A child’s growth is any parents’ great concern, and one that is always valid. Before anything else, though, we must always remember that growth is multifaceted and not limited to physical growth. Nevertheless, physical growth is important, and, in this article, we will learn how to assess the growth of our baby or child more precisely. With our growth and weight percentile calculator, you can easily see, how the height, weight and head circumference of your newborn, infant or older child develops.
Growth Percentile Calculator for Baby, Infants & older Kids (0-20 years)
With this growth percentile calculator you can derive the weight, height, head circumference and body mass index percentile for newborns, infants, baby and older boys and girls – from birth to the age of 20.
How to use the growth chart calculator
The growth chart calculator is a straightforward tool where you enter your child’s birthday, gender, height, weight (in kg or lbs) and head circumference. Once all the data is completely entered, the calculator interprets these values using different growth charts by the WHO. All the charts are interpreted similarly.
Follow these simple steps:
- Recognize the chart’s title to know which growth values are being evaluated.
- Find the red dot on the chart which represents your child’s values.
- Identify the percentile line on which the red dot falls.
- Interpret the values in relation to the general child population. For example, when your child comes in the 10th percentile (weight for height graph), this means that 10% of children with the same height have a similar weight as your child.
How is the baby or child growth chart interpreted?
Every baby grows at a different pace. Pediatricians suggest, however, that ideally, your child’s values should fall within the 50th height or weight percentile, which is the average. But values below or above the 50th percentile DO NOT indicate that your child’s size or weight is not within normal. In general, if your child falls in the higher percentiles, your child has bigger measurements than average and vice versa for smaller percentiles.
Instead of analyzing the actual measurements, we must pay attention to the pattern and the upward trend of growth every time we measure. This will tell us that our girl or boy is growing steadily.
How do I know if my toddler is growing well?
To measure whether a child is physically growing well, we can use numerical parameters such as, the child’s height, weight, and head circumference. These should not be assessed as a single parameter; hence, growth charts and percentile calculators (which incorporate growth charts) are used even by health care professionals. On the other hand, growth can also be assessed by how an infant is hitting a specific set of developmental milestones for their age. Although there are some tools that can help us evaluate our baby boy or baby girl’s growth, it is best to consult a health professional or pediatrician who can best gauge whether our child is growing at a normal pace.
What are growth and percentile charts for kids?
Growth charts or percentile charts are basically a graphical representation of the distribution of physical growth values (height, weight, head circumference) in the general (age-specific) child population. To put it into perspective, it answers the question, “how many percent of the general child population (boys or girls with the same age) have similar values as my child?” These percentile charts are used to plot your child’s physical growth parameter value/s on the graph by an infant percentile calculator and can give a general overview on the “size” of your child in relation with other children the same age.
How often should my baby be weighed or measured?
A general guide for weighing or measuring your child is as follows:
- Age: 2 weeks to 6 months – measure once a month
- Age: 6 months to 12 months – once every 2 months
- Age: 12 months to 2 years old – once every 3 months
- Age: 2 years to 4 years – once every 6 months
- Age: 5 years and above – every year
This is just a general guide and your pediatrician is the best person to tell you how often your newborn, baby or teen should be measured depending on the specific situation.
What are growth phases?
Growth phases are the specific ages of children at which they physically grow the most. This is where full height and appropriate weight with the increase in the size of the organs occur.
- From birth to age 2, this is a characterized as rapid growth, although the rate of growth decreases over that period. At this age, it is recommended that all growth parameters be checked using the growth charts.
- From 2 years old to the onset of puberty, growth occurs in relatively constant yearly increments.
- At puberty, a 2nd growth spurt occurs, affecting boys and girls slightly differently. During puberty the body grows faster than at any other time and at this period it is possible to gain or lose weight quickly, as well as grow in heights apparently overnight.
Why is my baby below the average 50th percentile? What should I do?
Many factors affect the overall “size” of babies, placing them below or above the 50th percentile. Those children below the 50th percentile may be of more concern to parents. Here are a few of the reasons why your infant may be below the 50th percentile.
- Genetics. If one or both parents are lean or were lean in childhood, the child may acquire a lean physique.
- Sensitive periods in babies. Such as when they are learning a new skill, may also push the growth values towards the lower percentiles.
- Prematurity. A premature baby has a lower birth weight at the outset and may be at the lower growth percentiles even later in life.
- Other more concerning issues. Inadequate nutrition, reflux, indigestion, malabsorption, and decreased growth hormones. Although babies who fall below the 50th percentile may be completely normal, a thorough examination by your pediatrician is needed to rule out any serious causes.
Nutrition and Growth
Although nutrition plays an important role in the physical development of children, the question is common: how much is enough? Since each child has different needs, the best predictor of adequate nutrition is a steady, constant growth of the child as seen when tracked on the baby weight percentile calculator at appropriate times. As a rule of thumb, children who receive adequate nutrition are generally contented and not always cranky; active and not always tired; are healthy and not sickly; and are able to meet developmental milestones at par with their age. In young babies, adequate nutrition will reflect in soiled and wet diapers.
Children grow at different rates. The most observable parameters for growth are those that can be measured. For more accurate evaluation, growth charts/ growth percentile calculators can be used to get a general overview of the size of a child in relation to the general child population. This, however, is only a guide and can be affected by many factors such as their genes, activity, current developmental period, nutrition, and any underlying medical condition. An important take-away is that assessment of the steady upward trend of your child’s physical growth on the charts is the best indicator of his growth, rather than the individual value alone. When in doubt, it is strongly advised to seek professional opinion from a health care provider or pediatrician.