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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

'Growth Percentile' means nothing.

Hi N.,

I was thinking of posting a similar question! My baby was born last September and was just about average size at 7 pounds. She soon plumped up to be in the 97th percentile (height and weight) with lots of breast feeding. We introduced foods at 6 months but she started refusing all food except for breast milk at about 8 months and didn't start eating again until 10 months! She didn't gain any weight those two months so isn't the big, above average (in size) baby that she used to be. I was really upset when we saw the line on her growth chart take a turn, but I figure the growth charts have nice smooth lines because they are averages, and each individual baby probably has dips and spikes in growth and weight gain. Like everyone else has written so far, if your baby is happy and energetic and otherwise healthy, then he must be just fine.

I think what makes me worry and feel bad is that I got so much praise for having such a big, healthy baby for so long, and now I feel I'm not doing a good job because she's just average size. :) Too bad we don't have the same standards for adult sizes! Hah!

Take care,

H.

I had all big babies, my third was 10 lbs. 6 oz. He has always been long and skinny, and his percentile dropped pretty quickly after birth. Now, at 14 and still a stick, I'm sure he's in something like the 10th percentile. If your baby's now in the 60th percentile that's still pretty big.

I think babies born large often drop in their percentile rank. I wouldn't worry about it.

Hi N.. Your baby is great!! Don't worry about percentiles! To make a long story short..my son was born a lil early and he was average size. When he turned 3 mos he went over the 100th percentile for everything and ever since then that's the percentile he's stayed at! My Dr always gave me grief about it until he turned 2 then he was like oh he's just a big boy--what I had been telling him all along!! Now he is just big! He has just turned 4 and his knee bones are almost as big as my knee bones.. his ankle bones are huge.. he has a very large bone structure which tends to run in my dad's family and he weighs right around 60 pounds. I laugh when he stands next to other kids his age because he looks a lot older!! In fact people are amazed that he's only 4!! The point is don't worry he will lose a lot when he starts walking and then everytime he's about to have a growth spurt he's going to bulk up and then lose it again.. you've probably already seen that a couple of times! Only worry if he has actual medical issues from being bigger! Good luck!

If you're concerned, check with your pediatrician. But I can tell you I had the exact same story. After giving birth, the Dr. told me then that my son would not likely maintain that percentile. He went down to about 50+ percentile where he has stayed. And though there are a lot of tall people in our family, my husband and I are not - so we're a match. And I don't know about you, but I ate a TON during that pregnancy. I've often wondered if that contributed to my baby's high %'s.

Hi N.

First, I am sorry that this has you worried, relax.
Everything is fine the charts are used to find an average its not that a higher or lower percentile is more or less normal.
Is baby healthy, is he happy, is he active, does he eat and sleep in comfort, is he sickly, ???? If you answered yes yes yes yes and no....BINGO baby is FINE!
You will KNOW with no doubts if/when something is not quite right...you feel fine with his health other than the charts making you uncomfortable? Then all odds are babie is doing great!

Realx and know you are doing a fine job (just being worried means your a fantastic mommy, keep up the great job)

Blessings,
C.

My daughter was a big baby 8lbs 9oz only 20 1/2 inches long when born and just didn't grow much. She was in the 50% for her weight and 10% for height until she stopped nursing at a year and dropped to 25% in weight. She stayed that way until age 3 when all the sudden she started to grow again and is on her way up the charts.
My son was lbs 5oz 22inches born, and is growing like a shot, for a month he gains weight then grows an inch and goes back to gaining weight again. He's been in the 90% for weight and over 100% for height since.
My point being- we all do it differently, as long as you are feeding your son well and to his satisfaction and he's still filling diapers try not to worry about it. Pretty soon he'll be walking and he'll give you a whole lot more to worry about!
;)

Hello N.,

My son was average at birth, chubby the first few months and ....he's been tiny ever since he was 6 months old and he is now 14. He was breastfed as well. Not everyone can be big. I used to worry A LOT, and I never really appreciated when parents of bigger children would tell me how easy I have it because he doesn't outgrow his clothes as fast and whatever else they'd say. I always thought that was rude of people to belittle my anxiety. Anyway...his pediatrician explained to me that when the professionals made those growth charts, they were measuring incoming immigrant children of a community of large people. I don't know if that was bologna or what. Charts are only there for averages. If there was something wrong with your baby your doctor would let you know immediately. So, enjoy your "little" guy. Sounds like he's a very lucky baby to have a mom so concerned with his welfare!!

