Sure, the doctors always chart baby growth, but you only get to see his version every two or three months. If you’d prefer an update more like, oh, every week, here are some do-it-yourself ideas:
1. Keep a journal of your baby’s accomplishments and your feelings as you both navigate this action-packed year. Down the road you can look back at it and laugh at your new-mom anxiety or pat yourself on the back for your prescient observations.
2. Use a growth percentile chart to monitor your baby’s height, weight, and head circumference. Then when she doesn’t hit a milestone right when you’re expecting it, you can comfort yourself by reviewing the fact that she seems to be A-okay physically, which means she’ll get to it in her own good time.
3. Point, click, scrapbook—online, that is. Kodakgallery.com, shutterfly.com, and snapfish.com all offer easy scrapbooks; you just upload your photos and drag faves into a premade book. Then— voilà—you’ll have a beautiful keepsake of your baby’s growth. You’ll be the envy of the mommy-group members who can’t see their way past the spit-up.
4. Go ahead and compare notes—within reason—with your friends, neighbors, and relatives (though you may further compromise your already limited ability to get a good night’s sleep). You’ll almost inevitably discover that all kids are different and mature early in some ways while lagging a bit in others.
5. Since you’ll bring up any concerns to your pediatrician as necessary, try to just relax and enjoy your beautiful bambino.
This is an excerpt from THE BABYTALK INSIDER’S GUIDE TO YOUR BABY’S FIRST YEAR by the Editors of Babytalk Magazine. Copyright © 2008 by The Parenting Group, Inc. Published by Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY. All rights reserved.