If your baby seems to be changing before your very eyes, it’s not your imagination. The pace of growth picks up dramatically during the first three months.
Your baby will continue to gain 142 gm 199 gm (5 to 7 ounces) per week. As these extra pounds fill out his cheeks, thighs, and belly, his whole body is on its way to a rounder, more classic baby shape. Expect him to grow about 1.3 cm (a half an inch) in length per month during these early months.
“He’s going through a growth spurt” is more than just a figure of speech, as growth does tend to come in bursts. So your baby may look and measure the same for a week or two, and then suddenly change. Sometimes growth can stall as well; slight lags are usually normal. And, of course, keep in mind that although there are statistics for typical infant size and growth rate, every baby develops at his own pace, and there’s a very wide range for what’s considered normal. However, if you have concerns about how your baby is growing, be sure to consult your paediatrician.
What’s the fastest growing part of your baby’s body? His head! Its circumference is increasing by about a half an inch per month. Babies’ heads are large in proportion to their tiny bodies, and their eyes, which are nearly 75 percent of adult size, look especially big—possibly part of the reason we find babies so cute. The fontanels—soft spots at the front and back of the head that allow the cranium, or skull, to expand as the brain gets bigger—close at different times; the one in the back of the skull closes at 2 to 3 months of age; the one on top towards the front by 18 months, when brain growth tapers off.
No, that’s not premature balding at the back of your baby’s head. Many newborns develop bald spots as a result of spending so much time sleeping on their backs. Be assured that his hair will grow back as he begins to move around and change positions more often. Another side effect of the “back to sleep” recommendation—which is important to help prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)—is that some babies develop a flatness at the backs of their skulls. So-called flat head syndrome usually resolves on its own or can be corrected with physical therapy and noninvasive measures. However, if you do notice a flat spot, it is worth pointing out to your baby’s doctor.
Another reason your baby looks plumper now is that although he’s gained weight, he hasn’t added much muscle yet. Starting at around 2 to 3 months, he’ll begin moving his arms and legs more, which will cause his muscles to begin to develop. By the time he is 2 months old, you’ll begin to notice that he’s losing the curved, curled up appearance he was born with; that’s because he’s now stretching and kicking his legs so often.