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The majority of newborns predictably gain weight, after the initial drop. However, due to a variety of factors, a child might not gain the required “ideal” weight.
If this is the situation with your baby, you’ll need to help them gain weight – properly. You should start by keeping an eye on your child’s eating habits.
If you see anything unusual, make an appointment with your child’s paediatrician. The doctor will create a proper feeding plan for your baby based on your child’s needs.
That being said, this guide sheds light on how to make your baby gain weight fast, so read on.
Why to Do If You Think Your Baby Needs to Gain Weight Fast
If you think your baby needs to gain weight, then follow these guidelines:
Visit Your Paediatrician/Health Visitor and Check the Growth Chart
If you believe your infant needs to gain weight, the first step is to consult with your paediatrician/health visitor and NOT just take action. Your paediatrician/health visitor will take measurements of the baby and devise a nutrition plan for him. Each baby is different, so they should all mature at their own pace.
If you’re unsure about your baby’s growth rate, check this growth chart. Growth charts measure your baby’s height, weight, and head size to those of other infants of the same age.
Growth charts can assist you and your paediatrician in tracking your newborn’s progress. These graphs can help indicate whether or not your infant needs to gain weight. Some babies may look fatter than others when in reality they may not be.
Monitor Feeding Behaviour
You must also observe the baby’s behaviour in addition to their place on the charts. Is the infant feeding normally, or is anything out of the ordinary occurring?
Your baby will signal that they want to breastfeed about 8-12 times in 24 hours. This is usually indicated by some feeding cues.
Some of these cues are:
- Hands are reaching toward the mouth
- Sucking their hands
- The baby turns to search for the breast
- Mouth opening and shutting
If you bottle feed formula, the cues are still similar.
Don’t wait for your infant to cry before you feed them. Crying is a late sign that it’s time to eat. A baby latches and breastfeeds better when they’re not agitated. Have you ever found yourself hungry and then if you leave it too long you feel too hungry?
Note that some babies sleep and don’t cue to eat. If your infant is sleeping, you’ll have to wake them up to feed them.
With that in mind, you should keep a record of when your baby feeds. Show the records to your paediatrician or health visitor to create a good diet plan for your child.
What Are the Dangers of a Baby Gaining Weight Too Fast?
While gaining weight may be vital for babies at times, you need to consider your baby’s health in the process, as rapid weight gain during the first 6 months can cause health problems.
Rapid weight gain comes with a higher risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Further, it raises the risk of diabetes. Force feeding can lead to eating disorders.
However, newborns that gain weight quickly may be completely healthy, equally babies who are under the 50th percentile may still be perfectly healthy. Your paediatrician will monitor the baby’s growth constantly. They’ll measure everything to ensure that they’re getting the right amount of nutrients. So, if there’s a problem, your paediatrician will see it early on.
You can also weigh them yourself with good baby scales, but it may not tally with your health visitor’s and you may not have a growth chart to hand so be cautious.
How to Make a Breastfed Baby Gain Weight Fast Before Solids
Making a baby gain weight before eating solids may be tricky. However, you can follow these instructions:
The most common cause of weight loss (from poor feeding) is your baby’s inability to latch correctly. Check to see if your baby is latching on to you properly.
The latch shouldn’t bring you discomfort. The lips of your newborn should be arched outward. It’s also worth noting that babies’ tongues are frequently misplaced, which might interfere with latching.
A considerable portion of your breasts should be in the baby’s mouth, and their tongue should be under your breast.
During breastfeeding, make sure your infant isn’t covered with a blanket as they may fall asleep. If your infant falls asleep while nursing, rub your breast.
Rubbing your breast will most likely result in a boost of milk and the restart of sucking. You can also do this by massaging your breasts downward and inward.
Always Feed on Demand
It’s preferable to feed your baby on demand when they’re very young. As your baby grows older, they’ll feed less frequently and on a routine. Some children prefer to feed every 1.5 hours, while others prefer to wait for 2-3 hours between meals.
Frequent feeding boosts your milk supply. If you continue to cut down on the number of feeds, your body will decrease the quantity of milk stored.
With that said, instead of feeding your child on a routine, feed him on demand and never restrict their feeds.
After your breastfeeding sessions, pump your breasts. Pumping aids in the sustainment of your milk production.
There are many ways to pump. Some of these ways include manual hand expression, a hand pump, and a battery-powered pump.
Additionally, you can buy an electric breast pump to release the milk.
Before breastfeeding, pump or manually express for a few minutes. This will help your infant get more of the higher-calorie hindmilk.
How to Make a Formula-Fed Baby Gain Weight Fast Before Solids
For starters, you must know that formula-fed babies usually put on weight faster than breastfed newborns. This is due to less control of the flow of milk and the higher calorie count with less nutrients when compared to breastmilk. It’s hard to know how much formula milk to feed.
For the first few days, feed your infant 1-2 ounces of milk every 2-3 hours. Your infant’s stomach expands and can handle more milk at each meal. As a result, the period between feedings will increase.
Make sure you’re using the correct water-to-powder ratio. Excessive water can result in your baby not getting enough calories, which can be harmful.
How to Make a Baby Gain Weight Fast on Solids (6 Months+)
If your child is above 6 months old, they most likely eat solid food now. Luckily, there are many solid food options to help your child gain weight.
Healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocados, should be a part of your child’s diet. Make sure you choose meats that are higher in calories. Beef and pork products are high in calories, which can benefit newborns who are trying to gain weight.
Fruits can help you lose weight as well as gain weight. Coconut meat, bananas, and mangoes are all good options for your child. These fruits are high in carbohydrates and fats, which might help the baby healthily gain weight.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make a baby gain weight, you now know that it’s not as hard as it appears. All you have to do is visit your paediatrician and create a suitable nutrition plan. You should also keep an eye on your child’s eating habits.
Whether your baby is breastfeeding or eating solid foods, there are always ways to help them gain weight. If your child is old enough to eat solid food, make sure to serve them only healthy foods high in calories.
Now, your child will develop healthily without any worries.