Your Baby's Growth: 1 Month
Babies continue to grow quickly in both weight and length this month.
How Much Will My Baby Grow?
The first month of life was a period of rapid growth. Your baby will continue to grow at a similar rate, gaining about 1 to 1½ inches (2.5 to 3.8 centimeters) in length this month and about 2 more pounds (907 grams) in weight. These are just averages — your baby may grow somewhat faster or slower, and is likely to have a growth spurt.
If your baby is extra fussy or wants to eat more than usual at around 6 weeks of age, it's probably due to a growth spurt. If you breastfeed, you might find your baby wants to eat more often (what may seem like every hour!), especially at certain times of the day. Some people call this "cluster feeding." Formula-fed babies may want to eat more frequently or will drink more during feedings.
Pay attention to signals that your baby is hungry (sticking out the tongue or sucking) or full (turning away or dozing off). If the fussiness continues for more than a day or two, tell the doctor.
Your doctor will measure your baby's weight, length, and head circumference and track his or her growth on a standardized growth chart (there are different charts for boys and girls). Whether your baby is large, small, or medium-sized, as long as this growth pattern stays consistent over time, chances are your baby's progress is just fine.
If your baby is born prematurely, keep in mind that growth and development should not be compared with that of a full-term child. Preemies will need to be followed more closely and may need to be weighed more often during the first months to make sure they are growing properly. They have some catching up to do!
Should I Be Concerned?
If your baby is not growing at the expected rate, or the growth rate slows, your doctor will want to make sure your baby is getting enough to eat.
The doctor may ask you about:
- How many feedings a day your baby gets. At 1 month, a breastfed baby may feed about 8 times in a 24-hour period; bottle-fed babies usually eat less frequently, perhaps every 3 to 4 hours.
- How much your baby eats at each feeding. A baby generally nurses for at least 10 minutes, should be heard to swallow, and should seem satisfied when done. At this age, bottle-fed babies may drink up to 4 to 5 ounces (118-148 milliliters) at a time.
- How often your baby urinates. Babies should have at least 4 to 6 wet diapers a day.
- How many bowel movements your baby has each day, and their volume and consistency. Most babies will have 1 or more bowel movements daily, but it may be normal to skip 1 or 2 days if consistency is normal. Breastfed babies' stools tend to be soft and slightly runny. The stools of formula-fed babies tend to be a little firmer, but should not be hard or formed.
Most of the time, a baby's growth will simply be tracked over the next few months during routine well-baby visits. But if your doctor is concerned about your baby's growth, he or she will want to see your baby more often.
Next month, you can expect to see your baby grow 1 to 1½ inches (2.5 to 3.8 centimeters) in length and gain about 2 pounds (907 grams).
At this rate, it may seem like your baby is outgrowing clothes every other day and you can't keep up. Don't worry. Rapid growth will slow down in the second half of the first year.