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New Advances in Infant Growth and Development

Infancy consists of the period from birth to about two years of age. Developmental milestones provide a systematic method of observing the progress of the infant over time. Advances occur in physical growth, motor skills and cognitive development..

Physical Growth Milestones

Fetal weight gain is greatest during the third trimester. Birth weight is regained by 2 weeks of age and doubles by 5 months. During the first few months of life, this rapid growth continues,  after which the growth rate decelerates.

Height does not double until between 3 and 4 years.

Head growth during the first 5 or 6 months results from continued neuronal cell division. Later, increasing head size is the result of neuronal cell growth and supporting tissue proliferation.

Attainment of growth milestones will vary depending on each child's genetic and ethnic characteristics.

Average Physical Growth Rates


Occipitofrontal Circumference





      35.0 cm (13.8 in)