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 as the first birthday approaches.
Your doctor has measured your baby's weight, length, and head circumference since
birth and put these 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 think growth has slowed or your baby's had a drop in weight, the doctor
Has your baby been sick? A couple days of not eating, 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 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 variety 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
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 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.