A growth chart is a graph used to track a child's growth
and development over time. At each of your child's well-child visits, the
doctor will measure:
Length (height). A baby's length is measured
while lying down, from the top of the head to the bottom of the foot. Older
children are measured standing up with heels against a
Head circumference (for babies). This is the
measurement around the largest part of your baby's head.
These measurements are plotted on a graph according to your
child's age and sex.
Growth charts show the consistency of your
child's pattern of growth over time. It is important to remember that your
child is likely to have growth spurts as well as periods of slow growth, even
as a baby. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. For more information about growth charts, go to the website http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/clinical_charts.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Use of World Health Organization and CDC growth charts for children aged 0-59 months in the United States. MMWR, 59(RR-9): 1-15. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr5909.pdf. [Erratum in MMWR 59(36): 1184. Also available online: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5936.pdf.]
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics Specialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics