Physical changes in the second year

In his first year, Baby probably grew 5 to 8 inches or so, and tripled his birth weight – pretty impressive stuff! In his second year, there will be more physical growth, but it will look a little different.

Growth will slow down

Baby will still be getting bigger, don’t worry! He will just be growing 4 to 5 inches rather than 5 to 8, and probably gaining about five pounds over the course of the year. Fun fact: once he turns 2, he will likely be about half of his adult height!

Baby will speed up

You have to walk before you can run, but Baby is going to catch on really quickly – he will likely be running by 20 months! As he gains more confidence in his movements, he will start dancing, climbing, and generally running circles around you some days! His hand and finger coordination will also improve, as well as his balance. Baby will still have trouble with coordination and balance, but his skills will continue to get better and better.

Fontanelles will close

Baby‘s fontanelles, the spaces between the bones in his skull, will close in the second year. Some (the posterior and sphenoidal fontanelles) closed a few months after he was born, but the mastoid and anterior fontanelles (spaces toward the back sides and top of the head) can take 12 to 24 months to close. This closing isn’t a physical change you’ll necessarily notice, but it means that Baby‘s skull is fully formed.                        

Proportions will shift

When Baby was born, his head was probably about two centimeters bigger than his chest. In the second year, for the first time, his chest circumference will be bigger than his head – your little brainiac is growing up! He will also start looking more like a little adult, with longer arms and a muscular build in place of a rounded abdomen.

Motor skills will improve

Within the second year, Baby will have the physical capability to learn how to grasp a ball, pinch a piece of dirt, use utensils, play with crayons, build block towers, turn pages, and more. He will start climbing up stairs, pulling themselves into a standing position, and start holding his hands out to the side to balance. He will also be able to help with getting dressed and undressed. Even though Baby still has a way to go before learning how to tie shoelaces, slip-on shoes will soon be a piece of cake!


Sources
  • “Child Development Tracker: Physical Health.” PBS Parents. PBS. 2017. Web.
  • “Growth and Your 1- to 2-Year-Old.” KidsHealth. KidsHealth. January 2015. Web.
  • Hoecker, Jay L. “Infant growth: what’s normal?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. October 14, 2014. Web.
  • “Increased head circumference.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. April 21, 2015. Web.

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