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Newborn Babies - Measurements

Assessing a newborn's weight

A baby's birthweight is an important indicator of health. The average weight for term babies (born between 37 and 41 weeks gestation) is about 7 lbs (3.2 kg). In general, small babies and very large babies are more likely to have problems. Babies are weighed daily in the nursery to assess growth and fluid and nutrition needs. Newborn babies may lose as much as 10 percent of their birthweight. This means that a baby weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces at birth might lose as much as 10 ounces in the first few days.

In most cases the metric system is used for weighing babies. This chart will help you convert grams to pounds.

Converting grams to pounds and ounces

1 lb. = 453.59237 grams; 1 oz. = 28.349523 grams; 1000 grams = 1 kg.

Pounds
Ounces 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
0 907 1361 1814 2268 2722 3175 3629 4082
1 936 1389 1843 2296 2750 3203 3657 4111
2 964 1417 1871 2325 2778 3232 3685 4139
3 992 1446 1899 2353 2807 3260 3714 4167
4 1021 1474 1928 2381 2835 3289 3742 4196
5 1049 1503 1956 2410 2863 3317 3770 4224
6 1077 1531 1984 2438 2892 3345 3799 4252
7 1106 1559 2013 2466 2920 3374 3827 4281
8 1134 1588 2041 2495 2948 3402 3856 4309
9 1162 1616 2070 2523 2977 3430 3884 4337
10 1191 1644 2098 2551 3005 3459 3912 4366
11 1219 1673 2126 2580 3033 3487 3941 4394
12 1247 1701 2155 2608 3062 3515 3969 4423
13 1276 1729 2183 2637 3090 3544 3997 4451
14 1304 1758 2211 2665 3118 3572 4026 4479
15 1332 1786 2240 2693 3147 3600 4054 4508

What other measurements are taken of the newborn?

Other measurements are also taken of each baby. These include:

  • Head circumference. The distance around the baby's head (head circumference is normally about 1/2 the baby's body length plus 10 cm).
  • Abdominal circumference. The distance around the abdomen.
  • Length. The measurement from crown of head to the heel.

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