Is My Baby at the Correct Weight?
Do not alter the mix of your baby's formula without your doctor's explicit instructions. Diluting it can reduce the amount of nutrition that your baby gets. On the other hand, going light on the water used to mix formula can result in dehydration. So unless your pediatrician advises you otherwise, stick to the proportions recommended on the label.
Another common concern among parents in the first year is that their baby isn't growing fast enough. How thin is too thin? In all likelihood, you have no need to be concerned about a thin baby. Most lean babies are healthy and very active. If your baby is very active, she may burn away almost as many calories as she consumes. In addition, if both you and your partner are lean, your genes may have influenced your baby's body type.
Unless your child's weight gain continues to drop over two or three months, you probably have no cause for concern. (If you are concerned nonetheless, talk to your pediatrician.) If your child's weight gain does slow significantly or come to a halt, consult your pediatrician. Your pediatrician may encourage you to do one of the following:
- Make sure your baby is still nursing or bottlefeeding at least five times a day
- Begin feeding her solids
- Alter the mix of your baby's formula
Whatever you do, don't underfeed your baby in the hopes that it will set her off on the path to lifelong slimness. Your baby needs more food (per pound of body weight) and more fat than an adult or even an older child needs. Undernourishing your child will retard her development regardless of whether it controls her weight gain.
More on: Babies
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby © 1997 by Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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