One of the biggest concerns of parents is if their children are growing and maturing at the right rate. Baby growth concerns are a common question pediatricians deal with. The best way to answer the question is done with baby growth charts.
When your baby is first born the medical staff is going to get some very important measurements. They will record the length, weight, and head circumference of your baby. These measurements will be used through the coming months and years to determine if your baby is on the right growth pattern or not.
Many times a parent will hear a doctor state their baby is in the 80th percentile, or 20th percentile. They feel happy if they hear their baby is above average, and develop concerns if they are on the low side. You need to understand the purpose of these numbers before you become too concerned.
If a baby is in the 20th percentile it does not indicate any necessary problems. It basically states out of 1000 babies, they would be approximately the size of the 200th sized baby. Your doctor is going to be watching most closely for how baby growth develops. What they wish to see is your baby staying on an even growth pattern. If they started at 90 percentile at birth, then dropped to 70 percentile at 1 month, and then 50 percentile at 2 months, your doctor would become concerned with the inconsistent growth.
An average baby is going to be running on the 50th percentile, which does not mean anything important, except to use as a guideline to monitor growth patterns. We can use it as an example though. A newborn baby boy averages about 19-1/2 inches at birth. By 3 months old the average is about 24 inches, by one year old they average almost 30 inches in height.
The same is done for weight, an average baby boy is about 7-1/2 pounds to 8 pounds in weight. As the hit 3 months the average is approximately around 13 pounds. By their first birthday they will weight almost 23 pounds.
The important thing to remember is normal baby growth has nothing to do with being average, below average, or above average. It all has to do with having consistent growth. If your baby is healthy, staying on a good consistent growth pattern, then you are doing everything right. Your pediatrician will keep you informed of any changes you may need in nutrition, or medication, if he detects abnormal growth.
If you feel your baby is not growing properly, do not start seeking advice from friends and family. Go visit your pediatrician. Take along information on what and how much your baby eats normally. Ask him about their growth pattern, and if he is seeing any problems. Instead of worrying, learn the facts about baby growth patterns, and then you are prepared to take action if a problem is detected.