The yardsticks used for measurement of an infant’s growth are its height, weight and head circumference.
These parameters are tracked by the paediatrician right since the birth of the child. An infant’s growth is monitored by changes in these values and a check is kept whether the values are in line with the ranges specified by the World Health Organisation.
Though the yardsticks and method of tracking growth are the same for boys and girls there is a difference in the values and ranges considered for this purpose.
Few points to be noted while checking the weight and height of an infant are as follows:-
- Growth values of girls and boys of the same age cannot be compared. Boys and girls exhibit different patterns of growth. Boys are in general a little taller and heavier than baby girls.
- Charts shared are from the third percentile to ninety-seventh percentile. This indicates that ninety-four per cent of babies fall within the ranges specified and it is assumed that they are growing properly as per standards. If a baby does not fall within the specified range, it is suggested to consult a paediatrician immediately.
- Birth weight and height of a child are influenced by genetics. The growth in these parameters would be linked to the figures at birth. The weight and height of any child cannot increase disproportionately. That is to say, a child exhibiting weight as per 50th percentile cannot grow to 85th percentile in one go.
- The overall growth of a baby is more important than the weight or height at any particular point of time. In the first year of birth, a newborn will gain approximately eight ounces and one fourth to half-inch of weight and height respectively. It is expected that an Infant’s weight would have trebled in the first year as compared to his weight at birth.
Baby’s growth chart
- Interpretation of the chart posted below
- Chart for understanding percentile values
Baby’s growth chart
A child’s growth is measured in percentile. Percentile refers to a number indicating where a child stands compared to other children of the same gender falling in the same age group. Percentiles have a lot of importance especially is the child falls in the category of a lower percentile.
Infant’s weight along with percentile values and their interpretation have been discussed below.
Interpretation of the chart posted below
- In this chart, the second column shows the lower range of weight for baby boys, that is the third percentile. Which means 3% of the total baby boys will have a weight lower than this threshold.
- The third column shows the 15th percentile. This means that 15% of the baby boys of that age group will have a weight lower than that mark.
- The fourth column represents the medium, which implies that the weight of 50% of infant boys will be lower than that mark and the remaining 50% will be higher than these marks.
- The fifth column stands for 85% percentile. This means that 85% of infant boys will weigh lesser than this mark and 15% will weigh more than this mark.
- The Sixth column is 97th percentile which would mean 3% of the total infant boys will weigh more than the mark.
Chart for understanding percentile values
|Months||3rd %ile||15th %ile||Median||85th %ile||97th %ile|
Every baby will follow his own growth chart depending on heredity, geography and ethnicity. There may be a lot of highs and lows during the growing years. But if a sudden change is seen in the percentile measurement being followed by a particular child, he should be referred to his Paediatrician immediately.
Ideal height, weight and head circumference range of baby boys from 0 to 12 months are as below:-
|Age in months||Length (cm)||Weight (kg)||Head circumference (cm)|
|3rd percentile||97th percentile||3rd percentile||97th percentile||3rd percentile||97th percentile|
A few points to be noted here are:-
- These are charts as per WHO standards.
- These charts are for measuring the growth of infants.
- These figures are approximate and not exact.