Categories: Paediatrics

Physical Growth of Infants & Children and the milestones

Your Child’s Growth & Developmental Milestones

Children are a great source of happiness for their parents. From the day of birth, each child brings innumerable joys to their parents. But in the process of rearing a child comes up many a concern. One of the most important of these concerns is about their growth. Is your child growing fine? Or is there any deficiencies? What are the developmental milestones you need to keep an eye on? The answers to all these questions are right here.

What is physical growth?

Well, we all know the answers. But probably, you may not know that physical growth not just refers to height and weight, but the size of different organs as well.

Children grow rapidly from birth to 1 or 2 years of age. Once they reach the age of 2, their eating habits tend to be erratic, causing many worries to their parents. But there’s actually nothing to worry about. At this age, children don’t require not many calories. Also, even if they eat less today, they will make it up tomorrow by eating a larger portion tomorrow.

The different stages of growth

During preschool and school years, the growth of children remains steady. However, adolescence comes with a spurt of growth in them.

Growth of the organs

The growth rate varies from organ to organ. The reproductive organs, for example, undergo a brief growth spurt immediately after birth and will remain almost the same till a child reaches puberty. However, this is not the case with their brain. Yes, our brain grows almost exclusively during the early years of life. Similarly, the kidneys start functioning at the adult level by the first year itself.

The developmental milestones:

Height

The method of measurement

Children who are too young to stand are measured using a measuring table, also known as a stadiometer. The children are made to lie on their back to measure their height/length.

Older children who can stand on their own are measured using a vertical measuring scale.

If a child is born normal-term, their length increases by 30% by the time they reach 5 months, by 1 year, there will be a 50% increase.  Infants normally grow about 10 inches (25 centimetres) during the first year. Their height increases by about double by the time they reach 5 years (in comparison with birth length).

Weight

The curious thing about newborns’ weight is that they lose it first! Yes, in the first few days of their life newborns lose 5 to 8% of their weight. They quickly regain weight by the end of the first two weeks.

Activity milestones

2 months: Hold heads up when supported | When lying on stomach, pushes up | Makes a lot of movements with hands and legs

4 months: Holds head study without any support | Rolls over from stomach to back | Brings hands to mouth

6 months: Sits with support | Make attempts to stand and bounce | Rocks back and forth

9 months: Sits without support | Crawls | Stands holding onto others/objects

  • year: Stands alone | Moves into sitting position without support | Takes a few steps without support
  • years: Walks alone | Runs | Drinks from a cup
  • years: Begins to run | Stands on tiptoes | Kicks a ball

Keep an eye on your child and take joy in seeing them achieve these milestones. Remember, each child is different and hence a child may achieve these milestones faster or slower. If you think that your child is lagging behind by a considerable margin, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.

Dr. Anil Kumar Sapare | Consultant – Pulmonology | Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra, Bangalore

Narayana Health

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