Stop worrying about infant weight, let’s talk about Infant Cognitive Development –  Motherhood brings various challenges with it, some tricky and few outright trivial. Challenges from basic hunger need to the overall development of the child. The first six months of motherhood is exclusively dedicated to nutrition and breastfeeding. When the child outgrows of our arms/lap the real tussle begins thereafter.

I recall when my daughter was born, a healthy child with ideal birth weight and all the right birth parameters. It was a blissful moment for us because I had developed high blood pressure during the last trimester. The labor procedure was long and enduring. But in the end, all was fine, and she was with me in my arms looking all pink and cutesy.

She reached her developmental milestones quite early as per the ideal age standards. But as she started her journey towards growing up, so has my worry of keeping her healthy amplified.

My Child is not gaining weight, is this normal?

For the longest period of time, I considered health is equally proportionate to weight gain in growing children. On every immunization visit to the pediatrician, I would ask the same question – “She is not gaining weight doctor, is there a problem?” The doctor reflexively shoved my question away. I decided to take reins in my own hands and started pushing heavy breakfasts and frequent meals in her tiny tummy.

She developed the habit of purging after every breakfast and became less active as compared to earlier days. When I shared the same concern with the Doctor, we learned the real meaning of ‘being healthy’.

Health and development milestones in infants are the cumulative growth of physical, cognitive, and communication aspects. Which means as experts say – ‘A baby is healthy as far as they are having right physical and cognitive development.’ The then global crisis for me turned out as just a myth forced down generations – ‘A healthy baby is a chubby baby.’

So even if your child doesn’t have those cutesy chubby cheeks, and dimpled chin, he/she can still be perfectly healthy.

Infant Cognitive development – Why it is more important?

infant cognitive development

As parents, it is our prime responsibility to provide the right environment for a child’s overall growth and development. Physical growth is crucial in infants, but so is their cognitive development. A baby starts learning about their surroundings in 0 – 6 months of their birth. Smiling, touching, making sounds are the early signs of cognitive development.

Metal abilities and intelligence quotient mark cognition pattern in a baby. The process that involves the overall development of thinking, reasoning, mental, sensory, and intelligence is called cognitive development.

A baby’s brain starts the process of development from the pregnancy itself, with mother providing right brain nutrition to the baby in the womb. Post birth the child’s source of brain nutrition and growth highly depends on mother’s milk. During later stages of growth physical and cognition development rest on healthy nutrition and #FeedIQ.

When the mother provides healthy nutrition and right cognition stimulators for a child’s brain development it is  FeedIQ. The very reason health experts and doctors across the globe emphasize more on mother’s nutrition during pregnancy.

Healthy Development of the Baby starts from the womb!

During the developing stages of the child, it is crucial to understand the growth milestones and create the environment of overall development. Such as right nutrition rich in DHA and natural vitamin E, vitamins and minerals and brain stimulator exercises. Do you know health supplements like Abbott’s SimMom IQ+ prepares the mother’s body to provide complete nutrition to baby during pregnancy?

During our interactions with our daughter’s pediatrician, I learned that healthy weight gain is a developmental parameter. But timely cognitive growth is the most crucial element in baby brain development.

With all the research work and rich source of information available, I find it really funny that we still focus on the infant weight gain over cognitive development. For me, an active, alert, and smart child is all it takes for being – HEALTHY. What are your thoughts?

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© Dipika Singh. Unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dipika Singh (Gleefulblogger). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

DISCLAIMER –

The content is not for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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97 Comments

  1. I hope this post breaks the myth that parents should worry about only healthy weight gain. Parents worry about weight and not cognition when kids are small but the reality is that they should look for overall development.

  2. I can totally relate to what you have pointed out here. I have seen everyone talking about health from the perspective of weight gain. My baby was never chubby & I know how I had to reply to all those unsolicited advice I would get for my son to make him look healthy (read chubby) however my son was reaching all his milestones on time & doc was also happy with the progress. It’s very important that parents start understanding that overall development doesn’t only mean weight gain or physical development.

