How can a little girl look big

Your baby's height and weight at birth

Newborn | Investigations | Development, physically

Aside from the gender of their child, there are two other things that expectant mothers and fathers are curious about: How long and how heavy will our baby be? The birth weight and the body length of the baby are among the first facts that the new parents announce everywhere, and they are usually an integral part of birth announcements along with the date of birth and name.

What is normal in height and weight?

All babies who measure between 48 and 56 centimeters at birth are of normal size, the average is around 50 to 52 centimeters. Newborns weigh on average between 3,300 and 3,500 grams, A weight between 2,800 and 4,200 grams is considered normal, which shows that there is considerable leeway!

Incidentally, birth size and weight do not necessarily mean that your child will be the same for a lifetime. The final height of a person depends on many different factors (e.g. heredity, diet, diseases).

Doctors and midwives are hardly interested in how big a baby is. The length of a newborn is not so much determined by the good supply in the uterus as its weight, but rather influenced by genetic factors. From a medical point of view, body length is therefore initially very unimportant.

Measurements during pregnancy

Even during pregnancy, your gynecologist and midwife take note of how the unborn child is developing in the uterus. However, they are still so exact Ultrasound measurements only approximations to the actual birth mass possible. In any case, more important than the specific gram and centimeter information is whether the baby is developing continuously and proportionally.

What does a low birth weight mean?

In technical jargon, babies born too easily are called SGA children (small for gestational age), i.e. too small for the gestational age. This growth retardation is often caused by a deficient function of the placenta, which can lead to an undersupply of the unborn child. The cause can be diseases of the mother, e.g. kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, gestation gestosis, anemia and chronic infections. It is not uncommon for it to be heavy smoking and / or alcohol consumption.

Height and weight at birth are also influenced by genes: Mothers who are small or too small or / and were born too easily have a greater risk of giving birth to a child that is too small and / or too light.

Too easy, too difficult to give birth?

A favorable weight for an uncomplicated birth is between 3000 and 4000 grams. Does that mean "The heavier the baby, the more difficult the birth"? It's not that easy. A very heavy baby increases the risk of birth injuries to both mother and child. A typical example is the baby of a poorly adjusted diabetic who often has a larger belly than its head, which is why the rest of the body cannot be born so easily after the head has passed through. On the other hand, the birth process is not only influenced by the baby, but also by the physical conditions of the mother. A very slim or small woman can already have a problem (relative disproportion) with a "normal" child of 3.700g, which may lead to birth arrest and caesarean section. The same baby would likely result in an uncomplicated birth in a woman who has given birth to one or more children.

If your baby is unusually small or large, heavy or light when it is born, the doctors will keep an eye on it. Significant deviations from the average need not be cause for concern, but in individual cases they can indicate problems.

Development in the first days of life

After the birth, you will find that your baby loses up to ten percent of its weight in the first three to four days of life. This is normal: Your baby will pass fluids through urine and stool (meconium), but will not eat much in the first few days. Babies are very well prepared for this condition with a supply of brown adipose tissue, which provides their sugar reserves for this initial period of physical adaptation to life outside the womb. The small body itself is now responsible for body temperature, food intake and all metabolic processes. After these first days up to a maximum of two weeks, the newborn will gain weight again very quickly: In the first three to six months of life, your baby doubles its weight - this development is particularly rapid if you breastfeed your child.

On average, the little ones gain up to 30 grams per day and develop the typical baby fat: In newborns, body fat makes up only about ten percent of their weight, in four-month-old babies it is already a good 40 percent. Your baby needs these fat reserves, among other things, to get through the first phases of the disease.

The pediatrician assesses whether your little one is growing well at every check-up. The most important thing is whether a child is growing and gaining weight evenly.

By the way, you don't need to weigh your child every day or even after every meal, unless a doctor tells you to. Once a week is usually sufficient. Are you worried that your child will not be properly fed? Six to eight wet diapers in 24 hours, a rosy, plump appearance and a contented demeanor will show you that your baby is growing and thriving.


Frequently asked questions on the topic

If a very rough estimate of your baby's adult height is enough, double their height when they are two years old.

How big a child ultimately becomes is very much genetically determined, i.e. it depends on the height of the parents. The likely ...

read full answer

The fetal weight cannot be measured directly, but has to be estimated from individual ultrasound measurements using different methods and measurement tables. Depending on the method, you can determine the head diameter (BIP or BPD) and the mean waist circumference (AU), the BIP and the ...

read full answer

News ticker

82.12 years of future | 21.12.2018

There are significant differences in life expectancy between countries around the world. This is shown by an evaluation of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, prepared by a working group of the World Health Organization (WHO). In a global comparison, Switzerland is doing very well: Male newborns have the highest life expectancy in the world at 82.12 years. Life expectancy for currently 60-year-old men is the remaining 24.45 years. Women still live longer on average than men. The life expectancy of female newborns in Switzerland is 85.66 years and that of women who are currently 60 years old is 27.32 years. Once you have overcome all the health risks at a young age (accidents, suicide, aggressive types of cancer), the chances of a long life improve.

News ticker

Baby with a record weight: A particularly heavy girl with a birth weight of 6110 grams and a height of 57.5 cm was born at the Leipzig University Hospital at the end of July. The cause was undiscovered gestational diabetes in the very overweight mother. Up until the birth, the child's weight was suspected but not precisely estimated. Because with pregnant women who are very overweight, the ultrasound and the usual calculation formulas work significantly worse. Doctors tried a natural birth because a caesarean section would have been even more risky. (swissmom news ticker 8/20/2013)

Newborns lose weight: In the first days of life, fully breastfed newborns lose body weight - vaginally born children lose weight and gain weight more quickly than cesarean section children. Normal weight loss is between 4 and 8% and is most pronounced within the first 72 hours. Loss of more than 10% of the birth weight can lead to complications such as dehydration or jaundice. A research group from the University of California has now created new norm curves with the data from over 160,000 newborns, with which a more detailed assessment of weight development is possible. (www.newbornweight.org). (swissmom Newsticker, 29.1.15)

Brains - not weight: Head diameter or weight - what causes a higher risk of birth complications and subsequent unplanned caesarean sections and forceps deliveries or suction cup deliveries? Until now, experts believed that a high birth weight was more important. The result of an Israeli study with almost 25,000 births says otherwise: If the head circumference of the child is in the top 5%, an emergency caesarean section or an instrumental birth is more often necessary. In the case of a high birth weight, this is only the case if the head is also very large. But this is only the case with a quarter of the "big babies". The scientists therefore recommend ultrasound measurement of the child's head diameter before birth. (swissmom news ticker, 19.9.15)

Last update: 29-03-21, BH