6 Signs Of A Healthy Growing Baby

smiling baby biting right index finger

Having a baby is a memorable and exciting stage of life. After the pregnancy journey, the next thing every parent is mindful of is watching their babies grow and hit every milestone. It’s an exhilarating time for parents who feel accomplished for playing a pivotal role in the healthy development of their babies. The truth is that every baby hits these milestones differently, so you may be worried when you notice certain delays. Sometimes, these signs are missed until diagnosed later, explaining why 10 – 15% of preschool-aged kids are diagnosed with at least one developmental delay. So, if you are expecting a newborn baby, here are some signs of healthy development.

  1. Steady weight gain

Most babies are born ranging between 5 – 8 pounds at birth. Although there are variances due to other medical factors, those born within this range often are more. After a baby’s birth, losing a little weight in the first few days is normal because babies are born with extra fluid, contributing to their initial weight. However, they regain their weight in the first two weeks or more. A steady weight gain is often a sign that the baby is growing healthily and feeding well. 

Regarding weight gain, you must keep track of how much is gained every month. You can write the weight down so you can easily monitor the growth. Sometimes, however, genetics play a role in how much weight a baby gains over time. Too much or too little may be considered normal without any medical condition. The average range to follow is the 5 – 7 ounces weekly weight gain until they hit twelve months or a year old.

  1. Strong and consistent hunger signals

Research confirms that a crying baby is either hungry, too warm or cold, has a soiled diaper, or wants to be held. Therefore, when you want to know what they want, consider each possible cause until you get it right. Crying is the only language babies know to communicate their needs, and you’ll need a lot of patience to figure it out. Therefore, when your baby cries constantly but calms down after being fed, it could mean they are hungry. A strong and consistent appetite is a healthy sign of a baby growing and communicating as it should. According to pediatricians, some hunger signals to look for are fists moving to the mouth, and smacking lips sounds. Many babies will also turn their heads from side to side, looking for the breast to latch onto. Other signs to look out for are audible swallowing during feeding, regular wet and soiled diapers, and a content look after feeding. If you are a first-time parent, these signals may be overwhelming, but you will learn the ropes quickly.

  1. Adequate sleep

Health experts recommend that babies get 12 to 16 hours of sleep daily. It is better to count this as 24 hours than morning to night. However, those long sleeping hours will decrease as your baby gets older and more active. Adequate sleep is needed because it is the period your baby attains rapid growth. Even among adults, you need sleep for certain natural processes like cell repair.

In the same way, your baby needs long hours of snooze time to set the ground for healthy growth. Therefore, if your baby isn’t getting enough sleep in the first few months, book an appointment with the pediatrician. It could be that they aren’t getting enough feeding times; therefore, hunger keeps them awake for longer – and chances are a hungry baby will cry incessantly. A constant lack of sleep may impact your baby’s growth and development.

  1. Developing motor skills

As part of the 3-month-old development milestones, your baby will develop hand and eye coordination. At this point, they can grab small objects dangling close to them. You will also notice your baby’s fascination with discovering their tiny feet. Some babies at this stage can lift their legs to touch their toes. It would help if you remembered that this milestone might start later in some babies, so do not worry when you don’t notice it in the third month. However, if your baby doesn’t show these motor skills by the tenth month, it would be best to see the pediatrician, who may refer you to a specialist.

Feeling frustrated when your baby misses a crucial milestone like motor skills development is normal. Sometimes, it is the trend in your family or your partner’s. In some families, babies take their time to exhibit some of these signs when they should. It is why having some knowledge of your family’s history can be helpful in situations like that. That can spare you the headache of worrying about a missed or delayed milestone, so keep this in mind.

  1. High level of alertness and engagement

Another sign of a healthy growing baby is alertness. Such babies are in tune with their immediate surroundings and will react to voices and loud noises. Many newborns have fully developed palmer, rooting, Moro (startle reflex), and sucking reflexes. The pediatrician will perform many physical tests at birth to check for normal brain and neurological activity. When that is ascertained, other tests will follow to ensure the baby has a good start. Did you know that when a newborn is six weeks old, they can make eye contact with things close to them? They often lock their gaze with the person holding them, which can be a beautiful moment. Reports indicate that this is how many babies become familiar with facial features they see often. Usually, that is the primary caregiver – the mother. It is believed that most healthy babies do this as an inborn show of interest in the environment.

  1. Quiet and attentive a few times in the day

Suppose the nursery or the crib is silent, and you assume your baby is enjoying their sleep. Then you go to check and are surprised to see a wide-awake baby who seems to be enjoying the silence instead. These are normal and, for tired parents, very welcoming. The baby is full, content, comfortable, and silent. These quiet and attentive moments can happen a few times each day, and that’s because your baby is taking in all the visual and auditory cues around them.  Believe it or not, their brains actively process new information through sounds and sights. That is a sign of a healthy growing baby, and as a parent, it can only fill your heart with joy and relief. Pediatricians say each quiet moment can last up to an hour, but it’s always best to check on your baby even when they are silent. Some babies will even coo as they take in the quiet moments and all the information they hear and see. This development can happen as early as 4 – 6 weeks after birth, and it’s nothing to worry about. At some point, when your baby has had enough of the quiet time, they will cry to get your attention.

As a parent, your little one’s growth is paramount to you. As a result, you may look out for many signs to ensure your baby is on the right track, including the signs listed above. It helps to be guided by the fact that every baby develops differently. Some hit milestones earlier, while others do so later. Fortunately, you can allay your fears by keeping up with regular check-ups with the pediatrician, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Pin for later:

6 signs of a healthy growing baby
Josie Smith
Josie Smith
Share —>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.