Your baby has grown a lot in this first year of life, and more than doubled his or her birth weight.
Is My Baby Growing Normally?
Babies' growth begins to slow down as the first birthday approaches.
Your doctor has measured your baby's weight, length, and head size (circumference) since birth and put them on a growth chart. This is where to look first if you have questions about your baby's growth.
When you look at the growth chart with the doctor, compare your baby's growth with his or her own growth pattern, not with the growth of other babies. As long as your baby's growth is steady, there's usually no reason to worry.
If you're concerned about your baby's weight or growth, talk with your doctor, who might ask:
- Has your baby been sick? A couple days of having a stuffy nose and not feeling well, especially if combined with vomiting or diarrhea, can lead to weight loss. The weight will come back when your little one feels better.
- Is your baby on the move? Crawling, cruising, and walking will burn calories, so weight gain might be less with this new mobility.
- Is your baby more interested in playing peek-a-boo or dropping the spoon on the floor than eating? The world is a fascinating place, and your baby is learning new things every day. Try not to distract your baby during mealtime. Also watch for signs that your little one has eaten enough.
- Are you introducing the right kinds of foods? As your baby gets better at eating, pay more attention to the texture and types of foods you serve. If your child isn't interested in puréed baby foods, try soft table foods and finger foods that are safe and fun.
What About a Baby Who Gains Weight Fast?
Parents may wonder: Can babies gain too much weight? But only a few babies and toddlers are overweight. In those cases, advice from the baby's doctor can help.
Never skip feedings. But do watch for signs from your baby that he or she is full. Make sure your baby's calories come from nutritious sources — like fruits, vegetables, and fortified cereals. Breast milk or formula should still be the main source of nourishment in the first year of life.
Get down on the rug with your baby and encourage physical activity, making sure that your little one has a safe space to move around in. Limit time spent in car seats, strollers, and playpens.
One of the best things you can do for your baby is to eat well and be physically active yourself. Your baby has a better chance of growing up fit if good health habits are part of the family's way of life. You'll be a good role model — and have the energy to keep up with your little one.
For the rest of this year and next year, expect your baby's growth to slow down. As your little one becomes more and more active, it's likely that the "baby fat" will begin to fall away and your baby will get longer and thinner.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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