    Neha Sharma
  3. Parent, spl grand parents yehi galti karty hain ki baccha patla hai to healthy nahi hai usko aur khilao
    Lakin agar baccha active hai aur physical action aur growth me accha hai to it means ki wo healthy hai
    Is post k liye aapko thanks, kam se kam kuch logo ko to ye samjh aayega ki galti kahan kar rahy hain

  4. Weight gain is an old school way of measuring growth – I guess it’s relevant in rural areas where babies die because of low birth weight. There is an optimum weight for each age and it also depends on the size of the baby when it was born. A good paediatrician can guide you.

  5. Oh Deepika, you answered one of my most important issues with parenting! Well, my child is reaching her milestones correctly, but she is nowhere close to chubby! The doctor always asks me if she is active, alert and smart! I just nod my head with a smile! She eats and she burns her calories equally! I am identifying her hunger cues only now. Otherwise, I was on my way to force the child with food to make her chubby! Things people say are really hurtful. I only bet, people just keep their thoughts on weight to themselves.

    1. Absolutely Jayanthy, people judge and say mean things. Their ignorance is the biggest cause of this misconception. Thank you for sharing your views, I really appreciate your time and efforts.

      gleefulblogger
  6. Most of us Moms (me included) attach good weight gain with overall good health. You explained and broke these myths in a good way, DIpika. A healthy child is free of disease, energetic and someone who can perform age-appropriate tasks and activities with ease.

  7. Hey deep, your post reminded me of my time. My daughter was underweight. I changed four doctors everytime doctor say if have is active then its ok but people always pinch me saying Kuch khilatee Nahi ho kya. Then i was so frustrated with their talks , i start replying yes, mom eat all food , do not give food to kid.
    I give my kids healthy food and they are active and has sharp mind. Does weight matters?

  8. MI think in a way…i was better informed when I became a mother. My doctor had advised me not to worry for some unnecessary things, weight of my son being one of them. my son was a fussy eater till 7 years. So he was quite lean and thin and super active. After that he developed taste buds for many things I guess…and gained good weight and height. Its a VERY INFORMATIVE POST.

  9. I feel our entire society mindset is just focused on a baby’s weight gain that we tend to forget other important development. My daughter was a preterm baby and always low on weight but she is doing really well on other front.

    Pooja Kawatra Gupta
  10. To me, cognitive development is equally important. But I’ve seen moms fretting over weight issues of their kids. Maybe they’re just concerned about health and feel that a healthy body has more energy to contribute towards cognitive development. Maybe they think weight gain is proportional to health.

  11. Deepika , your post will resonate with all parents. We Indians have this absurd belief ‘ Khate pite ghar ka bachcha dikhta goalmatol ‘ . Actually Healthy child is active , attentive and happy, he / she may or may not be chubby. #MyFriendAlexa #SujatawdeReads

  12. Very informative post. A child’s cognitive development is very important than just gaining weight. My son was never chubby and everyone used to give so many advices when doctor said he is perfectly fine and very healthy because he was always alert & active. This is a important topic to make people aware of which will help in overall development of their kids.

  13. I Agree that baby’s development starts right from the womb, hence it is important that during pregnancy a mother eats healthy and stay fit. This post is very informative for all the new mothers who might be anxious about their babies’ cognitive development at a very easy stage.

    Nisha Malik
  14. Very informative post and an eye opener too. yes! health of infant or even babies should never be judged by its weight gain, there are other aspects that are more important. thanks for sharing this valuable info.

    Dr. Surbhi Prapanna
  15. I can relate to this post as my kid is at this stage where his weight gain has stabilized yet he is active, attentive child. But, I have faced questions on not feeding him enough as he is not gaining weight. I tend to ignore such discussions now.

  16. I remember being stuck in the confused rut between listening to advice form all around and the doctor.. luckily for me my mom was my sane driving force and helped me filter out the helpful advice … and lean baby is not healthy was one such advise that kept coming all the time… so i feel it is really important to spread the awareness about cognitive milestones and this post is fantastic!

  17. My first is thin but healthy. Yet I often hear that I dont feed her well and hence she is weak. And, I then have to tell every such person, she is not weak just thin. There is a vast difference between being thin and being weak. She is active and smart at her age. I have to correct ppl that weight isnt everything. All that glitters isnt gold, every healthy or plum child isnt healthy from within. So wish such ppl read this post. #LiveItYoungReads #MyFriendAlexa

    rashimital
  18. Pingback: Why is stimulation important for the Child's Development? - Gleefulblogger

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