The growth rate of babies starts off like a house afire. Then it tapers off month by month (as you can see from a growth chart until by about 15-18 months it has slowed down to the slower, steady rate typical of the rest of childhood. Since the growth rate is decreasing throughout the first year, naturally the appetite on a pound-for-pound basis will also decrease noticably throughout the first year. The rule of thumb is "double birth weight by about four months, and triple by a year." That means that weight gain is 50% slower in the second half of the 1st year.

Around a year the rate of weight gain really drops off and likewise the appetite decreases, sometimes fairly dramatically. This is also quite normal and ordinarily no cause for alarm (assuming there are no risk factors for iron deficiency with the baby). Usually, parents don't complain about this until about 15 months because as the formula intake drops off, the intake of solids increases to fill up the tummy. (Parents are generally unaware that there are more calories in the milk than in the solids, and are content as long as the child eats his solids.)

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