Did Your Baby Have a Larger-than-average Head Circumference?

Updated on October 05, 2010
C.K. asks from Saint Paul, MN
7 answers

My son is almost 9 months old, and his head circumference is off the charts. A CT scan has ruled out hydroencephalitis or any other medical issues. At his last well-child exam, the NP measured both my and my husband's heads, and we both have big heads, too!

My son is crawling around the house and pushes up on his hands and knees. Sometimes, he will even push up onto his feet, so that his body is forming the letter "A", or, for those of you familar with yoga, he is doing the "downward dog" pose.

However, he can not yet sit up on his own, not even close. You sit him up, and he topples right over. He has a Bumbo Chair, and we sit him up in that a lot. Also, I sit him up supported between my legs while we play on the floor and read to him. Also, he loves to stand with support, and I do this until my arms get numb!

My husband and I are not the least bit worried about his not being able to sit up, but his NP sort of freaked out. It does seem really odd that he can crawl and is trying to stand, but can't sit up on his own, but hey, everyone develops at their own pace. Plus, the fact that his head is large would make it difficult to balance, I would think.

Our NP wants him to see Neurologist. I really think this is overreacting, since he just had a CT scan and he is, by the NP's own admission, otherwise completely "normal". I will confess that I am somewhat leary of conventional medicine, and grow more so every year. I don't want my son to see this Neurologist and then have to go through a battery of expensive, invasive tests only to find out nothing is wrong. It is easy to get sucked into a blackhole of doctor appointments. But trust me, if my son seemed ill, or was lagging behind in other ways, I would not hesitate to investigate this further.

My husband and I have decided that we are going to work very hard with our son, to help him build the muscle strength to sit up. I am also going to take him to a chiropractor, and see where those efforts take us.

I would like to hear from other parents whose children had larger-than-average heads.... At what age did your kids sit up unsupported? At what age did they walk? Anyone think I'm nuts for not rushing my son to the Neurologist?

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answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter has a larger then average head (not off the charts but in the 97% area, so the high end). My hubby has a larger head also, I am average.

I never had a CT done, guess my ped never saw the need for it. My daughter crawled at 10 months or shortly after and started walking at 11 1/2 months... for some reason she decided that she did not need the crawling for long.

Keep an eye on everything your son does (write it all down, normal and odd behavior, so you have a reference to go from when at the next check up) and at the next check up see if the ped would recommend the Neurologist... if there is no other delays I am not sure why they would suggest a Neurologist at this point if the CT scan looked normal. If the ped suggest seeing a Neurologist ask why and what OTHER signs (beside the head size) would make him/her suggest a neurologist visit. If they just say because it is a good idea to be on the safe side then push them until they are straight up with you... they usually have at least a list of 3 or more things that would make them suggested a neurologist visit.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi C.
My son had a head that was off the charts also. My doctor never did any test on him but he was army crawling by 8months and walking at 9months he is nine now and is perfectly normal.

My daughter did not have a big head but was unable to sit up on her own. until we started physical therapy at 9months her back and rib muscules where so tight it mad it impossable for her to sit on her own. I diffenatly would take him to the chiropractor and listen to your gut if you think he is fine then he is fine. Good luck T.



answers from Minneapolis on

A couple of my kids also had larger heads then normal, I say bigger head- bigger brain lol, they are smart kids with school testing off the charts now. They had trouble with crawling but not walking, one of them walked at 8 months, excercises help and maybe the chiropractor would be a good idea but be careful of neck adjustments, they scare the little ones a lot. Your his mom use your gut instincts you know whats best after all.


answers from Lincoln on

My daughter's head always measured big and a scan also ruled out hydroencephilits. The conclusion, just a big head! She didn't sit up on her own unsupported until about 11 months (8 1/2 months corrected for preemie) - rolling over, crawling,were around the same time. They even had her evaluated for cerebal palsy. Walking came a little late too, but she developed just fine with a big head! You are not nuts not to rush her to a neurologist. Just keep working with him and watch then if there's concerns take him for a second opinion. Sometimes mother does know best!:)



answers from Sioux Falls on


I also have a child with a large "Nugget" As we call it here. I am glad to see that you are not letting the doctors freak you out with worry. We also had the CT scan done and our son is perfectly fine other than his head is larger than normal. The charts that are used to measure this head growth I think need to be reevaluated. We ended up putting snaps in the backs of all his shirts so they would go over his head easier. He met his milestones at a later age than the "normal" age range but is perfectly fine today. Boys do develope and meet milestones later than girls so again, what is really normal..... our son crawled by 10 months, walked by 15 months and didn't talk until 29 months. Our pediatritions daughter also has a larger than normal head size so that helps her to understand why we have turned down any further testing on our son. Good luck, and follow your mommy instincts and enjoy your son.



answers from Los Angeles on

How did your child turn out?
My son is 6 months with a large head circumference and also is beginning to crawl with the "A" position you mentioned.



answers from Minneapolis on

My cousins daughter had a "big" head as well and I don't know about her sitting up but she was walking by 9mos.old and nothing medically wrong with her either.

I wouldn't want to put my child through a million tests and see a Neuro.doc either but if something is wrong you'll feel horrible later on that you didn't. I know my daughter at age4 needed physical therapy for poor gross motor skills and weak muscle tone. I had so many people tell me nothing was wrong with her but I knew something was and went with my gut instinct and had a pediatrician and phys.therap agree with ME. I would feel terrible if I never got my daughter the help she needed if I had listened to all my friends and family members who claimed she was fine/normal.

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