A baby weigh-in can be a moment of great anxiety for many parents, especially in the newborn stage. Has your baby gained enough weight? Are they developing correctly? For a mom who is keeping a close eye on her little one’s weight gain, every fraction of an ounce counts. If you didn’t take off your baby’s diaper or onesie at the weigh-in, you can only guess the actual weight of your baby. So how much do baby clothes and diapers actually weigh?
An average short-sleeve cotton bodysuit or onesie in size 0-3 months weighs 1.5 oz (about 40 grams), and an average size 1 diaper weighs between 1/2 oz and 3/4 oz (between 15 and 20 grams) when clean and can go up to 2 oz (57 grams) if the diaper is wet.
As a new mom, you can expect that your baby will be weighed at all checkups. In most cases, your doctor will require that you strip your baby completely down to their birthday suit before putting them on the scale. However, if your baby is sick or fussy, they may not want to undress your baby and will weigh them in their clothes. In that case, your doctor will take a look at how much your baby weighs with clothes on and the clothes they’re wearing and make an educated guess.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s exact weight, here are the average weights of baby clothes and diapers so that you can subtract them from the total reading and get a more accurate idea of how much your little one weighs.
Average Weight of A Onesie
For a short sleeve cotton onesie, here’s what you can expect in terms of average weights:
- Newborn size (NB): 1.3 oz
- 0-3 months: 1.5 oz
- 3-6 months: 1.6 oz
- 6-9 months: 1.75 oz
- 9-12 months: 2 oz
- 12-18 months: 2.10 oz
- 18-24 months: 2.15 oz
After your baby’s first birthday, the weight of baby clothes has no significant impact on their actual weight so you can stop worrying about it. Your doctor will also stop asking you to take your baby’s clothes off at the weigh-ins once your baby turns one year old. That’s because your baby is likely developing correctly and the small fluctuations in weight are no longer an issue.
Average Weight of A Diaper
The average weight of a diaper will depend on the size and the brand. A size one diaper can weigh between 0.50 oz and 0.75 oz when clean and up to twice as much when wet.
A wet diaper would equal pouring 3 tablespoons of water on a clean one which is approximately 1.5 oz. So if your baby peed on the diaper and you haven’t had a chance to change him into a fresh one before the weigh-in, you can subtract about 1.5 oz from the total weight.
You should note that this is a very rough estimate for the weight of a wet diaper, as you don’t know exactly how much your baby peed. It could be more or less, so take this estimate with a grain of salt.
A Note on Accuracy
It’s important to remember that the weight of baby clothes and diapers can vary depending on the brand, type, size, and how much your baby peed if it’s a wet diaper. These weights are just estimated to give you a general idea of what you can expect. The best way to know how much your baby’s diaper and clothes weigh is to weigh them using a food scale that can read in 1/8 ounces increments.
Weighing Your Baby with Their Diaper on At Home
When weighing your baby at home, the last thing you want is to get peed on. This used to happen with my daughter every single time I tried to weigh her without a diaper on. I eventually gave up and started keeping her diaper on. You can actually keep your baby’s diaper on and still get an accurate reading for their weight. Here are different ways of doing it depending on the type of scale you have at home.
Baby Scale with Zero out Function
This is the most convenient way of weighing your baby with a diaper on. Just put a clean diaper on the scale and zero it out, and then put your baby on the scale. The reading you get will be your baby’s weight with diaper on.
You can also zero out a diaper along with a onesie or pajamas your baby was wearing if you want to keep your baby with their clothes on.
This is also the most accurate method of weighing your baby at home as the increments can be as low as 0.1 ounces. Check out our guide on baby scales with our top picks.
Baby Scale without Zero out Function
If your baby scale doesn’t have zero out function, you can still weigh your baby with diaper on. Use a kitchen-type scale to weigh a clean diaper and the clothes your baby was wearing at the time of weigh-in.
Then, weigh your baby on the baby scale with diaper and clothes on. Subtract the weight of the diaper and clothes from the total weight and you will get your baby’s accurate weight.
For example, if your baby weighed 15 lbs with a diaper and clothes on, and the diaper and clothes weighed a total of 2.25 lbs, then your baby’s accurate weight would be 12.75 lbs. This method is a bit more inconvenient as you will need two different types of scales, but it’s still doable.
Regular Bathroom Step on Scale
If you don’t have a baby scale at home, you can use your regular body weight step on scale. Here’s how:
- Weigh yourself first holding your baby’s clean diaper and a onesie similar to the one they’re wearing (without your baby).
- Step on the scale with your baby wearing their diaper and the clothes you were holding the first time.
- Subtract your weight from the total weight and you will get your baby’s weight with diaper on.
This is the least accurate way of weighing your baby, but it still gives you a close estimate of how much your baby weighs without getting a baby scale or having to go to your doctor’s office or LC office.
As you can see, there are different ways of weighing your baby with diaper on depending on what type of scale you have at home. The most accurate way is to use a baby scale with a zero out function, but the other methods will still give you a close estimate of your baby’s weight.
The weight of baby clothes and diapers can vary depending on the brand, size, and how much your baby peed if the diaper is wet. The weights given above are just estimated to give you a general idea of what you can expect.
My last word of advice is to not obsess over the numbers too much. As long as your baby is wetting enough diapers and seems content after most feedings, it most likely means that they are getting enough to eat and are gaining weight at a healthy rate. You’re doing great!