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Baby Head Circumference Charts

4 min read

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)
031.4876233.0838935.8136737.0042638.85417
0.533.2500634.6725337.1936138.3212540.10028
1.535.7812636.9737739.2074340.2498741.94138
2.537.558838.6072440.6523341.6396843.28181
3.538.8994439.8512341.7651742.7145544.32733
4.539.9567340.8411442.6611643.5835845.17877
5.540.8164241.6529143.4048944.3080145.893
6.541.5310942.333344.036144.9255546.50524
7.542.1352142.9131144.5809745.4610447.0388
8.542.6525343.4136545.0576145.9316647.5099
9.543.1000943.8502545.4790846.3497947.93027
10.543.4904944.2343245.8550646.7246348.30867
11.543.8333244.5745446.1929547.0631848.65181
12.544.13644.8776746.4985347.3709148.96494

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)
031.930232.7594934.7115635.8512438.1211
0.533.3807134.1734636.0345437.1180739.27006
1.535.4862736.2332637.9767238.9853340.97482
2.536.985537.7068539.3801340.3414542.22321
3.538.1311438.8381440.4677441.3973243.2026
4.539.0461939.7458841.3484142.2560444.00486
5.539.799640.4967242.0833542.9756644.68183
6.540.4337941.1317142.7103443.5920745.26563
7.540.9767241.6778743.2542944.1289745.77751
8.541.4476842.1539143.732544.6028246.23224
9.541.8605842.573344.1574345.025546.64053
10.542.2257542.9460444.5383745.4058747.01035
11.542.5510543.2797744.8824145.7507247.3478
12.542.842643.5804345.1950846.0653247.65766

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.

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