Pediatric Health and Diseases Specialist / Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Serkan Aıcı explained what families need to know about infant development.
The Covid-19 pandemic, whose first year we left behind in recent months, has affected almost every aspect of life all over the world. Routine doctor check-ups, especially in infants and young children, are also important and were sometimes delayed. Early detection of developmental problems, taking necessary precautions, and in some cases without delay, prevent the health problems that the child may encounter in his later life. In this respect, for the health of children both in infancy and in other stages of life, parents should know some information and regularly follow up their babies in cooperation with physicians.
Is my baby short? Is her weight normal? My baby looks weaker than the babies of the same age that I see around me, I wonder if he has developmental delay? We have prepared answers to similar questions that parents are curious about and some important points that should be known in baby development for families.
Every baby is unique and should be evaluated on his own
Exp. Dr. Serkan Atici said, “The primary point to know is that every baby is unique and different from other babies. Factors affecting growth and development such as genetic structure, gender, birth weight and height, birth weeks, parent height, nutritional characteristics, sleep patterns, illnesses, exercises and some environmental factors are different for each baby. In other words, growth and development is multifactorial and development parameters such as height and weight may be different, although the calendar age is the same according to these changes in children. In this respect, it is not correct to compare infants or children with infants and children of similar months or ages. The correct thing is to evaluate according to scientific parameters and recommendations. ''
The development of babies begins in the womb. A baby born on the day of birth is about 3200-3300 grams. In the days after birth, a certain amount of weight loss may be experienced due to the removal of fluid in the body. After about 10 days, he regains the weight he lost. In the first three months, it takes 150-250 grams per week, and 3-6 grams between 100-120 months. It is normal to take an average of 20-30 grams a day in the first months. Between 9-12 months, it starts to take about 10-12 grams per day. It is expected that the baby's birth weight will increase 3 times on average when it is one year old and approximately 2 times when it is 4 years old. In the 1-3 age range, it is normal for the weight to increase to 250 grams per month. In this case, they can gain 2-2,5 kg a year.
A newborn baby is about 50 centimeters in length. An elongation of 8 cm is expected in the first three months, and another 8 cm in the second three months. There is about 4 cm in the next trimester and 4 cm more in the next trimester. By the age of one, it should reach 1.5 cm height, approximately 75 times the birth height. Height between 1-2 years of age is 10-12 cm in total, and from 2 to 3 years of age, it grows up to approximately 7 cm per year.
The table below includes height-weight limits and average values of boys and girls by both gender and month or age. In the clinic, pediatricians also use the development curves called percentile table and inform families in more detail.
The growth process of the baby carries important information about his healthy development. With regular follow-up, abnormalities are detected and necessary examinations and treatments should be performed.
My baby weight is low (below the lower limit)
One of the most important factors for weight is diet. In the first 6 months, babies should be fed with breast milk. During this period, formula feeding can be provided in babies who cannot receive breast milk for various reasons. In the sixth month, additional foods should be started, if possible, breastfeeding should be done until the age of 2.
Problems related to breastfeeding should be reviewed, especially in babies younger than 6 months. In addition, the presence of concomitant diseases, especially urinary tract infection, should be evaluated. Digestive parameters such as diarrhea or the presence of blood in poop should be reviewed.
Older babies may suffer from anorexia and may be picky about meals. It is necessary to make eating fun with the baby without getting stubborn. Fun plates can be prepared to make food fun. Trying to have food with a tablet or phone is one of the biggest mistakes. It is necessary to give nutritious foods rich in calories and nutritional content to babies with no appetite. Syrups containing vitamins and minerals should not be started without a doctor's recommendation.
Baby is overweight (above the upper limit)
Scientific studies have shown that some diseases such as insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases and various types of cancer in adults are related to the wrong eating habits in childhood. One of the biggest responsibilities of parents is to teach their children healthy eating habits. Family members should be a good guide for the child, as children take family members as examples in this regard as in most subjects. As a family, it is necessary to avoid salty meals, excessive sugar consumption, fast food style diet. It is necessary to pay attention to the consumption of the recommended foods according to the month of the baby. If your baby's weight by month is above the upper limit in the charts, try to solve the problem by observing it. The amount of formula, frequency of feeding and dilution process should be reviewed in babies who take formula. Incorrect food consumption, excessive food consumption etc. in older children. the reasons should be evaluated. If any cannot be found, it would be appropriate to get expert support. Some examinations may be required. There may also be changes in approaches depending on the reason to be found.