Measurements for Newborns

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.

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.