Hi i have two daughters 7 & 2 1/2. My oldest was 9lbs 1 ounce
and my other was 9lbs 5 ounces at birth. My best friend also had a very large baby 10lbs. 1 ounce. He is 7 now. We worried about the same thing. They all three were very chunky babies and my girls were breast fed. But all three slimmed down as soon as they started walking. Now its funny to say but they are not cubby at all. In fact my daughter is really really skinny! (she gets that from her dad). The point is that as long as the doctors say your baby is healthy then your chld should be fine. :d

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.

Hi N.
Considering my baby girl, Gabriella, was 10 lbs 10oz... i would have thrown myself off a bridge if i was worried about percentiles! i don't even ask about them at my pediatricians office. Just think about all the advantages that you have.. sounds like he is a great eater, and i bet he's a good sleeper too. My little squirt is over 15 lbs and not even 4 months yet. I make sure my angel is smiling every day and that tells me all i need to know

N.,

Don't worry about your little guy. Sounds like he is on track to me and is growing in a healthy way. Your son was probably bigger at birth due to genetics. Most babies slim out a bit once they get mobile and begin eating solid foods. I would not worry about it unless he refuses food or breastmilk completely.

Babies tend to go through stages of eating like crazy, get chubby for a while and then grow and slim out again and again throughout their growth. They also get busy with learning new things that they forget or don't want to eat. If you feel that he is not eating enough, offer him small snacks and quick breastfeeding sessions throughout the day. It sounds to me like he is growing and busy!

My son was 9-5 and 22 1/2 inches long when he was born (which was 100% for both) and continued to stay there until he was 2 yrs old and then he dropped to 85-90th percentile. The doctors weren't concerned because he had an average growth trend in both height and weight. Like I already knew, they told me is was just going to be a big boy! My son was also breastfed but he started foods at 4 months, because he was always so hungry. I don't believe you are doing anything wrong, your son sounds like he just "leveled out" in his growth for a little while. Hope that helped you... you are not alone! Have fun and enjoy.. they grow up and change so quickly!

J.

Hi there- My 2nd born (a boy) was 9 lbs and 12 oz and started off large too. His weight went down significantly over the first year but the docs told me that he was doing fine. He's now 3 years old and doing great. He is in the 25% for weight and 50th for height. A lot of people say they think he's tall for his age, even though the charts say he's average. Sometimes I wonder about those charts anyway. =) He was just never a big eater- always a mini-snacker. He is full of energy and life, growing at a consistent rate so the docs say everything is fine. Not to worry- the best you can do is what you are doing. You're doing fine! Try not to focus on the charts. As long as he continues to show growth at your visits, is happy and thriving, he will be just fine. Hang in there momma!

Hi N.,
My little boy was born the same time yours was and yours could definitely take mine in a fight! :o) Sal is only 17 lbs. and 27" long. Don't worry so much about what those charts say. As long as you see your little one is happy and healthy, he's fine. I actually think those charts were invented just to give us first-time moms something more to worry about. As if we need it! Good luck and enjoy your "big" boy!
D.

My first two kids had similar percentile patterns. Once they started crawling and walking, they really slimmed down. You don't need to force him to eat--if he's content, he's probably fine (just make sure you nurse him before his meals so he gets all the fat from the milk and doesn't just fill up on baby food). Don't worry.

My little brother who is now 20 was HUGE! He was double the size of a 6 month old boy when he was just 2 months. My parents took pictures and nobody could belive how big he was. My other brother now 27 was typical in size but he and I have a different mom. The 20 year old brother developed just fine and he is strong, healthy and now engaged. He is now 6'4" but so is my other 27 yr old brother while I am only 5'5". I guess the point is both were different sizes at birth and growth rate my 20 year old brother was ALWAYS bigger than all of his friends but they both evened out and are now the same size except my younger (bigger) brother is much stronger than our 27 year old brother.
When the 20 year old played with friends he always tackled them they never had a chance and NOBODY picked on him even though he was very nice & polite to everyone. We were all homeschooled but I would assume your baby may tend to hang out with older children if his size becomes a peer issue in public school because he will tend to play with other children that can "handle" him.
My experience is it's nothing to worry about, do not treat him differently (I'm sure you wouldn't), just let him grow away in height and stature (not fat!) and he should adapt well and level out when he is matured. You may just have a big burley man on your hands... KEEP HIM NICE AND GENTLE! That's important!
Shalom

