growth chart

The growth chart is the device that doctors use to tell if your child is growing normally. We are interested in this for more than idle curiosity. A child who is growing normally is usually basically healthy; by the same token, if the growth rate falls off inappropriately, we start suspecting a medical reason. Some diseases show up first with a falling off in the rate of growth, sometimes long before any specific symptoms are evident.

You would like to see your child follow the percentile curves on the growth chart over time. The percentile means that of a hundred normal babies of the same sex and birthday as yours, your baby is for example taller than 64 of the 100 and shorter than 35 of them. That puts your baby in the 65th percentile for height (or length, for infants).

Exactly where the child is on the percentile rankings is not as important as having the two measurements, height percentile and weight percentile, be roughly the same on the chart, and for the points to track parallel to the normal growth curves on the chart. Ask your doctor to show you your baby's growth chart at the next checkup and you'll see what we mean. See growth

Here are the latest CDC growth charts for your use. They are in Adobe Acrobat® format. I assume you have Acrobat reader already.

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