Physical growth refers to an increase in body size (length or height and weight) and in the size of organs
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What can you expect your baby to be doing at four months old?
Your baby at four months old At four months old your baby's development will be speeding up. Along with improved senses, they will likely be going through the early stages of speech development and may even have the early signs of their first teeth. Your baby’s senses at four months old Further development of their touch Your baby will be fascinated by anything with a texture now – crinkly, shiny, lumpy or furry. Most of the objects they touch, whatever their texture, will go straight in their mouth. Sometimes they will hit themselves in the face with the toy and cry, giving you a look as if to ask, ‘Why did you do that, Mum?’ What your baby can see Their vision has really come on since those first few fuzzy images at birth – your baby can now see across the room, although they will still prefer to look at things close-up. If you can see any squint, contact your health visitor as it’s important to get checked out. Although they can see colour from birth, your baby will now be much better at distinguishing between different shades, being able to more accurately work out the difference between similar shades. This can be a great time to introduce more colourful toys and books which they’ll love looking at. Your baby’s motor skills at four months old Speech development If you listen carefully to your baby’s babble you may be able to make out vowel and consonant sounds: p and b sounds when they’re unhappy and guttural sounds like j and k when they’re happy. They may also be able to imitate the sounds you make now, so if you say boo, they may try to say it back. Rolling on Rolling over is more likely now. The age at which babies first roll over varies – some are ready at three months, some not until six or seven months. So it may happen this month. Or it may not. You can’t force it but you can gently encourage it by putting a favourite toy by their side and see if they roll over to get it. You may also notice that whilst laying on their front, they’re able to arch their back. This is a good exercise that can help them develop their neck muscles further and is a good way for them to start developing the muscles they’ll need to sit up and eventually crawl, stand and walk.
Tips and tricks- Increasing neck strength and head control
When you hold a newborn, many worries go through your mind about her head which bobbles so unsteadily on her neck that you may get afraid she will hurt herself. While your newborn may not require head support, she will develop good head control very quickly if you give her the opportunity to strengthen her neck muscles. All you have to do is just follow some simple techniques which can help your baby develop the ability to control her head. It is an essential developmental step required for later physical development. Given below are some of the essential steps which will help your baby control her head: Practice Tummy Time: Lying her on her stomach, either on the floor or on your lap is one way to help your baby develop her neck muscles. The activity is also known as “tummy time”. You need to make her practice tummy time only when she is awake. If you make her practice it during her sleep time, it may increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Start with two to three minutes per day with your newborn and work up to 20 to 30 minutes per day. Around 75 percent of infants around the world spend less than 20 minutes per day in the prone position, according to a study reported in the July 2012. Spending just six additional minutes per day helped infants develop head control more quickly, the study found. Holding Upright: Holding your baby upright encourages her to hold her head up and look around, which strengthens her neck muscles. While at first your baby may just nestle into your shoulder, sooner than you might think she will try to raise her head up to look around and see other people and objects. Support her back with your hand, so she doesn't fall backwards. According to a study, spending 12 minutes per day in an upright position also helps facilitate head control development. Pull to Sit: Once your baby reaches the age of 3 to 4 months, gently encouraging her into a sitting position by pulling on her hands can help her strengthen neck and back muscles. Assess your baby's ability to handle this. If her head doesn't come off the floor when you pull on her arms or if her head wobbles excessively, she might not be ready to be pulled into a sitting position. Pull just until her shoulders come off the ground, increasing the pull gradually as she develops better muscle control. Exercise Balls: If you have room for an exercise ball, a large or soft ball often used in therapy programs, it can help you develop your baby's neck and back muscles. When you move the ball forward, your baby must work against gravity to keep her head upright, which helps develop strong neck muscles. You can also put your baby in a sitting position and gently roll her backwards so that she must work to hold her head up. Content source Featured image source
The average weight and length of 6-month-olds
