or extremely, low birth weight. This can happen to babies who are born prematurely. If your baby was premature, her situation is different from babies who are small but are born between 37 weeks and 42 weeks (full-term).
There are many reasons why a baby may have a low birth weight. It could be hereditary, or because was born prematurely, had some medical condition, there were some problem with the placenta or had high blood pressure which might have slowed down your baby’s growth before she was born.
Most babies who are term and who have a low birth weight have no ongoing problems. Most are simply small because it runs in the family.
However, some problems may happen if you have your baby prematurely, such as your baby having:
- Breathing problems, called respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
- An increased risk of infection.
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), and problems with feeding.
- Difficulty with keeping warm.
- Too many red blood cells, which can make her blood too thick (polycythaemia).
There are many positive steps you can take to improve your baby’s chances of a healthy start:
- Breastfeed your baby. This is one of the best things you can do to help her grow up to be healthy. More frequent breastfeeding is the only way to attain adequate weight.
- Low birth weight babies have awesome trouble in keeping up their body temperature. They effectively lose warmth, and hypothermia is life-debilitating in their sensitive condition. The heat loss from the baby’s body can be restricted straight away after the birth put the child in skin-to-skin touch with the mother. Additional covers or any additional cloth preferably made of cotton should use to cover both the mother and the infant
- Make sure your baby has all her growth and development checks.
- As she gets older, keep an eye on your baby’s weight gain, as rapid weight gain early on could lead to problems for her weight and health in adulthood. A nutritious diet can help your baby to grow steadily, but use caution with nutrient-enriched formulas.
You can check our guide to know what should be the ideal weight gain of the baby in the first year. Here are also some ways to increase baby weight once the baby starts solid food.