Is my child growing well?
Children come in different sizes and shapes. Though your child may be taller or shorter, heavier or lighter than other children the same age, changes in height and weight generally follow a regular pattern that is right for your child Children come in different sizes and shapes. Though your child may be taller or shorter, heavier or lighter than other children the same age, changes in height and weight generally follow a regular pattern that is right for your child.
Babies grow at different rates. For example, breastfed babies tend to grow more quickly than non-breastfed babies in the first six months and tend to grow more slowly in the second six months of life. Non-breastfed babies tend to grow faster in the second six months of life.
Why should I keep track of my child’s growth?
The way your child grows says a lot about her health. Growing too fast or too slowly can be a sign of possible problems with health or nutrition.Starting from birth, your child’s weight and length/height should be measured on a regular basis to see how he is growing over time. Babies and toddlers should also have the size of their head measured (head circumference).
- Why are primary teeth important?
- Tips for good oral health from birth to age 4
- How can I help my teething baby?
Primary teeth give shape to your child’s face, help guide permanent teeth into the right position and are crucial for learning to eat and to speak. It’s important to care for them well. Primary teeth have a thinner outer enamel (a thin, hard, white substance that covers the tooth) than permanent teeth. This puts them at risk for early childhood tooth decay, which can begin even before the first tooth appears. Decay is caused by bacteria and happens more easily if teeth keep coming into contact with sweet liquids—such as formula, milk, juice, and even breast milk (which contains sugar)—and are not cleaned regularly. Early childhood tooth decay can affect your child’s health and cause pain, making it hard for her to sleep, eat or speak. It can also affect her ability to concentrate and learn. Children who develop dental decay at an early age are more likely to suffer from it throughout childhood.
|From birth to 12 months||
|From 1 to 2 years||
|From 3 to 4 years old||
|For all ages||
When your child is getting her teeth, her gums may be swollen and tender.
- Rub the gums with a clean finger.
- Offer her something to chew on. A wet facecloth placed in the freezer for 30 minutes can be helpful, or a teething ring made of firm rubber.
- Use gel that can be rubbed on your child’s gums. Your child may swallow it.
- Give her teething biscuits, which may contain sugar.
- Ignore a fever. Getting new teeth does not make babies sick or give them a fever. If your baby is younger than 6 months call a doctor. Older children can be treated at home, as long as they get enough liquids and seem well otherwise.
How often should my child be weighed and measured?
Your child should be weighed and measured at all regularly scheduled well-child visits and/or at visits when your child is ill. Typical well-child visits may occur:
- within one to two weeks of birth
- at two, four, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months
- once per year for children over two years and for adolescents
How is my child’s growth tracked?
A growth chart is a type of graph used to track your child’s growth pattern. Each time your child is measured, the new weight and length/height measurements are marked on the growth chart.
The chart helps show if your child is growing in a healthy way. Your child’s growth chart will be kept as part of her health record until she becomes an adult. You can ask to see this growth chart at each visit.
Which growth chart should be used to track my child’s growth?
The WHO Growth Charts for Canada are the best tool for tracking a child’s growth. They should replace other growth charts that have been used for healthy term infants, children and teens. The WHO growth charts are being used to track children’s growth in a number of countries all over the world.
How do I know if my child is growing well?
Many things affect a child’s growth including their eating and physical activity habits, environment and parent’s height. If your child is growing well, his head circumference, weight and length/height will follow (or “track”) along the same growth lines over time.
Remember all children have a pattern of growth that is natural for them. Regular weight and length/height measurements over time will show your child’s special growth pattern.