Reading Your Child’s Growth Charts Right

Reading Your Child’s Growth Charts Right

Right from the moment you realised the joy that was arriving till the time it actually entered in your life, we all find solace in reading the growth charts week by week and assuring ourselves that all is well. Understanding the growth of your baby by the book is surely an American style which we all have easily adopted.

After your baby is born, there are many milestones that parents and babies cross together. Like the first smile, first giggle or the first time they roll over on their own etc. Some of the few milestones that indicate a positive growth chart are listed below. However, some babies take a little longer than usual and some are too quick to adapt to the new challenges.

The first three years of the baby are considered to be the most important growing years of their life. They learn to giggle, have a grip, learn to crawl, stand up on their own, take their first steps, learn to talk and respond etc.

Growth charts also depict the average weight, height and the head circumference of a group of normal healthy kids. Growth charts are represented by percentiles which may seem a little overwhelming to understand. But let’s make a little easier for you to grasp this amreekan concept.

The percentile lines include 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 90%, and 95%.  That means if your child’s weight is at the 50th percentile line, it means out of 100 normal children her age, 50 will be bigger than your child  and 50 smaller. Similarly, if your child is in the 75th percentile, that means that she is bigger than 75 children and smaller than only 25, compared with 100 children her age.

Mommies, if you are so keen on reading the charts, don’t get disappointed when your child’s percentile’s are low or not following in the required range. We have to understand what matters is the rate of growth.

It is usually not a point of worry if the rate is growth is seen to be slow or declining. Kids have their own way and pace of growing. Any score related to the child’s weight, height, or head size falls below the 5th percentile then it should be a cause of worry.

Usually there are regular visits to the paediatrician in the first few years wherein vaccinations and periodic updates are discussed with the doctor. Take this opportunity to find out the exact rate of growth of your child ad look for solutions that might help all of you as a family. There are times when the reports not be very satisfying; like child could be underweight or shorter than the normal height. Do not fret on such feedback and let it not affect your parenting style. Most parents start giving medicines to increase the weight or start extra physical exercise. But that’s not the solution and we should not pressure our ourselves nor our kids into it.

Growth charts are not to be used to determine how effective we parents are! The smiles of the faces of kids does the trick.


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