Do you just love watching your baby grow? We bet you do! Very little compares to tracking each smile, each coo, and each milestone.
This attentive dedication is not just fulfilling — it is important to your baby’s continued health. Tracking your baby’s weight is one of the easiest ways to ensure your little one is progressing at a proper pace. It can also be a good indication of potential health issues.
While your doctor will check your baby’s weight during regular check-ups, this isn’t a very convenient method if you are a busy mom who wants to keep a close eye on your baby’s development, especially if there have been problems in the past.
Luckily, you can get a baby scale to use at home. With a baby scale, you can check your baby’s weight whenever you would like. In this article, we will go over how to find a baby scale that meets your needs, how to use it safely, and some basic information on healthy baby weights.
Our Top Baby Scales Picks of 2018Read Full Reviews
3 Reasons To Record Baby’s Weight
Isn’t going to the doctor’s for a check-up enough? Do you really need to weigh your baby at home with a personal baby scale? We think you should.
There are a number of benefits to knowing how much your baby weighs at any given time.
Here are three:
- You can make sure your baby is hitting its growth markers and is in a good percentile for their age.
- Weighing your little one after feedings can ensure they are getting enough food.
- The precious time you have with your small baby will go by fast. Never forget their milestones by recording their weight in a baby book.
5 Different Types of Baby Scales
There are many different types of baby scales available. These five are the most popular for a variety of reasons.
1. Mechanical Baby Scales
When you think of a scale, as seen in movies and doctor’s offices, you are likely imagining a mechanical scale.
A mechanical scale uses a slider mechanism with springs to measure weight. How does it work?
Slide the weight indicators on the top and the bottom of the balance bar until the mechanism on one end is perfectly centered inside the small metal square. You can then read the measurements.
While mechanical scales are definitely accurate and good for subjects who move around a lot, such as squirming babies, they are generally only used by professionals. If you find yourself working as a midwife or labor specialist, a portable mechanical baby scale may be right for you.
2. Digital Baby Scales
Digital baby scales were designed to reduce the work of mechanical scales. The weight of the object placed on the scale is evenly distributed on the sensors inside, then processed electronically. A digital reading then appears on a small screen.
Digital scales are the preferred method of stressed-out mamas who need to measure their little one quickly. Most other types of baby scales use a digital scale to measure your baby’s weight, but have another distinguishing feature or function that sets it apart from a typical baby scale.
There is nothing cuter and more precious than bath time. Use your baby’s relaxed state to get an easy reading on their weight with an aquascale. Aquascales use a waterproof digital scale in a small baby bathtub.
A hard part about weighing babies is how squirmy they can be. To take accurate measurements on many scales, the subject being weighed needs to be still. A warm, bedtime bath will help relax your baby long enough for the scale to measure their weight.
4. Multipurpose Scales
We definitely favor baby products that can grow with your child so you get a lot of use out of them. That is one reason we like multi-purpose baby scales.
These scales come in many forms, but the two most common are:
- Digital scales both mom and baby can use.
- Baby scales with different parts to hold larger toddlers.
We like these scales for moms with lots of children or who are operating on a tighter budget.
5. Hanging Scales
Hanging scales seem terrifying. A mechanical scale is hoisted into the air, with an object attached by a hook and a carrying device for the object being weighed.
Without extreme caution, hanging scales pose a potential hazard to your baby. You rely on your own strength to lift your baby slightly into the air in order to get an accurate reading. However, midwives and many health professionals use hanging scales and with a little bit of know-how, you can too.
But, if the idea of using one makes you uncomfortable, one of the other scale types might be a better fit for you.
Important Baby Scale Features
No matter what type of baby scale you decide to purchase, you want to be on the lookout for the following features:
- Battery-operated: You don’t want to be fumbling with cords when trying to weigh your baby, especially if you would like to move your scale around your home. Plus, cords can be dangerous for your little one if they grab onto them.
- Tare function: A tare is an allowance for weight. This means the scale can be calculated to “ignore” the weight of other objects on the scale, such as a diaper, clothes, or a toy your baby is holding. The tare function will allow you get a truly accurate reading on your baby’s weight.
- No-slip grips: Many baby scales are designed to be placed on tables or counters. Make sure the baby scale you purchase has some sort of grip to prevent the scale and your baby from moving.
- Easy-to-clean: You never know when an accident is going to happen. From diaper blowouts to spilled milk, you want a sturdy scale that can be easily wiped down. Avoid scales with a lot of nooks and crannies or fabric comfort pads you can’t easily wash.
- Large display: No matter the type of scale you get, you want to make sure you can read the displayed weight quickly and easily. If your baby moves around or if you need to keep your baby controlled, the display can change or time-out.
