Baby fat: What parents can do to help prevent childhood obesity
This entry was posted on 18/07/2019.
Usually, babies are weighed at birth and then on a regular basis by a midwife or health visitor. In the UK, as part of the National Child Measurement Programme, a child is also meant to be weighed when they first start primary school.
However, with obesity on the rise, can parents do more to prevent childhood obesity from birth?
Baby scales for the home are ideal if parents want to check their baby’s weight frequently - and professional Marsden baby scales are available for a more reliable weight check. and in this blog post we look at when and how your baby should be weighed.
The first step, along with maintaining a healthy diet, is regularly weighing your baby to monitor their weight.
How often should my baby be weighed?
Whilst you may want to weigh your baby frequently - say, once a week - you should bear in mind that particularly in their early weeks a baby’s weight could be noticeably affected by feeding.
For example, the first week’s weighing could be just after a baby feeds, and the following week just before - or vice versa. The two readings will make it look like your baby has gained little or no weight - and the last thing you want is unnecessary worry. That’s why, ideally, you should weigh your baby at the same time of the day each time - and either always before or always just after a feed. This will build a more accurate display of their growth.
For babies up to six months old, a weight reading of once a month is recommended. If you feel that you would like to see more frequent readings, maybe once a fortnight.
For babies from six months 12 months, every two months should be frequent enough.
For babies over 12 months old, every three months should suffice.
What should my baby weigh?
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have published these growth charts on their website.
The charts provide a good idea of optimal growth for boys and girls from birth to four years of age, and can be used as a guide when weighing your child.
Which baby scales should I use?
You may find some websites, or some parents, suggest using a bathroom scale to weigh your baby. We strongly advise against this - professional Marsden baby scales (those baby scales that are Class III Approved) can be as accurate to 2g or 5g. For context, the graduations of an adult medical scale are typically 100g or 200g - and if you're using a cheap bathroom scale, graduations could be more like 500g. Additionally, price reflects quality here and professional medical baby scales will always provide the best result. When weighing babies, we strongly recommend using dedicated Class III Approved baby scales for ultimate accuracy and reliability.
BAS-100HM: A simple and affordable baby scale (however, it is not Class III Approved) for weighing your infant whilst at home. Babies can be weighed comfortably and safely, and a height measure means you can track growth as well as baby weight.
M-300: For ultimate accuracy use this Class III Approved scale. Its 2g graduations means it’s popular with lactation consultants as it will show you the smallest changes in a baby’s weight. And, because it’s Class III Approved, it’s at least as accurate as baby scales used in hospitals, GP surgeries and clinics.
M-400: If you see weighing your child as a longer-term exercise, go for the M-400, or the higher capacity M-410 (the latter, with its 50kg capacity will suit them until they are into their teenage years). The baby tray slides off so that a toddler or older child can stand on the platform underneath. Accuracy is still high and both of these scales are Class III Approved (legal for medical use).
If, for any reason, you’re concerned about your baby’s weight, we advise that you speak to your GP or health visitor. Your GP or health visitor will be able to advise on baby weighing. Also, your baby can be weighed by your GP if you do not have your own baby scale.
Where can I find out more about baby scales?
For more information about weighing babies using Marsden scales, watch the videos for selected product on the relevant product page.
If you need help with choosing baby scales, speak to the Marsden team on 01709 364296.