Is Size an Issue - How Fast Should Your Baby Grow? - The Koch Family
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Is Size an Issue - How Fast Should Your Baby Grow?

Babies grow much faster in their first year of life than at any other stage. Following, some of the most common size and growth concerns are covered.

During the fist 12 months of your baby's life, some incredible changes will occur. This will be a period of amazing growth. By the time you are proudly sending out his first birthday invitations, he will have tripled his birth weight and grown about ten inches. This development will be hard to see on a day to day basis, but will be well noted at his regular checkups. Your baby's weight, height and head circumference will be closely monitored to make sure he's growing at a healthy rate. You will probably have lots of questions about how your child is doing compared to other babies his age.

You'll remember your baby's birth weight forever but it really is temporary. Newborns typically lose up to 10 percent of the weight in their first week. A healthy baby will then begin to gain a half an ounce a day (a pound or so a month) for the first 6 months, then the rate will slow down a bit. Babies that are born preterm grow at a slower rate and don't generally catch up until about age 2.

At first, breast fed babies may not gain weight as quickly as formula fed babies. Many women don't produce a great quantity of breast milk early on, but it's ok because early breast milk is rich and babies are born with natural fat stores that will sustain them. If your Doctor is concerned that your baby isn't gaining enough weight from breastfeeding alone, she may recommend supplementing with formula.

At each check-up, your Doctor will mark your baby's growth statistics on a chart to assess how he compares with other kids his age. An infant who is in the 15th percentile for weight, for example, is heavier than 15percent of babies the same age.) Many parents view growth charts as if they were grades in school, wanting their baby to fall above the 90th percentile. However, like adults, babies come in all sizes and there is a wide range of what is normal. What Doctors look for is whether your child stays around the same percentile from one visit to the next, not where he is on the curve.

You can expect that your little guy will be rounder by the 6 month mark. He's probably an expert by now at feeding, but isn't moving around too much. Once he starts to crawl, he'll even out. If his weight is increasing while his height is not, it could be a cause for concern. Studies have shown that babies whose weight gain outpaces growth in height in the first 6 months have a 40 percent greater risk of being overweight by the time they reach the age of 3. If this becomes the case, your Doctor may suggest that you watch his portions and that you make sure you are giving him food for nutrition, not comfort.

Typically, infants go through a growth spurt at 2weeks, 6 weeks, and again at around 4 months. If your baby's appetite seems insatiable, he's fussier than usual, and he wakes up more often for feedings, he may be going through a growth spurt. Sleep is absolutely essential for growth and studies show that 80 percent of growth hormone is released during baby's sleep.

A common question that Doctors hear is addressed to whether infant's size has any bearing on his adult stature. The answer in most cases is no. Several factors affect a person's ultimate height including nutrition, health habits, and genetics. Tall parents tend to produce tall children, and short parents have smaller kids. If one parent is tall and the other is short, then all bets are off. Who know? Your tiny infant may grow up to be a tall guy!


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