It’s a familiar scene in just about every household blessed with a child. Parenting books have long since stepped aside to that Google search bar that finds itself inundated with questions to the tune of ‘How do I know if my baby is all right’? While there’s certainly a plethora of information you can amass online, be warned: not all of it comes from verifiable sources.
Of course, babies cannot express themselves and that puts parents in a bit of a conundrum: How do we know how they’re really feeling? There are, however, some vital cues we can pick up on, while merely being observant of them.
Is the baby in the proverbial ‘pink of health’? Look out for these signs that indicate they well and truly are.
They demand frequent breastfeeding
Top of the list of healthy baby signs are a good sucking urge and asking for frequent feeds. This shows the baby has a good appetite and sound digestive system. Further, if they make a gulping sound when they are swallowing milk, it means they are feeding well. This innate sucking reflex will have them sucking anything that comes close to their mouths!
Being Quiet and attentive a few times daily
Those early baby days are going to whiz past in a blur. There will be feedings every couple of hours and sleep for 16 hours (although not more than a few hours at a time). While it’s normal to have crying, cranky infants in these early stages, their being quiet at times will only indicate a healthy baby processing new information all around them.
You are changing 4-6 diapers a day
No matter how silly it sounds, if your little one is wetting their diapers 4-6 times a day, it’s an indication of their being a ‘normal baby’. This not only shows they are feeding well, but indicates that they are properly hydrated, as well.
Note: darker colored urine indicates dehydration in babies.
They observe things like patterns, colors and movements
Baby’s staring into space? That might just be a sign of their being a ‘perfectly healthy baby’! On closer inspection, you will see they are actually looking at something like the ceiling fan. In fact, by 1 month they can see up to 18 inches away and by 2 months, they start tracking things like bright colors and spinning objects. They don’t have perfect color vision and depth perception, and if you keenly watch the world around them, that’s a really good sign.
They are gaining adequate weight and height
Weight and height are the more common ‘healthy baby signs’ parents look out for, and with good reason. On an average, they may gain 5 to 7 oz of weight and ½ to 1 inch of height every week. Roughly speaking, if your baby is approximately twice his birth weight by 5 months, and thrice by the time they are 1 year old, it’s a good indication that they are healthy.
They make eye contact and smile
Your baby is gradually becoming a social and happy creature. The first genuine moment of eye contact with them generally comes at around 1 month; that first smile, at around 2 months of age. By the time they are 5 years old, they smile as though it’s a reflex. Eye contact and smiling are behaviors that serve as effective indicators of early social and language development. The more they indulge in these behaviors, it only indicates their sound development.
Baby sleeps well
Of course infant sleep is erratic, but generally speaking, a normal baby is one that sleeps well on the whole. Good sleep only implies good growth. As your baby grows, it will help them greatly if they are able to get into a good sleeping schedule. It will lead to their being happy and content, which is only a sign of their healthy development.
They can support their own body weight
By the time a healthy baby is 3 months old, they are holding their head up more regularly and with a greater degree of elan than when they were a month old and they would briefly flirt with the same action. By doing so they are flexing their growth muscles – a great sign of their improved physical development.
Tip: Give your little one a decent amount of playtime each day, so they can move and strengthen those muscles. In that regard, ‘tummy time’ is a really great exercise!
They are calmed and soothed by your voice
Emotional development is no less than Physical development, where it comes to fostering a healthy baby, even at this most tender stage in their lives. They have been in their mother’s womb for 9 months, all the while listening to their voice. And so, if they respond to that same voice even after birth, that’s indeed a sign that they are well on the track of emotional development. If Mommy is able to soothe them or get them to pay attention, it’s a good indication that they are hale and hearty!
Turning towards and listening to new sounds
When you’re looking for signs of a healthy baby, you don’t want to miss out on their ability to discern sounds. There are some sounds that they will find more interesting than others, like the sound of music emanating from the stereo. When you see your baby react to a new sound by looking for its source, you can rest assured that their ears are healthy. What’s more, their sense of curiosity about the new sound is piqued too – yet another indication of good health.
It only takes one paranoid notion of worry about your child’s health, to get your head spiraling into a worry cycle. At EuroKids, it is our responsibility to strive towards fostering an all-encompassing development of children. Our integrated environment helps kids flourish to the best of their mental and physical capacities.