Is my baby too thin? Is my baby too fat? Shouldn’t he have grown a lot more by now? Is there something wrong with my baby?
These and many more questions plague a parent’s mind especially when they are new and suddenly have the responsibility of their little one.
Parenting can be tough, and some answers are tough to get, but luckily there are some straightforward answers as well that soothe this pressure.
Below is a baby weight and height growth chart that will help any parent to track the growth of their baby in their first 12 months.
Weight and Height Chart of Infant Boys:
Weight and Height Chart of Infant Girls:
- The column highlighted in green is the median value corresponding to that particular month recommended by WHO (World Health Organisation).
What is a Growth Chart?
So now that you have seen the chart above, you might wonder about its uses? A growth chart like the one shown above helps a parent and moreover a paediatrician to analyse the growth and development of a child.
A paediatrician uses the baby growth chart to measure the weight and height of the infant according to the development month and helps to determine the overall health of the infant.
In many instances a paediatrician also measures the head size of the infant which helps to determine the brain development.
Difference in The Growth Chart of Boys and Girls
When you see a baby boy and a girl, you can immediately figure out the differences between them. Some obvious differences are in their stature, behaviour, hair length (though not always 😊) etc.
Most of these differences are due to the various factors like the genes, hormones, brain chemistry etc.
Apart from these, the environment plays an important factor in contributing to the overall growth of a child.
A different growth chart is used for boys and girls even though they might be of the same age group because the growth rate and growth pattern are different between the two genders.
Types of Growth Charts
There are different growth charts depending on the age group of the child, such as in weeks or in age groups like 0-1 year / 0-2 years, 2 years-5 years etc.
Also, the growth chart will be different for a pre-termed baby or a child with some disorder like Down’s syndrome.
So, if you had a pre-termed baby, don’t make the mistake of comparing your child’s growth with the baby weight or height growth chart.
The best option for you is to consult your paediatrician for a proper growth chart depending on your child’s medical history.
What is This Whole Fuss About Percentiles?
Many parents come across the term “percentiles” and are left wondering about it. Let us not make it more complicated and simplify it.
Percentiles are the measurements one deduces using a baby growth chart that helps to compare where one child is in terms of growth against another child.
Let’s make it a bit more simpler with an example:
Let us consider that child A is 65th percentile in weight, so this will indicate that 65% of the kids weigh less than child A and 35% of kids weigh more than child A.
However, fret not if the child’s growth rate is in the lower half of the percentile graph. One needs to make sure that it is uniform i.e., if the child had a percentile of 40% then the child’s growth pattern should remain at 40% throughout their growing stages.
However, a fluctuation like say from 40% to 5% is a cause of worry and one should consult their paediatrician as soon as possible.
Percentiles are represented in the form of curved lines in a chart.
Breast Fed Child Vs Formula Fed Child
Wow!!! Your baby is growing up so fast!!!
Is it because you give her formula milk?
Should I switch too??
Is there something wrong with my milk?
Or is there something wrong with my baby?
Isn’t my milk enough?
If not, then why is my baby’s growth rate slow??
Every anxious parent goes through this phase where they doubt their decision. The debate between breast milk or formula milk is common any given day.
So, which one is better? Or are they similar?
There is definitely a slight difference in the growth patterns between a breast-fed child and a formula-fed child because of the difference in their composition.
Healthy breast-fed babies gain weight more rapidly in the first 3 months of their life as compared to formula-fed babies.
This is because breast milk is dynamic and it changes according to the child’s requirements.
However, after 3 months the growth rate pattern is slower as compared to a formula-fed child.
Ultimately both the kids are healthy barring a slight difference in the growth pattern.
Should You Worry?
Typically for any parent, a visit to the doctor even if it is a normal check up is always a cause of worry. In this day and era, where any information is available online, everyone is a self-proclaimed doctor and knows the treatment for any medical condition. However, it is very easy to fall in the dungeon of worries and be scared when there could be a simpler solution.
In such times, it is important for a parent to know that each child is unique, and so is their growth pattern. Hence, one needs to get the proper advice from a doctor before driving to any conclusions.
Just because your child’s growth rate is a little off from the baby weight growth chart doesn’t mean that you should sit and worry all day.
Consult Your Paediatrician First
Your paediatrician will guide you in the right direction with proper medical advice and treatment if needed.
All in all such baby growth charts help parents to determine their child’s overall growth pattern, but one always needs to remember that each child is unique and deserves a proper medical guide whenever required.