Newborn's Growth

Every parent will be super excited to watch the growth and development of their little one. Infants during the first month of their life are called newborns. Here we have compiled some information that we need to know on newborns growth.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT

Newborn's Growth
Newborn's Growth
Why is newborn’s growth important?

From day 1, doctors keep a track on the growth of your baby by measuring their height, weight and head circumference. Growth is considered to be an important parameter to evaluate your child’s health. Babies who are growing well are considered to be healthy. Poor growth can be an indicator of some problem.

Baby’s weight

Newborns born during 37 to 40 weeks of gestation weigh around 2.5 kilograms to 4 kilograms. Babies who are underweight or overweight may require special attention from doctors to make sure they are healthy and don’t have any underlying issue. Baby’s size during birth is influenced by parameters listed below:

Size of the parents: Tall and big parents have average or above average weighing babies and small parents have small babies.

Multiple births: When you carry twins or triplets, your uterus may not have enough space to accommodate multiple babies and hence you can expect an early delivery and these babies are expected to be a bit smaller than others.

Gender: Girls are supposed to be smaller than boys. But this difference is not much during birth.

Mother’s health: If a mother had high blood pressure or heart problems or used alcohol or illicit drugs, they may have babies with low birth weight. If the mother had diabetes or obese, their babies may have higher birth weight. Mother’s nutrition during pregnancy also affects newborn’s health.

Baby’s health: If the baby had birth defects and infections during pregnancy, the child’s birth weight and growth will be affected.

Premature babies: Premature babies are those who are born before 37 weeks of gestation and often are low birth weight. These babies may require special attention from doctors and may need to stay in neonatal intensive care units.

Developments that happen in the first month

Physical development: Babies may lose a small amount of weight (upto 10%) shortly after birth and tend to regain it after 10 to 12 days. In general, babies gain approximately 113g to 227g of weight per week and grow 2.5cms to 3.5cms in height during their first month.  

Cognitive development: Newborn’s brain develops at a rapid rate. Every positive interaction that you have with your baby promotes their healthy brain development.

Social development: Newborns learn to communicate quickly. They react to sounds and facial expressions. Their first mode of communication is crying and their face brightens up when they have a soothing environment.

Language development: Newborns observe the distinct sounds of language which lays the foundation for their speech.

Sensory and Motor skill development: Newborns have all five senses and vision development happens a little slower than others. Newborns are born with a number of reflexes like rooting and sucking reflex. Some of the reflexes are inborn and some reflexes are seen in the initial stages of their life.

Feeding

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants for the first six months.

Feedings: A breastfed baby may require 8 to 10 feedings per day and formula fed babies may require feedings every 3 to 4 hours. A newborn nurses for at least 10 minutes.

Bowel movements

On their first day, a newborn may have only one poopy diaper. For the first few days, it will be dark and tarry. After 3 to 4 days, it turns to soft or loose and greenish yellow.

Sleep

A newborn may sleep for 15 to 16 hours a day. They tend to spend more time in the REM sleep and may wake up easily in the first few weeks. It will take some time for them to adjust to the day night balance.

How can I help?

You can help for your newborn’s growth and development by giving attention to their specific needs. As time passes, you will develop a rhythm and know exactly what your little ones require. Give them lots of skin to skin contact. It is advisable to follow the schedule and have regular visits with your healthcare provider to ensure the growth and wellbeing of your newborn. 

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