The Best Baby Scales of 2018
A quick search will reveal you have a lot of options when it comes to finding a baby scale. How can you know which one is right for you? Here are some of our favorite baby scales and why we like them so much.
1. Hatch Baby Grow Smart Changing Pad & Scale
Smartest Changing Pad
Did you ever think a changing pad could be smart? We didn’t either. After all, when we think of changing a baby, we just think of a lot of body fluids we’d rather not deal with.
However, this smart changing pad completely changes the game. On the surface, it looks like a simple, easy-to-clean changing pad, but it has an advanced digital scale that allows you to record your baby’s weight within a quarter of an ounce.
This is just the beginning! The real power of this baby scale comes when you download the free companion app. It allows you to record the weight on the scale, as well as your baby’s feedings, how much breast milk you pump, when your baby sleeps and more.
The app will even compile all of the data into easy-to-read charts you can study to track your baby’s health and your own milk production.
As an added bonus, you can also take pictures each day so you can look back on how much your baby has grown.
The entire changing pad is made of ABS plastic so you can wipe it down easily and weighs approximately seven and a half pounds.
These features are pretty fancy and may seem like a bit much. If you’re the mom to a sick child or if you struggle with producing enough milk, the in-depth statistics will give you some essential information and a little bit of peace.
- Digital scale can record to a quarter of an ounce, making it a great option for moms and babies in stressful situations.
- App allows you to record much more than weight, including sleep and diaper habits.
- Easy to wipe down and clean without damaging the scale.
- At almost 8 pounds, the changing pad isn’t designed to be portable.
2. Ozeri All-in-One Baby & Toddler Scale
Measures Weight & Height
Beat your doctor at their own game with this 3-in-one measuring scale. Not only does it measure your baby’s weight, but it also tracks their height and comes with a head circumference measuring tape.
All of the features on this scale fit in with the three pillars of measurement to help you understand exactly how your baby is growing. Of all the scales on this list, it has the most accurate reading, being able to measure weight with 0.1 ounces. The tare feature also allows you to remove the weight of clothes or diapers.
One of the standout features, however, is the scale’s ability to remember and store the weight of up to eight children. It also calculates the difference between the last weight measurement and the one you are currently taking. Altogether, you can store 15 weight measurements for each infant in the scale.
If you are a mom with multiples, such as twins, triplets, or babies in foster care, these features are perfect for you to keep track of how each precious baby in your home is growing. It is also a great option for midwives, lactation consultants, or other labor specialists working with a small group of moms.
- Allows you to record your baby’s weight, height, and head circumference.
- Remembers 15 weighings for up to 8 babies.
- Super accurate weight readings within 0.1 ounces.
- There are not any comfort features to help your baby feel more relaxed while they are being weighed.
3. Aquascale Bathtub Digital Scale
Relaxing for Baby’s Bathtime
The Aquascale allows you to weigh your baby during bath time. The digital scale has been specifically designed to work in water and adjust to your baby’s movement and their love of splashing.
You can see your baby’s accurate weight in pounds, ounces, and kilograms down to a single ounce. The scale even has a memory reading function to store your baby’s previous weight reading.
One thing that’s obviously important when it comes to baby bathtubs is safety. Just because this bathtub has an awesome scale doesn’t make it a good choice for your child. Luckily, the creators of the Aquascale have prioritized making the safest baby bathtub they could.
The tub has anti-slip grips on the bottom of the tub to prevent your baby from sliding down into the water. It also converts from an infant tub to a toddler tub. Simply remove the side guards for your baby’s legs when they are ready for a little more freedom.
Our favorite feature, however, is the built-in thermometer. It displays digitally on the LED screen in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. It automatically tracks and displays the changes in water temperature so you can ensure it is not too hot or cold.
You can also use the scale without water in it, for a quick measurement outside of bath time.
If you are a mom to a very little baby, this tub could be a good option since you can get a lot of use out of the tub for a good two years.
- The scale works with or without water in the tub, so you can take a measurement anytime.
- Tracks water temperature for baby’s comfort and safety.
- Easily converts from an infant to a toddler tub.
- It is a bit bigger and bulky, so if you have a sick or small baby who constantly needs to be measured, it may be hard to move around and use.
4. Health-o-Meter Grow With Me Scale
Easily Converts As Baby Grows
This cute teddy bear scale has a special design that allows it to convert from a tray scale to a standing scale as your baby grows.
When your child is small, place them directly on the tray once it has been securely locked into the digital scale. Once your child reaches the toddler stage, you simply remove the tray and collapse the digital scale base. It collapses into an adorable teddy bear shape, so your toddler will love using it.
The scale is able to provide an accurate measurement within 0.5 ounces and displays the weight on the large 1.2-inch LED display. Once you convert it to a standing scale, it can hold up to 60 pounds.