Most of the growth charts used are based on formula feed babies. Babies who are breastfed have a different growth pattern. The plateau off at a certain point. Also remember these charts are based on a large population of kids not on an idividual. Some kids start smaller and move higher on the chart and some like ours move down. My daughter was in the 95 percentiles forever. She started crawling and started to drop. Now at 21 mths she runs around and is in the 75%. This is just her pattern. It's healthy and normal. The only thing you should worry about with these charts if your kids drops off the charts suddening or had a sudden change. Sounds normal to gradually move up or down. but we're moms. We'll worry. At six mths he is more active and his diet is changing with solids. if you don't want him to reduce his nursing intact as much offer to breastfed 30 minutes prior to solids.

I also had a large child at birth, about your size, and he is still relatively large at 20 months. My son around 4 onths lowered is weight percentile about 20 percent, and the doctor just said that we would watch it and that he would settle into a pattern that is right for him. If you doctor isn't concerned about it, than I wouldn't be. Was your baby just large, large babies in your family? Or were there other problems....like possible Gestational Diabetes? If he was large at birth due to a complication (like GD) that may not be his actualy curve, and his body is slowly getting him back to where he is supposed to be. Look at the size of your family.... If you are worried, look online at sites like Baby Center, ask DrSears, and talk to your pediatrician, to get some average feeding charts for kids your sons age. That way you can see if this is something his body is doing, or if maybe you do need to feed him more.

I know that my son was really busy, and we had to make sure we had all his attention to get him to eat. It seems though, kids just go through growth spurts and dips. Those percentiles are just a tool for the doctor, and don't really mean anything. Just that your son is bigger that 60-80 percent of kids his age. Nothing to worry about either way. Ours was a little roller coaster-y the first year or so and we settled into a more realistic pattern, but event hat changes based on when his growth spurts actually hit.

Sorry this is so long, and I hope we can all help give you peace of mind. I wouldn't stress if I were you, but I know that's easier said than done. Talk to your doctor about your concerns, and see if you can get some opinions from him.

Good Luck!

P.S. I know it doesn't matter and I should let it go,,,,but just because a child is in the 90th or 100th percentile doesn't mean he is obese! My son is in the 90th to 100th for everything and skinnier than most babies we play with. It all balances out and you shouldn't worry either way. There has to be people of all sizes...even the linebackers :-)

My son was about the same size at birth and similar percentages for the first few months. I quit looking at percentage charts after about the third month. Remember, your nine month old is also becoming more active. He no longer spends his days laying around being a lump. His diet has changed, but his body is also changing. His baby fat will soon be turning into muscle as he learns to use his body in different ways so this drop on the charts is normal and healthy. Before you know it he will be carrying a full sized shovel around the yard and within the next couple years will be able to truely help you with things like bringing the empty garbage cans in.

Hi N.,

If your baby is continuing to thrive, i.e. gain in weight and height between each dr visit, then there is no need to worry. My first son was born into the 95th percentile and later dropped to the 75th. As long as he continued to grow and his percentiles were in line with one another (meaning if you're in the 75th percentile for one, you should be close to that in the other) we weren't concerned.

My son was similar to yours. He was born at 8 lbs, 11 oz, breastfed, and was consistently at the top of the percentile charts. But as he grew he became more active--started rolling around the room to get things, learned to crawl, and then was a little crawling machine. His percentile dropped significantly--he still grew, just at a slower rate. As he became a toddler he leveled out to closer to the average size, instead of above average.

What we have concluded is that it was the increased activity of learning to roll, crawl, walk.... We figured as a little, immobile baby, he was taking in lots of calories (he really chugged it down when nursing) but not using so many, and then he finally started using all those calories as his activity increased. Actually, I'm glad he didn't continue at the 90+ weight percentile, because now that he's 7 he'd be obese. So that's our story. Don't worry that you are doing something wrong. As long as he's eating and gaining weight and inches, he really is ok. Best wishes to you.

