A baby panda’s growing process is interesting, but very difficult, because they are extremely fragile and can easily get sick and die. At breeding centers 90% of baby pandas survive nowadays, compared to no more than 30% in the 1960s.
July to September is the period when mother pandas give birth. Baby pandas stay in their mothers’ uterus for just 3 to 5 months. All pandas are born very small.
When giant pandas are born, they are tiny, blind, and pink, with few hairs. The average weight is 0.2 pounds, only 1/900 of their mother’s weight (compared to around 1/20 for humans). The lightest one on record was only 0.1 pounds, and the heaviest one .5 pounds.
The limbs of newborn pandas are so weak that they are not able to stand at all. For 2 months after birth, baby pandas basically only feed on milk, sleep, and poop.
The First Week:
Blackish hairs start to grow on their ears, around their eyes and shoulders.
After 1 Month
Black hairs grow all over the neck and chest, and they have bigger dark circles around their eyes. At the same time, white hairs also begin to grow, which give the panda its distinctive black and white look. A month-old panda is around 4 lbs.
After 3 Months
Their limbs become stronger. They can walk as far as 3 feet, but staggering, and sometimes falling over. They weigh about 11–13 lbs by this time.
After 4 Months
The pandas start to run a few steps, and love rolling around on the floor.
After 6 Months
They begin to eat bamboo. Their growing process gets faster and male pandas generally develop faster than female pandas.
At One Year Old
Panda cubs are weaned by the time they are one year old, and continue to live with their mothers for about half a year, until the mother panda is pregnant. If she doesn’t conceive, the mother panda will live with her cub for two years then leave the cub to fend for itself.