Baby growth and development
Baby growth and development is an exciting process that can generate many doubts for parents, especially if they are new parents. You have to take into account that each child is different and each one will present an individualized growth. The most important is that pediatrician monitor their progress to confirm that the baby is developing at an adequate rate.
Child growth and development stages
The Dr. Sergio Negre, pediatrician in the Quiron Hospital of Valencia, tells us that the child growth and development is divided into five steps:
- Neonate: the first 28 days after the birth.
- Breastfed: the first 2 years.
- Preschool: from 2 years old to 4-5 years old.
- School Child: from 4-5 years old to 11 years old.
- Preteen and teenager: from 11 years old to 18.
Child growth and development is different at each stage and not all children follow the same patterns nor the same growth rate. The most important to confirm that the baby is growing at an adequate rate is to control its progress over time.
After birth, the baby may lose from 5% to 10% of its birth weight. From 2 weeks of age baby growth and development will accelerate and between 4 and 6 months old the child usually weighs twice as nice as he/she weighed at birth.
Until the baby turns 1 year old the growth slows down and between the first and the second year, when baby usually starts walking, the weight increases slightly. From 2 years old the growth becomes constant until child turns 10 years old. And after turning 9 years old the growth start again to increase, which usually lasts until 15 years old.
The WHO Child Growth Standards
The World Health Organization (WHO) did a research to establish children's growth and development patterns. In this study participated healthy breastfed and young children, fed with breastmilk and belonged to different ethnic groups and diverse cultural environments.
Dr. Sergio Negre tells us that the parameters most used to monitor baby growth and development are:
- Height: tIt is taken into account to assess the child growth. It is necessary to measure the speed of the growth at least one year.
- Weight: is the parameter that changes more quickly in case of malnutrition.
- Head circumference: measures the head size and is an indicator of brain development.
The following tables record data from the WHO study about height, weight and head circumference making a distinction by gender and age (head circumference data pertaining to an earlier study).
You have to take into account individual differences in the baby growth and development. Not all the children growth at the same rate and it is not a sign of anomalies. As the pediatrician Sergio Negre tells us, in order to know if your baby is growing at an adequate rate, we should analyze the progress of the data recorded and check if they are close to the normality curve without abrupt and sudden changes.
We know that your baby is the most important for you, so at Liip we want to give you peace of mind to all the families who are entering in the beautiful world of fatherhood and motherhood.