Growing on track
The rate at which your baby grows in the first year depends on several factors, including gender, diet, and genetics.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants grow approximately 1 inch per month from birth to 6 months. Between 4 and 7 months, your baby will gain approximately 1 to 1¼ pounds a month. But your baby’s specific weight and height are not as important as her rate of growth. During regular exams your baby’s doctor will use a standard growth chart to compare her weight, height and head circumference with those of other babies to ensure she’s growing at the expected rate.
Although a baby’s rate of growth is individual, there’s a general principle that applies to the physical development of all babies: milestones are always achieved in the same order, as each one depends on the previous stages. For example a baby must learn to use her hands before her fingers, and learn to hold her head up before she can sit up, crawl, and eventually walk. Some babies skip milestones such as the crawling stage altogether, and go right from scooting along on their bottoms to walking. Don’t be too concerned if your baby’s development doesn’t exactly match that of other babies.
According to the AAP, nature and nurture work together as your baby’s brain develops. While genetics play a role in determining your child’s skills and abilities, research shows her environment plays an equally significant role. Experiences that fill a baby’s first days, months, and years have a great impact on how her brain develops.
Create a stimulating environment
You can help promote both brain and physical development by interacting with your baby and providing a loving and stimulating environment. Expose her to language, play, exploration, books, music, appropriate toys, and plenty of supervised tummy time. All of these factors will allow her the opportunity to grow and develop to her full potential.
Ready to track your child’s weight and length online? Click here to get started with our Child Growth Tracker.