Your baby has grown by leaps and bounds in this first year of life, and more than doubled his or her birth weight.
Babies' growth begins to slow as the first birthday approaches.
Your baby's weight, length, and head circumference have been measured since birth and plotted on a growth chart by your doctor. This is where to look first if you have questions about how your baby measures up.
When you review the growth chart with the doctor, make sure to 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 is probably no reason to worry.
If you are concerned your baby has slowed growth or a drop in weight, the doctor may ask these questions:
With all the concern about childhood obesity, parents may worry that their baby has gained too much weight. A few babies and toddlers are overweight. For these children, professional advice from the baby's doctor can be useful.
Never withhold feedings, but pay attention to your baby's cues that he or she is full. 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 the amount of time spent in car seats, strollers, and playpens.
Make sure your baby's calories are coming from nutritious sources — like fruits, vegetables, and fortified cereals. Breast milk or formula should continue to be the main source of nourishment in the first year of life. At this age, 100% fruit juice can be introduced in a sippy cup (limited to 4 ounces, or 120 milliliters, or less a day), but juice is not a necessary food.
As a parent, 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. Not only will you be a good role model, but you'll have the energy to really enjoy life with your child (and the stamina to chase after your little one).
For the remainder of this year and next year, expect that your baby's growth will slow down. As your little one becomes more and more mobile, it's likely that those rolls of baby fat will begin to fall away and be replaced by a longer, leaner silhouette.