How to Weigh Your Baby at Home: The Ultimate Guide
As a new mom, you’re probably anxious about a lot of things. When will my baby get eyebrows? Are they feeding enough? Do I have enough swaddles?
And you’re probably anxious about baby’s weight too. Weighing your baby at home is a great way to keep track of their growth and ensure they are gaining weight appropriately. In this ultimate guide, we’ll go through everything about weighing your baby at home. Why you may need to, the process of how to do so, as well as some handy tips on making the process a little easier.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link. Please see my disclosure for more details.
The Importance of Weighing Your Baby
Weighing your baby regularly is an important part of monitoring their health and development. It can help you to spot any sudden or unexpected weight gain or loss. Weighing your baby can also help you to track your baby’s progress over time and ensure that they are gaining the right amount of weight.
Thankfully, parents can weigh their babies at home so we can keep close track of their weight and put our minds at ease.
However, if you are concerned about your baby’s weight, be sure to speak with your pediatrician. They will be able to give you specific guidance on how often to weigh your baby and what an appropriate weight gain looks like.
How to Weigh Your Baby at Home
If you are wanting to weigh your baby at home in between doctor’s visits, there are many methods for doing so! However, some of the methods will be preferred when your baby is in the newborn stage as they are more accurate for when ounces matter.
A regular kitchen scale can be a useful tool for monitoring your baby’s weight at home. These scales are readily available and relatively cheap. You will need to make sure that the scale can measure in both pounds and ounces.
Here are some factors to consider when looking for a kitchen scale:
- The kitchen scale should be able to measure in both pounds and ounces
- Choose a digital scale as they tend to be more accurate
- Find a kitchen scale that has a larger capacity so that you can use it as baby grows. Buy at least a scale that can go up to 11 lb (5 kg) or even up to 22 lb (10 lb).
To weigh baby on the kitchen scale, undress your baby so they are completely naked. Not even a diaper should be on as that can make a difference in the reading. Then place the scale on a flat, sturdy surface. Make sure to tare or zero out the scale before placing baby on it.
Once the scale is reset, place your baby on the scale. Use one hand to support their head and the other to hold onto their bottom. Try not to move the baby too much as that can affect the accuracy of the reading. Once you have baby settled, read the weight displayed on the kitchen scale.
If you don’t have a kitchen scale or your baby is too big for it, you can use a bathroom scale. Because a bathroom scale may not read ounces, it will probably be used for older babies where ounces may not matter as much.
To use your bathroom scale, place it on a flat, sturdy surface. Again, make sure the scale is reset or tared before using it. Then, you must weigh yourself first. After that, you can weigh yourself holding your baby in your arms. The difference between the two readings will give you baby’s weight.
For example, if you weigh 140 lb and the total weight displayed on the scale is 150 lb, then your baby weighs 10 lb.
Another option for weighing your baby at home is to use a luggage scale. These are also known as fish scales. These can be purchased relatively cheaply and are easy to use. Luggage scales usually measure in both pounds and ounces, which can be helpful when trying to track baby’s weight gain.
To use a luggage scale, you’ll need to use it in combination with a baby sling. If you don’t have a baby sling, you can knot together the corners of a baby blanket. Make sure the knot is very secure and strong enough to support baby’s weight.
Hang the sling on the luggage scale and tare it to zero. If the scale doesn’t have the option to tare out the weight of the sling, please note the weight on the scale before weighing baby. You’ll have to subtract the sling weight from the final weight.
Now you’re ready to weigh your baby! Carefully place baby in the sling. Once baby is in the sling, hold onto the ends of the sling and gently lift baby off the ground. Suspend baby in the air for a few seconds while the scale registers their weight.
As you can imagine, a luggage scale will only work when your baby is on the littler side. First, your baby has to fit in the sling. And second, your baby can’t be too wiggly and try to escape the sling.
Digital baby scale
Finally, a digital baby scale is a great option for weighing baby at home. These scales are specifically designed to measure the weight of your growing baby. Some can even measure height as well! Baby scales have a soft and comfortable surface for your baby to lie or sit on safely. We love this digital baby scale due to its non-slip rubber feet.
A digital baby scale is also very accurate, even if your baby has the wiggles!
While a digital baby scale may be an investment, there are options available that can be converted to toddler or adult scales, so you’ll get a bang for your buck.
How to Weigh Baby at Home for Weighted Feeds
As any breastfeeding mom knows, it’s important to ensure that your baby is getting enough breast milk. Unlike bottle feeding, there is no real way to tell how much breast milk is being ingested. One reason why parents may want to start weighing their baby at home is to perform weighted feeds. Weighted feeds are to determine if baby is feeding properly and getting enough milk.
The goal of weighted feeds is to determine how much breastmilk your baby takes during one breastfeeding session.
Here’s how to do a weighted feed at home:
- Change your baby into a clean diaper, if needed. You will need the same diaper for both before and after feed weights. This is to keep the weight accurate in the event baby pees or poos during the feeding.
- Weigh your baby using one of the methods described above.
- Write down the weight.
- After baby is done eating, weigh them again in the same diaper with the same method/scale as before.
- Subtract the before weight from the after weight.
- This weight is how much baby took in!
If you ever have any concerns with how much breast milk your baby is ingesting, always verify with your pediatrician or lactation consultation. It’s never a bad idea to have scheduled weight checks to make sure baby is growing nicely with the option of weighing at home if needed.
How Often to Weigh Your Baby
Many new parents wonder how often they should weigh their baby at home. The answer depends on a few factors, such as the age of your baby, their health, and if your baby was born prematurely.
The best thing to do is ask your pediatrician how often they recommend weighing your baby at home or if it’s even needed!
Tips for Weighing Your Baby at Home
Now that we’ve gone over the process of how to weigh your baby at home, here are some helpful tips to make the process a little easier:
- for the kitchen, bathroom, and digital baby scale, make sure it is on a flat surface
- try to use the same scale each time you weigh your baby
- baby should be naked unless you are doing a weighted feed
- tare/zero out the scales before weighing baby to get the most accurate result
- if the weight changes drastically in a short period of time, speak to your pediatrician
- always write down and track baby’s weight. Consider using an Excel spreadsheet or phone app to keep it digital and handy
By following these tips, you can easily and accurately weigh your baby at home. With a few simple steps, you can ensure that your little one is growing healthily. So go ahead and get that scale out and be sure to keep track of your baby’s growth!
Remember that if you are concerned about your baby’s weight, it is always best to consult with your pediatrician. They will be able to give you the most accurate reading and help you determine if there is cause for concern.
The Bottom Line
Weighing your baby at home is a very simple process that can help determine how your baby is growing. This blog post described the different methods for weighing your baby at home, the process of a weighted feed, how often to weigh your baby, and some helpful tips. Remember that if you are ever concerned about your baby’s weight, it is always best to consult with your pediatrician.
Have you weighed your baby at home? Share your experience in the comments below!