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Your baby and healthy weight

Giving your child the best start in life and ensuring they get into healthy habits early on will help reduce the risk of poor health later on in your child's life. 

What happens in the baby's first few years of life in terms of their feeding, sleep, physical activity, and the parents habits towards a healthy lifestyle, will all contribute to a baby's healthy weight throughout childhood and adulthood. 

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A baby's growth is regularly monitored throughout their contacts with the Health Visitor, as well as receiving advice on providing a healthy lifestyle for the baby and family, and reducing the risks of obesity. It is normal for a baby to lose some weight in the first few days after birth, but most will get back to their birth weight by 2 weeks of age. Weighing your baby too often may cause unnecessary concern; below shows when babies should be weighed to monitor their growth. However, your Health Visitor may ask you to bring your baby to be weighed more often if they feel there is a need.

AgeNo more than
2 weeks to 6 monthsOnce a month
6 - 12 monthsOnce every 2 months
Over 12 months

Once every 3 months

There isn't an exact weight or height (or length) a baby should be. Your child's weight and height (or length) will be plotted on the growth charts in their 'red book', which is completed by the Health Visitor. The UK WHO information in the red books has more information about measuring babies and answers to some frequently asked questions by parents.

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Top Tips for a Healthy Weight for you and your baby


It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months of a baby’s life before introducing solid foods. Find out about the benefits of breastfeeding and find out about your local breastfeeding support group.

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Gradually introduce solid foods after 6 months to a baby’s diet and supplement with breastfeeding. There is plenty of advice available to mothers to help your baby enjoy new foods and weaning your child.

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It is important to keep up-to-date with your child’s development checks and immunisations

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Speak to your midwife or health visitor for more information about accessing Healthy Start vouchers.

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Evidence shows mothers that smoke are more likely to have overweight children; get support to quit smoking.

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Being a good role model for your child will encourage them to follow your behaviour. Sign your family up to Start4Life to hear about new tips, recipes, competitions and offers to keep your family healthy together.

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Evidence shows the link between parental obesity and childhood obesity. Support is available in Wiltshire for adults who want to manage their weight.

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What support is available for you and your baby?


Wiltshire Children's Centres offer a range of courses for parents to attend to learn more about a healthy lifestyle for the whole family, cooking and parenting courses.

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Healthy Start are free vouchers for pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of 4 years old, who are in receipt of financial benefits or pregnant and under 18 years old. Vouchers are used to spend on healthy foods and vitamins to give your child the best start in life. Speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor for more information.

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For support on breastfeeding there are Mum2Mum breastfeeding peer support groups across Wiltshire. There are also a range of 'Breastfeeding Welcome' venues across Witlshire.

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Encourage your family to walk or cycle when you could avoid using your car. Get support on planning a safe route to walk.

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Sign up to Start4Life for advice and support for you and your baby, including information on breastfeeding, first foods and physical activity for your baby.

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For individual support or any concerns you have about your child's weight and nutrition, speak to your Health Visitor who can offer support and advice and signpost to local services where necessary.

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Health Trainers can support parents to work towards a healthy weight and eat healthily which often has a positive impact on the children and family.

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Last updated: 30 June 2017 | Last reviewed: 30 June 2017