By the time your baby is born he already has many skills developed…

The size of the baby at birth depends much on the mother’s weight, diet, time of gestation, and both parents height. Taller parents tend to have bigger babies. Also, boys tend to be larger than girls at birth. By the time your baby is born he already has many skills developed. The average height and weight range at birth is 50 to 53 centimeters and 1.7 to 4.1 kilograms, respectively.

Low birth weight

To be considered a low birth weight it as to be less than 2.5 kilograms. This is common in premature babies and in twins and triplets. However, a baby can be smaller than average and still develop healthy and well. If the baby is more than 4 kilograms at birth he is larger than normal, which usually happens in women who suffered from gestational diabetes, are overweight, gained much weight during pregnancy, or had the baby after 42 weeks of gestation.

You have no reason to worry if the baby drops less than 10 percent of his birth weight in the first few days, as this is a normal occurrence that results from the excess fluid that the baby is born with. This lost weight should be gained again in the 2 weeks after birth.

All the instinctive reflexes are really active in newborns. There are physical skills such as turning the mouth when you stroke his cheeks or mimicking walking movements when held in a vertical position. The range of vision is limited from 20 to 40 centimeters in front of his face but he can tell the differences between colors and shapes. The newborn baby hears perfectly and if exposed to a loud sound the normal response will be to get startled and cry, since these reactions are an instinctive survival mechanism.

He can also distinguish smells and will prefer sweet scents and refrain from acid ones, this is an instinct that helps to protect the baby from dangerous substances.

It´s all about Centile charts

The growth of the baby needs to be charted with regular weight and height measurements to make sure that he is developing correctly, especially in the first two years of life. This growth charts are called centile lines and are usually provided by the health care provider to check if the child is following the normal growth pattern.

Centile charts give the position of your child size and weight within the population, to show if these parameters are normal for the average. The charts are made from babies that were breastfed and growing on optimal conditions. For example if your baby’s height is on the 10th centile it means that 90 percent of children his age are taller. However, the position on the chart does not mean that there is something wrong with your baby. It is just a way for your doctor to illustrate the growth of your baby in a practical way.

Losing or dropping weight

In the case your baby starts dropping weight or slows too much in growth your doctor will tell you it is a reason for concern. In case this happens you have to discuss with your pediatrician the eating habits of your child and try to determine how to improve them. You have to keep in mind that diet is not the only thing influencing your baby’s growth. It is during sleep that their bodies produce growth hormones, so rest is essential and genetic factors largely influence the way that babies grow.

Your baby’s growth is not limited to how much he weights or how tall he his. It is about the little milestones he accomplishes little by little, and that you most of all will notice first hand. Here we present the general developments you should see from the first months to the first year. Just keep in mind that every baby is different, and not all of them reach these milestones at the same time.

Monthly development stages

In the first month after birth you will notice some developing happening already, he reacts to your voice, starts to coo and make different sounds.

During the second month his movements become smother, he starts smiling at you, exploring objects and trying to lift his head.

In the third month he shows interest in your voice, can recognize your face, he is awake for longer periods and starts exploring the sense of touch with his hands.

By the fourth month he develops more language skills putting vowels together with consonants to make syllables. It is good for your baby to be stimulated by toys like rattles and mobiles, he will start grasping and mouthing them to develop hand eye coordination. The baby can also start to roll over now and you should encourage this by placing the baby on his stomach in order to stimulate him to exercise his muscles.

At the fifth month of age the baby can laugh and tries to mimic your words with similar sounds. The eyesight is sharper now and he knows who you are.

During the sixth month, your baby will be more active, and can turn when laying on the floor. The baby can now sit, since his muscles are getting stronger, and he loves to experiment with the world around him by putting every object he can find in his mouth.

Over the next months you can expect major developments such as crawling, walking and your baby’s first words. His eyesight will become perfect by month eight and now he does not want to be away from you. He now understands cause and effect and can start feeding himself. He will also be more independent by having his own opinions and starting to explore the house.

Since mimicking is the way babies learn you may notice him watching you and doing the same movements. You can now play hide and seek with him by hiding his favorite toy. You just need to encourage the exploratory behavior and calm him when he is anxious and he will be secure to develop his new-found skills.

To help with this exciting tie in your baby’s life, you just have to enjoy your time with him by playing, reading him books and encouraging him to explore. You just have to be careful once your baby starts moving to get dangerous things out of his reach.

If you have any concerns about your baby development check with your pediatrician but it is normal that he does not follow these exact developmental steps.