Paranoid thoughts keeping you awake, mommy and daddy? You must be in the stage where you’re questioning everything.
Is it hungry-crying or distress-crying?
Are they sleeping too much?
Oh, that rash! Is it normal?
You might even be continually asking your family, “Does the baby look healthy?”
Don’t worry. It’s normal for new parents to be concerned about the health of their newborn. But with a few observations and some basic knowledge, you can take comfort in knowing that baby is healthy and happy.
So, if you’re a new parent wondering how to tell if your baby is healthy, here are some signs to look out for:
Happy and Frequent Breastfeeding Sessions:
Babies have an intrinsic need to suck and thrive on the bonding experience of breastfeeding. If your baby is energetically nursing multiple times a day, it’s a sure sign that they have a healthy appetite. It also means their digestive system is working properly. If you’re still unsure, focus on the music that gulping and sucking make- it should be consistent and loud, like a vacuum cleaner.
After being fed, a satisfied baby will snore lightly or fall into a deep sleep.
A milestone book is one of the first few things parents buy during pregnancy. It’s normal to get excited about your baby reaching each milestone, but keep in mind that each child develops at their own pace. Your baby should be able to roll over, lift their head, and make sounds by the time they’re six months old. Around the 1-year mark, they should be standing, walking, and even saying a few words. However, it can be different for children who sustained medical negligence birth injuries that impacted their development. Consult a healthcare professional if your baby is not meeting age-appropriate milestones. You must also seek legal advice to protect your rights in such situations.
Steady Weight Gain:
Does the scale keep going up? Congratulations! Your baby is healthy and growing. The first six months are crucial for weight gain—the average newborn gains around 5 ounces per week. At five months old, your baby should have doubled their birth weight. If you’re concerned, your pediatrician can evaluate their growth rate with the help of a growth chart.
Besides the weight, you should also track your baby’s height. It’s normal for babies to go through growth spurts, so don’t worry if your baby starts to outgrow their clothes. Anywhere between 0.5 to 1 inch per week is healthy.
Eight to Ten Wet Diapers A Day:
The most reliable indicator of a baby’s hydration is their diaper count. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 8-10 wet diapers a day. It indicates that your baby is drinking enough milk and getting the nutrients they need for healthy growth. But if you’re using disposable diapers, ensure they’re not leaking. Otherwise, it could give an inaccurate picture.
Also, please don’t get worried if your baby has fewer bowel movements. As long as they’re passing urination, it’s a sign that their digestion is normal.
Good Skin Color:
Go ahead, take a good look! Baby’s skin should have a healthy pinkish hue. A yellow tint in the skin could indicate jaundice, a condition with excess bilirubin in the blood. It’s common in newborns, especially if they have a shorter gestation period.
It’s also essential to check their scalp for any discoloration. It could indicate a cradle cap. It is a harmless condition where yellow or scaly patches form on the scalp. You can treat it with special shampoos and oils.
You may also want to notice the color of their nails and lips. If they’re paler than usual, it could mean your baby is anemic or malnourished and needs medical attention.
Baby Responds to New Sounds:
Babies can hear from birth. But it takes time for them to understand what they hear. When babies are born, they can recognize their mother’s voice and some simple sounds like laughing and singing. Their hearing becomes more sensitive to different pitches and tones as they grow.
By the time your baby is six months old, they should be able to recognize their name and turn toward the source of the sound. And by 12 months, they should be able to babble words and respond to simple commands. So, if your baby responds well, their hearing is in perfect condition.
Eye Contacts Getting Real:
Babies are born with a sight of 20/400. It means that they can only see things up to 20 feet away. But by the time they’re six months old, their sight should improve to 20/20. It means that they can see as well as an adult.
You will also notice your baby’s eyes following movements and making eye contact with you. It’s a sign that they’re developing their vision.
Plus, if you notice your baby raising their eyebrows while making eye contact, that’s a sign your child is building brain connections.
Grabbing and Holding Objects:
At around three months old, your baby should start grasping objects. It’s known as the Palmar Grasp and is a sign of healthy development. By six months old, your baby should be able to coordinate their eyes and hands better and hold objects more effectively.
It’s crucial to provide your baby with stimulating toys to help them practice their grasping skills. However, if you notice your baby has difficulty holding objects, don’t panic. It could signify delayed motor development, and your doctor can help you assess it.
Baby Can Support Their Head:
Remember the early days when your baby’s neck muscles were weak and couldn’t support their head? Well, by four months old, your baby should be able to hold their head upright and turn it in all directions. And by six months old, they should be able to sit without your help. These developments signify that your baby’s muscles and nerves are functioning normally. You can help your baby by ensuring they get plenty of tummy time and practice holding their head.
Besides the physical symptoms, paying attention to your baby’s mood is also essential. Your baby is healthy and happy if they’re actively responding to their environment and looking around with curiosity.
In conclusion, as long as your baby exhibits these common signs of health, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if you’re still uncertain, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician. They’re the best judge of your baby’s health.