55 answers

Growth Percentiles

This is my first time ever posting a request. I know someone posted a similar question just the other day, but I still would like to ask this, thank you for your patience! I had a large baby (he was 9lbs, 10 oz at birth) and he continued to be large for about the first 4 months. He was consistently above the 90th percentile for length and weight. At 6 months, he dropped a bit to 75th percentile for weight and 80th for length. He just had his 9 month appt and he is now in the 60th percentile for weight and 75th for length. The doctor said not to worry, but easier said than done! He is breastfed and we started solids at around 6 months. I just can't help feel that I'm doing something wrong since this all started around the same time we started solids. I still offer to nurse him about every 3-4 hours, but sometimes he isn't interested. He enjoys his solids, which is good because I want to start weaning him after a year. I guess I just want to know if anyone else with large babies at birth has gone through this. He is not a little guy (well, he's my little guy), he is over 29 inches long and weighs 21 lbs 7 oz. I just am paranoid.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! It is so nice just to have some reassurance. It's amazing how much you question yourself as a first time mom! I greatly appreciate the support from all of you great moms out there. I'm going to take your advice and enjoy my happy, active little guy and not worry about numbers so much :)

Featured Answers

This is coming a bit late but since no one else mentioned it I wanted to let you know that there are actually growth charts for breastfed children: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/growthcharts.....

Breastfed babies tend to fatten up quickly and then get leaner by the end of the first year so if you follow the standard charts you will see a drop in percentiles.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm glad that you aren't worried anymore about where he is on the percentile chart. Perhaps somewhere in those 45 messages someone explained the meaning of the percentages. Just in case they didn't here goes. When baby is said to be in the 75% for weight, it just means that 75% of the babies weigh less. Where ever a baby falls on the chart is OK if everything else is OK. The chart is used by medical personnel to track each baby's growth. They are only concerned when there is a "blip" in the chart. For example if a baby weighs in the 75% for weight but in the 10% for height something is wrong. This is an obvious example. Babies rarely stay at the same percentile level all of their babyhood time. What counts is that the height and weight percentiles are reasonably close. The example I gave would indicate that the baby was obese, something that you would notice anyway. With healthy babies the two percentiles are spread but not drastically.

And each baby is different. The change in percentiles is therefore different for each baby.

Percentiles in themselves have no meaning other than a comparison with other babies. A healthy baby could be in the 35% for height and the 25% for weight. It's the consistency over time that counts. There are large babies and small babies and all can be healthy.

As other mothers have said, babies grow tall then gain weight. It is usual for there to be a difference in the percentile numbers.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter was also born at 9+ pounds. She toned down as she grew older too. I think it was because I either grow big babies, or my sugar was a little high (right under gestational diabetes). But, her weight now is exactly what it should be. You are doing great things! Enjoy watching him reach homeostasis!!

J.

More Answers

This is coming a bit late but since no one else mentioned it I wanted to let you know that there are actually growth charts for breastfed children: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/growth/growthcharts.....

Breastfed babies tend to fatten up quickly and then get leaner by the end of the first year so if you follow the standard charts you will see a drop in percentiles.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,
What you need to look at is your son's growth curve (my son was tiny, so we went over the growth curve stuff extensively with several docs. The doc will have your son's growth curve plotted out in his chart. Basically, the doc plots your son's weight over time. Then, if I'm remembering correctly, you want to make sure that the curve created by connecting the dots follows the same basic shape as what they consider to be a typical growth curve. It doesn't matter if the curve is above or below the average one. Also, the percentiles for weight are not useful in isolation. For example, let's say that every other baby in the country became obese between 7 and 9 months of age. Your son would suddenly be in a much lower percentile but much healthier than the obese children (and yes, as a mom already mentioned, high percentile children are by no means all obese; I'm just trying to illustrate a point). Obviously I am describing an extreme and not realistic situation, but I hope this clarifies why percentiles alone don't help. If your child falls off his own growth curve (suddenly one of the points is well below the curve made by connecting the prior dots), that's something to investigate. Of course, this can happen to kids if they've been sick for a few weeks, but they make up for it by eating like crazy afterwards and isn't a cause for concern. For a bit of perspective, my 41 inch 5 year-old son weighs 36.5 pounds! Clearly you have a larger child in general, but my skinny guy is perfectly healthy, strong, athletic, etc. I just have to buy pants with the adjustable interior waistband! Ask your doc's office to chow you your son's growth curve and to discuss it with you. Quite frankly, they should have done this at his last appointment. They should be able to show you the shape of the curve and how it follows the shape of the expected curve. FWIW, I had a tiny baby, but almost all my friends who had nine pounders at birth had much more average sized kids by preschool.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi N.,
Welcome to Mamasource and try not to worry about your son too much! Being born big doesn't automatically mean that a baby will grow up to be 6'8" and 350 pounds one day. Therefore, the vast majority of large-ish babies will end up in a lower percentile of height and weight at some point. My younger daughter was born at 8 pounds, which was above the 75th percentile, and now she's a teeny-tiny kid in the 25%. Our doctor said that rather than looking at growth charts, which after all, measure "average" babies (what does an average baby look like, anyway?), measure your child on their own growth chart. Is he growing? Does he have rosy cheeks? Is he happy? If you answered yes, then no worries, your baby is doing great!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm glad that you aren't worried anymore about where he is on the percentile chart. Perhaps somewhere in those 45 messages someone explained the meaning of the percentages. Just in case they didn't here goes. When baby is said to be in the 75% for weight, it just means that 75% of the babies weigh less. Where ever a baby falls on the chart is OK if everything else is OK. The chart is used by medical personnel to track each baby's growth. They are only concerned when there is a "blip" in the chart. For example if a baby weighs in the 75% for weight but in the 10% for height something is wrong. This is an obvious example. Babies rarely stay at the same percentile level all of their babyhood time. What counts is that the height and weight percentiles are reasonably close. The example I gave would indicate that the baby was obese, something that you would notice anyway. With healthy babies the two percentiles are spread but not drastically.

