How long should the baby grow in the first year?

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How long does my daughter have to grow? How long should my child grow? Many new parents ask her when, after giving birth, it is time for three to go home. Some even worry that they don't have the right scale for weighing babies, but there is no reason for that. Initially, it is more than enough to weigh the baby once a week. Also because to follow the progress of growth and evaluate well-being there are other indicators, such as, for example, diapers wet with pee, complexion, etc.

«Don't be obsessed with the scalesHe recommends in fact Guglielmo Salvatori, pediatrician of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Bambino Gesù Hospital in the city. "Each child and each girl follows their own pace of growth that the pediatrician monitors in periodic health balances, to verify that everything is going well".

The first year of life is characterized by the most lively growth rate: on average, in fact, a child triples its weight and grows by 25 centimeters.

In this article

  • The physiological decline 
  • Baby weight, the weight triples at the first candle
  • Baby weight, growth under control 

The physiological decline

After birth, the newborn tends to undergo weight loss due to the so-called physiological decrease, generally equal to 5-8% of the birth weight. Which is then reached again within the second week of life. The decrease is mainly due to the emission of meconium (this is the name given to the feces emitted by the newborn in the first days of life), to the loss of fluids and to the intake of a still limited amount of milk. After the recovery, growth continues visibly.

Read also: Health balances, what they are and when to do them

At the first candle the weight triples

“In the first trimester, week after week, the baby theoretically grows about 25-30 grams per day, with an increase of 150-210 grams per week. Then gradually, in the second and third quarter, the growth slows down a bit: about 20 grams per day until the sixth month, then 15 grams per day until the year ». In practice, around 4-5 months the weight doubles and then triples per year. While the length goes from 50 cm at birth to 75 at the first candle. But these figures, Salvatori reassures, are only indicative: «why each child grows in his own way».

There is no reason to weigh the baby every day, just as "double weighing" (before and after feeding) is not recommended. These practices risk unnecessarily fueling the anxiety of parents and in particular of breastfeeding mothers.

The growth is checked by the pediatrician and not only with the scale and the measuring tape: why grams and centimeters are not only the only parameters for currencies the state of health of an infant. «The pediatrician in fact evaluates the behavior, if it is trophic, how it reacts to stimuli. And, physically, how it is growing compared to previous checks ».

This is because not all children are the same and not all grow at the same pace. "In practice, everyone follows its own track like a train," adds Salvatori. For this reason, rather than comparing height and weight with other children, it is important to evaluate the trend and progression over time.

In any case, at the check-ups, the pediatrician measures the weight and length of the newborn and reports these data on the growth charts, to compare them with the values ​​of the reference population (children of the same sex and age). The position in which each child is placed on the table corresponds to a certain one percentile, which is a statistical way of representing and evaluating growth (in terms of height and weight) with respect to the sample population. In other words, those on the 35th percentile will have 34 shorter children and 65 taller children.

Read also: Children, the growth charts

Growth under control in subsequent annual checks

«As we said, the pace of growth vary from quarter to quarter and then also in the subsequent stages of development »points out Salvatori. The annual checks by the pediatrician are therefore used to monitor growth and evaluate the causes of a possible abrupt slowdown. Some chronic diseases (such as celiac disease for example) can in fact affect the regular development.

Read also: Calculate percentiles

Questions and answers

What is physiological decline? 

After birth, the newborn undergoes a weight loss due to the so-called physiological decrease, generally equal to 5-8% of the birth weight.

Updated on 26.10.2022

  • percentiles
  • child growth
  • first year of life
  • 1 year
  • breastfeeding
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