7 Factors Affecting the Growth and Development of Babies

After the birth of the baby, each period will enter a different growth phase. To understand these stages correctly, you need to know the factors that affect your baby’s development and growth. We have explained them all in this article.

What you need to know about your baby’s growth and development

  • The growth of your baby begins in the womb. The growth process is experienced the fastest here. It continues rapidly after the baby is born, but gradually decreases in the first 2-3 years. For example, while the baby gains 900-1000 g in the first months, weight gain gradually decreases after 1 year of age, and starts to gain 100-150 g per month.
  • Growth in children accelerates at the age of 6-8 or 8-10 years. This is the only period in which growth has accelerated.
  • After the first 6 months of life, the teeth coming out and sitting without support, then crawling, walking, going up and down the stairs are parts of the baby’s development. If he can’t do these on time, it means he has a developmental delay.
  • Some babies are born with a low birth weight. These babies grow 8-10 times faster after birth. Because they cannot grow in the womb, they try to reach the level they should be after they are born. 3-6. This period seen in months is called “catch up growth” . In other words, the baby gains the necessary developmental characteristics. If the baby is not able to catch up with growth and cannot keep up with his peers, a specialist should be spoken to.

Factors affecting your baby’s development and growth

1- Genetic structure

Your and your partner’s genetic characteristics are passed on to your baby during fertilization. These features include height and body structure. By examining your own physical characteristics, you can predict how your baby’s growth and development potential will progress.

The most affected feature by genetic features is the baby’s height. For example, if you and your spouse have a large or petite build, you can predict that your child will have this type of body, too.

2- Hormones

Thyroid and growth hormone are two important hormones that affect growth. These hormones are secreted in a certain order during the day. But when it peaks, it is the moment of sleep.

In other words, a healthy sleep is important in the growth and development of your baby. That’s why you need to ensure that he sleeps as long and uninterrupted as possible at night.

3- Intrauterine development

Baby development in the womb is affected by both physical and external sources. Among these factors;

  • Inadequate and unbalanced nutrition,
  • Having a serious illness, especially in the first 3 months of pregnancy,
  • There are reasons such as smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy. All of these cause the baby to develop insufficiently in the womb.

In order to prevent this problem, you should pay attention to your nutrition, stay away from harmful habits and pay attention to your health, especially during pregnancy.

4- Nutrition

Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Specialist Prof. Dr. Benal Büyükgebiz says that the most important criterion for a healthy baby to continue its normal development is nutrition. The way to achieve this is through breastfeeding.

Especially in the first 6 months and afterwards, the baby will have a healthy body, fed with breast milk until at least 1 year old. If he receives the necessary building blocks and energy materials in the following period, his health will progress in a positive way to a large extent.

However, if breast milk and other essential nutrients are lacking in the baby’s nutrition, his body tries to maintain vital functions and physical problems occur afterwards.

5- General health status

Permanent diseases of the baby (such as heart and kidney disorders) or diseases for a long period (such as infectious and febrile diseases, diarrhea) adversely affect its development. These negativities can be seen during the illness or after recovery.

6- Gender

Your baby’s gender can also affect their developmental characteristics. Generally speaking, we can say that male babies are physically larger than female babies. When girls and boys of equal birth weight are compared, we can see that girls’ muscle and nervous system development is more advanced than boys. These are gender-specific but non-vital developmental characteristics.

7- Psychological reasons

Raising your child by depriving them of love, care and understanding can cause developmental disorders and stunted growth. You can see the effects of this mostly in language development. In an environment where violence or heavy authority is dominant, the baby’s speech will regress.

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