If your baby is having a hard time keeping still, it also has a special “Hold” button. When pressed, the scale will calculate an average weight as your baby moves around.
The curved tray is one of the most popular out there when it comes to digital baby scales and this one definitely meets all of the standards. What sets this scale apart from the rest is its innovative design to easily transform from one type of scale into another.
We think this transformative feature would be good for mamas with multiple children who want to get more use out of their scale. We also like how it can help families on a budget get more out of a product a single child may outgrow quickly.
- Easily transforms from a tray scale to a standing scale.
- Hold feature allows you to get an average weight if your baby moves around.
- Adorable design.
- Your baby does need to be fairly still to get a truly accurate reading, so if every half ounce counts in your situation, it may not be what you need.
5. Smart Weigh Smart Tare Digital Scale
Easy-to-Tare Mom & Baby Scale
Holding your baby can be a truly delightful experience. As long as they aren’t screaming and kicking, of course! No matter what state your baby is in, this easy-to-tare dual scale helps you get an accurate measurement without them ever having to leave your arms.
All you have to do is tap the tare button in the center of the scale. Helpful icons will start to blink. First, a mother icon appears and you step on it alone. The weight will flash once it is recorded.
Then, you simply step off and step back onto the scale, holding your baby. The baby icon will be illuminated on the digital screen. The scale will then be able to calculate the difference in weights, providing you with an accurate weight of your baby.
The scale itself weighs about four and a half pounds and features a bright blue backlit LED screen for easy reading, even when you are standing up. It measures in pounds, kilograms, and stones. In total, it can hold up to 440 pounds, making it a great bathroom scale when you are not weighing your little one.
This scale will be especially good for moms looking to weigh their babies after a feeding. Babies are often relaxed and sleepy after eating. This scale will allow you to move them gently and keep them snuggled close while still weighing them.
- Easy-to-tare feature allows you to hold your baby while checking their weight.
- Also functions as a bathroom scale for mom and other family members.
- LED icons are bright and understandable.
- Doesn’t give readings in ounces, a common unit used for baby scales.
How Often Should You Weigh Baby?
There is no exact answer on how often you should weigh your baby. It really all comes down to your specific circumstances.
For a healthy baby and a mom with relatively few feeding issues, checking on your baby’s weight once a month is generally recommended (source). Outside of this, weigh-ins are more for personal insight and recording.
However, there are a few circumstances that may require more weigh-ins and that is why at-home baby scales are so important.
You may want to check your baby weekly or even after each feeding if (source):
- Your baby lost a lot of weight after birth and has not gained it back.
- You struggle to produce enough milk for your baby.
- Your baby has a hard time feeding or a very low appetite.
Weighing your baby in these situations will help you determine if they are getting the nutrition they need.
A Word of Caution
When to Be Concerned About Weight
The World Health Organization has created a number of growth standards for ensuring your baby grows at a healthy pace (source). These standards are the ones used by most doctors and other pediatric professionals. If you have ever heard of a percentile, that is where it comes from.
As a mother of a new baby, it is natural to be worried about how they grow. Whenever you have concerns about your child, bring them up with your doctor. Trust your mother’s intuition!
However, if your baby is consistently failing to put on weight or if they have a lot of trouble feeding, you may want to make a visit to your doctor sooner rather than later. This could be an indication of an underlying health issue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still wondering if a baby scale is right for you? Here are a couple of frequently asked questions you may have in your mind about baby scales.
Baby scales come in multiple price ranges. Your final price will be determined by the specific product you buy. Simple scales which only record weight will be on the cheaper end, while the scales with multiple functions and features will cost more.
If you do not want to purchase a baby scale, you can often rent one through lactation consultations or midwives in the area. We suggest talking with other moms or your healthcare professionals to get in touch with one.
Each baby scale is different and will have different operating instructions. For example, a scale you stand on while holding your baby will be completely different from a tray scale you place your baby on.
In general, you will want to place a calm baby onto the scale so it can get an accurate measurement after you turn it on and make sure it is on the right setting.
There should be calibration instructions with your specific baby scale. If you cannot find out how to do it, contact the customer service team for the company you purchased the scale from.
Calibration ensures the scale can measure accurately. Most scales use a calibration weight that is placed on the scale when it is in a special calibration mode (source).
Did You Use a Baby Scale?
A lot of mothers do not think about buying a baby scale, but they can be useful for a number of reasons, the primary of which is to feel more confident in your baby’s growth.
Have you ever used a baby scale before? Would you recommend it to another mom? Let us know in the comments!
Since it is a new concept for a lot of women, your input can help a mom determine if a baby scale is right for her.