The baby’s growth chart is used around the world. Although every country may be different, the basic information is familiar. Recently, the growth chart is improved about the content and form in comparison with before.
The growth chart of Australia is similar to the form of the United Nations Centre for Disease Control. Currently, it is known as the percent chart of CDC – Center for Disease Control. However, WHO has recently launched its own growth chart, which is more accurate and also reflects the growth of the breastfed babies because they have tended to gain weight in comparison with the formula-fed infants.
The breastfeeding babies will rapidly gain weight during the first 3 months and the following months will stabilize the weight gain process. For the formula-feeding babies, the weight gain will be more steadily. This difference can affect the way that the health professionals read the growth chart of the baby. The WHO’s chart could apply for the formula-fed babies.
Why should we use the baby’s growth chart?
Parents always want to know the growth process of their children to support them when needing. The growth chart is a good way to check how everything takes place.
The growth chart often gives the average value: the average development of the same age, gender, and country babies with the same lifestyle and nutrition. The target of the growth chart is to provide the exact review means of each child – it considers their growth that is suitable or unsuitable for gender and age. Though every child is a separate individual, they still need to have a proper development. Apart from, the growth chart also shows the process of transition from the independent status to the dependence.
We have the pink growth chart for girls and blue for boys. If the baby is born prematurely, you will also record on the chart.
The growth chart is used by parents, doctors, nurses, and health experts. Every baby has his/her own chart tracking from birth until school.
The growth chart in Australia
It is divided into 2 groups:
- From birth to 36 months: It measures the weight, height, and circumference of the head.
- From 2 to 20 years old: The weight-for-age ratio, the height-for-age ratio, the ratio of body mass for age.
- The growth chart shows the percentage of the children with the same weight and height at a certain age. Each of the charts is divided into the percentage and includes the grade – 3, 10, 25, 50, 75, 90, and 97. For example, if his/her weight is in the tenth percent, 90/ 100 babies will get heavier weight than this level. It the baby is at the 75 level, his/her weight is over average level compared to the babies with the same gender and age.
The factors affect the growth of the baby
The gestational age is an important factor in the growth chart. Obviously, the babies are born prematurely – they are lighter than the full-month babies (38-42 weeks). Nonetheless, the underweight-born babies sometimes have the speed of weight gain better than the weight babies.
The main factor affects the growth – the gender (the boys tend to grow faster than girls), genes, environment, health, nutrition, and personal growth factors. It will not be helpful when comparing between the babies, but people feel more comfortable when using the growth charts. The cause is due to the baby has his/her own growth speed, but it can still compare to other same age and sex babies.
How is the growth chart used?
- The baby’s growth is measured regularly and recorded in the growth chart.
- The weight, height, and head circumference are 3 factors to evaluate.
- Each above element will be marked in the related diagram.
- Each individual measurement is less important than the curve or developed chart over time.
- It should not appreciate every individual measured value. Instead, you must find the connection to the previous value.
- If the curve is flat or concave, your baby may slowly grow.
- If possible, it should use a scale to measure for the baby.
- The right weight is the weight without clothing, measuring the height, too. Don’t estimate the weight of clothes because it is not accurate.
Don’t use the growth chart as the only mean to evaluate. You should also be based on the operation and development of the baby.