When the healthy term infant is effectively breastfeeding the initial weight loss will stabilize quickly and then reflect a steady weight gain. For more information, see Breastfeeding Protocols for Health Care Providers, Protocol # 3: Signs of Effective Breasfeeding p.34-35

Adequate Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies

  • May lose an average of 7% of their birth weight in the 3 days after birth
  • Should regain their birth weight by 10 days of age
  • Should show a pattern of weight gain by Day 5 onward
  • Should gain 20 – 35 g (2/3 – 1 1/4 oz) per day for the first 3 – 4 months of age
  • Tend to grow more quickly than non-breastfed infants in the first 6 months and grow more slowly in the second 6 months of life

Weight Concerns

  • 7% weight loss that continues after 3 days is an indicator for early assessment and support of breastfeeding
  • Weight loss of more than 10%
  • Birth weight not regained by day 10 after birth


Note: Some infants take longer to regain their birth weight.  If breastfeeding technique is improving, supplementation may be avoided.

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