Thursday, April 16, 2009
Shrug off strangers' comments in the grocery checkout line about your baby's chubby cheeks and your mom's insistence that your baby is too skinny and needs to eat more.
Babies "come in different sizes and shapes," says pediatrician and mom of two, Dr. Rosalind S. Downing, who practices at Salud Pediatrics in Algonquin. "Every baby has their own different growth rate."
While doctors are seeing more overweight babies-many the result of moms feeding them for comfort rather than hunger-Downing says some babies will simply be big and eventually plateau.
Here's the facts: Your baby's weight doubles from their birth rate around 6-7 months old, she says. The average growth is 1-2 pounds per month the second half of their first year, she says.
If your baby has more than doubled their weight, check their growth rate with your pediatrician, who will also consider height and head circumference in deciding where they fall on the growth scale. Anything between 5th and 95th percentile is normal at this stage, she says.
But if your baby falls off the growth scale, don't limit food, she says. Instead make healthier choices, with a concentration on pureed fruits and vegetables and iron-fortified cereal, and get them active by encouraging them to reach, roll and crawl, she says.
"There's always a notion that bigger babies are healthier babies," says Downing. That's a myth that needs correcting, she says.