If your 5-month-old baby has been to a handful of well-baby visits since his birth, the doctor has plotted your baby's weight length and head circumference. The pattern of growth on that chart is the most important factor in determining your baby's overall health, according to HealthyChildren, a website associated with the American Association of Pediatrics.
According to the clinical growth charts put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average weight--or 50th percentile--for a baby boy who is 5-months-old is 16 lb. The average weight for a baby girl the same age is approximately 14 lb.
According to KidsHealth, growth is influenced by several factors, including heredity, your baby's overall health, the quantity and quality of the food she eats, and the functioning of her growth hormones. Health practitioners monitor the growth chart to make sure your baby's growth is proportional and that she continues to develop. If the pediatrician notices that your baby has not gained weight or height in a certain period of time, this could give an early sign to a health problem.
At this stage, your baby has been gaining weight at a rate of 1-1/2 to 2 lb. every month. At six months, the rapid rate of growth slows down to 1 to 1-1/4 pounds per month until he reaches 12 months of age, according to KidsHealth.com
Childhood obesity has become a concern, and it might cause a parent to wonder whether their chubby baby is heading down the right road. According to KidsHealth, few babies are overweight, and those who are can benefit from working closely with their pediatrician to address weight concerns. It is never a good idea to withhold food from a hungry baby. As a parent, you can do a couple things--even while your child is a baby--to help your child achieve and maintain a healthy weight. KidsHealth recommends limiting the amount of juice you give your baby. Once a baby reaches 6 months, it is acceptable to allow him to have 100 percent juice. No more than 4 oz. is recommended. Additionally, once your baby starts eating solids-- between 4 to 6 months--offer pureed fruits and vegetables with no added sugar, according to KidsHealth. Avoid empty calories from sweets, and avoid giving a fussy baby food as a means of quieting him.
If your baby was born prematurely, her doctor will use her adjusted age when plotting her growth on the charts. For example, if your baby was six weeks early, and is 14 weeks old, her doctor will compare her with other females who are 8 weeks old. Correcting for prematurity occurs until your baby reaches her second birthday, according to HealthyChildren, which is when most children will catch up developmentally.