One of the things that most parents ponder is whether their baby is developing properly.
- Is my baby feeding too much?
- Is my baby crying or sleeping too much?
- Should my baby be walking by now?
- Is my baby learning to talk too slow?
- Is my baby healthy?
These and more such questions rake your brains. It is natural to have these questions. After all, it’s your baby. However, you cannot answer the above questions unless you closely monitor your baby’s activities and, if possible, measure her development. Here are ways to tell if your baby is growing and developing properly.
Measure your baby’s weight and length
When your baby was born, the doctor measured her weight and length. Both parameters are important to know in a newborn, as they indicate the health of your baby. However, according to doctors, it is not necessary that a low-weight and smaller length baby is unhealthy. Babies arrive in the world in all shapes and sizes. These parameters become useful only when you keep a track on your baby’s weight and length.
Say, what is her weight and length when she is 6 months old? The measurements should change to the higher side in a healthy baby. Doctors have found that babies tend to gain weight rapidly in the first few months after being born. They also grow a few inches. So, a change in parameters is a healthy sign. If there is no change, your baby may not be developing well. Measure your baby’s weight and length every 3-4 weeks.
Keep a tab on your baby’s BMI
Calculating the BMI or Body Mass Index is a better way of knowing whether your baby is healthy than simply measuring her weight, say doctors. BMI can tell whether your baby is overweight. Worry not if your baby has a high fat per cent. This is normal. As she grows into a toddler, she will turn lean and lose this extra fat. The fat is nature’s way of protecting the baby and keeping her warm.
However, it is possible that you may overfeed the baby out of love. This might make her overweight. BMI gives the accurate measurement of whether she is actually obese or just has some protective baby fat. Please discuss with your doctor to get a detailed BMI, as a normal BMI chart does not apply to babies.
Keep a record of what and when she learns new things
Doctors have a classic chart of age-appropriate milestones that they have prepared after thorough research and study of babies. You can refer to this chart and see how your baby fares in learning. This will help you know whether your baby is lagging behind or is marching ahead.
Please do not stress if your baby does not learn to walk or talk at the same age as other babies do. Some babies start slow, some start fast. Each has her own capacity. However, you should be concerned if your baby has not learned anything and not even trying to learn things that are typical for her age. Consult your doctor about this.