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Healthy & Safety Info
Weight Gain Must-Knows
Between 4 and 6 months, your baby will have doubled her birth weight. Her weight-gain rate is fastest during her first 6 months of life; after that, overall growth slows down, though she’ll still go through some growth spurts. Many babies triple the weight on their birth announcement by the time they send out invites to their first birthday party. Meanwhile, it’s hard not to stress about weight gain: Is my little one packing on too many pounds? Is she too skinny? Your doctor will track your baby’s weight on a growth chart, and as long as her progress is steady — she’s always around the 75th percentile, say — there’s no need to worry. You can encourage healthy weight gain by avoiding force-feeding your baby. Let her stop when she loses interest rather than coaxing her into just one more bite.
Be Aware of Allergies
In other health news, if you or your husband has allergies, such as hay fever or a skin sensitivity (for instance, to wool or certain cleaning products), you might be wondering whether your baby will develop them at some point, too. The main symptoms, such as sneezing or watery eyes, could easily be confused with a common cold, although allergies are apt to last longer than the average case of the sniffles. Watch for symptoms such as dry, red, or itchy skin, a rash, congestion, watery eyes, and sneezing — and, rarely, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath (if this happens, call the doctor right away). Your pediatrician can help you figure out what she might be reacting to — pollen in the air, a new kind of soap — and might recommend an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, to clear it up.
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