I had my children years ago, now I am a grandmother, however being on the business of baby clothes I have to research the statistics of an average of a newborn baby.
Height & Weight
Studies have shown the difference in weight between boys and girls can be explained by the difference in their length. The average length of a full term baby is between 18 and 22 inches, often expressed as 20 inches. Being longer or shorter than the average is not necessarily an issue; it can be due to the parents’ height. However, it can be critical for a premature baby.
The average weight for a full term baby is 7.7 pounds; the average weight of a baby born 2 weeks premature is almost a full pound less.
Variations by Weight
Extremely premature babies (up to 4.4 pounds) show an almost even distribution between boys and girls. From 4.4 pounds to the average of 7.7 pounds, there’s slightly more girls than boys being born. Interestingly, for larger than average babies (8.8 pounds and above), there are almost twice as many boys as girls being born.
What this means is that in the three year period between 2011 and 2013, there were 48 more boys per 1000 girls being born. While at first glance it may not seem like a big difference, August 2011 had 360,000 births. This translates to 17,400 more boys being born in only that month.
Causes of Large Babies
There are many factors that can cause a baby to be large (which is considered to be over 9 pounds), including ethnicity, obesity, and going past your due date. As stated earlier, sex of the baby is also a contributing factor (the larger babies are more often boys). However, the most common factors are genetics and diabetes, as well as gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that may develop during pregnancy. If it goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to a large baby. Even if you have the above risk factors, you are more likely than not to have a baby of average size at birth.
Data used can be found on the United Nations Data Retrieval System and the National Center for Health Statistics, CDC.
Maria Marcus is President of Little Threads, Inc.