If you feel that your child’s routine is keeping you on your toes and there are times that everything seems to be getting out of control, then the following is for you. Find tools that will help you take back control and feel like you are on top of everything.
Growth both physical and mental is key to ensuring that your baby is getting all the right nutrition to keep expanding. There are 3 key growth charts ranging from weight to height to head circumference. Use the charts available to keep track of your baby’s key growth parameters. The following link gives you access to WHO’s growth charts https://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/who_charts.htm.
A healthy baby is always one that is gaining weight and if your baby is gaining weight week on week till the 12th week there is nothing to worry about. However, if you do feel that your baby is not gaining weight quickly enough do consult your paediatrician before anxiety gets the better of you. Every baby is unique and different but their weight gain from birth is a key indicator of physical growth of the baby.
Most babies lose weight after birth until they start feeding regularly. Within about two weeks most babies regain their birth weight and then continue gaining between 20-30gms a day which translated to about 150-210gms per week. The best practice is to measure the weight of your baby once a month until they are six months old and then once every two months until they are a year old.
The easiest way to monitor the growth of your baby is to pair it with visits to your health centre for immunizations following your child’s birth. Most GPs will measure the height, weight and circumference of the head of your baby on each visit. Don’t forget that boys and girls grow at different rates and some parents get unnecessarily worried and forget to celebrate their baby’s progress basis inputs from other parents.
Happy babies who are growing well exhibit but are not limited to the following behaviour:
· Feed at regular intervals and ask for food when they are hungry
· Seem happy, playful and alert at times and especially content after a feed
· Have 6-8 wet nappies daily and a healthy skin tone
Growth charts are just indicators and should be treated as such. Focus on the baby’s overall health and wellbeing as much as you do on their weight.
Interpreting Growth Charts:
The curved lines on your baby’s growth charts are called centile lines, and they represent the range of growth that’s considered normal. They also show what percentage of babies, on average, grow at a particular rate. There are nine centile lines:
- 4th centile
- 2nd centile
- 9th centile
- 25th centile
- 50th centile (average)
- 75th centile
- 91st centile
- 98th centile
- 6th centile
Say, for example, your baby’s weight is on the 25th centile line. This means that 25 per cent of babies will weigh less than him, and 75 per cent will weigh more. Weights that fall between the 0.4th and 99.6th centile lines are considered to be normal.
Scio Mom Tip: Once your baby establishes a feeding routine, try and ensure that you feed the baby as per the routine and keep feeds ready before the baby asks for the feed. This ensures that babies don’t feel the need to display anxious behaviour or cry for feeds and results in babies that are generally more content and happy.
Until Next Time,