Babies come in all sizes and shapes, and they grow at their own pace. And one of the essential parts of healthy child monitoring is developmental surveillance. Developmental milestones are typically abilities that follow a predictable chart as your baby grows. Every time during your pediatric visits, the doctor will scheme your baby’s growth on a baby growth chart to ensure that they are where they are supposed to be.
The chart might seem complicated for most parents; however, your doctor can help you understand what the result means for your child. And to simplify things here is how to read and interpret the results on a baby growth chart.
Baby Growth Charts: What are They?
When you visit the doctor, you are likely to find different growth charts for boys and girls. This is because the developmental milestones between boys and girls vary. Typically, these baby growth charts measure the child’s
- Head circumference compared to their age (a gauge of brain growth)
- Weight compared to age
- Length or height compared to age
- Weight compared to the length
How to Read the Percentiles
Infant growth is usually calculated using the WHO growth standards. These charts allow the health provider to compare a baby’s development to other babies of similar age. By doing so, they create data that falls along a grid where various percentiles have been identified. You can then track your child’s development rate by just looking at the connection between data points on the growth chart.
Taking the Baby’s Measurements
During every routine baby checkup, your doctor will measure the following things:
Length: this is usually done while the baby is laying on their back, on a flat table. The measurements are then taken from the head to the sole of their feet. Babies love to move and wiggle, and to get more accurate results, some doctors might decide to use a flexible mat with a moveable bedrail and footboard.
Weight: to get an accurate result, the doctor will ask you to remove your baby’s clothes to measure the weight in pounds to the next ounces.
Head circumference: the doctor will use a flexible measuring tape to measure above the eyebrows and ears, round the back of the head. They will measure the prime circumference of the baby’s head to determine their brain’s growth rate.
When it comes to age-related developmental milestones, there are other factors to keep in mind.
- After two weeks of delivery, your baby should start gaining weight and grow quickly
- Breastfeeding babies must be fed every 2-3 hours (eight to twelve times a day), and bottle-fed babies must feed every three to four hours in the initial few weeks.
- After the second month, your baby should gain approximately 1.5 to 2 pounds and grow 1 -1.5 inches, and might sleep for almost seventeen hours every day. So, familiarize yourself with some baby sleep tips.
- Infant growth slows down after the 6-month mark because they require more calories with their sizes.
- By 4 -6 months, the infant’s weight should be twice their birth weight.
- The average baby boy will weigh around 14.5 to 17.5 pounds by eight months, while girls will be half a pound less.
- At one year, the baby should be three times their birth weight.
Ensure you talk to your doctor when the percentiles of your baby drop by two lines. They will evaluate your child and see if there are any reasons to be concerned. Also, it would help if you never compared your kid with others. The important part is that they keep following the same percentile.