Babies this age continue to grow — in size, physical skills, and their ability
to interact with the world. Many of the new skills they're learning will come in handy
for eating solid food. Although breastfeeding
or formula feeding will continue to be the main source of nourishment, your baby
should be exploring new tastes and textures.
As long as your baby continues to grow steadily, eating habits shouldn't be a cause
How Much Will My Baby Grow?
Babies continue to gain about 1 to 1¼ pounds (450 to 560 grams) and ½ inch to ¾
inch (1 to 2 centimeters) in length this month.
Since your child's birth, the doctor has been recording growth in weight, length,
and head size (circumference) during your regular well-baby visits. The doctor tracks
these numbers on standard growth
charts. Ask your doctor to show you your baby's growth record. By now, you should
begin to see a personal growth curve emerging — expect your child to continue
growing along this curve.
Should I Be Concerned?
Is my baby big enough? Is my child destined to be tall or short? Parents often
worry about growth and may compare a baby with siblings and peers. It's important
to remember that kids come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Growth depends on many factors, including:
genes passed on by the parents (kids tend to resemble their parents in height)
the amount and quality of food a child eats
the functioning of the hormones that control aspects of growth
Based on the growth chart, the doctor can determine whether your child is growing
as expected. If at any time you're concerned about your baby's weight or growth in
general, discuss your worries with your doctor.
In response to your concerns, the doctor may ask you these questions:
How many feedings a day does your baby get?
How much does your baby eat at each feeding?
How long does a breastfeeding baby nurse at each feeding?
What else are you feeding your baby?
How frequent are your baby's bowel movements? What do they look like?
How often does your baby pee?
The doctor also may ask questions about your baby's health and development.
All of these things together will help the doctor decide if your baby is growing at
an appropriate rate. The doctor may recommend tests if he or she thinks there may
be a problem that needs to be addressed.
Premature babies may
still be behind in size compared with their full-term peers, but they should also
be growing steadily at their own rate.
What About the Chubby Baby?
With all the concern about childhood obesity,
parents may worry that their baby is getting too fat. A few babies and toddlers are
overweight. For these children, professional advice from the baby's doctor can be
Never withhold food from a baby in an attempt to cause weight loss. To grow
and develop as they should, babies need proper nutrition, including fat, in their
diet. Make sure the foods your baby eats are nutritious rather than full of
"empty" calories. Breast milk or formula should continue to be the main source of
nourishment in the first year of life. And juice (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.
Introduce puréed vegetables and fruits without added sugar and don't give your
baby desserts or other sweets that are high in sugar and offer little nutritional
value. Also, look for cues that your baby is full and don't use food to keep your
little one quiet or occupied. A crying baby may just be looking for some attention.
If you're concerned about your baby's weight — or even if you're not —
encourage activity. For a baby this age, that means plenty of time to move around
in a safe space rather than being confined to a carrier, stroller, or other equipment
that limits movement.
Your baby's rapid growth will slow down as the first birthday approaches. But expect
big changes in the coming months as your little one becomes more mobile.