Having a baby is one of those pleasing experiences that brings some profound changes in people’s way of living. All of a sudden everything tends to be centered on the newborn. From his nutrition to toys, parents do everything in their capacity to keep him joyous and to ensure his proper growth.
One of the easiest and effective methods of determining whether the growth of the infant is consistent with his age or not is measuring his weight. Should you have a newborn you already know the importance of proper infant weight gain. In general, babies are supposed to gain 5 to 7 oz. per week in the first six months.
Despite the fact that infants sometimes lose weight within a few days of their birth, they soon start to recover. Thereby, at the age of one, they should weigh three times their birth weight. You can track the weight gain at home or visit the doctor’s office while doing it at home seems to be the best option. However, many young parents don’t know how to measure infant weight.
How To Measure Infant Weight Properly
If you wish to weigh your child at home there are a number of methods you can try. From traditional beam scale to up-to-date digital scale, you can use whichever is available. In addition, in order to measure the weight of the child effortlessly and accurately, the best option left for you is buying a baby scale.
However, if you have the luxury to bring the infant to the doctor’s office every now and then, you’re done. The health professionals will take care of the procedures. If that’s not an option, for the time being, you can try these methods.
1. Use a Baby Scale
A baby scale at home will make your life less complicated. Besides, it will safeguard you from the hassle of booking a doctor’s appointment. Whatever the situation is and whenever you have your hands free you can weigh your baby. These scales come in a variety of styles, features and prices. Apart from price, you need to give deep attention to its features.
Scales that are used to weigh infants must have an increment of as little as 10 grams. A precision of below 0.01 kg or 1/2 oz. will make things a bit complicated. Before you proceed make sure that the scale is duly calibrated. Moreover, it needs to be able to weigh up to 40lb.
- Disinfect the scale before you place the baby on it. For added safety, cover it with paper or something.
- Now turn the scale on and wait until it displays zero. If the screen shows any value greater than zero find out the zero or tare button and press. In the unit setting select “lb” as the measuring unit.
- Make sure that the infant’s clothing is removed. At best you can keep a clean and dry diaper.
- Now place the baby on his/her back or make him sit on the scale’s tray. Keep the safety of the child in the first place. Be prepared to respond if any emergency pops up, such as any risky movement of the child.
- Don’t touch the baby and make sure that the infant or child is not touching anything off of the scale.
- The display panel will show the weight. Record it on the data collection sheet for future references.
2. Pay a Visit to the Doctor’s Office
This is by far the safest method of weighing an infant. Every doctor’s office has a measuring setup installed. Other than weighing, they can effectively conduct other measurements too. If you choose to go to the doctor, schedule an appointment first.
The best part of weighing an infant at a doctor’s office is that the procedures will be done by a professional. You don’t necessarily need to participate. All you need to do is make the child comfortable.
Furthermore, although the medical baby scales and the one we use at home look just the same, apart from being expensive, they are often extremely accurate.
3. Using Standard Adult Scale
Using adult scales to weigh an infant is by far the least effective method and is considered as the last resort. It has some obvious drawbacks but can get you an idea. In general, standard scales are designed to weigh to the nearest kilogram or at most the nearest 100 grams. For an older child this could work, nevertheless, for an infant an increment of as little as 10 grams is required. Thus, getting an accurate measurement would be difficult.
Well, this might not be the best option, however, if the situation demands and you are left with no other options you can get a rough measurement using an adult scale. Follow these simple steps-
- At first, put yourself on the scale and weigh. Note it down to use next. Try to do this measurement using a scale that can measure in tenths of a pound.
- For a more accurate reading remove the clothing of the baby. Now, pick him/her up and make him/her comfortable so that he/she doesn’t move much.
- Stand on the scale again, you have a combined weight of you and your baby displayed on the screen. Note it and subtract the previous value from it. You will have your baby’s weight.
What Can Result In An Inaccurate Reading?
You may have done everything right, but your scale can still yield inaccurate results. When you are measuring something, especially an infant, an accurate result is needed. There are a few factors that can get your testing compromised. Before you proceed, having a prior idea of those factors can make things easier.
- Equipment that is being used might not be appropriate to conduct the measurement.
- The scale might have a zeroing problem or it is not properly zeroed or balanced.
- Another reason for false reading is you may have forgotten to remove the baby’s clothing. Wet diapers can also result in an inaccurate reading.
- Placing the child in the center of the scale tray is highly advisable, otherwise there is a chance of deviation.
- Sometimes the assistant holds the child to stabilize him, which results in an inaccurate measurement.
- The child might be touching something of the scale or the scale itself.