8 Things Parents Should Know About Newborn Growth And Development

There are certain things that parents should know about newborn growth and development. Check them out.

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Nov 24, 2021
8 Things Parents Should Know About Newborn Growth And Development

The first year of a child's life is a magical moment. Your baby will grow from a newborn who is completely reliant on you to an infant and subsequently in to a toddler who is walking, talking, and displaying the first indications of independence in just 12 months. Your newborn is merely getting used to this large, unfamiliar new world throughout the first month. And you've gotten used to taking care of all of their requirements. A few of the changes you might expect to see throughout your child's first month are listed here.

It's vital to keep in mind that premature babies will not follow these baby milestones perfectly. It is essential to know that every baby functions differently. Though development of a baby follows certain steps and rules, deviations are bound to happen. Babies born a month early will most likely have to wait another month or so to catch up to their peers but as long as your baby’s doctor feels it to be of no concern, you should not worry. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Yogesh Kumar Gupta, Consultant Pediatrician, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore, to know about newborn growth and development.

Things parents should know about newborn growth and development

Part of the fun of being a new parent is to watch the baby grow. Despite the fact that newborns sleep a lot, significant changes take place in the five major areas of development. Here are some things to know about newborn growth and development:

1. Physical growth and development

If the baby loses weight soon after birth, don't be alarmed as it is normal for any baby to lose maximum of 10 percent of their body weight in initial one week of life. Usually, it is regained within 2 weeks of life. In the first three months of life, weight gain is around 30 gram per kg per day (175-210 gm per week) which eventually decreases to 20-25 gms per kg per day for next 3 months. Increase in head size happens at a rate of 1.5-2 cm per month for the first three months followed by 1-1.5cm per month. With regard to height a child should gain 25 cm of height in first year of life.

2. Mental development

The brain of a newborn rapidly develops cognitively i. e the ability to think, learn, and remember. Positive interactions with babies promote healthy brain development.

Also read: The Importance Of Making The Baby Burp After Feeding And Right Ways To Do

3. Emotional and social development

emotional newborn

Newborns pick up on communication quickly and express themselves using sounds and facial expressions. The baby's instinctive behavior, such as crying when uncomfortable, is a way of communicating their need, which becomes more subtle over time. The baby's eyes, for example, will follow one's movements, and their face will light up when cuddled and gently spoken to.

4. Language Improvement

A baby listens to and absorbs a language's basic and distinct sounds, laying the groundwork for speech. Language improvement is slow but it happens gradually with time.

5. Development of sensory and motor skills

The baby quickly recognizes a parents face, the sound of their voice, and the way they smell. The sense of touch develops, especially around the mouth. A newborn can hear fairly well after a few days and responds most noticeably to high-pitched and loud sounds. Sweet tastes are preferred by a baby over sour, bitter, or salty tastes. Vision develops rapidly, but is thought to be the weakest of the senses. As the baby's muscles and nerves work together, motor skills develop. Reflexes are mostly controlled movements like clenching of the fist when alert.

Also read: Naturally Treat Colic in Infants

6. What can one do to assist their newborn's growth and development?

The most important thing one can do to help their baby grow and develop is to communicate with him/her. Many aspects of a baby's development are aided by an environment rich in stimulation, comfort, and loving attention. Use a high-pitched voice, gentle touch, and hugs to communicate one's feelings. Babies who are spoken to frequently during their first few years of life are more likely to develop language skills than those who are not. Newborns are more interested in their caregivers as compared to toys.

7. How do you know if you're properly caring for your newborn?

newborn care

During a baby's first month, one might feel overwhelmed and wonder if they’re doing it right. First-time parents have no prior life experience to prepare them for this new role. It is perfectly natural to be perplexed and frustrated by the baby. Paying attention to a newborn's behavior will help one learn about his/her needs. It's usually the right thing to trust one’s instincts, cuddle and rock a crying baby.

Also read: 7 Tips On How To Take Care Of The NewBorn In The First 6 Months By Gynaecologist Dr Sudeshna Ray

8. What kinds of tests should a baby undergo?

A specific schedule of routine visits is recommended by the baby's doctor, crucial for detecting problems and ensuring normal growth and development. It is normal for new parents to have frequent questions. Hence, one shouldn’t hesitate to contact a doctor in case they have any concerns about their newborn's health or general care.