Growth Percentile

Updated on December 04, 2011
E.M. asks from Liberty, MO
12 answers

I had a re-cert WIC appt today so I had to take all the boys in. I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and twins that just turned 1 year a week ago. 2 1/2 year old was great, grew 3 inches over the summer, one of the twins was great, he was in the 50th percentile for height and weight. But my other twin boy was in the 3rd percentile, so he went down a LOT. He is growing both height and weight but I guess just is very below average for 1 year olds. He is 27 inches tall and 18lbs 12oz. I thought he was just fine. He is smaller than either of his brothers. But he has an amazing appetite, eats and drinks just as much as his twin. He has always been a few pounds smaller than his twin brother, who is 21lbs 4oz. My oldest was 19 ish pounds at this age and he was never in the 3rd percentile. I am just confused. Should I be worried? Has this happened with one of your kiddo's?? and I am uber ashamed to say that they have not had a well baby visit for several months. There are several reasons why but I know it is bad to not take them. They go to the doc when sick and also for all of their visits with the Cleft Palate team and no one has ever mentioned anything negative about his size or that we should be concerned. Am I just over reacting? He has met and in some cases gone beyond all the normal milestones. HELP.....

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies!!!! You have no idea how you have calmed me down!!! I am always so worried about them what with the cleft issues they have etc. Yeah, he is always pretty healthy, has an excellent appetite, always happy and smiling and has met and sometimes exceeded the milestones. I just dont really totally believe that he is only in the 3rd percentile. Oh well, he is healthy and doing great so i'm not going to worry. Thanks again, ya'lll are awesome!

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answers from Dallas on

My doctor has always said, if he is growing, eating, happy, and meeting milestones...DON'T worry.

I was never on the charts as a child, and my mom said she is so happy they didn't harp on it back they would now. Shoot, I'm a full grown adult with a child, and I still barely weigh 100 pounds. I have always had completely normal body fat percentage and have been very healthy. I am just small. That's how some people are.

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answers from St. Louis on

This is just a standard measurement to compare your kids to the general population of kids who have the same age of your kids. It is an average. What it is important H. for you is that your kids are healthy and meeting their milestones. My kids are short and thin because it runs in my family, the percentile for both of my kids is 25% and the doctor says that is OK. I am sure it is, there is no way that my kids become taller. They are happy, look healthy, they rarely get sick and have plenty of energy...and they are smart and clever...what else! So, don't worry too much about this measurements and keep them healthy.

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answers from Providence on

I don't get it either. I remember they told my son a year ago that he was overweight..It was ridiculous, considering that my son is a twig of a kid. Now, this year he is normal. Go figure. Kids will grow differently. They have to base something on a scale, but if the doctors aren't necessarily concerned, I would keep track at home. I would call your doctor with your concerns, and see what they have to say. Us moms are always worried about something it seems! We can never get breaks!
Take care!

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answers from Los Angeles on

What matters is not the percentile itself but a change in the pattern of growth. So, if your son was always around the 3% percentile mark, its not a cause for concern but if he was in the 60% for example but then all of a sudden, he's in the 3%, that's more concerning. Since you haven't gone to all your well baby visits though it'll be harder to figure out what the pattern is. Given how you describe your son, he sounds healthy so I wouldn't worry about it at this point but please get them to all their well baby visits going forward. It'll keep them healthy and give you peace of mind :) Best wishes,

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answers from San Francisco on

It's just a number. What you're looking for is rosy cheeks and lots of energy - if he has that, then don't worry!

I can totally relate, though. I am 6' tall, DH makes me look little, and our older daughter has always been off the charts tall. Well, along comes our younger daughter - imagine my surprise at her 1 year visit when the doctor mentioned she was in the 15% for height! I thought he must be mistaken! But no, my younger daughter, while perfectly intelligent, healthy and active, is just super short. (But reallllly cute ;) I figure this is what I get for telling her that I want her to stay little forever! Haha

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answers from Portland on

Did the worker express concern? If not, then I wouldn't be concerned, tho, I might arrange to have a doctor take a look at him. Since you're on WIC are you not also eligible for state medical insurance?

The growth chart compares your child's weight with others of the same age. I suggest that as long as he's on the chart he's fine. An important consideration is the second percentage for weight. If both height and weight are in same general area, then he is mostly likely just fine. He's just smaller than most other boys his age.

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answers from Houston on

I stopped taking my kids to well child visits, when I was being nickle and dimed to death every few weeks just so the Dr could ask me questions. I also took them in when they were sick/needed vaccs and so no more well child visits for me after the first year. As for his size, he is meeting his milestones and is healthy. He is still on the growth chart... I was never even ON the growth chart! If there aren't any medical concerns, I wouldn't worry :)

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answers from Joplin on

My daughter was always in the 5th percentile for years when she was little, but now at 14 is an average size teenager. I wouldn't worry too much if your doctor isn't worried.

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answers from Lawrence on

Hello, I would say if u are that worried and they haven't see the dr. For a while to take them in for a check up. I have three boys and my oldest son had trouble with growing at first because he had acid reflux and stomach problems, my second son is on the smaller side for being 2 1/2 but I don't if it's because of his reflux or if it's just because he is just on the smaller side. My youngest son is going to be a year old on the 21st of this month and I think he weighs 20lbs mow. I'm not sure how long he is but he is really small. He looks like he about 7 months old. When found out that he is allergic to milk and they switched him to a special formula about 3 months or so and that is why he is up to 20lbs. I am concerned about him still being small but I don't know if it's because he is still trying to catch up or what. We have an appt. With the GI dr. Tomorrow so we will see what she says. Some kids are just on the smaller side just like some kids are big for their age but if I were u I would take them to the dr. Just to make sure everything is fine. May God bless you and your family.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I honestly wish they would throw out those charts. Normal is such a wide range and those percentages are just plain strange. One of my daughters was very tiny and never on the chart at all. Hmm does that mean she did not exist if she was "off" the chart?

Seriously 18lb 12 oz is at 3%? Neither of my dd's were that large at a year.

Don't pay any attention to those silly percentiles, look at the whole child and how they are growing and developing.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Was the doctor concerned? Was their talk of malnourishment? I think if they didnt discuss something their and then, then I wouldnt be uber worried. All kids grow at such different rates. I was so afraid with my first daughter about all that, She was in 99 percentile for height while falling into the 15 percentile for weight. Though she was seeming ok and no one had an issue, till she refused to stop eating at 2. We had to force feed her. When my second was born again 95 for height, but 30 for weight. Now she is 2 and went up to the 50 for weight but still in upper 90s for height. So all there food and weight is going to growing there height. My boy is 1 now and again 90 for height and only 20 for weight, however I stopped worrying. They look healthy, act healthy, are healthy. I dont let some paper tell me they are not. I think its ok. I would talk to the doctors about it, if they really dont worry, then you should take that and then really step back and look at what he is eating when. Track it. He may just have a different metabolism and a very different growth rate.

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answers from Washington DC on

Percentiles are just rankings, 3rd percentile doesn't mean he's far below the average weight, it just means most kids are heavier than him. They could be one pound heavier or 3 ounces heavier or 50lbs heavier it doesn't tell you. As you mentioned, your other son was just a few ounces heavier at that age and was in a much higher percentile.


As long as he's growing along a healthy curve, and hitting developmental milestones you're fine.

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