Average Weight and Length of 6-month-olds How a baby grows and develops depends on a lot of factors. From genetics, medical care, overall health to what they eat and drink, everything affects the rate at which they grow. However, one must remember that each and every baby grows at their own pace and while the six-month baby next door might look a little taller and heavier, it is perfectly healthy and normal for your baby to look petite and a tad bit lighter. At six months, the average weight and length of a baby should be as follows: Baby boy Baby girl Weight – 6.5 to 9.5 kg Weight – 6 to 8.5kg Length – 24.8 to 28.25 inches Length – 24 to 27.25 inches Understanding weight To measure the weight of your baby, the nurse might weigh the baby with no or minimum clothes on. At six months, your baby should be eating around 4 to 5 meals of approximately 250 grams each. This is just an approximation and should be used as a guide. Unless your pediatrician advises you to, do not overfeed, were underfed or force-feed your baby. If your baby is on the chubby side and their health is an increasing cause of concern, then you might need to relook into the kind of food you are giving them. Do not start limiting their food thinking that less food would keep their weight in check. Instead ensure that you give them nutritious food that is not high on empty calories. For example, if you are giving them juice, then do not give more than 120 ml of unsweetened juice. If your child has started semi/solid food, then you can steam fruits and vegetables for them instead of giving them juices. Alternatively, you are child is still on liquids, then you can puree fruits and vegetables for them. If your baby’s weight does not fall in this range, then you need to speak with your doctor. It is possible that they are allergic to something that they are eating and are therefore unable to pick up the expected weight. Understanding length Length measurement would be computed from the top of the baby’s head to their heels. On an average, babies grow from half an inch to an inch each month from their birth to six months. And from six months to a year, they grow a centimeter every month. All infants go through growth spurts, a time when they grow more. These spurt periods, lasting a week, can be seen when the babies reach the following benchmarks: 10 to 14 days 5 to 6 weeks or 1 and a half month 12 weeks or three months 16 weeks or four months Height and weight are important indicators of your child’s growth. Reaching the expected weight and length is not important, what is important is the growth curve. If your doctor notices that your baby’s growth curve is going in the negative or has slowed in the first year and they fail to meet certain development milestones, they might want to refer you to a specialist, who would want to conduct some tests. Featured image source
Physical Development In Early Childhood
Children grow at a rapid pace between birth and two years of age. But once they hit the age of two, toddlers tend to have a much slower growth rate when compared to their younger self. This is when the parents are concerned about the changing eating habits of their child and wonder whether the kid is growing normally. The physical development in infancy happens in a series of growth spurts. It is important to keep in mind that after the growth spurts, they grow at a standard and steady rate until adolescence. The best way to determine if they are growing properly is to closely monitor and track their growth. What Is Physical Development? As your little one grows, so does his body. Slowly but steadily, your child is preparing to take on the structural build which is almost similar to that of an adult. Signs of a Child’s Physical Development Here are some of the pronounced signs of a child’s physical development: 1. Limbs The arms and legs of the child grow longer and will be proportionate to the torso as well as the head. It can also be noticed that your child will appear much slimmer and distinctively thinner than he was as an infant. 2. Muscle Growth Muscle growth tends to be faster in order to aid movement in the child. The muscles of the arms and the legs that are larger are known to grow faster than the muscles in the toes or the fingers, which are smaller. At this stage, it is important to provide proper nutrients to your child to aid the growth process. 3. Brain Development Brain development will help your child perform complex mental and physical tasks. During early childhood, there is significant growth in the neural fibers in the brain, specifically in the frontal lobes. It is also noted that around 2 years the human brain is already 70% of its adult size. By the age of six or seven, the size of the brain is almost 90% of its adult size. The increase in motor skills can be contributed to this growth. It is also a common practice to measure the circumference of the head in order to figure out the growth rate of the brain. 