Growth during the first few years of life can be very rapid, however it is important to make sure your child is growing according to growth standards for your child’s age. Growth is most rapid during infancy, and although most babies catch up to growth standards, we aren’t always sure of this and therefore faltering growth (known as failure to thrive) in infancy can be an issue.
The main cause of faltering growth in infancy is poor intake, therefore it is essential to have Dr Koekemoer check that your baby’s growth and weight is to standard and that your little one is receiving adequate feeding and proper nutrition.
Dr Koekemoer will track your baby's growth during your routine visits, and make sure to mark it on a standard growth chart. This is done for parent and caregivers to visualise where their child stands in terms of the average, as well as to monitor changes across time. Keep in mind that even healthy babies go through brief periods when they stop gaining weight or even lose a little weight. Your paediatrician will only be concerned if your baby’s weight has not increased from one routine visit to another.
While weight is important, other areas of growth and development such as physical skills, height, head circumference, teeth, social skills and cognitive thinking are evaluated during your consultation with your paediatrician at each age. Although Dr Koekemoer marks various aspects of your baby’s growth on a standard growth chart, where your baby is positioned on the chart is not important. However what is important is that the overall growth curve of your baby is positive showing that your baby is growing at a healthy rate.
Dr Koekemoer sees children from newborn infants up to the age of 14 years old. He encourages regular visits during infancy and childhood to monitor health and growth, and is able to offer advice to parents and caregivers for a range of developmental and growth related queries.
Poor growth may be indicated by:
- Slow hair growth
- Slow tooth growth
- Delayed puberty
- Recurrent illness