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Growth Chart Mysteries

Month 5, Week 3

At every visit, your pediatrician measures your baby's length, weight, and head circumference and records them on growth charts as points plotted on a curve. This compares your baby's growth to that of other boy or girl babies the same age.

You should know:

  • The percentile numbers on growth charts aren't like test scores. Your baby can't fail. It's just how he compares to other babies his age right now.
  • Healthy babies grow steadily. If your baby's weight drops down sharply, your pediatrician may want to watch him more closely.

Your Baby's Development This Week

Your baby's eyes are growing up. His vision is still maturing, but it's already improved dramatically. Here's how:

  • His eyes work together well enough to follow a moving object, such as a toy truck rolling across the room.
  • His ability to see a wide range of colors has blossomed. He also likes shapes and complex patterns.
  • Babies love looking at anything new. So take frequent walks or visit stores for a change of scenery.
  • Mirrors fascinate babies because the image in the glass constantly changes. And it's fun to watch your little one realize that he's the baby in the mirror.

Month 5, Week 3 Tips

  • Don't assume that your baby's size predicts his adult height or weight. His growth chart percentiles are just about his current ranking.
  • Never leave your baby alone on a couch, bed, or changing table. He could roll or wriggle to the edge and fall.
  • Set your home water heater so the hot water is no more than 120 degrees F, to prevent burns.
  • To watch for adverse reactions (vomiting, diarrhea, rashes) when starting solid foods, wait 2 or 3 days before offering a new food.
  • Manage your stress: Take brief breaks to relax. A happier you is good for your baby.
  • If you have a partner, share the baby bonding time. That includes baths, diaper changes, bedtime, and playtime.
  • You have so much to do, but time flies. Make it a point to enjoy your baby today.

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