4. Motor Skills Motor skills are associated with the child’s ability to perform tasks on an everyday basis. It can be anything from running to building blocks. Motor skills can be categorized as: a. Gross Motor Skills Also called for large motor skills, these are the skills that are required to perform general tasks like running, walking, jumping or even balancing their bodies as they engage in these activities. With your gross motor skills, your child should be able to perform some of the below activities, • Walk with a steady balance • Run comfortably in a single direction or around obstacles • Throw a ball or catch one • Hop on each foot several times • Jump over objects or low-lying hurdles • Kick a ball that is stationary • Pedal a tricycle b. Fine Motor Skills Also called small motor skills, these involve finer movements and holds necessary to perform tasks that may be slightly complicated. These are also associated with the brain development of the child. Fine motor skills allow the child to: • Use cutlery • Brush teeth or comb hair • Pick up small items likes coins • Work on simple puzzles • Draw simple shapes like circles or squares • Stack up blocks 5. Height By 12 months, the length of an infant is known to increase by about 50% the birth length. When children reach the age of five, they can be double their birth length. Also, boys reach half of their adult height around two years and girls are half their adult height when they are about nineteen months old. 6. Weight At one year, the weight of the infants is three times that of the birth weight. The growth rate tends to slow down after the first year and between one to six years, he will be gaining around 2kg per year. 7. Teeth Typically, around five to nine months of age, your baby will have lower front teeth. The teeth on the upper front appear around eight to twelve months of age. Children tend to get all 20 of their baby teeth or deciduous teeth by the age of 2 and a half years. Permanent teeth replace the baby teeth anywhere between the ages of 5 to 13. Ways to Boost Physical Development in Toddlers and Pre-schoolers You can work out in some physical development activities for pre-schoolers to help improve their dexterity and development: • Walk with the kids and provide them with the opportunity to run and jump and use their large muscles. • Prepare a simple obstacle course for your child to jump over and run around in your backyard or in the house. • Play catch with balls. You can also play games that will help the child learn to kick and throw the ball. • Have a mini dance party at home. Put on some music and dance with your child, especially to nursery songs that stimulate fine motor skills. • Play pretend games like laying a tightrope on the ground and trying to balance on it. • Get creative with art. Provide your child with ample opportunities to draw in and around the house. Content Source
Slow weight gain in breastfed babies
Most breastfed babies will get enough breast milk and gain weight in a consistent and expected pattern as long as they latch on well and breastfeed often. But, what if you think your child isn't getting what he needs to grow and thrive? If you're breastfeeding and your newborn is gaining weight slowly or inconsistently then he may not be getting enough breast milk. So, here's what to look for and what to do if you think your child isn't gaining weight well. Breastfeeding and Slow Weight Gain Breastfed newborns can lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight during the first week. Then, by the time a child is two weeks old, he should regain the weight that was lost. After that, for the next three months or so, breastfed babies gain about 28 gram per day. Of course, every newborn is different, and some children just normally grow more slowly than others. So, as long as your baby is breastfeeding well and his health care exams are on target, a slower weight gain may not be an issue. When Slow Weight Gain Is a Problem Weight gain is the best sign that a child is getting enough breast milk. When a baby is gaining weight slower than expected, it could mean that she's not getting enough. So, if your newborn is not back to her birth weight in two weeks, or she's not gaining weight consistently after that, it may be that there's a breastfeeding issue that's preventing your child from getting enough breast milk. The Reasons Your Baby May Not Be Gaining Weight as Expected Your newborn is not latching on well: A good latch allows your child to remove the breast milk from your breast without getting tired out and frustrated. If your baby is not latching on correctly, or latching on to just your nipple, she won't be able to remove the breast milk very well. Your baby isn't breastfeeding often enough: Breastfeed your newborn at least every two to three hours through the day and night for the first six to eight weeks. If he wants to breastfeed more often, put him back to the breast. Your child is not breastfeeding long enough at each feeding: Newborns should breastfeed for about 8 to 10 minutes on each side. As your child gets older, she won't need to breastfeed as long to get the breast milk she needs, but during the first few weeks, try to keep her awake and actively sucking for as long as you can. Your little one is in pain: If your baby is not comfortable because of a birth injury or an infection such as thrush in her mouth, she may not breastfeed well, and therefore she may be gaining weight slowly. You have a low breast milk supply: A low milk supply can prevent your child from getting enough breast milk, but it could also be the result of your baby not breastfeeding well. It's a bit of a vicious cycle. The good news is that a typical low milk supply can often be recovered pretty easily. Content source Featured image source
2-month-old, first week: Growth, care and more
