What is the average size of a newborn baby in Australia?

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock 

From the minute a newborn is birthed, immediate attention turns towards their health, and then they are weighed and measured, with the measurements recorded.

Many new parents worry about the size of their newborn babies whether born on the smaller or larger end of the full-term scale. LIke adults, babies vary in weight and length and can be perfectly healthy despite being much smaller or larger than the average.

The World Health Organisation has specific standards when classifying birth weight.

Birthweight ranges

High: 4,500 grams and over

Normal: 2,500 to 4,499 grams

Low: less than 2,500 grams

(WHO 1992)

What's average?

According to a report released by the Australian Government's Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2017, the average birth weight of all live babies was 3,328 grams (about 7 pounds 3 ounces).

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The majority of these born in the normal birth weight range - 92 per cent or 279,485.

6.7 per cent or 20,271 were low birth weight, and a small percentage were high birth weight - 1.2 per cent or 3,641.

Your baby could lose weight after birth

It's normal for your baby to lose up to 10 per cent in birth weight after birth.

If the weight loss exceeds this, consult a medical doctor.

What about length?

Length isn't regarded as important as birth weight for the fact that very low or very high birth weight can bring about or be indicative of complications.

That said, the average baby length is about 51cm, with most babies falling into a 49cm to 53cm length range.

Keeping track of growth

Your hospital or health care provider will give you a baby health book. Inside you can keep track of your baby's growth using the WHO growth charts inside.

If you have any concerns about your baby's growth, please see a medical doctor to assess.