(PS--I didn't mean to offend with the word "obese". I was just thinking about my son's weight/height proportion. He's about 25% for height. If he were also in the 90+% for weight then I'm sure that would be a problem.)

My son was 9 lbs 5 oz at birth. By 6 months he was 18 lbs 12 oz. I introduced solids at 11 months and kept nursing. By 12 months we has 21 lbs. So he didn't grow that much even though most of it was breastfed exclusively. He took forever to gain weight after that and still is slender for his age at 12 y/o. He is healthy and in great shape. From 6 months to 1 year he dropped on the charts. I wasn't worried he was healthy and active. Ignore the charts. He will probably continue to not grow at the rate he did the first 6 months. This is fine. Just feed him healthy and enjoy him.

You've probably had lots of responses and mine might not help but here goes. My baby girl was actually born early but was very good size. She was in the 50% for her weight up until her 1 year apt and was between 50-75% for height. She is currently 25% weight and 75% height but she eats everything. My doc says don't worry and I really don't because she eats everything in sight. She is very active and that accounts for her slow weight gain. You can't think of it as weight loss because it doesn't sound like your son is losing, just had a slowing in his weight gain but 75% is still very good size. Hang in there... he'll be just fine!

Hi N.,
My advice as a NICU nurse is to ignore the growth charts as much as possible. As someone said earlier, if your baby is happy, looks healthy and well-fed, is playful, responding to you normally, then you're doing fine. A little bit about the growth charts (just in case you didn't know...I don't want to offend if you already understand!): being in the 90th percentile means your child is bigger than 90% of other children his age, being in the 60th percentile means your child is bigger than 60% of other children his age, being in the 25the percentile means he is bigger than only 25% of children his age, etc etc. Growth charts need to be taken into consideration as a whole, meaning weight, height and head circumference. If all three of those things are plotting around the same percentile, you have an evenly growing child. You wouldn't want the weight percentile to be significantly larger than the head circumference percentile, etc, because that could mean other problems. Most babies born a little larger than average who start off in the 90th percentile or so will eventually drop down to 75 and 50 and sometimes even lower, but as long as the baby looks and acts healthy and all three measurements are basically even, you are growing a healthy child. But back to my original statement...ignore those charts as much as possible. Look at your baby every day. Does he look good and healthy, is he eating well, is he active, does he have that sparkle in his eye? Then you are doing an excellent job as a mom! And take it from a mom of 4, there are much better things to worry about! God bless!

N.,

My son was the same weight at birth and has followed almost the exact same growth percentile arcs you've described (he's 10 months now). It's totally normal! We nursed about 4x a day at 9 months and now do only 3 (plus 3 solid meals, and a few snacks). Please know that your son is doing great and you are not doing anything wrong. They all just tend to slow down as they get older. Enjoy your little one!

My three kids did the same thing. My first son I thought "oh, he's gong to be a big boy" because of his charts at the beginning. But he slowly eased on down the charts. Then I wasn't so surprised when the other two did the same thing. Now I actually have three bottom of the charts kids. But my daughter, who is pretty darn tiny, had tests done twice and it was deceided that it is all just genetics. But yes, that's normal.

i just wanted to lend a little support. my second little girl was 9 5 at birth and i thought this would be a constant. every appointment she slipped a little on the weight chart. as we have tracked it over 2 years she has her own little curve and the doctor says 'don't worry.' at the same time, i felt all along that this was somehow reflective of me because she has turned into such a active girl who is lucky to hit the 60th percentile on weight on a regular basis. the 'evil' part of me leaves these appointments with the doctor saying there must be a lot of short fat babies throwing off the curve since my darling is perfect the way she is. she eats when she wants, is active, and has the sweetest bulging belly after she eats and otherwise looks like a blong topped stick. not having a baby with rolls and dimples can feel disheartening, but he is still at an age where he knows what he wants when he wants. you sound like you are feeding him healthy foods and letting him grow at his own pace. don't think you are the bad mommy for not having him constantly be on the upper 10th percentiles.
S.

Hi N.,

As a first time parent it is your right to be a little paranoid about things! :) I know I was - with all 3! LOL!

