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Health Information For Parents
During the third year of life, most toddlers gain about 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) and grow about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 centimeters).
They’re extremely active and mobile, and learning in very physical ways. They’re running around and exploring their world, and picking up new skills, like kicking a ball and riding a tricycle.
Your toddler’s appetite may vary greatly now, which is common. It is also common for some toddlers to get stuck on one food. Food “jags” usually don’t last long if you don’t give in to them. To build healthy eating habits, keep serving a variety of nutritious foods and let your child decide which and how much of them to eat.
Although kids come in all shapes and sizes, a healthy toddler should continue to grow at a regular pace. The doctor will measure and weigh your child at routine checkups and plot the results on a growth chart. This lets the doctor track your child’s growth over time and spot any trends that need attention.
Normal growth — supported by good nutrition, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise — is one of the best overall indicators of a child’s good health. But your child’s growth pattern is largely determined by genetics. Pushing kids to eat extra food or greater than recommended amounts of vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients will not increase their height.
Malnutrition severe enough to affect growth rate is uncommon today in the United States and other developed countries unless a child also has a related chronic illness or disorder.
Despite data collected for growth charts, “normal” heights and weights are difficult to define. Shorter parents, for instance, tend to have shorter kids, whereas taller parents tend to have taller kids.
Although you may worry if your child isn’t as tall as his or her peers or weighs more, the more important question is whether your child is continuing to grow at a normal rate. If, for instance, your child’s growth rate had been normal but has recently slowed, the doctor may track your child’s measurements over a few months to see whether this is a possible health problem or just a variation of normal.
Most kids who are growing at or below the 5th percentile line on the growth chart are usually following one of these two normal variant growth patterns:
If your child is growing too slowly, your doctor might order tests to determine whether this is related to a medical or genetic condition that would interfere with growth.
Be sure to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s growth or development with your doctor.
The other kids in the class have been getting taller and developing into young adults, but your child’s growth seems to be lagging behind. Could a growth disorder be the cause?
Communicating with a child is one of the most pleasurable and rewarding experiences for both parent and child. Learn how to connect with your 2- to 3-year-old.
While growth slows somewhat during the toddler years, it’s a new era where kids will eat and drink more independently.
It might look like just child’s play, but toddlers are hard at work learning important physical skills as they gain muscle control, balance, and coordination.
Kids this age are naturally active, so be sure to provide lots of opportunities for your child to practice basic skills, such as running, kicking, and throwing.
Regular well-child exams are essential to keeping kids healthy and up-to-date with immunizations against dangerous diseases. Here’s what to expect at the doctor’s office.
Toddlers are learning to talk, to walk and run, and to assert their independence. For many in this age group, “outside” and “play” are common requests.
Some toddlers may seem too busy exploring to slow down and eat. Others may be fickle about food or refuse to eat at mealtime. That’s where healthy, well-timed snacks come in.
“What’s the right weight for my child?” is one of the most common questions parents have. It seems like a simple one, but it’s not always easy to answer.
When kids know they’re “going to the doctor,” many become worried about the visit. Here’s how to help them.
From the moment parents greet their newborn, they watch the baby’s progress eagerly. But how can they tell if their child is growing properly?
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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