It was pretty amusing when I tried to weigh my newborn baby at home! I believe he was only a week old when I attempted to gently, strategically hold him on our bathroom scale. I ended up finding a better way to weigh babies at home as I’ll explain in a moment, along with when to weigh your baby and how to analyze your baby’s weight gains.
When Should You Weigh Your Baby at Home?
If you’re curious or even concerned about your baby’s weight, weekly weighing can be a way to ease your mind. It may only be small gains in increments of about 5 ounces per week, but for parents who like to see and visualize their baby’s progress, weighing at home is a simple way to get that. Unless your child is sick or you’ve been directed to weigh more frequently by a doctor, weekly weights are most helpful and will save you unnecessary worrying.
How to Weigh a Baby on a Regular Scale
Surprisingly, the at home hold-your-baby-and-weigh-yourself method for weighing newborns turns out to be very accurate! You stand on any regular, household scale and weigh yourself alone, then weigh yourself while holding your baby. Subtract your first weight from the weight of you and baby combined and that’s how much your baby weighs.
If not using a digital scale, you may not get an exact, down to the ounce weight reading so keep that in mind. And even the digital scales may be off by an ounce or more. But in general, this is the best way to weigh your baby at home.
Can You Weigh Your Baby on a Kitchen Scale?
Yes! Just like any baby scale you can buy online, a kitchen scale could certainly be used to weigh a newborn baby. Make sure to zero out the scale after putting down a thin blanket or towel and then place your baby on it. Again, readings may be off by one or two ounces and dependent on movement and other factors. I personally would use a kitchen scale if that was all I had.
How Accurate Is Weighing Baby at Home?
Weighing your baby at home, whether on a kitchen scale or bathroom scale, is quite accurate! Smaller babies of course might be harder to get down to the exact ounce, but you should get a roughly accurate weight in pounds.
I highly recommend that you use one of the scales in the chart below, since they are the proven best choice for families. Just check the reviews!
Of course, the pediatrician’s scale is going to be the most accurate and you should consult with them before purchasing or weighing your baby at home. That said, you can weigh your baby on your bathroom scale with confidence that the reading is as close to perfect as possible.
How Much Weight Should Newborns Gain Each Week?
According to AmericanPregnancy.org newborns should be back to their birth weight by two weeks of age and then be gaining 5-7 ounces per week for the first four months.
Around four months old, how your baby is fed matters in terms of what the age-to-weight standards are. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently developed new growth charts which portray growth standards for breastfed babies, whereas the traditional charts (which are still being widely used) consider weigh gain ranges for babies that are formula fed only. Make sure your child’s doctor knows how your baby is fed in order to advise you on the expectations for weight gain beyond four months.
Weighing Your Newborn at Home to Monitor Feedings (Weighted Feedings)
After having each of my babies, the lactation consultants would help me see just how much my baby was taking in during each breastfeeding session. To do this, the LC weighed my newborn before the feeding with a diaper on, and then directly after nursing on each breast, again with the diaper on. This is called weighted feedings and it’s supposed to show how much baby is drinking at the breast.
But how accurate are weighted feedings? This medical study of 94 infant babies determined that weighing babies to monitor intake is actually unreliable and shouldn’t be used in the clinical setting. At least not for very young or ill babies who are eating small amounts. In that study, the after-intake weight was consistently off by 40% of what was actually fed to the baby! I would not rely on, and medical professionals don’t advise, weighted feedings to verify or monitor intake for newborns. That being said, if you choose to monitor how much your baby is drinking using the weighted feeding method, it makes sense to find a scale that measures in the smallest increments. See the chart below for the scale that goes down to 10 grams!
How to Weigh Baby at Home on an Infant Scale
If you simply want to see how much your baby is gaining each week and you want to get as close to accurate weight readings as possible, you might consider buying an affordable digital or smart infant scales. These will be able to give you really accurate weights, down to 10 grams! Much better than just the single pounds that traditional household scales read.
There are a great selection of digital baby scales on the market. The average price range is $40-$60, most of them convert to toddler scales or are multi-functional (pet/kitchen). I’ve created a chart of the most popular baby scales, all having great reviews. You can use this buying guide to figure out which baby scale is best for you, depending on measurement increments, the style and your budget.
Baby Weight Scale Comparison Chart & Buying Guide
**Turn phone sideways or use desktop view on your mobile phone for best viewing!
|Where to Shop
Scale, Converts to
|Health O Meter Grow
with Me 2-in-1 Baby
to Toddler Scale
|Beurer Digital Baby
Scale, Toddler’s Scale BY80
Digital Baby Scale + Measure,
|0.1 lb (10g)
|Hatch me grow
digital smart baby
For more information about baby weight charts and growth standards, visit http://www.who.int/childgrowth/standards/en/
Add one of the scales above to your baby registry! Start your registry on Amazon >> Click here