When you’re a new parent, and you put your baby on the scale, you expect that number to rise. Right? It is scary when you put your baby on the scale, and the number goes wrong. You start to question yourself, what am I doing wrong? Why is my baby losing weight? Well, there are many answers to this question and many reasons that this may be happening. The easiest way to think about it is what point in life is your child in?
Sometimes it is normal for a child to lose some weight. There are many instances were putting the baby on the scale, and seeing a loss is not frightening at all.
It is difficult to adjust to life. So often, when it’s time for your baby to go on the scale before going home, you will find the baby has lost a little weight. This is because the first 48 hours of life is all about learning how to eat, sleep, and live in the real world. So a little weight loss is not alarming at all.
Another point at which it is not alarming to see a loss is when your baby starts moving and grooving. A lot of times, you will see a massive weight gain from birth to about six months. Then there will be a plateau or even a small drop in weight. This is because typically, around six months, children start moving around and crawling. This extra burn of calories will cause a little weight loss.
What’s the Value in Measuring Weight?
Every kid is different. Some children gain more rapidly than others, and some are chunky; some are skinny. This all has a lot more to do with genetics than it does the environment. So why is there such a push to monitor and use weight as a method of knowing the health of a child
The main reason that they like to watch the weight of a child throughout life is that it is an easy standard way to show growth. The weights of children are much more useful when compared to themselves versus other children. If you look at your child as growing on a scale, you will find it much more peaceful than looking at your child as growing in comparison to others.
Weight is a super-easy way for a doctor to notice a problem. If a child suddenly lost a large amount of weight or isn’t gaining any weight, they can be alerted to a problem. Failure to thrive is common in babies, and one way to quickly find and diagnose failure to thrive is by watching for weight gain or loss. Also, there is a standard ‘slope’ that children should grow on. There is typically an initial leap upward that is then plateaued out from infant to childhood. As long as a child is following this scale, it is clear that the child is healthy.
And while we don’t want to think about it, there are parents out there who don’t take good care of their children. Doctors can be alerted of this and have proof to show authorities based on the growth of the child or lack thereof.
How to Help with Weightless
So when it is a period that your child is not to be losing weight, but they are, then what are some things that can be done to help that. The main goal is to increase the caloric intake of the child. So urging your child to eat every two hours and to consume enough calories to improve weight gain is key. Also, if you are breastfeeding, supplement with some higher calorie formula can help too. The formula that is offered after birth has higher calories and is great for helping your child gain weight. It is also helpful if you are breastfeeding for you to take in significantly more calories. The higher intake of your calories will increase the calories getting to your child.
Go to the Doctor
One very important piece of any child’s weight loss is to talk to your pediatrician. Your child may be fighting an infection or other problem. Likely, the pediatrician will ask you to do a food journal to ensure that your child is getting the best intake and caloric value out of their food. If they feel that the weight loss problem is more than a lack of calories, they may do some other blood tests to check for infection. Infection is the leading cause of weight loss in children. Many infections may not show a lot of other obvious signs, such as a Urinary Tract infection or something more serious like Lyme disease. Speaking to your doctor is important in ruling out other problems.
Another important piece of the puzzle that the pediatrician can help you with is ensuring that your child is getting enough to drink. Humans will not be as hungry if their body is thirsty. Although water technically has no calories, not getting enough to drink can affect a child’s diet and growth.
There are many reasons why a child may be losing some weight. It is important to monitor your child’s weight to ensure a healthy growth pattern. Along with that, increasing the caloric intake will help be sure that your child is gaining weight. Also, offering your child lots of water can help increase weight as well because the child will be hungry more often. Another issue that can cause weight loss is infection. Speaking with your pediatrician to rule out any infection that may be going on is very important. Weight loss can be a healthy thing, but it can also mean problems. This is why it is important to talk to a professional.