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?
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 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 burn
calories, so weight gain might be less with this 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 almost-toddler
is learning more 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.
Your child might have lost interest in puréed baby foods. Instead, serve 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!
In the coming year, expect your baby's growth to slow down. As your toddler
becomes more and more active, it's likely that the "baby fat" will fall away and your
baby will get longer and thinner.