Understanding Growth Charts and Percentiles

It is common practice during infancy and early childhood for the community child health nurse to measure your child's growth and head circumference on a growth chart.

The normal variations in height are measured as percentiles and are shown as lines on the chart representing 1st, 3rd, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th and 97th percentiles.

If your infant is on the 10th percentile for height, it means that 90% of babies are taller than your child. On the other hand, if your infant is on the 90th percentile, this means your infant is taller than 90% of other babies. In both examples, the infant is within the normal range, just on different ends of the percentile range.

WHAT IF MY CHILD IS SMALLER THAN OTHER CHILDREN?

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone.
If you feel your child is smaller or has different growth patterns than other children of the same age, trust your instincts and seek medical advice.