Every time you visit your baby’s pediatrician, you will observe that your baby is weighed and measured. The doctor also then plots their measurements on the infant growth chart. You wonder what this is all about, don’t you? Well, this measurement plotting helps your baby’s pediatrician track your baby’s growth over time and against the national average. These baby head circumference chart measurements are mentioned in metric and standard units and recorded in a percentile format. One such important parameter that needs measurement, recording, and monitoring is the head circumference. Here your baby head circumference chart is given below read on about it.
What is the head circumference?
What is the baby head circumference?
How much should my baby’s head grow each month?
Head circumference chart of boys by age (Birth to 12 months)
Head circumference chart of girls by age (Birth to 12 months)

What is the head circumference?

The head circumference is the distance between the middle of the forehead and the farthest part of the rear of the head. It is often measured in metric units, centimeters preferred over inches, and you can see the baby head circumference chart given below. It can be measured using a tape measure – either flexible or paper.
Baby Head Circumference Charts
Height, weight, and head circumference of a baby record in percentiles. Which denotes your baby compares with other children in the same age group. This percentile chart is developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend doctors the use of WHO charts for children in the age group of 1-2 years. This percentile baby head circumference chart is different for boys and girls.

What is the baby head circumference?

  • The baby head circumference of a healthy, full-term baby is between 12.5 to 13.5 inches that are 31.75 – 34.29 centimeters. The head circumference of newborn boys tends to be greater than that of newborn girls as males are born larger and grow faster than females.
  • There is no normal percentile range for your baby head circumference chart. Whether your baby’s head circumference falls in the 10th or 90th percentile, the pediatrician is looking for multiple other factors to ascertain a normal or abnormal growth pattern. Genetics, parental health and habits, and environmental factors have a huge impact on your baby’s growth chart measurements.

How much should my baby’s head grow each month?

  • Baby head circumference charts allow your pediatrician to track the growth of your baby’s brain. Remember, the size of your baby’s skull is reflective of your baby’s brain growth. Your baby’s fontanel that is, soft spots on the head close roughly around 18 months of age. Hence, after the age of two, the head doesn’t grow much.
  • The head is supposed to grow about half an inch each month. That said, every child is different, and a few points here, and there do not mean much.
  • Your baby’s head size increases rapidly in the first four months. By the end of your baby’s first year, the head circumference measures close to 18 inches. In the next year, it grows about an inch or so more, bringing their head close to the adult size.
  • However, if your baby’s head is significantly larger or smaller than the previous check-up, the doctor may look for typical signs of developmental delays. These are reflected through delayed physical, emotional, or mental milestones.
  • If the baby head circumference measures much greater than that recorded during their previous visit, the doctor may recommend a CT scan to observe the brain and look for signs of hydrocephalus – extra fluid surrounding the brain.
  • If the baby’s head measures much smaller than that recorded during their previous visit, the doctor may cross-refer this with the weight and length of your baby. If these parameters also denote loss in numbers and lower percentiles, then the doctor may be concerned about the failure to thrive that signal brain malformation. However, these cases are very rare.

Head circumference chart of boys by age (Birth to 12 months)

Below is the reference chart for normal length (height), weight, and head circumference of newborn boys.

Age (in months) 3rd Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 10th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 50th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 75th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 97th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters)
0 31.48762 33.08389 35.81367 37.00426 38.85417
0.5 33.25006 34.67253 37.19361 38.32125 40.10028
1.5 35.78126 36.97377 39.20743 40.24987 41.94138
2.5 37.5588 38.60724 40.65233 41.63968 43.28181
3.5 38.89944 39.85123 41.76517 42.71455 44.32733
4.5 39.95673 40.84114 42.66116 43.58358 45.17877
5.5 40.81642 41.65291 43.40489 44.30801 45.893
6.5 41.53109 42.3333 44.0361 44.92555 46.50524
7.5 42.13521 42.91311 44.58097 45.46104 47.0388
8.5 42.65253 43.41365 45.05761 45.93166 47.5099
9.5 43.10009 43.85025 45.47908 46.34979 47.93027
10.5 43.49049 44.23432 45.85506 46.72463 48.30867
11.5 43.83332 44.57454 46.19295 47.06318 48.65181
12.5 44.136 44.87767 46.49853 47.37091 48.96494

Head circumference chart of girls by age (Birth to 12 months)

Below is the reference chart for normal length (height), weight, and head circumference of newborn girls.

Age (in months) 3rd Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 10th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 50th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 75th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters) 97th Percentile Head Circumference (in centimeters)
0 31.9302 32.75949 34.71156 35.85124 38.1211
0.5 33.38071 34.17346 36.03454 37.11807 39.27006
1.5 35.48627 36.23326 37.97672 38.98533 40.97482
2.5 36.9855 37.70685 39.38013 40.34145 42.22321
3.5 38.13114 38.83814 40.46774 41.39732 43.2026
4.5 39.04619 39.74588 41.34841 42.25604 44.00486
5.5 39.7996 40.49672 42.08335 42.97566 44.68183
6.5 40.43379 41.13171 42.71034 43.59207 45.26563
7.5 40.97672 41.67787 43.25429 44.12897 45.77751
8.5 41.44768 42.15391 43.7325 44.60282 46.23224
9.5 41.86058 42.5733 44.15743 45.0255 46.64053
10.5 42.22575 42.94604 44.53837 45.40587 47.01035
11.5 42.55105 43.27977 44.88241 45.75072 47.3478
12.5 42.8426 43.58043 45.19508 46.06532 47.65766

Measurement of head circumference is an important process, and serial measurement must be incorporated into every child’s care and wellness plan. Timely measurement of the head circumference can lead to early detection of conditions such as microscopically which leads to intellectual delay, and other conditions such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, cardiac, urinary, renal or skeletal anomalies, language delay, and ophthalmologic disorders. Early detection of such conditions can help parents make informed decisions with regards to treatment plans, and other dietary and surgical interventions. In the long run, children benefit from such interventions and other developmental, physical, and occupational therapy sessions.