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Guide to self weighing your baby (under 2 years) / child (over 2 years)

Weighing Your Baby Naked

Step by step guide:

  • Before placing your baby on the changing mat, please make sure there is clean blue/white roll on the mat and the scales
  • Undress your baby, including nappy. Press the start button making sure there is blue/white roll on the scale. Wait for 0.000 to appear on the display. The scale is then automatically set to zero and ready to use
  • Place your baby on the tray, ensuring that they lie as still as possible. If your baby can sit unaided, you can sit them on the scales. If not, please lay your baby on their back on the scales and ensure your baby is not holding onto anything which may affect the weight
  • Take a note of the weight. Take your baby off the scales and redress them. Turn to page 53 of your Red Book to record the date, your baby’s age and weight. Clean the mat and the scales with the antibacterial wipes or spray provided and put the rubbish in the bin.

If you do not wish to weigh your baby naked you can weigh them in a dry nappy or wrapped in a blanket. Babies feel more secure, comfortable and warm when wrapped in a blanket to be weighed. To find out how to do this accurately take a look at 'How to weigh your baby using a blanket'.

If you do feel worried that your baby is not gaining enough weight or might be gaining too much weight, you can call Duty Health Visitor on 0300 555 0606 to talk it through with a health professional.

Weighing Your Baby Using a Blanket

If have a soft lightweight blanket this would be good to use to wrap your baby in once undressed at the self weigh station. Holding them close helps them feel calm and protected. Babies feel more secure, comfortable and warm when wrapped.

Step by step guide:

  • If you are using a blanket set the scales to 0.000
  • Put the blanket on the scales and take note of the weight of the blanket
  • Undress your baby and wrap in the same blanket
  • Set the scales to 0.000 again and place your baby, wrapped in the blanket on the scales
  • Take a note of the weight, remember this will be the weight of your baby and the blanket
  • Use the calculator on your phone to work out your baby’s weight. To do this take away the weight of the blanket from the weight of the baby and the blanket.

Don’t worry, if you haven’t got a blanket; you can undress baby down to a clean dry nappy instead and weigh this in the same way you would a blanket.

How Often To Weigh Your Baby

It is normal for a baby to lose some weight in the first few days after birth. Your baby should be weighed in the first week as part of their assessment of feeding – this is often completed as part of your midwife contact.

Most babies get back to their birth weight by 2 weeks of age. This is a sign that feeding is going well and that your baby is healthy.

If you baby's weight has increased or dropped crossing 2 centile lines (the blue or pink curved lines on the weight chart), please contact Just One Number and they can review your this with you.

Weighing your baby too often may cause unnecessary concern; the list below shows how often, as a maximum, babies should be weighed to monitor their growth. However, most children will not need to be weighed as often as this.

2 weeks to 6 months = once a month, 6 to 12 months = once every 2 months, over 12 months = once every 3 months

Knowing They Are Growing

After your baby has returned to their birth weight and is feeding well, they do not need to be weighed as often. This is usually by the time they are 2 weeks old, but your health visitor will advise you.

Unless there is a medical reason and you have been advised to have more regular growth checks it is not always a good idea. It can cause unnecessary worry as weighing a lot can make it seem like your baby’s weight is going up and down. Weighing less often means you see a clearer longer term picture.

Weighing less often doesn’t mean you can’t be confident that your baby is thriving. There are other ways to know that your baby is getting the nutrition they need. You can be reassured when;

  • They wake up and ‘ask’ for a feed.
  • They are having plenty of wet and dirty nappies.
  • They have times when they are content and alert (awake and looking around).
  • Their skin is a normal colour for them.
  • You can ‘feel’ them getting heavier and friends and family comment on them getting bigger.
  • They are growing out of nappy sizes and need bigger baby clothes!
  • They are reaching milestones and interested in the world around them.

If you do feel worried that your baby is not gaining enough weight or might be gaining too much weight, you can call Duty Health Visitor on 0300 555 0606 to talk it through with a health professional.

Self-Weigh Guide For Children Over 2 Years Of Age

Measuring Height at Home

  1. Remove the child or young person’s shoes, bulky clothing, hair ornaments and unbraid hair styles that may get in the way with the measurement.
  2. Take the height measurement on flooring that is not carpeted and against a flat surface such as a wall with no skirting boards.
  3. Have the child/young person stand with feet flat, together, and heels against the wall. Make sure legs are straight, arms are at sides, and shoulders are level.
  4. Make sure the child/young person is looking straight ahead (ear hole should be in line with bottom of the eye).
  5. Take the measurement while the child/young person stands with head, shoulders, bottom, and heels touching the wall.
  6. Use a flat object as a headpiece, such as a book or ruler and lower the head piece until it firmly rests on the top of the head.
  7. Make sure the measurer’s eyes are at the same level as the head piece.
  8. Lightly mark where the bottom of the headpiece meets the wall. Then, use a metal tape to measure from the base on the floor to the marked measurement on the wall to get the height measurement.
  9. Record the height in centimetres to the first decimal that is the nearest 0.1 centimetres (for example, 120.4cms).

Measuring Weight at Home

Use a digital scale. Avoid using bathroom scales that are spring-loaded. Place the scale on firm flooring (such as tile or wood) rather than carpet.

  1. Have the child/young person remove shoes and heavy clothing, such as jumpers.
  2. Have the child/young person stand with both feet in the middle of the scale.
  3. Record the weight in kilograms to the first decimal place that is the nearest 0.1kg's (for example, 17.4 kg’s).

Who can Help?

If you are concerned about your child’s weight or eating habits and feel you need support, you can contact the 0-19 team by calling 0300 555 0606  or texting Parentline on  07507331886. Our opening hours are 9am-4pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays)

Alternatively you can go to see your GP to discuss concerns.

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