What is a normal rate of weight gain in infancy?

Acta Paediatr. 1994 Apr;83(4):351-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1994.tb18118.x.


We have retrieved weights from the Child Health records of an annual cohort of 3418 full-term children, aged 18-30 months in order to define a lower limit of normality for weight gain for both clinical and research purposes. There was a strong tendency for children at the extremes of the distribution to move inwards towards the average: only 26% of those below the 3rd centile for weight at six weeks were still below it at one year. We describe a method based on conditional standards to correct for this "regression to the mean" and produce a measure of the discrepancy between a child's predicted and actual growth: the "thrive index". The value of the thrive index below which only a minority of children fell provided a lower threshold for normality. While most children below the 3rd centile for weight at 9-24 months of age also had subnormal weight gain, 41% of those with subnormal weight gain had not fallen below the 3rd centile.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Weight Gain / physiology*