Your baby grows more in the first year than any other time. Providing the right activity and nutrition can make a real difference.

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Physical growth vs physical development: What’s the difference?

Your baby's physical growth refers to increases in his length and weight. Development refers to his ability to engage in more coordinated actions and thought processes. In addition to physical development, the first year is crucial for cognitive, social, emotional, and language skills.

Year 1: Your baby's physical growth

All infants grow at different rates. While there are general guidelines, there's no reason for concern if your baby is above or below the average.

  • Birth to 6 months: you can expect growth of 1/2 to 1 inch a month and 5 to 7 ounces of weight gain per week.* By 5 to 6 months of age, he might double his original birth weight.
  • 6 to 12 months: expect growth of 3/8 inch every month and 3 to 5 ounces of weight gain per week.* By 12 months, he might triple his original birth weight.
  • Worth noting: your baby's specific height and weight are not as important as a steady rate of growth.

How to support your baby's physical growth

Keep him active. Interactive play—which in the first few months could be as simple as him lying on his stomach—can encourage movement and bonding, as well as critical developmental advancement.

Ensure enough rest. Infants need more sleep than older children, so be sure to alternate learning activities with sleep. Learn to recognize your baby's cues that sleep is needed.

Maintain balanced nutrition. From pregnancy through your baby's first year, if you have any questions about what you or your baby should be eating, our Feeding Expert offers live nutritional support.

Ask questions. No matter how minor, ask your healthcare professional about anything you’re unsure of. It's only a bad question if you never ask it.

*Source: Mayo Clinic