If 9 months of pregnancy have passed without complications, the child is likely to be born with a weight of 3–3.2 kg. Immediately after birth, most babies lose up to 10% of their weight, eliminating accumulated feces and excess fluid. But already in a week, the little ones make up for the losses, and in each of the first 3 months they gain about 700 g.
Many young mothers immediately begin to worry, noticing that their child weighs a little less than it should be. These excitements are justified, because much depends on the cherished kilograms: growth, the immune and nervous system of the baby. But first it is worth finding out if there is a reason for excitement, because each child develops at his own pace, and small “variations” are quite acceptable.
If the crumb adds at least 600 g per month, and by the end of the first half of the year – 300 g each, there is no reason for concern. But if the small one is far ahead of their peers, gaining a kilogram or more per month, parents should consult a doctor.
This situation may indicate endocrine problems.
Changes in growth manifest themselves more slowly than weight changes. If for the first year the kids manage to triple their weight (on average from 3 kg to 10–10.5 kg), then they grow “only” one and a half times (usually from 50 to 75 cm).
The fastest growing children in the first three months, adding 3 cm in each of them; and then the rate of increase slightly decreases: by 2.5 cm per month until the end of the half year, and then 1.5–1 cm per month up to a year.
Looking at the newborn, it is impossible to predict how tall it will be when it grows up. Whether it will be high or low depends on many conditions: genetic “inheritance”, mother’s health before or during pregnancy (infections, toxicosis and others), congenital problems.
Only the doctor will correctly assess the circumference of the baby’s head, so it makes no sense for parents to arm themselves with a centimeter themselves. But for specialists, this indicator will tell you if a child’s brain is developing correctly.
Normally, the newborn has a head circumference of 34–36 cm. At first, the head grows rather quickly, by about 1.5 cm per month; after 3 months – by 0.5–1 cm and by 6 months it reaches 43 cm in girth.
If the baby is far ahead of the norm or is lagging behind it, this may indicate problems of the nervous system; head noticeably increases in children and with rickets. However, with serious violations of its size is never the only sign.
Weighing the baby, measuring his height and head circumference is enough once a month. It is better to entrust the fulfillment of this task to the pediatrician, because only he will be able to competently figure out what the resulting numbers indicate.
For example, the doctor will assess the child’s height using special centile tables and compare them with the weight gain curve – these two indicators should not be considered separately, but together with each other.