Ok - to get to you questions and give you a bit of reassurance...Birthweight does NOT indicate how big the child will be later in life. What it does indicate is how well you took care of yourself during pregnancy (provided you did not have gestational diabetes that was not well controlled). Moms who take good care of themselves and eat lots of protein tend to have babies who are on the larger size - upwards of 8 pounds. This is a GOOD thing. Babies grow the way they are supposed to and it is not uncommon for them to drop in the harts as they get older. Try not to worry about it. From your descriptions it sounds like he is doing very well. Trust the baby to feed himself when he needs/wants to. He is too old to start starving himself. :)

Ok - now for my personal story - keep in mind all 3 of my boys were exclusively breastfed the first 6 months and only #2 had formula (2 wks) due to severe breastfeeding issues that were corrected:

Baby #1 born at 7'8" - started off high in the charts (70%) then gradually dropped down to almost the 5%...that was his growth pattern - he just slowed down...way down - barely 20lbs at 12 months. He was nursing and eating fine. He is today at 23 yrs about 5'6 and STOCKY - about 175lbs with NO fat.

Baby #2 born at 7'6" - started off 70% then went UP into the 90%! He quickly grew into a pattern of wearing clothes that were 2 sizes bigger than his age (12 months wearing size 2 etc). At 12 months he weighed in at almost 30lbs. At 14 he is almost 5'8", tall and slender wears size 11+ shoes - and is STILL Growing! Currently about 135lbs and NO fat.

And lastly my smallest child. He is currently 11.5 and the smallest of my 3 boys. Barely 4'8" and I don't think he even weighs 100lbs yet. Skinny, short little thing (hecka cute tho!). However - he was born at 9'6" and grew like crazy his first 4 months then slowed down to a crawl - maintained his growth curve and Dr's (and I) were unconcerned because he continued to gain well, ate well, developmentally right on target. He was fine.

The difference between my three boys weights? Simple - I had midwifery care and they constantly got on me to eat better - more protein...thus I had a full term, large healthy baby - who turned out to be my smallest child overall.

I hope the story helps...hang in there...your little one sounds just fine. :)

Warmly,

J. Simpson, IBCLC, CIIM
www.breastfeedingnetwork.net

My little guy was born in November and he has always been in the 95% for height and weight. He was not as heavy as birth (8 lbs. 11 oz.), but I know the feeling as your little one seems to be wearing an 18 months size when he is only 9 months! I think it is totally normal and perhaps more common than you think. I think we should both be thankful to have good, healthy eaters. Good luck!

Didn't read all the responses, so I hope I don't repeat.

My advice is to relax. This advice is not flippant in any way, shape or form, it's from a mom that did the exact same thing as you. I knew my daughter's percentages to a tee and stressed over the levels (she dropped too). I tried to get her to eat and drink all of the time. Finally, I realized that I was not being the mom I wanted to be. I want to encourage my child to know her own body and eat when she is hungry, and not when she is not. Plus, I had 2 cousins and my mom tell me some advice that really calmed me down:
1) no baby in the US has starved to death when there is food available. Relax and let her learn her own nutrition needs.
2) Those charts were based on Caucasian, formula-fed babies only. They are a nice tool to check in with, buy not the bible on how children grow.
3) Lastly, my mom laughed at me and said "we didn't have growth charts for you kids. We looked at you and could tell if you were healthy and eating enough. Some kids are small, some big, and some fluctuate. Why do you care where she is on the chart?" I couldn't give her a good answer, my doctor was not worried, so I learned to let it go. I began to think I was making a problem where there wasn't one. Now, I don't even know where she is on the chart~ but she is happy and healthy!

Good Luck!

Hello N.,
When my daughter was born she was 8lbs 3oz. not as big as your son, but she was consistently in the 90th percentile to, for her weigh and hight; up until her 6 month appointment. I am always excited to see how much she has grown since her previous appointments. She hadn't been to the doctor in two months, so I was epically eager this time. I got quite the shock when they told me she had only gained 3oz. She had grew an inch, but still, 3oz. Come on, she eats like a hog!! She dropped from the 90th percentile to the 50th for her weight, and 70th for her hight. Naturally I was some what devastated. That was a huge drop in percentage. What was I doing wrong!!! Could there be something wrong with her? Am I not feeding her enough. All of that and more was running through my head as I twiddled my thumbs waiting for the doctor to come in.
Anyways, to make a long story short. The doctor was not concerned at all. She is a very active baby. And he said the fact that she was an early crawler is a big part of the weight "issue" (she started crawling at 4months) He said that crawling burns a lot of calories in babies, and I shouldn't worry.She is happy healthy and very active for her age. Still didn't ease my mind, or make me worry any less. Also my mother inlaw is always looking for what I'm doing wrong with the baby. She is always judging me, so I left the doctors feeling like I did something wrong.
As for your son, I don't think your being paranoid. But I wouldn't worry unless his doctor is concerned. (I know, easier said than done.) But really, that stupid percentile scale is a crock. They tell us every baby is different, but then they compare them. Good luck A.

