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Your child's weight

It is normal for babies to lose some weight in the first 2 weeks after birth. Most babies are back at their birth weight by 2 weeks of age.

After this, steady weight gain is a sign that your baby is healthy and feeding well.

Your public health nurse (PHN) and GP will help you if your baby:

  • has not regained their birth weight by 2 weeks
  • is losing weight

They may look for signs of medical problems.

If you are breastfeeding, your PHN will talk to you about how feeding is going. They may ask to watch when you are giving a feed.

Checking your child’s weight

After the first 2 weeks, your child will be weighed by:

  • your GP at the 6-week check
  • your PHN at each developmental check

Many PHNs also run ‘well baby’ clinics where you can bring your baby to be weighed.

Your child's health and developmental checks

Healthy weight gain

Most children are about 3 times their birth weight by 1 year of age. But this is just an average measurement. Your child may gain weight slower or faster than usual.

Sometimes weight gain can be slow if your child was premature or if they have been sick and off their feeds.

On average, a child gains 2kg to 3kg (4.5lbs to 6.5lbs) each year until they reach puberty. Your child may gain weight slower or faster than this.

BMI (body mass index)

If your child is over the age of 2, your GP or PHN may record their body mass index (BMI). The BMI reading compares your child’s weight to their height. BMI can be a better indicator of possible weight issues than just weight alone.

If you are worried about your child’s weight, ask for a BMI measurement to be done.

Physical activity

Children under 5 should have at least 3 hours of physical activity spread throughout the day. This can be anything that gets them moving.

Examples of physical activity include:

  • crawling
  • walking
  • moving around the home
  • dancing
  • playing outside
  • exploring

Learning through play

20 games to keep your kids active -

Teaching your children to be active

Healthy eating for families

Page last reviewed: 16 December 2022
Next review due: 16 December 2025