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Is there a reasonably accurate, field-expedient way to weigh a newborn at home?

I don't need the kind of plus-or-minus a few grams accuracy they get at the hospital because I only plan to check every week or so, but it does have to be sensitive to a few tens of grams.

Some things that don't work in my house

  • I could weigh myself on the bathroom scale with and without the child in my arms, but that only give a accuracy around 100 grams.

  • The kitchen scale has the necessary precision, but once I've put something on it to hold the child the total exceeds 5 kg (the limit on the scale we have). Worse, too much squirming by the baby might tip the container off the scale.

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    Out of curiousity, why does it need to be to the 10s of grams? Seems those kinds of amounts would change drastically throughout the day based on ... let's call it consumption and excretion... habits. – corsiKa Jul 16 '17 at 0:57
  • Well, I'm American, so I'm thinking in terms of 1–2 ounces. And yeah, the daily fluctuation would exceed that value, but if I'm only weighing the child very 7–10 days then the trend should be visible despite the fluctuation. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 16 '17 at 1:00
  • Most electronic bathroom scales go to the tenth of a pound which is 45 grams. Seems like that should be adequate, no? – corsiKa Jul 16 '17 at 1:15
  • @corsiKa Mine displays to the 0.1 pound, but it's only repeatable at about the 1/5 pound level. Same problem with the last one we had. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jul 16 '17 at 14:07
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    @Mark if your baby is bottle fed, weigh the bottle before they eat and after. A 3 oz of water is 88g. And that's just one feeding. – corsiKa Jul 17 '17 at 22:05
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The best bet I have found (I had to do home weights on one of my children) is to use a hanging weight as they are very accurate, and use a baby ring sling to suspend it. You have to account for the weight of the ring sling. They do sell specific slings to do that & they are not expensive, but I used the ring sling because I already owned it for carrying my baby & it could be well secured to handle the weighing & I saw no purpose to buying something additional if this worked. American Weigh Scale American Weigh H-110 Digital Hanging Scale.

The link is to one that is like what we used. The minimum weight it will detect is 100 grams, but otherwise those tend to be quite accurate & they are not expensive. I had no hook installed for it. I simply had my husband hold it & we placed a pillow below, I laid out the sling on the pillow, secured it to the scale, and then had him just lift the baby until she was clear of the pillow. Then you have your weight and no worries. If by any chance you slip (we never did) the baby would drop a very very small distance onto a pillow. It just made me feel very safe to do it this way.

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  • I want to add, you should always weigh your baby naked. I should have said that sooner & whatever sling design you use, always use the same one, otherwise weight in small babies can appear off simply by those changes. If by chance you don't want to go diaperless (I don't blame you) just ensure you use the same diaper. I did cloth, so I'd put a sposie on for weighing when tiny because it was more consistent in weight than the various cloth we had & covers & such. – threetimes Jul 16 '17 at 2:07
  • I weighed my daughter in her car seat. I just zeroed the scale for the weight of the carseat! – Cort Ammon Jul 17 '17 at 21:37
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You will probably need to get a scale specifically for this purpose. Some produce scales go up to 40 pounds or more, or you could get one specifically designed for weighing babies and toddlers, such as this one:

Health o meter Grow with Me 2-in-1 Baby to Toddler Scale

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