As a parent, your child is your priority. In the child’s growing phase, you worry if your child is eating correctly or if he/she is growing as fast as their friends.
Here, growth refers to the physical changes among children, like an increase in height and weight, or signs of puberty as they grow.
The first year is the year of growth
In the first year of their lives, babies go through rapid physical changes. Babies during the first year of their lives, on an average, grow up to 10 inches in length and triple their birth weights. This growth rate decreases as they grow old. After one year, a baby’s growth in length slows down, and by age 2, even the increase in height continues at a steady rate of about 2 and a half inches per year, till adolescence.
The rate of growth varies for every child. No child grows at a steady pace throughout their childhood. Babies tend to grow faster in the spring season compared to other times of the year.
Puberty comes with various physical changes, and significant growth spurt happens at this time. Between the age of 8 to 13 in girls and 10 to 15 in boys, sexual development takes place including the appearance of pubic hair, underarm hair, development of sexual organs, and the start of menstruation among girls. All these changes are associated with the growth spurt.
For girls, by the time they reach their 15th birthday and boys reach the age of 16 or 17, they reach physical maturity and growth of puberty ends.
As a parent, take your child for a routine check-up where doctors check their height and weight compared to other kids. This can help you to understand if your child is growing at an appropriate rate or whether there is any problem.
There are a few things that parents can do from their end to ensure the healthy growth of their children.
Ensure that your child gets proper sleep. On average, kids need 10-12 hours of sleep every day. Proper sleep gives rest to their growing bodies and helps in better growth.
Another most important thing is a balanced diet and proper nutrition. Kids need essential vitamins and minerals to reach their full growth potential. Also, they need to exercise on a regular basis. Cycling, skating or any other enjoyable physical activity can help them being fit and healthy.
Talk to your child about their growth
Every child is different with different growth rates and different height and weight. Some kids attain puberty earlier than others. Make sure your child is not going through comparison in schools and make them understand that it is normal to be different. Try and focus on developing your children’s unique skills and qualities rather than worrying about their weight and height.
Talk to your doctor if there is any serious concern regarding their growth. Know your family history and the medical condition that can affect your child’s growth.