And each baby is different. The change in percentiles is therefore different for each baby.

Percentiles in themselves have no meaning other than a comparison with other babies. A healthy baby could be in the 35% for height and the 25% for weight. It's the consistency over time that counts. There are large babies and small babies and all can be healthy.

As other mothers have said, babies grow tall then gain weight. It is usual for there to be a difference in the percentile numbers.

1 mom found this helpful

My son was 8 lbs. 13 oz. when he was born. He was my biggest baby. He went down on the growth chart after his first month. We weren't worried at all. We didn't start to worry until we noticed between 4 months and 9 months he only gained 9 oz. He ended up falling below the 5th percentile. He was eating constantly and ALWAYS moving. He seemed really healthy except for his weight gain. We ended up taking him to a specialist and she told me (rather rudely) "Looking at you and your husband you should never have children that small." I'm 5' 5". Then she told us we weren't feeding him enough and was basically starving him. Remember I said he ate constantly. He was also a breastfed baby as were both my girls. At his one year appt., I told his pediatrician what the "specialist" said and she was disgusted with her diagnosis. We then weighed him and he had gained 3 pounds! He is now 3 years old, perfectly healthy and a VERY active little man. We never worried about him again after that. Don't worry about that darn growth chart. The doctor will let you know if they feel something is not right. Enjoy your little guy and have a great weekend.

N. - we mothers do torture ourselves with every little detail of our babes, don't we! I went through something similar with my daughter, but on the opposite end. She was 6wks early and small at birth, not even on the growth chart, but by 9 months was in the 97% and full of rolls upon rolls. She had dimples in her knees so deep a bird could drink out of them! I worried endlessly that she was TOO big, and would have loved for her to be in the 60%. But the doctor said the same to me - not to worry. He was right, eventually she went through a big spurt and was back in the 85%. The reality is that kids thin and thicken out so much over the first two years that you shouldn't fixate too much on those growth charts. Our babes won't starve themselves... they are pretty good about letting us know when they are hungry. I'm sure your little guy is healthy and hitting all his developmental miles stones. So no worries, Mama! Go enjoy that babe!

My son was 8.15 when he was born, was always above the 90th % until his 6 mo. check up. His weight is now the 75%. I too was worried and asked my Dr. She said now is when genetics starts kicking in. He is still very tall for his age. My husband is 6'4". As our Dr. said we will continue to watch him. So it does make sense.

Hi N.,

I have gone through same delima with my son. He is three years old now. He was born 8.5lbs (which is very very uncommon in Indian babies). Indian healthiest babies are somewhere between 6-7lbs. My son started loosing his weight right after his birth. His height is good but he weighs only 25lbs at age three. He is completely out of growth chart (0-1 percentile). But he doesn't look any unhealthy. He is not a chubby baby but not skinny either. He eats well, sleeps well, plays well and he is the smartest kid in his pre-school class. He surprises his teachers and parents everyday with his intellectual observations and curiosity.

As long as your child is eating, sleeping, pooping and playing well do not worry about anything else. Make sure you provide him healthiest food, if possible home made. Breastfeeding is excelent, continue atleast for one year.

My doctor said, kids who maintain to be above 50 percentile for first five years tend to be obese in future.

Hope you feel better!

Take care

Archie

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.