Your Newborn’s Weight: Normal Gains and Losses and What the Average Baby Weighs

by Maressa Brown
Medically Reviewed by Lauren Crosby, M.D., F.A.A.P. on August 5, 2020

If there’s one way in which parents want their babies to be average, it might be when it comes to weight. Too low and parents fret that their little ones are, well, too little or perhaps ill; too high and they start to worry about obesity.

But here’s some news that might help you relax: There’s a wide range of healthy weights when it comes to newborns, and as long as your baby is eating, peeing and pooping, there’s probably no cause for concern.

Average baby weight — what does the average newborn weigh at birth?
The average newborn weight of babies of European descent is about 7.5 pounds at birth (what’s considered normal or average may vary slightly depending on baby’s race/ethnicity), and 8 out of 10 babies born full-term weigh between 5 lb., 11.5 oz and 8 lb., 5.75 oz.

If your baby falls within that range at birth, there’s probably no reason to be concerned about her size. If she’s bigger or smaller than that, your practitioner might recommend some extra tests or monitoring to make sure she stays healthy.

What factors contribute to your newborn baby’s weight?
What makes your baby weigh more or less than the newborn in the next bassinet? Several factors come into play:

Your own diet and weight, both before and during pregnancy (if you’re overweight, you may have a heavier baby; if you don’t get enough nutrients while you’re pregnant, your baby may be smaller)
Your prenatal health, including whether you drink, smoke or have diabetes
Your own birth weight, plus genetics (your size at birth, plus your and your hubby’s size now, can both play a role)
Your age (teen moms tend to have smaller babies)
Whether your baby is a boy or a girl (boys tend to be heavier)
Whether this is your firstborn (they tend to be smaller than subsequent children)
Whether your baby is a twin or triplet (multiples tend to be smaller than singletons)
Your baby’s race (white babies are sometimes larger than Black, Asian or Native American infants)

Newborn weight loss
Don’t be alarmed to learn that, upon discharge from the hospital or birthing center, your baby will weigh on average 5 to 10 percent less than she did at birth. What’s up with the downturn? She’s just losing fluid, which is normal right after delivery.