Your baby at two months old Drum roll please... It’s the moment you've been waiting for since you met your tiny little baby all those weeks ago. Around now you should be getting your first lopsided smile – not wind, but a perfect little smile. Hopefully it will make all those sleepless nights worthwhile, or at least bearable for a bit longer. Maybe your baby smiled at six weeks old, or maybe you might have to wait another month – it’s not an exact science, so don't worry. Read on below to find out more about the developments you might expect to see from your 2 month old baby. Your baby’s senses at two months old Vision Colour differences are becoming clearer to your baby, and they start to distinguish between colours. Your baby will still prefer bright primary colours and clear, bold designs and shapes but they can now see around 60cm from their face. Encourage your baby by showing them bright pictures. Hearing At 2 months old your babies hearing will be becoming a better listener and they will be able to differentiate between voices they’ve heard more frequently. Regularly talking (or singing) to your baby is a great way to get them used to your voice and also a way to sooth and calm them as they become more familiar. Your baby’s motor skills at two months old Kicking and waving Your baby’s movements are becoming less jerky and slightly more co-ordinated. They start to love kicking out when lying down, which is great exercise and helps strengthen their legs. They may also wave their little fists in excitement. At least we hope it’s excitement. Pushing up and rolling Your baby may have enough neck muscle power to hold their head up for short periods when they’re lying on their tummy or on your shoulder – but not for long. You might find your baby is now rolling around more. They won’t yet be able to fully roll onto their front (although that will come soon!) but you’ll still want to keep an eye on them if you have them elevated e.g. during a nappy change. Grasping and unclasping Your baby was born with a grasping reflex, but they don’t yet know how to let go of things – which is why long-haired mums better be prepared for some painful moments. Around now you may notice them unclasping their fists and trying to wave them. Other 2 month old baby developments Drooling They won’t yet be teething, but you might notice that your baby is starting to drool more (and making a bit of a mess!), as their salivary glands develop. Fear not though, their drool actually contains a lot of bacteria killing enzymes so it’s no bad thing to get it on their toys or other surfaces they’re interacting with. Sleeping You may find that your baby is beginning to sleep in more solid blocks (of 5 or 6 hours) but at 2 months old, it’s still very common for your baby to be waking up in the middle of the night. Reading to your baby They might not be able to follow along just yet, but reading to your baby can help to sooth them, whilst also helping them to become more familiar with your voice. Try varying the tone and intonation of your voice to keep them interested and build a better connection. First Immunisations When your baby is 2 months old you’ll be offered the first round of immunisations which includes protection against a range of diseases including: Rotavirus – A highly infectious virus that can cause gastroenteritis in your baby DTaP/IPV/Hib – Protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and haemophilus influenza Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) – This protects against pneumococcal infections including pneumonia, meningitis and bronchitis Six-week postnatal check At around the 6 week mark, both you and your baby will be offered a post-natal check-up. This check up with b to make sure your baby is developing well and is healthy. In this check-up you can expect the nurse to weigh and measure your baby, check their development of hips, heart, genitals and eyes, and also ask you some questions about how they’re feeding. How to help your baby develop in month two When you’re talking to your baby, give them time to respond to what you are saying with a look or babble. Research shows babies whose parents who allow them to respond learn to talk earlier This is a great time to introduce a baby gym – they’ll try to bat at the hanging toys, but careful not to overdo it – a five to 10 minute session is enough, and don’t persevere if they cry. Leave it a week or two and try again Lots of mums get embarrassed about talking to their baby and don’t know what on earth to say. One way to get started is to keep up a kind of commentary on what you’re doing, a bit like a Victorian nanny, according to babycare expert Dr Miriam Stoppard. “They would say, ‘now, shall we put our coats on? Now, let’s go out for a walk. That’s right, into the pram we go.’ I think a child should hear words for much of the time they are awake. Babies have a window when they can learn speech, and it’s open from birth” Game of the month Try playing different types of music and watch your baby kick their legs and listen with intense concentration. If you play a quieter tune you will see them visibly relax (some research says it may even send them to sleep. No promises.) Are they normal? A small note on developmental milestones: it’s really true – all babies are different and although we can encourage them, they will do things at their own pace and in their own time. content source
When can you start giving Finger Foods to your baby?
