Monitoring a child's growth

Monitoring a child's growth and development.

Staff Writer

Monitoring a child’s growth and development in early childhood is very important to their well being.

 Observing weight gain by month is very important and can be a clear indicator as to whether the baby is growing well or not.

If a baby is gaining weight steadily which is on average I kg per month, then they are growing well and their growth curve should be seen to be on a steady rise.

This means the baby is breastfeeding adequately and feeding on enough supplementary foods in their different varieties.

A deep in the weight curve shows that the child is underweight for their age and this calls for action.

 For some the the underweight problem starts right at birth. Any baby born 2.5kg and below is said to be underweight and these most times need special care and attention to catch up on weight so that their growth is not impaired.

 One of the best motherhood to handle this is through kangaroo mother care and frequent breastfeeding.

When a growing child does not gain weight well, it may affect their development in a number of ways. Their brains, their visions, their skins, their ability to resist diseases like malaria or diarrhea is weakened.

 Underweight children are at a greater risk of not surviving childhood diseases and they may also get psychological hang ups.

You may not know that your child is underweight until you visit a Health Centre. Here baby’s height and weight are taken to determine their growth. Ask for any explanation concerning the child’s weight in case there is something you do not understand in the way the graph is plotted.

If you have a consistently underweight child, health professionals may have to rule out the existence of any other disease. If that is sorted then you have to look into the kind’s food the child is feed on. We have a challenge that most children are being looked after by maids and not their own parents.

This maid may have a million things to do and so may not be feeding the child appropriately and adequately

You have to become a more hands on mother and start feeding the baby yourself so that you can know how much the child eats, what they want and do not want.

That means you may have to go home for lunch, be home early afternoon or even take leave from work to build your child’s feeding habits. Then start feeding the child, small but frequent meals whenever they are hungry.

Increase the amount of proteins the children eats as proteins are the foods that make the child grow

Avoid sugary juice and instead let the child increase their milk intake. Most times children are over fed on over sweet juice which just kills their appetite to eat food.

And if your child is severely underweight you may have to feed them on a special rich protein diet to help them catch up with weight gain more easily. Do not neglect your child’s growth. A child who is growing well, has proper weight, and is feed on the right foods is set for a much happier future than a child who is underweight, frequently falls sick and is not emotionally resilient.