Here's a general guide to the growth of breastfed babies during the first year:
- Weight gain of 112-200 grams a week during the first month.
- An average 1/2 to 1 kilogram per month for the first six months.
- An average of 1/2 kilograms per month from six months to one year.
Weight gain is determined by more than diet, which is why there is such a wide variation in normal patterns of infant weight gain.
Babies with different body types due to heredity have different metabolic rates, and therefore burn calories differently.
- Long and lean babies (we call them "banana babies") are hypermetabolizers. They burn off calories faster than the plumper "apple babies" and "pear babies." Banana- babies are likely to grow more quickly in height than weight, so that they normally plot above average in height and below average in weight on the growth chart.
- Apples and pears show the opposite pattern on the chart, usually showing gains in weight faster than height.
- All these patterns are normal.
A baby's temperament also influences weight gain.
- Mellow, laid-back babies tend to burn fewer calories and therefore gain weight more quickly.
- Active babies who always seem to be revved up usually burn more calories and tend to be leaner.