If you are a new parent, then you are likely watching your baby like a hawk to make sure they are healthy and thriving. It is normal to be hyper-alert of every move your new baby makes and every little change you see in them virtually every day. It can be very concerning if you notice that your baby isn't gaining as much weight or length as you expect them to. Read on to find out what to do if your baby doesn't seem to be gaining as much weight as you expected.
1. Check the Expected Weight-Gain Chart to Make Sure You Really Have a Concern
While not a substitute for a pediatrician visit if you truly are concerned, seeing how your baby's length and weight compares to other babies their age in months can help ease your worries if your baby otherwise seems perfectly healthy. Of course, if your baby was born pre-term, then you have different weight gain goals in mind, but if your baby was born at term, entering their weight and measurements into the Babycenter.com baby growth calculator can help you know whether to be concerned or not. If the chart shows that your baby is in the third percentile for weight on the chart, then it signals a visit to the doctor is needed to see what the problem may be.
Also, remember that most babies lose a little weight right after birth before they begin gaining, so if you just got home from the hospital and see this weight loss, then don't be alarmed.
2. Coconut Oil Rubs May Help Baby Gain Weight Faster
If the doctor gives your baby the all-clear during the visit or at least decides baby is healthy and just needs to be encouraged to eat a bit more, then there is an additional step you can take to encourage your baby to gain weight faster. It may sound strange at first, but medical studies have shown that pre-term babies given daily coconut oil massages gained weight and length faster than a group of babies who weren't given the massages. While the reason why is unclear, it may be due to the stimulation during the massage and/or some of the fatty acids actually absorbing into baby's body as if they were eaten.
Be sure to ask your baby's doctor permission before beginning the oil massages just in case they think it might irritate your baby's skin, especially if your baby has any rashes or skin irritation. If you get the okay from your doctor, then give your baby's trunk, legs, and bottom (avoiding the genitalia) a gentle massage with just a tablespoon or so of coconut oil daily for five to ten minutes. This can also create great additional bonding time between you and your baby, which will be rewarding whether the massage results in more rapid weight gain or not.
If your new baby does not seem to be gaining the weight that you expected, then it never hurts to give your baby's doctor a call or take them to an infant care center to make sure they are thriving. Then, follow the doctor's instructions on what to do next, and don't be afraid to ask the doctor if they think that daily coconut oil massages would benefit your baby's health and weight.
For more information, check out an infant care clinic like Northeast Wyoming Pediatric Associates Pc.