Making sure your baby is healthy and strong is something every new parent thinks about. Your baby will be weighed and measured at each check up with the pediatrician to make sure they are continuing to grow at a rate that is normal. The standards for “normal” are established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Both the WHO and the CDC offer an infant growth chart for children based on their sex. For more information on how to read and understand an infant growth chart, click here.
Feeding your child the healthy things they need will contribute to their overall health. Breast milk or formula is the only food your newborn needs, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breast-feeding for the first six months after birth if possible.
Most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods in addition to breast-feeding or formula-feeding by ages 4 months to 6 months. To introduce cereal, mix 1 tablespoon of a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal with 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) of breast milk or formula. But don’t serve it from a bottle – instead, help your little one sit upright and offer the cereal with a small spoon once or twice a day. Serve only one or two teaspoons after feeding from a bottle or the breast.
If you plan to offer juice to your baby, only offer it once your baby turns six months old. Start with 1 fl. oz. and increase it to no more than 4 fl. oz. (½ cup) per day, until they are a year old.
It’s important to remember that all children are different and that as long as yours is steadily progressing, s/he is doing fine. If you have any concerns, talk to your pediatrician.