Any bite-size, easy-to-eat pieces of food that your baby can easily pick up and eat on his own can be described as finger food. Eating finger food is fun for your baby, and an important step towards independence that also helps him develop his fine motor skills and coordination. When you can introduce finger foods to your baby? When your baby is between 8 and 9 months old, she'll probably let you know that she's ready to start feeding herself by grabbing the spoon you're feeding her with or snatching food off your plate. How should you introduce finger foods to your baby? Simply scatter four or five pieces of finger food onto your baby's highchair tray or an unbreakable plate. You can add more pieces of food as your baby eats them. Feeding your baby in a highchair rather than in a car seat or stroller will reduce the risk of choking and teach him that a highchair is the place to eat. Which foods make the best finger foods? When choosing the best finger foods for baby—whether you’re starting at 6 months or 9 months—experts suggest that it’s best to begin with small pieces of soft food that dissolve easily. Your baby may have a good appetite, but she probably doesn't have many teeth, so start with foods that she can chew or that will dissolve easily in her mouth. As she grows into a toddler, you'll be able to give her bite-size pieces of whatever you're eating. Remember that your baby is learning about food's texture, color, and aroma as she feeds herself, so try to offer her a variety. Resist the temptation to give your baby sweets like cookies and cake or high-fat snacks like cheese puffs and chips. Your baby needs nutrient-rich foods now, not empty calories. Here's a list of finger food favourites: Small pieces of lightly toasted bread or bagels (spread with vegetable puree for extra vitamins) Small chunks of banana or other very ripe peeled and pitted fruit, like mango, plum, pear, peach, or seedless watermelon Well-cooked pasta spirals, cut into pieces Very small chunks of soft cheese Chopped hard-boiled egg Small pieces of well-cooked vegetables, like carrots, peas, potato, or sweet potato Small well-cooked broccoli or cauliflower "trees" Pea-size pieces of cooked chicken, ground beef or turkey, or other soft meat Content source Featured image source
This is how your baby will grow at eight months
How your baby's growing Your baby's now exploring objects by shaking them, banging them, dropping them and throwing them before falling back on the tried-and-tested method of gumming them. The idea that you do something to an object is beginning to emerge (using a comb to tidy her hair), so an activity centre with lots of things your baby can bang, poke, twist, squeeze, shake, drop and open will fascinate her. Your baby will also be fascinated with toys that have specific functions, such as phones. If she can't hold it up to her ear herself, do it for her and pretend to have a conversation. Over the next few months, she'll start to use objects for their intended purposes – brushing her hair, drinking from a cup and babbling on her play phone. Find out more fascinating facts about your eight-month-old's development How your life's changing It's completely natural for your baby to start showing signs of separation anxiety when you leave him in the care of others. In fact, it's a sign of normal, healthy development. Not that knowing this makes it any easier on you to see your baby in distress. To help the two of you weather the goodbye blues: Say goodbye in an affectionate but matter-of-fact way. Try not to draw out farewells or let yourself get emotional in response to your baby's crying. Stay away once you say goodbye. Resist the temptation to turn back and check if he's OK. This will only make things more difficult for you both. If it will make you feel better, call when you get to where you're going. Chances are he stopped crying straight after you left and got diverted by an activity. Spend some special time together when you pick up your baby. Read the signals and trust your instincts. Does your baby react the same way when your partner does the drop-off? If not, perhaps getting him to do the dropping off is a better alternative. Does he seem unhappy when you pick him up? It's unlikely – but possible – that your baby and the babysitter or carer may just not be a good "fit".
Growth spurts: What you need to know
From age 2 to 4, kids add about 2 to 3 inches in height per year and up to 4 pounds in weight. (From ages 1 to 3, growth takes place primarily in the legs and trunk.) Growth percentiles reveal your child's height and weight relative to other children of the same age and sex. For example, a child in the 75th percentile in height is taller than three-fourths of his peers. Growth is seldom steady and even. Instead, it tends to happen in spurts. Among the signs of a growth spurt in progress: Your child may seem hungrier than usual or eat more at a sitting. Your child may nap longer than usual or sleep longer at night. Your child may be crankier or clingier than usual even though he's not ill. It's probably a good idea not to put too much emphasis on growth spurts, however, in justifying behavioral changes over the long term. Typically, parents notice a child's growth spurt after it has already happened. You dress your child in the same pants he wore last week and they no longer reach his ankles, or his feet seem too big for his shoes. It's not uncommon for a young preschooler to grow two clothing sizes in a season. Responding to growth spurts You don't need to do much in response to a growth spurt, other than restock the closet. If your child seems to have a larger appetite than usual, feed her another serving at meals or provide more frequent snacks. Preschoolers often veer between "living on air" and vacuuming up food, depending on their body's needs. Let your child sleep longer for a few days if she seems to need it. What about growing pains? "Growing pains" – dull aches in the legs, especially around the calves, knees, and front of the thighs – are somewhat controversial and probably misnamed. No medical evidence links them to growing muscles or bones. It's possible, however, for growing muscles to feel tight and spasm after a lot of activity. As many as 25 to 40 percent of kids report this feeling, beginning around ages 3 to 5 (and then again in the tween years). Often the pain wakes a child up in the middle of the night. These pains tend to follow days of vigorous outside play. They can be treated with warm compresses, massage, gentle stretching, or acetaminophen. If the pain is severe or lasts more than 24 hours, report it to your child's doctor so he can rule out other causes, including juvenile arthritis, rheumatologic disorders, infection, fractures, and other orthopedic problems. Content and Feature Image Source: