The World of Pregnancy

4 Essential Baby Development Facts You Should Know

The development of a baby is much more rapid during his first year of life. His body and behavior will evolve very fast while weeks pass. During these changes, parents are often concerned whether or not their baby`s development is normal. For this, they often resort to comparisons with older brothers or sisters, or other babies of same age.

A good method to check the normal growth of your baby is to periodically measure his weight, height or head. Although many parents are concerned when their baby doesn`t belong to any specific limits to their age, the most important factor that needs to be taken into consideration when evaluating the normal development of a baby is the growth rate.

Weight

The normal weight of a bay is located between the interval 2.6 kg and 4.3 kg with an average of 3.2 kg.

These figures are to be taken only as indicatives and present important variations even between brothers and sisters. During the first 3 months, the baby grows with 25 g to 30 g per day, which means 800 g – 1 kg in average per month. After that, his weight gain reduces progressively.

Usually, the weight gain of a baby:

  • Doubles at 5 months.
  • Triples at 1 year.
  • Increases 4 times at 2 years.
Age Daily Weight Gain
First 3 months 20 – 30 g
3 – 6 months 20 – 25 g
6 – 9 months 15 – 30 g
9 – 12 months 10 – 15 g

Note:

  • Monitoring the baby`s weight during the first year of life is mandatory.
  • The infant needs to be weighed (naked) once a week during his first month of life, then once per month up to at least 1 year. – Read this!

Height

The normal height of an infant is between 46 – 54 cm, with an average of 50 cm.

The height of a baby varies depending on many complex factors, especially diet. Generally, it`s of 72 cm at 1 year and 80 cm at 2 years.

Age Height Development per Year
0-12 months 25 cm
1 -2 years 13 cm
2 -3 years 9 cm
3 years – puberty 5 cm

Some babies grow only a little during his first 2 or 3 years and compensate for the delay during the next years. Others are experiencing “an explosion” are puberty. The definitive height is at 20 years and depends on the diet, genetic factors and social environment. – Read more!

Note: The best method to help a baby develop is a correct diet, practicing a sport and spending holidays outdoors.

Head

At birth, the size of the head represents a quarter of the baby`s size. The head is around 35.5 cm and will grow even more during his first few months of life.

The baby`s head consists of several bones held together by sutures. Between the bone plates there are spaces that aren`t yet ossified, which are called fontanelle. The 2 fontanels will close progressively to around 1 year. This will explain the distortions that sometimes occur during childbirth.

Age Head (cm)
birth 35 cm
5 months 41 cm
1 year 47 cm

Note: These figures are approximate, and a difference of over 2 cm requires medical attention.

Teeth

The age when the first teeth appear varies a lot: it`s between 4 – 10 months, with an average of 6 month. At some infants, the baby teeth appear before or after these limits. Immediately after “milk teeth” appear, they need to be cleaned after dinner using a compress soaked in water.

There may be significant differences in terms of tooth eruption from one child to another.

Age Types of Teeth They Fall
6 – 12 months 8 incisors 6-8 years
12 – 18 months 4 molars 9 years
20 months 4 canines 10 years
12 – 24 months 4 molars 11 years
30 months 20 milk teeth in total
Over 6 years Progressive appearing of permanent teething

There aren`t milk premolars; the molars will be replaced by permanent premolars.

Symptoms of Tooth Eruption

Milk teeth can lead to the fallowing events:

  • Increased irritability.
  • Inserting fingers or objects in the mouth and their movement.
  • Drooling.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Swollen and strengthen gums.
  • The appearance of red spots on the cheeks around the affected gums.
  • Pronounced state of agitation.
  • Baby hand on ear – this may be a sign of teething, but it may often indicate an infection (middle ear infection or otitis) and requires medical consultation.

Tooth eruption isn`t responsible for fever, vomiting or diarrhea. If the infant shows these symptoms, it`s recommended to talk to a doctor immediately. – More info!

Reducing the Pain Caused by Tooth Eruption

If you want to reduce the pain caused by tooth eruption, you can try the following:

  • Massage the baby`s gums with a clean finger.
  • Let your baby bite special toys kept in the refrigerator (not the freezer).
  • Try ointments from drugstores to numb gums, but after asking the doctor`s advice first.
  • Let your baby bite cold and wet material.

Note: Biscuits, cakes and frozen bananas aren`t recommended because it may lead to tooth decay and may cause the baby`s asphyxiation.

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