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Growth and Development Milestones In Children
July 12, 2012 by Dr. Mandar V. Bichu
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Growth and Development Milestones In Children


From a tiny tot sleeping peacefully near mom’s cot on the first day, your baby is going to grow larger, heavier and longer day- by- day. 


Ø  No single number at any given age, can be considered as ‘Normal’ or ‘Perfect’ growth parameter. That’s why never ever get caught up in this ‘number’-game obsession, when it comes to your baby’s weight or height.

Ø  Growth-charts depict normal ranges for these parameters like weight, length and head size (head circumference) for specific age and sex.

Ø  If the periodic check-ups are showing that your baby’s growth parameters are within the normal range and are showing an upward curve, then the growth is normal. If the curve is downward or flattened, then there is a need to evaluate.


Approximate Guidelines for growth parameters:



At Birth

2.5- 3.5 kg

At 4-6 months

Doubles the birth weight

At 12 months

Triples the birth weight.





Weight gain

First 4 months

1 kg / month

5-8 months

750 gm / month

9-12 months

500 gm /month

After 1 year

2 kg / Year



Length (Height)

At birth

50 cm ( 20 inches)

At 1 year

75 cm  (30 inches)



Head size

At birth

35 cm ­(+ or – 2.5 cm)

At 1 year

47 cm (+ or – 2.5 cm)





Gain in head size

First 3 months

2 cm / month

4-6 months

1 cm / month

7-12 months

0.5 cm / month


Ø  Development is the fascinating, continuous journey from immaturity to maturity, where the baby goes on acquiring new physical and mental skills with progressing age.

Ø  Keep a record of each major milestone by dates.

Ø  Mostly this process is likely to go on in ‘Auto’ mode so you won’t have to really worry.

Ø  Only when there is a distinct generalized delay in most major physical and mental milestones, there is a need to investigate.


Important milestones to watch for:



Approx. Age

Social smile

By 6 weeks.

Starts making sounds

By 2 months

Holding the head steady on the neck

By 4 months

Rolls over from tummy to back and from back to tummy

By 5-6 months

Sitting with support

By 6 months

Speaking monosyllables like ma, ba / imitates actions

By 7 months

Sitting without support / Speaking bisyllables like ma-ma, ba-ba, da-da

By 8 months

Creeping / Crawling / Standing with support

By 9 months

Walking with or without support / speaking 2-3 meaningful words

By 12 months


Some useful tips:

Ø  Have regular check-ups with a reliable pediatrician with whom you can discuss any doubts freely.

Ø  Health advice from elders and friends is welcome and well meaning but need not be correct. Always confirm its correctness with your doctor.

Ø  Don’t neglect any illnesses. At the same time don’t panic because of them. Most of the babies will occasionally get minor illnesses with cough, cold, fever, loose motions or vomiting. Most of them will require just supportive measures and minimal medicines.

Ø  Perhaps the most important thing to know is:

Never ever compare your baby with any other baby in any aspect. Don’t be upset if he is not chubby like ABC or she is not sleeping soundly like XYZ. Your baby is a unique individual who will show unique patterns of growth, development, personality, sleeping, teething and feeding. Nature doesn’t believe in creating clones, it thrives on diversity and individuality.

Just follow the norms of nature with sensitivity, add a dash of sensibility and you should do fine as parents!

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