Ten signs of a healthy baby

Trying to figure out if your new baby is in their best health can be stressful. Here are ten great signs that will let you know they’re heading in the right direction.

Once your baby arrives, it’s completely natural to worry about their health. The slightest cough can strike fear into new parents. Given that your bundle of joy can’t yet speak, it can feel like a mystery. Don’t worry though, there are plenty of tell-tale signs that will give you a genuine insight into the wellbeing of your little one.

Ten Health Indicators

Here are ten indicators that will let you know that your baby is in good health.

Sitting in silence

A certain amount of crying from your baby is not only normal, but healthy. In parallel with this is the fact that healthy babies will spend some time sitting quietly and paying attention each day. This whole world is new to them and they’re trying to take everything in and understand. Give your baby a chance to look around themselves each day and they’ll continue to develop well and be interested in what’s happening around them.

A good appetite

One of the biggest signs of a healthy baby is if they are regularly looking to be fed. On average, this will be every few hours. If your baby is regularly hungry, it points to a good appetite and digestion. Whether you’re breastfeeding or nursing from a bottle, pay close attention to your child’s sucking reflex. A strong reflex is a great sign of your baby’s health and development.

Diaper changes

If you feel like you’re constantly running out of diapers for your new-born, it can be a good sign! Around four to six changes per day is normal and indicates that your little one is feeding well and is  properly hydrated. Note the colour of your baby’s urine in the diaper – if it’s slightly dark, this can point to dehydration. All in all, frequent diaper changes are a welcome, positive sign!

Steady growth

Weight and height are both very clear indicators of your baby’s overall health. By tracking these two measurements, you can make sure that your little one is on track for healthy development. Rates of growth can vary, but are around five to seven ounces of weight per week in the first three months after which their increase slows down somewhat, but they should generally continue to get heavier. In terms of growth, your little one will gain about one inch each month – although there is some natural variation in the population. Expect your baby to be around twice their birth weight by the six month mark, and roughly three times their birth weight on their first birthday.

A keen ear

The sense of sound is a fascinating part of your baby’s development. They may have little interest in some sounds, whereas others might totally capture their attention. Try to show your little one a variety of different sounds, including music, and notice how they react to different sounds out in the world. Being able to hear different things and showing an interest in the source of the sound are both signs of a healthy baby.

Eye contact

Watching your baby learn to socialise is so heart-warming. Usually, around a month old they’ll make eye contact with you – a genuinely huge moment! By the time the second month has passed, they will probably have smiled their little heart-melting smile for the first time. These early indications of social development are a great sign and should be encouraged.

Seeing the world

Next time you catch your baby looking off into space, try to figure out what it is they’ve noticed. This is a great way to track their development. After their first month, your baby will be able to see objects around eighteen inches from them. Beyond two months, they’ll begin looking at bright colours and moving objects. In these very early days, they haven’t yet developed their depth perception or colour vision fully. If your little one is busy taking in the world around them, this is another good way to gauge their health.

Big and strong

A one month old baby may briefly try to hold their head up to look around. At three months old, it’s a very healthy sign if they’re doing this much more often. As they age, they should be attempting more and more physical movement. Regular playtime is key for your baby’s physical development, so try to get involved whenever your little one is looking to play.

Recognising your voice

During the nine months that a baby spends in the womb, they actually get to know their mother’s voice. After birth, notice if your little one can still recognise your calming words and see if they’re comforted by this. When they pay close attention to your voice and respond in their own way, it’s a wonderful sign of your precious one’s emotional development.

Plenty of sleep

Sleep is one of the most important ingredients to the healthy growth and development of your baby. Naturally, young babies tend to sleep in short bursts throughout the day and night. As the weeks pass, they’ll sleep for longer at a time, until they can finally sleep through the night. Once your little one is old enough, try to get them into a regular sleeping routine where they go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time. Of course, there will be days when this doesn’t work out – that’s completely normal. Just try to get them back on schedule the next evening. A baby that sleeps well is a healthy and happy baby!

If in doubt

The first year of your child’s life can be an uncertain and sometimes frightening time. It’s common for parents to worry about whether or not their little one is healthy. These signs offer ways to see if your child is on track and developing as expected. If you have any concerns at all, don’t hesitate to consult with your child’s doctor.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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