Your babys weight and height are just fine. The growth charts are just a way to compare one to another and he is still well above the "average" baby his age. These percentages are not the same as a grade for school. You would be pleased and want your child to get top grades in school. Getting an A on a test is wonderful and being top in his class would be a goal, but not with his weight and height. Do you want him to be the tallest and heaviest in school? Dont worry about his percentage as long as he is growing and healthy. My son was 9lbs 2oz at birth and in the 90%. By kindergarten he was the tallest kid there. He felt akward and different and other parents commented about how big he was which made us feel like we were raising a monster sized giant. By 8th grade he was one of the shortest, smallest boys in his class. We actually had people ask if we considered giving him growth hormones so he wouldnt be so short. He then grew in HS and ended up 6'5" and made the best looking drum major for the marching band! So what they are as babys and what they are as adults can differ greatly. Dont worry about it. It isnt a grade ,,its just a comparison.

Bless you N.- you're doing super - I am a 63 year old Mom/grandmom- and special ed preschool teacher. MANY babies do exactly what your lamb is doing - all of mine were large as infants - and assumed their '''real''' size in a gradual display of their genetic ''luck of the draw'' - my babies were 8 - 10 --- 9-5 and 11 lb -- the first is now a 37 year old Mom who is 5 8'' and slender - the middle is my boy- now average weight and 5-10'' - the baby is now 26- curvy- fights her weight- and 5' 7'' --- go figure ---

love,
old Mom

Hi N., those percentages mean nothing. When my son was born, he was 8lbs 151/2". When he entered high school he was 82lbs and he was only 4'7. He was never concerned about his size, however I was. Everytime I took him to the DR, they would tell me that he was well below 50% in weight and height. They told me he would never be more than 5'4. They told me similar information about my daughter, although it never bothered me that much for her. Anyway, my kids are now adults. My daughter is 5'6 and my son grew to be over 6' and weighs over 160. I was also told never to worry, but I did. Now I see there was nothing to worry about. Good luck

I have a small baby, but the one thing I wanted to comment on is if you want him to take in more breastmilk then breastfeed him first and then offer solids. HOwever, some babies do wean themselves earlier than we think they should or before we are ready. My best friends kids ( who are 19 and 21) weaned themselves before they were a year old.

Both my girls were 9 lbs 10 oz at birth and you certainly wouldn't know it now, but they are both VERY healthy. My youngest who is 11, is one of the smallest and thinnest in her class, but she eats plenty and is very active and developing just as she should. The weight they start out at is not necessarily an indicator as to how big they are supposed to develop to be. My theory is their birth weight has more to do with how big our bodies make them, then once they're born, their own genetic programming takes over. As long as he is eating well, active, and developing normally, you don't need to worry.

Unless you and hubby are super tall-it is expected that the length would become more average over time. My daughter was 9lbs, 14.3 oz-so basically off the the charts. But over the first few months got down to 50th % for weight and remains off the charts for height.

I agree-you watch the curve to see that the growth is staying in normal limits. And watch your baby-if he is eating, growing, developing, then it's all good.

Hi, N.!

Just wanted you to know that I just took my 2-year-old to the doctor for his well-child visit on Wednesday (Nov. 5) and the doctor seemed concerned that he was only 23 pounds, when he was born at 10 pounds! He wanted him to have a blood test done to see if there was any nutrition deficiency or other concerns. I haven't heard anything back, and don't really expect to (they said if I don't hear anything from them then there's no concern). He's just a small-boned child, much like my husband and my second son was when they were kids. If your doc didn't suggest blood work, then for your own peace of mind, I'd get it done, just to be on the safe side.

No worries!
S.
SAHM of Seven (2 to 14)

He's perfectly normal. My son did the same thing. Once they start crawling they really start to lose weight.

