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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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