Aboriginal - baby's growth checks
Aboriginal; baby; growth; spurts; charts; breastfed; length; weight; head; circumference;;
Babies need regular checks to see if they are growing strong and healthy. This is a good time to talk to your health worker, nurse or doctor about anything that is bothering you.
Measuring your baby's growth
It is best to weigh little babies without any clothes on. Older children can wear light clothing.
Your health worker will measure your baby's length while lying down until he or she is 2 years old.
Once babies are 2, they can stand up straight to have their height measured.
Your health worker will measure your baby's head to check that it is growing well.
All your baby's measurements will be plotted on the growth charts in the child health and development record book (Blue Book).
There is a lot more about health checks in our topic Health checks.
Growth of breastfed babies
Breastfed babies often grow more quickly at first than a baby who is formula fed and may look more chubby. Later, breastfed babies may grow more slowly than formula fed babies.
Once your baby is around 6 months old, he or she is ready to have solid foods but babies should continue to have breastmilk. Babies need iron rich food like lean meat (fat taken off) and fish (with no bones) and some fruit and vegetables every day.
Growth spurts and breastfeeding
Babies don't grow at the same rate all the time - sometimes they have growth spurts when they grow quicker than other times.
It may feel like all they want to do is feed and feed.
Your body will not run out of breastmilk, but you will need to feed more often for a few days.
If your baby is not 6 months old yet, you don't need to give them solids during a growth spurt. You don't need to give top-up feeds with formula.
Extra breastfeeds will give your baby everything she or he needs to grow well.
Your health worker can pick up on any growth problems (like poor growth or being overweight) by looking at your baby and your baby's growth chart.
Poor growth (failure to thrive)
If your baby does not get enough healthy food or there is some other problem, his or her growth might slow right down. Talk to your health worker about any problems or concerns you may have about your baby.
Your health worker might ask a doctor to check your baby as well, to make sure that there is no illness which is affecting growth.
Monitoring your baby's growth
- Take your baby to see the child health nurse or child health worker often to have growth measured.
- Your health worker, lactation consultant or health nurse can tell you more about breastfeeding or your baby's growth.
When should babies have their growth measured?
- 1-4 weeks
- 6 weeks
- 6-9 months
- 18-24 months
- 3 years
- 4 years old.
Your health worker may suggest health checks at other times too.
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.