Hi N., and welcome!

Remember that percentiles are used to compare your baby to other babies, not to judge how your baby is growing. Your little guy is not losing weight or shrinking... it's just that he is getting closer to the average weight and height for his age. (I doubt you expected him to grow to be 7'10" and 400lbs so settling into more average height and weight is going to continue throughout his life).

Enjoy your boy and don't worry about this :-)

Hope this helps,
T.

Totally normal! My girls were 9 lbs 6oz. (on time) and 9lbs 8oz (two weeks early!). The first slowly dropped in the % until she was 75% height, 50% weight. The second stayed on the 100% line for height/length, but dropped to 75% weight. Both were breastfed until they self weaned at about 10/11 months. Solids started about 5 months.

Now my 14 year old is 5'5" and 115lbs (size 1). My 11 year old is 5' and 95lbs. Both are active and healthy.

Your son is fine, just finding his own size. As long as he is eating and devloping 'normally'(beware of that word!), you can relax and enjoy being his mama.

Sorry for the late reply, however our little boy weighed 25 lbs. when he turned one year old. For the next two years he only gained a few pounds and the drs. said it was really better for him since his bones would have a difficult time supporting his bulk if he continued to gain at that pace. We could definitely see him growing in height and he slimmed up a bunch from his sweet little chunky self. His weight certainly helped me to get smaller than I was pre-pregnancy. We'll never stop worrying about our little guys but it sounds like this is just a normal thing for your baby.

N.,
Your baby sounds perfectly healthy. If you had him in the hospital and had an IV your baby's birth weight is not accurate. The baby gets a substantial amount of that fluid and his weight will be more at birth and then drop. I wouldn't worry at all. It sounds like he is perfectly normal. My baby was 8 lb 1 oz at birth and 21" long. He has remained in the 95th percentile for height but 25th for weight. He is tall and skinny like his dad. It's genetics. He eats a lot and breast feeds still at 15 months. Babies are all unique and yours sounds perfect.

N.:

I am not sure what your question is but I think you are concerned that he is losing percentiles in weight. He sounds fine to me coming from a mom that had a 7lbs baby who weighed only 17lbs at one year. He is 6 years old now weighs 45 lbs- perfect according to my son's doctor.

I would suspect that your son is losing places on the percentile chart because he is becoming more active which means that he is using his calories to grow longer rather than wider- it is a good thing. There are many advantages to "smaller" kids:
*He will not grow out of his clothes as fast
*he will probably walk sooner than his heavier counterparts because he has less girth to move around
*he will be easier to carry- good for both of you.

Believe your doctor when he says not to worry.

Good luck.
N.

N.- good job on your post!! Welcome to the mamasource universe.. :) I am quite surprised your doc did not go over this paperwork with you. I would not worry about it, percentiles shouldnt' be the only thing you look at for your baby- is he healthy? is he eating? is he fussy or bugging you that he wants more/less food? Let your mommy instints go to work for you! Don't put your faith in doctors, esp since he didn't even explain to you that "not all children/babies are the same!" You are doing great, and coming on this poster board to tell us about it makes you a good mommy.. so just keep the faith and relax.. this will pass and within 6 months or so, you will be looking back at this and maybe even laugh.. so for now, just enjoy your big guy, he is doing great !

Im posting late since I didnt see this until now, but I just wanted to let you know my experience...You have nothing to worry about! Doctors really dont worry unless there is a drastic change or you are REALLY low on the charts! I have twins that were great weights (for twins) when they were born, over 6 pounds each, but as soon as they were born and at all check ups after that they dropped off the charts (they were barely in the 3% marks)...We found out they have a growth hormone disorder, which means their body doesnt make the hormone that helps them grow (since they are identical twins they both have it). Luckily we found out early and they are on treatment for it, but I just wanted to let you know as someone who has had to deal with growth issues for a couple of years now, that your child sound completely normal. Kids weights will change whenever they hit different milestones. Especially if he is in the higher percentiles for height. When they go from bottle to food, from sitting to crawling, then crawling to walking , then to running...all of this is a big change for them and their body will change with it.
I know youve gotten a ton of responses, but just wanted to let you know since we've been seeing a specialist now for almost three years and Ive learned so much about kids growth dealing with two who have issues.

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