Infant’s first year is the time of most rapid growth. Healthy child doubles his birth weight (3.2kg) by 6 months and triples his birth weight by one year. Normal birth length of 50-55cms increases by 23-25cms during 1st year.
At birth, child has 75% water and 12-15% fat in its body. By the end of one year, the water content decreases to 60 per cent and fat increases to 24 per cent. Muscles will be well developed by end of 1st year.
Infants have rapid heart rate of 120-140 beats per minute. At birth, a healthy new born baby has haemoglobin level of 17-20g per 100ml of blood. The baby has reserves of iron for the first 4-6 months.
A full term infant can digest simple protein, emulsified fats and simple carbohydrates (lactose).
Kidneys reach their full functional capacity by end of 1st year
Increase in brain cells is most rapid during the first 5-6 months after birth. Therefore growth during infancy is very rapid, and dietary adaptation is required.