New mothers take note of every little change in their babies. They cherish each new stage of development. But it's more than just a mother's love. Moms know that monitoring changes is vital to the baby's health. That means they keep track of everything from feeding patterns and diaper changes to cognizance and hair growth. Among the most important developments to track is the baby's weight.
Six-month-old babies come in all shapes and sizes. According to growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the typical weight range for a 6-month-old baby boy stretches from 15 to 20 pounds. The typical range for a baby girl is about 13 to 18 pounds. Parents can use the CDC charts to see how their child's size compares to other babies, based on percentages. For example, an average baby would be in the 50th percentile range.
While CDC recommendations are important, parents and doctors can also take a baby's length into consideration when determining the child's health. The CDC says a typical range for 6-month-old baby boys is between 25 and 27.5 inches long. A typical length range for 6-month-old baby girls is between about 24 and 27 inches. Doctors and parents will also take the baby's head circumference into consideration when deciding if the child's growth is on track.
Bucking the Trends
Of course, a baby's ideal weight varies depending on the family. Just because a baby does not fall within the height or weight ranges specified by the CDC does not mean he or she is unhealthy. Experts say a steady growth rate is more important than a numbers game. Parents concerned about their baby's height or weight are often relieved to hear a pediatrician reassure them that the baby has his own schedule and does not need to follow the typical growth trends.
The average 6-month-old baby will grow about a pound a month. However, babies grow in spurts, not in a smooth, steady climb. Parents should consider instead the baby's growth rate over time. If weight gain is too slow or too fast, an underlying cause may be to blame. Pediatricians will look at caloric intake, and may order blood and urine tests. Babies who hit all other developmental milestones on time are usually considered healthy.