Do you round up when weighing babies???

  1. My cousin had a baby recently, and being a labor nurse she wanted me there. Unfortunately she delivered at a different hospital than where i work, so i was not able to do anything nursing whys. It was sooooo frustrating. Anyway, when they weighed the baby she weighed 6 lbs 1.6oz. Now i've always been told in that situation you round up to 6lbs 2 oz. Have I been doing this wrong? The nurse announced 6lbs 1 oz. I know this is silly to fuss over one ounce, but it makes a big difference to the families. I want to tell them the correct weight. Your input please.
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   Clarise
    My 1st child was 8.56lbs. She was deemed 8.5lbs. Nurse said they round down.
  4. by   tntrn
    At our place some round up, some round down and some put it just like it reads on the scale: 6 lbs. 3.3 oz or whatever. Personally I think it's really silly to even consider a tenth of something (an ounce) that is 1/16th of something else (a pound).
  5. by   kirsnikity
    My opinion is to round up when the number is 5 or greater. A baby who weighs 7 lbs 8.8 oz is closer to 7-9 than 7-8. The only time I think I'd leave the decimal is when it's an exact half ounce in question.

    Nikki
  6. by   33-weeker
    Previous hospitals I've worked at all rounded down for .4 or under and up for .5 or over. This hospital puts the exact weight with the point.whatever. I hated it, but now the computer charting rounds it for us. The only thing is, it sometimes rounds a little differently.

    In the delivery room, we now have to tell the family to wait until the nurse enters the grams and then the computer will give the exact lb./oz. weight. It's not as fun - a bit anticlimactic to wait on the computer, but at least no more decimals to deal with. Their are terminals at the bedsides, so the L&D nurse enters it as soon as the baby is weighed - unless there is a complication with mom that is keepin her busy.

    For the daily weights, though, some still write the decimals out of habit.

    Point of the story-
    Different places do it differently.
    Be happy with the weight and don't stress about it.
  7. by   ragingmomster
    d/t recent issues with mistakes being made in birth weights, every birth or daily weight in our NBN has to be verified with 2 RN's and grams are used for the docs and we put lbs and oz's down to 8lbs 4.6 oz. no more rounding up or down for us.
  8. by   NurseNora
    Find out what your hospital standard is. If some do it one way and some another, your hospital needs to put a consistent policy into place.
  9. by   rnin02
    I've been taught by most of my preceptors to give the exact weight, ie 8#5.7 oz. The computer will round it, but for our "baby chart" we don't use computer charting, so I always write it out without rounding. When I tell the parents, I give them the exact number, and then I will say "basically 8#6oz".
  10. by   Gompers
    In the NICU if we're telling parents weights, we'll round down since the baby hasn't yet achieved the higher weight, you know what I mean? But as far as a normal newborn's weight, I'd use the regular mathematical rules and round to the nearest ounce or half ounce.

    QUESTION to other OB nurses...

    The nursery nurse measured my newborn at 19-1/4 inches long, but at the one week peds visit the office nurse got 18 inches. At the two week visit, another office nurse got 18-1/2 inches. I would think this means that the initial length was erroneous. HOWEVER, my mother-in-law was in the nursery when they measured the baby and said it was truly 19-1/4 inches (she's a NICU nurse too) and keeps reminding me about this over and over again!

    What the heck length do I use on my birth announcements and baby book??? I haven't picked up the birth certificate yet so I don't know if length is on there or if it's just weight - if it's length then of course I'll use that as the official number. But I just don't believe it was real!
  11. by   rn/writer
    We set our baby scales to register in grams, then push the conversion button for pounds and ounces to the hundredth place (two decimal places).

    When I enter it into the computer, it goes in in grams and the program does the conversion to pounds and ounces and lists both numbers. Occasionally, there is a discrepancy between the conversion the baby scale lists and the one the computer lists, but we are talking hundredths of an ounce. Two or three hundredths of an ounce is not a significant deviation in the normal newborn crowd.

    As for your height question, Gompers, why don't you measure her now and see how your result compares to the original. If she's under that height now after three weeks, then maybe that wasn't accurate.

    I guess I'd be more inclined to trust two nursery nurses (including your MIL) over the office nurses, simply because they do it more often, but let us know what you come up with.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    we round up.'

    Really gram weight is more important anyhow. the other is more for people who like pound units.
  13. by   Gompers
    Quote from rn/writer
    I guess I'd be more inclined to trust two nursery nurses (including your MIL) over the office nurses, simply because they do it more often, but let us know what you come up with.
    Well, the only thing I can think of is that the office nurses are a bit more tentative with newborns, all "ooooooohing" and "aaaaaaaahing" whereas nursery nurses get right down to business - meaning that they'll really take those legs and stretch them out whereas the office nurses are a bit more gentle. I'll just go with the longer length, but I think I will take a quick measurement myself later on, just so I know. I should have done that weeks ago but it just slipped my mind.
  14. by   bagladyrn
    Quote from Gompers
    Well, the only thing I can think of is that the office nurses are a bit more tentative with newborns, all "ooooooohing" and "aaaaaaaahing" whereas nursery nurses get right down to business - meaning that they'll really take those legs and stretch them out whereas the office nurses are a bit more gentle. I'll just go with the longer length, but I think I will take a quick measurement myself later on, just so I know. I should have done that weeks ago but it just slipped my mind.
    Actually, if your baby had a lot of molding to the head (you know - one of those really elongated heads) the baby could measure shorter later when the molding had resolved and the head rounded out.

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