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Saturday, November 19th, 2022We have all been guilty of comparing our child’s growth, physical features and development with that of their peers. Wondering how some of them are taller, fluent in vocabulary, healthy and so on. Even though it is a normal thing to do, the truth is – each child grows at a different pace. There is no definite “normal” for kids since each child is different. What may work out for your friend’s daughter might not work out for your’s. Genetics, nutrition, gender, hormones, medical conditions and lifestyle are a few significant determinators of a child’s growth. You might wonder how to determine whether your child is in a healthy weight and height range. Doctor-formulated growth charts can ease your worries about your child’s development. The determined guidelines serve as a benchmark for a healthy and happy child and help detect any potential problems that may occur, hampering the baby’s growth. First things first, what is a growth chart? A growth chart is a tool that is used to measure your baby’s growth and development rate. It helps you track their growth rate and development speed enabling you to understand whether their growth is within a healthy range or not. Since there is a difference between a baby girl’s growth and a baby boy’s, the two have separate growth charts. The three parameters of a growth chart are : Height, Weight and Head circumference To assess your baby’s growth, you need to have these parameters measured by your baby’s pediatrician. Fill out a growth chart for your baby once you have taken the measurements. The numbers must be tracked over time. Based on these measurements, you can determine whether your baby is growing according to the standard rate. It is also advised to discuss these numbers with your paediatrician who will help ensure that your little one’s growth is in accordance with the normal curve. What is the ideal range in the growth chart? The ideal range in the growth chart has been defined as per the Percentiles data provided by World Health Organization. The WHO provides a percentile range from 3rd to 97th percentile for each stage of baby’s growth starting from birth to 5 years. For example: for a 1-month-old baby girl, 3rd and 97th percentile weight measurements are 3.2 kg and 5.4 kg respectively. So, the ideal weight range for a 1-month-old baby girl is 3.2-5.4 kg. What if your baby’s growth curve doesn’t follow the chart? Temporary fluctuations in your baby’s growth chart is not a matter of concern as it is quite normal among children who go through growth spurts. Similarly, if your baby has just recovered from an illness, there are high chances of the chart indicating a temporary down. In case your doctor notices your baby lagging behind the growth curve, he or she might conduct a diagnosis to study if something is preventing your baby from growing ideally. While growth charts are the best tools to determine your baby’s growth and development, they do not detect any underlying health complications, if any. It is highly recommended that you speak to your paedritician before making any modifications in your baby’s feeding, sleeping schedule, physical activities, etc. Your doctor would be best able to ascertain if there really is anything to worry about and also give you reassurance as well as next steps for action to be taken.
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