Baby Growth Chart: The First 24 Months

Infant Weight for Age Percentiles (< 36 months) Calculator

Babies who are born prematurely often, though not always, weigh less than full-term babies. A baby is considered full-term if they’re born at or after 39 weeks of gestation.

Every week makes a difference. A baby born at 24 or 25 weeks will weigh less than a baby born at 28 or 29 weeks.

If your baby is premature, they may have a low birth weight or very low birth weight:

  • Babies born at a low birth weight weigh between 3 pounds, 5 ounces (1.5 kilograms) to 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2.5 kilograms) at birth.
  • Babies born at a very low birth weight weigh less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces at birth (1.5 kilograms) at birth.

Premature babies require more medical attention and support when they’re born. They often stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they’re healthy enough to go home. This often occurs near their original due date.

The ability to gain weight steadily will be necessary before your baby can go home. Often, though not always, babies are kept in the NICU until they weigh at or near 5 pounds.

Just like all babies, preemies lose some weight after birth and then begin to gain the weight back. While your baby is in the NICU, you’ll likely be able to supply them with pumped breast milk.

Babies don’t develop the sucking reflex until 32 weeks old, so babies born very early are given milk through a tube into their stomach at first. Your baby can also drink formula this way.

Weight gain is an important measure of health for premature infants. If there are no underlying health issues that make it difficult for your baby to grow, they’ll gain weight steadily.

Based on their level of prematurity, for the first few weeks, the amount of weight gain may be similar to the amount of weight they’d be gaining were they still in utero.

Premature babies grow and gain weight at a faster rate than full-term babies do. During their first year, premature babies are measured for weight based on the age they would’ve been born at term rather than by their actual birth date.

For example, if your baby is born at 35 weeks, when they’re 5 weeks old, their doctor will refer to the newborn weight percentiles instead of those for a baby that’s 5 weeks old.

Many premature babies catch up to full-term babies in terms of weight by their first birthday. Some may not catch up until they’re 18 to 24 months old.

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Most children fall between the 3rd and 97th percentiles. But, if not, there may be many factors at play, and your doctor will take into account whether your child is meeting other developmental milestones, for example, and the build she’s inherited from the family. Some families might have fast-growing babies, while others have slow and steady gainers. Try not to worry, and keep these individual differences in mind as you follow your child’s growth. If your pediatrician determines that your baby is overweight, underweight, growing too fast, or growing too slowly, trust that your baby is in good care, and follow your doctor’s recommendations for what to do next.

The growth charts can seem overwhelming, and the results can be confusing. Try not to compare your child to others, and instead focus on all of the growing your little one has been doing. And, if the doctor says your baby’s doing great, you have no reason to worry. You’ll probably be delighted (and maybe even a little surprised) when you see how big your baby is now compared with the day she was born. If you’re interested in learning even more about your baby’s growth and development, sign up for our monthly emails.

While you’re watching on in wonder at all the growing your little one’s doing, you’ll probably be watching on in amazement at just how many diapers he’s getting through. You should be rewarded for all those diapers and wipes, and by downloading the Pampers Rewards app now you can be!

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