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Baby or infant growth charts, as the name implies, show how your child is developing. Growth charts can help you better understand your baby’s development and can indicate whether your baby’s growing normally.

What are Baby Growth Charts? 

Growth charts are made up of a number of percentile curves that show different babies’ body measurements across the years. Pediatricians, nurses, and parents have utilized pediatric growth charts to monitor the development of infants, kids, and teenagers.

Growth charts reveal length for age and weight for age as well as head circumstances for age and weight for length. 

The CDC suggests that medical professionals

use the WHO growth standards to track the growth of newborns and young children from 0 to 2 years of age, 
or use the CDC growth charts for children 2 years of age and older. 

How Does a Normal Baby’s Growth Chart Look Like? 

Growth charts can be difficult to read. Therefore, it is important to understand how you can read percentiles. 

Babies have different sizes, just like adults. This is seen by the growth charts using "percentiles." For instance, a newborn who weighs in at the 50th percentile falls in the middle of the typical range with 50% of infants their age are lighter and 50% are heavier. The weight of a baby at the fifth percentile is lower than that of 95% of other newborns that age. A newborn weighing at the 90th percentile is heavier than 90% of other newborns of the same age.

In the above example, the child is a 22-month-old girl who is 32.5 inches long. As the growth chart indicates, this toddler is in the 25th length (height) percentile. This means that 25 percent of children her age are shorter, and 75 percent are longer (taller).

How are Babies Measured? 

At delivery, your child will be weighed and measured in length and head circumference. Following that, it is usually sufficient to repeat the measures once per month or so to monitor their growth. It's typical for a baby’s weight to fluctuate from day to day, so don't be concerned.

Typically, a dedicated infant scale is used to weigh infants under the age of two (newborns will lie down on the scale). Until they are 12 months old, it is more accurate to weigh babies without any clothing on. They can be measured standing up in light clothing once they become 2 years old. To measure the circumference of your baby's head, use a tape measure.

If your child was born early, their age on the chart must be "corrected" (aged to account for the weeks they are early by deducting these from the age from birth) until they become two years old.

Growth charts may be used up until the age of 18.

So, what is Normal? 

It is crucial to avoid comparing your baby's size to other babies' because doing so could be unreliable. All infants develop at varying rates, and "normal" growth varies greatly. There's typically no reason to be concerned about the growth chart trend as long as your baby is still developing, responsive, and healthy. 

Here is a quick run-down of the averages (at 50% percentile) for boys and girls when it comes to height (in centimeter) and weight (in kilograms). 

According to the growth chart for boys:

At birth50 cm3.4 kg
At 12 months76 cm10.8 kg
At 24 months88 cm12.8 kg
At 36 months96 cm14.4 kg

According to the growth chart for girls:

At birth49 cm3.2 kg
At 12 months74 cm9.8 kg
At 24 months86 cm12 kg
At 36 months95 cm14 kg

When should I be Worried? 

Parents frequently worry that their child isn't developing quickly enough. While it is crucial to monitor a child's growth to determine whether they are healthy and developing normally, it is not the only technique to do so.

Every baby loses a little weight the first week after birth, but they all gain it back within two weeks. By 4 months, most kids have doubled their birth weight, and by 13 or 15 months (for boys), they have tripled it (for girls).

Speak with your pediatrician if your child's percentile changes substantially. The doctor will evaluate the child's growth pattern to determine whether there is anything to worry about. 

To sum, avoid comparing your child's development to that of other children. It's crucial that your baby maintains their growth trajectory at the same percentile. Your baby’s responsiveness, happiness, and health remain some of the key elements in determining your child’s wellbeing and development. 

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