Let’s look again at that developmental elevator. A baby reaches each developmental floor equipped with certain competencies. How these competencies flower into skills depends upon interaction with the care giving environment baby finds on that floor. If the interaction is responsive and enriching, baby gets back on the elevator with more skills, and the ride up to the next floor is much smoother. Because baby reaches the next floor with more skills, the interaction on the next level of development is even more rewarding.
How Babies Grow
Here are some basic principles that will help you understand the enjoy the individual variations of your baby.
At each well-baby checkup your doctor will plot your baby’s height, weight, and had circumference on a growth chart. In the most commonly used charts, each line represents a percentile, which means that’s where your baby is, compared with hundred other babies. For example, the fiftieth percentile, or average, means that one half of babies plot above the line, the other half below. If your baby plots in the seventy-fifth percentile, he is larger than average. Twenty-five babies plot above your baby, and seventy-five below. Note that these charts are not infallible. They represent averages of thousands of babies. Average growth is not necessarily normal growth. Your baby has his or her individual normal growth. These charts are simply handy references to alert the doctor to any unhealthy trends.