cephalocaudal pattern is the sequence in which the greatest growth always
occurs at the top—the head— with physical growth in size, weight, and feature
differentiation gradually working its way down from top to bottom.
of the Cephalocaudal Pattern
same pattern occurs in the head area, because the top parts of the head—the
eyes and brain—grow faster than the lower parts. An extraordinary proportion of the total
body is occupied by the head during prenatal development and early
infancy. Sensory and motor development
proceed according to the cephalocaudal principle.
sequence in which growth starts at the center of the body and moves toward
average North American newborn is 20 inches long. Ninety-five percent of full-term newborns
are 18-22 inches long. Infants grow
about 1 inch per month during the first year, reaching approximately 1˝ times
their birth length by their first birthday.
Infants’ rate of growth is considerably slower in the second year of
life. At age 2, the average infant is
32-35 inches long.
average North American baby weighs 7˝ pounds.
Ninety-five percent of full-term newborns weigh between 5˝ and 10
pounds. In the first several days of
life, most newborns lose 5-7 percent of their body weight before they adjust
to neonatal feeding. Infants gain 5-6
ounces per week during the first month.
They have doubled their birthweight by the age of 4 months. They have nearly tripled their birthweight
by their first birthday. During the
second year of life they gain a quarter to half a pound per month. At 2 years of age they have reached about
one-fifth of their adult weight.