The 10 Best Baby Scales
This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in December of 2016. One of the simplest ways to monitor the health and growth rate of babies and toddlers is by regularly checking their weight, but regular bathroom scales are not precise or accurate enough. One of these dedicated models should be ideal for you, but in the case of premature or nursing infants, be sure to check with your doctor that your selection is precise enough for your child's needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 11, 2020:
It's up to the individual parent whether bells and whistles like WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity are important, but accuracy is of course the most important thing to consider when choosing any kind of scale. Generally the more precise the scale becomes, the higher the price will go. Any parent who is tracking their baby's weight for a medical reason should discuss their scale choice with a pediatrician to ensure it is reliable enough.
For this update we added the Tanita Neonatal, despite it's high price point because multiples and premature babies are increasingly more common, it's cheaper than the Medela model that is mostly available for rental by the month because they cost even more, but still provides accuracy in increments of 2 grams, just like the Medela.
The Ozeri All-in-One, takes the top spot for detecting weight down to a tenth of an ounce, which is just above the Tanita's 2 gram precision. We also like it because you can store the weights of 8 different children.
Some parents may simply want a baby scale for a little peace of mind between visits to the pediatrician, or just to have more data to write down in their baby books. For them a space-saving model that converts to a regular scale when their toddler can stand up, like the Health O Meter Grow-With-Me and the iSnow-Med Multi-Function, could be a useful choice.
While the Health O Meter only accomodates up to 60 pounds, we still included it because the bear-shaped face adds a touch of whimsy and will probably convince even the most stubborn toddler to step on the scale when needed. These convertible models are accurate +/- 10 grams, or about half an ounce, so they should not be used to track a preemie's growth or nursing intake.
Baby Weigh II Considered by many to be the gold standard for weighing your newborn at home, the Baby Weigh II is surprisingly light and portable, plus it's accurate to 2 grams. It's not readily available in stores, in fact, most parents will rent it by the month from a local dealer due to high the price to purchase one. medela.us
Weighing Your Baby's Health
No one is suggesting that your child is slightly overweight.
If you’re a new parent and somebody recently advised you to invest in a baby scale, it’s understandable for you to have been somewhat off put by the suggestion. After all, your baby is beautiful and perfect, and it’s surely too early to start worrying about their physical fitness. Isn’t it? You may have then found yourself spiraling downward into thoughts about your baby’s future. If the little one starts down the path to obesity now, will it ever be reversible? Am I setting my child up for a shorter lifespan due to heart failure, diabetes, or early onset cancers?
This kind of rampant paranoia actually isn’t too uncommon among the parents, but this is still a good time for us to tell you to pump the brakes a little bit. No one is suggesting that your child is slightly overweight. Nor is anyone implying that your parenting strategies have left them susceptible to a host of diseases later in life based on the first few months of their existence. The whole point of a baby scale is to track your child’s growth for purposes of catching any anomalies before they become serious conditions.
By way of example, my father was an unusually fat baby. Once it got to the point where his weight was a visible anomaly, he had also begun to exhibit other symptoms, including rather forceful projectile vomiting. My grandparents took him to the doctor, who identified the ailment provided a relatively simple treatment that reduced both his weight and the puking. By the time he left toddlerhood and entered normal childhood, my father was of a relatively average weight, if not a little on the light side.
My father’s is a story with a happy ending, but if it weren’t for some of those additional symptoms, my grandparents might have waited longer to take him to the doctor and complications from his sickness might have done more harm to his nervous system. If my grandparents had had a baby scale to use and they used it regularly, they might have caught on to that dramatic increase in weight from the time they brought him home from the hospital to well before they brought him back to see what was wrong.
Fortunately, baby scales aren’t all doom and gloom. Most children are going to maintain a healthy weight throughout their youth, and with a good scale you’ll still have that data to fall back on. It will also provide you with a bit of a nostalgic reference point, not unlike the little hashmarks drawn in a door jam to track your child’s height as she ages through the years.
Choosing Your Baby Scale
Baby scales come in one of a few different configurations, and knowing which model is right for you will have a bit to do with how you want to use the scale, and a bit to do with how you think your baby might react to it.
Some scales look like normal bathroom scales, but are designed to be sensitive enough to weigh a baby, where many simple bathroom scales require a higher minimum weight to register a reading. These are ideal for parents who want their scale to take up as little room as possible. Since some of these scales also have a high enough maximum weight for adults to use, this investment can replace your current bathroom unit, further reducing your overall scale footprint in the home.
Other scales are designed more like platforms above a base that is intended to sit on a table or countertop.
Other scales are designed more like platforms above a base that is intended to sit on a table or countertop. You may not always leave this particular model of scale out in the open, especially if you don’t have the room for it, but if you do keep it out, it can easily become a daily part of your diaper changing regimen. Because of the size and shape of these scales, they also make decent choices for keeping an eye on the weight of a small pet like a cat or dog, so long as you keep them sufficiently clean to also weigh your precious child.
If you’re looking for the most accurate form of measurement available, you’re going to want to eschew the digital and spring-based scales you’ve come to know throughout the years and instead reach for a unit designed to measure water displacement. This method is certainly more accurate than others, but it requires placing your child in a tub of water, which necessitates getting that water to just the right temperature and dealing with a baby that might not be interested in getting wet. Despite the accuracy of these models, there are only a few occasions on which you would want to know your baby’s weight with that degree of precision. For the purposes of record keeping and having a watchful eye out for your child’s health, a slightly less accurate and easier to use scale is probably preferable.
Other Ways To Monitor Your Baby's Health
Keeping an eye on the health of your child is one of the fundamental tasks assigned to any parent. The baby scales on our list are a great way to make sure that there are no sudden fluctuations in a child’s weight. There are additional things to keep an eye on, however, and additional tools to help you do so.
One of the best ways to make sure your child is safe and happy is to keep an eye on their temperature. To do this, you’ll need a thermometer that’s designed for use with newborns, infants, and toddlers. Some of these models are sensitive enough for young children and also capable enough or big kids and even adults, but if you already have a unit for the grownups in the house, it might be smart to invest in something specifically targeted at children.
Your child’s well being maybe something you think about all day, but you can’t always be by their side. That’s why the baby monitor is such a powerful thing. Modern devices often include video feeds that link to smartphones, as well, so you can see and hear everything that goes on with your child even if you’re miles away.