9 Signs Your Baby Is Healthy & Thriving! Day 1: 9 Signs Your Baby Is Healthy & Thriving!

9 Signs Your Baby Is Healthy & Thriving!

The first 12 months of a baby’s life is when they grow super quickly, not just physically but also mentally, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. And nutrition plays a major role in laying the foundation for their overall well-being. 

It's natural for parents to wonder whether their baby is doing “well” in terms of their growth – whether they are healthy for their age or whether they are at the right weight and height. Let’s look at some signs that you can watch out for, which suggest your baby’s growing well! 

 

TIP: Every baby has their own pace of development, so don’t worry if your baby is not showing the same signs as someone else’s baby. Genetics and metabolism also influence a baby’s growth curve. Speak to your doctor if you’re concerned.

 

9 Signs Your Baby Is Healthy & Thriving

1) Adequate weight gain

Every baby has their own growth curve. Hence, there is no “ideal” weight that your baby should be. A good sign of healthy babies is that they’re consistently gaining weight throughout the first year of their life.

Research shows that babies grow to double their birth weight by the time they’re 5-6 months old, and triple their birth weight by the time they’re 1 year old. On average, babies in their first year will put on 300 to 500 grams of weight per month growth. Fixating on weight or height related numbers can create unnecessary pressure on parents, which are absorbed by your little ones too. While weight does indicate a baby’s growth and development, it is not the only marker of healthy

If you feel your baby is not gaining weight for a month or two, please speak to your doctor.

2) Increase in height/length

Healthy babies grow in height and length every month – usually about half an inch each month and by approximately 10 inches in their first year.

A baby’s growth curve (usually maintained by their pediatrician) comprises their (1) height and (2) weight, which is measured every time you visit the doctor or on a monthly basis. 

Head circumference is also a key indicator of a baby’s healthy growth. A baby’s head circumference grows by about half an inch every month in the first year.

3) Developmental milestones

Babies who are getting appropriate nutrition and eating and sleeping well will most likely achieve their developmental milestones. When babies receive good, wholesome nutrition comprising a variety of nutrients essential for them, it boosts their emotional, mental, cognitive, and physical development.

4) General contentment

Babies who are well fed are usually happy and active babies. There is a sense of contentment and alertness in them. If babies are cranky once in a while due to fatigue or illness or a tantrum, that’s alright. But if you find that they’re irritable and cranky, are not eating as well, or napping as well as they usually do, it’s best you ask your doctor.

5) Regular diaper changes

Healthy babies usually will have frequent wet diapers that indicate regular urine and bowel movements. By wet diapers, we mean babies are peeing and pooping at their normal routine (“normal routine” can look different for different babies. For example, when a baby who usually passes stools 2-3 times a day starts passing stools once in 2 days, then this is considered a change in their normal routine). If a baby has regular diaper changes, it indicates that they’re hydrated well (getting enough fluids) and not constipated (getting enough fiber-rich food).

If your baby is passing dark-colored urine or stool is hard and pebbly (as opposed to soft and mushy), they could be dehydrated or constipated, respectively. Speak to your doctor if you have concerns.

6) Enthusiasm at mealtimes

Healthy babies are usually active and enthusiastic at or before meal times. They look forward to eating their meals. If your baby is on breast or bottle feed, they will naturally ask for it or reach for it. This shows their willingness and excitement to be fed and nourished.

At mealtimes, your baby is happy to open their mouth when being fed or is feeding themselves with excitement. Yes, they will be playful and perhaps disruptive, but that’s okay because it’s part of their exploration and learning.

7) Steady energy levels

Health babies are generally curious, playful, happy, and energetic – unless they’re ill. The levels of playfulness and energy may differ from baby to baby, and that’s normal. If your baby is low on energy and you observe they’re not eating or sleeping well for an extended period of time, speak to your doctor.

Many parents complain about how their baby has too much energy for the parents to keep up with them. That’s a happy baby for you!

8) Healthy skin and hair 

When babies are getting adequate nourishment from their food, they have healthy skin and hair. Every baby will have different texture and amount of hair, so if a baby has less hair naturally it does not mean there’s trouble! Babies who have any skin conditions (sensitive skin or eczema) are an exception and their skin is not related to their nutrition.

By healthy skin, we mean their skin should not be overly dry or flaky. By healthy hair, we mean their hair should not be discolored or brittle. If you feel that something is not normal with your baby’s skin/hair, it’s best to speak to your doctor.

9) Engaged and interactive

Healthy babies will be interactive and curious, continuously reaching out and grabbing, touching, poking, throwing, and putting things in their mouth. With people, babies will try to talk, smile, and laugh. Healthy babies are responsive to sights and sounds too. Consistent growth patterns in all aspects (height, weight, length, head circumference, etc.) are a good indication that your baby is doing well.

 

WE SUGGEST: Your baby is doing amazing and the credit goes to you, dear parent. There’s no standard baby manual that all parents follow, so parenting is tough! Your baby is precious and unique, progressing at his or her own pace. Be present/mindful and enjoy the journey together!

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